Quiltingboard Forums

Quiltingboard Forums (https://www.quiltingboard.com/)
-   For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts (https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/)
-   -   Frozen 201 Singer sewing machine? (https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/frozen-201-singer-sewing-machine-t316895.html)

Christine- 11-21-2021 06:31 PM

Frozen 201 Singer sewing machine?
 
I am in the process of breathing new life into a 1951 Singer 201 that sat unused for 30+ years. I'm slathering oil on it and waiting a day or two before oiling again. ALL the moving parts jiggle slightly and I mean all of the parts move ever so slightly. My question is, is it possible that the potted motor is what is keeping it from moving? I'm wondering what it could be keeping it from moving fully. Thank you in advance for any advice you can share! (Now back to the oil bottle...)

Hooligan 11-22-2021 04:22 AM

Yes, the potted motors can be the cause of a lock-up. Usually it's old hard compacted grease that has set around the worm gear :thumbup: Most potted motor need a full service/rewire ;)

Christine- 11-22-2021 05:13 AM


Originally Posted by Hooligan (Post 8521124)
Yes, the potted motors can be the cause of a lock-up. Usually it's old hard compacted grease that has set around the worm gear :thumbup: Most potted motor need a full service/rewire ;)

Thank you for the reply Hooligan. There isn't much compacted grease on the worm gear but there is some there. I was able to chip it away, leaving just what was stuck where the worm gears meet. I may need to find someone in my area who works on these beauties.

bkay 11-22-2021 05:28 AM

I've not had the "pleasure" of working on a 201 that is locked up, but did free up a 401 a couple of years ago. I used kerosene (unscented lamp oil from Walmart) and 90% alcohol to free it up. It was obvious that it was dried up oil, though. I would stay away from the alcohol with a black machine. I used strips of old t-shirts, twine, cotton balls, q-tips and anything I could find to clean away the gunk in any place that moved. I soaked up my excess kerosene with paper towels under the joint. I used forceps to get into the places I couldn't reach. All and all, it took 3 or 4 cleanings before everything freed up. Then, I started with oil.

Good luck.

bkay

edit: I have a gorgeous 15-91 that is locked up to do soon. It looks like it's never been used.

Christine- 11-22-2021 05:34 AM

Thank you bkay! I'm going to keep at it. It is definitely worth the time to get these machines working again!


Originally Posted by bkay (Post 8521141)
I've not had the "pleasure" of working on a 201 that is locked up, but did free up a 401 a couple of years ago. I used kerosene (unscented lamp oil from Walmart) and 90% alcohol to free it up. It was obvious that it was dried up oil, though. I would stay away from the alcohol with a black machine, though. I used strips of old t-shirts, twine, cotton balls, q-tips and anything I could find to clean away the gunk in any place that moved. I soaked up my excess kerosene with paper towels under the joint. I used forceps to get into the places I couldn't reach. All and all, it took 3 or 4 cleanings before everything freed up. Then, I started with oil.

Good luck.

bkay

edit: I have a gorgeous 15-91 that is locked up to do soon. It looks like it's never been used.


Hooligan 11-22-2021 06:00 AM


Originally Posted by Christine- (Post 8521138)
Thank you for the reply Hooligan. There isn't much compacted grease on the worm gear but there is some there. I was able to chip it away, leaving just what was stuck where the worm gears meet. I may need to find someone in my area who works on these beauties.

Usually needs a complete strip down to remove all old grease residue from around the armature shaft, etc. I do like the potted motors indeed, use them on a daily basis :thumbup: Full service on it and it should be good to go, just make sure commutator isn't worn ;)

leonf 11-22-2021 09:14 AM

It takes a lot of torque to get those potted motors, off. Be sure you have a screwdriver that fits. or a ratchet with a screwdriver bit.
For those of you who haven't seen them, This is how the motor looks. Gears were camera shy. picture in nest post


leonf 11-22-2021 09:15 AM

Told you so.

https://www.quiltingboard.com/member...738-621659.jpg

Christine- 11-22-2021 10:36 AM

Thank you Leon, that is my next step. I was hoping it would be the gears, something easily cleaned but alas... it's the next on my list to get to. What has me stumped is the machine does move slightly. All the parts jiggle in place.


Originally Posted by leonf (Post 8521183)
It takes a lot of torque to get those potted motors, off. Be sure you have a screwdriver that fits. or a ratchet with a screwdriver bit.
For those of you who haven't seen them, This is how the motor looks. Gears were camera shy. picture in nest post


Hooligan 11-22-2021 11:58 AM


Originally Posted by Christine- (Post 8521199)
What has me stumped is the machine does move slightly. All the parts jiggle in place.

Do you mean when you try the balance wheel, it kinda rocks back & forth slightly? If so, then from my experience this is caused by hardened grease around the worm gear, bushings, etc. Quick way to find out if the motor is the cause is simply remove the motor housing (those two screws Leon mentioned), internals should now spin freely ;)

ps: i suspect hardened grease :thumbup:

Christine- 11-22-2021 11:58 AM

Well, I have removed the potted motor and handwheel. The grease is still in good shape, it isn't hardened at all. I'm stumped as to what could be keeping the parts from moving. As I said, the parts jiggle in place. The machine was not used much. The original owner was a housekeeper and used the machine lightly and then 30 yrs ago it was bought at an estate sale by someone who just wanted to use it as a side table. She wasn't a sewer and it sat unused and unloved for 30 years. I'm stumped at this point.

