Please help.

Old 02-21-2021, 05:42 PM
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I'm glad Joe told you how to post pictures.

There are two manuals for the 401 at One at the top and then one further down the page. One is from 1958 and the other is a revised in 1976 version.

While it is fairly long, there is some good info at There are a couple of others at and particularly

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Old 02-21-2021, 05:58 PM
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Here's a link to a Singer 401 manual that you can download and print for free.
Singer 401 Instruction book (

There are Kenmore manuals for $6.95 here:
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:08 AM
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Glad someone found a place for you to download a manual. Lots of help on this site.
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:34 PM
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There is a facebook group for sears and Kenmore machines and they have a ton of manuals there. Your model # will be under the bad as you look at the from usually three numbers. period bunch more #s.. That's how you will search.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2021
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I have just overhauled a 401A here - WONDERFUL machine. I have digital copies of the manual (there may be more than one version out there on the web, for free), and would be happy to email one to you.

If the machine turns, but somewhat stiffly, it just needs oil and patience.

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Old 02-24-2021, 06:25 AM
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I unstuck a 401a. I used strips of old t-shirts, q-tips and cotton balls that I soaked with 90% rubbing alcohol from Walmart, sewing machine oil, denatured alcohol from Home Depot (pretty much the same as the rubbing alcohol, but more expensive). I also used kerosene (unscented lamp oil from Walmart). You soak the fiber and rub it on the yucky places until the brown gunk comes off. I used the strips to go under things and "see-sawed" the strip until I had to change to another strip. A pair of hemostats is helpful to get the strips, or cotton balls into the tight places. It took a while, but it's my go-to machine now. (Don't get the alcohol on that red lever, it will dissolve the paint.) I used various solvents at various times so I'm not sure which is best. I think the alcohol works best, though. (Don't use alcohol on a Black Machine, it will dissolve the finish.)

If you'll look at some of archaic arcane posts here and on youtube, you'll find great tutorials. I think AndyTube did a series on the 401a on youtube as well. Andy tube is very detailed, Archaic arcane moves a little faster. Both do excellent tutes.


Last edited by bkay; 02-24-2021 at 06:31 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:49 PM
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Well, dear friend, here is my thread from when I was exactly where you are!! It seems that it is rather common to get these when they are glued immobile by old oil.

For my manual needs, I always check first here. I like it because you can make a free account and keep all your manual there. I have them stored on my laptop, as well, for when I want to print one, but I can always access them from my phone if I need to. I don't always find the manuals I need there, but I mostly do.

I think I used alcohol to unglue mine, too. It worked very well on the 99 I just did, too.

I can't wait to hear what kind of Kenmore that is!!
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Old Yesterday, 12:25 PM
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The vintage Kenmore group at may be of help if you still need it.
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