Christine- 11-22-2021 12:06 PM

I'm not strong enough to turn those screws...will have to get my husband in on this one.


Originally Posted by Hooligan (Post 8521216)
Do you mean when you try the balance wheel, it kinda rocks back & forth slightly? If so, then from my experience this is caused by hardened grease around the worm gear, bushings, etc. Quick way to find out if the motor is the cause is simply remove the motor housing (those two screws Leon mentioned), internals should now spin freely ;)

ps: i suspect hardened grease :thumbup:


Joe Ayres 11-22-2021 02:36 PM

I just freed up 3 machines, a 301, a 66 and an Electro Grand. I used straight kerosene, and put it into all of the places that normally would take oil. This was an instruction in the Singer 301 manual. Oil (with kerosene) and work the hand wheel back and forth gently until it comes free. Letting is soak overnight helps, too.

Christine- 11-22-2021 02:56 PM

2 Attachment(s)
With my husband's elbow grease we were able to take the 2 screws out and slide the last part off. Here is a photo of it... alas, the shaft does not rotate at all. It merely jiggles slightly. Any ideas?

Joe Ayres 11-22-2021 03:17 PM


Originally Posted by Christine- (Post 8521256)
With my husband's elbow grease we were able to take the 2 screws out and slide the last part off. Here is a photo of it... alas, the shaft does not rotate at all. It merely jiggles slightly. Any ideas?

By jiggle do you mean back a very slight rotation? It could be somewhere else that is sticking it other than that main shaft. Try oiling it everywhere with kerosene and let it soak for a day, then jiggle it more and see if it gets any more rotation.

JoeJr 11-22-2021 05:07 PM

I would 1. check the the bobbin area to make sure nothing is jamming it up, 2. remove the covers from the gears on the underside of the machine and make sure nothing is jamming those up.

Otherwise, as the shampoo bottle says, rinse and repeat, only with oil, or kerosene then oil.

OurWorkbench 11-22-2021 06:30 PM

It looks like you have a 201-3 rather than 201-2. There is an adjuster's manual available from https://www.manualslib.com/manual/10...ger-201-1.html One should pay attention as to which machine is applicable per page. Most of the first 44 pages apply to the different machines' light, motor and controller. The rest of the machine adjustments begin on page 44 (of the pdf).

bkay uses lamp oil as it is evidently kerosene with a different name. I agree about applying kerosene to all the oiling points and jiggling some more. I had read something about kerosene in the above manual, but can't find the page, now. All the oiling points are shown at the end of the manual. I would try that before starting to take things apart, other then the easy pieces like the needle, the needle plate, the presser foot and maybe a few other easy to replace items. Frequently, there could be a thread jamming the bobbin case.

I've had success with hard to remove screws by using Tri-flow oil and letting it set overnight.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
Not affiliated with off-site link(s)

Christine- 11-22-2021 10:56 PM

I just sold a 201-3 on ebay so I can say this machine is definitely a 201-2. It has a potted motor whereas the 201-3 has a belted motor. It also has the light in the front whereas the 201-3 has the light mounted on the back of the machine.
Thank you for the link to the service manuals though! I had one that was specific for the 201-3 which I sent with the machine when it sold but I need one for the 201-2!

Thank you for the advice about the kerosene! So far I've just used sewing machine oil but I'm going to pick up some kerosene in the morning. I'm not so sure about lamp oil, as some lamp oil has parafin in it... will have to read some labels on that.


Originally Posted by OurWorkbench (Post 8521300)
It looks like you have a 201-3 rather than 201-2. [snip]

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
Not affiliated with off-site link(s)


1.41 11-22-2021 11:42 PM

My first recommendation is this: do not force the handwheel. Move it very gently. These machines are not entirely made out of metal as some people believe. There is a “Textolite” gear under the handwheel that’s made out of a combination of Bakelite plastic and I believe cotton fabric. This gear is spring loaded to prevent damage to the motor if the machine jams. Remove the handwheel and take a look at the Textolite gear. It may be jammed or the spring may be jammed. If the gear is broken the machine won’t move. The liklihood that the gear is damaged is remote, but you don't want to be the person who does damage it by forcing the wheel. I do not know whether that gear can be safely cleaned with kerosene. Look at page 27 of the Adjusters Manual.

Singer recommended running kerosene through these machines as others have recommended. Given that the grease was not entirely solid, I’m apt to think there’s a mechanical issue. I suspect it’s a simple thing.

Check the bobbin area for jammed up thread. clean it carefully with kerosene and oil the race. This is a delicate mechanism that can get jammed up and freeze a machine.

Check both ends of the feed dog connecting rod. Page 58 of the Adjusters Manual. If there's any rust or corrosion at either end that could freeze the machine. Some rust remover and kerosene and even 3-in-1 oil to clean rust inside the connectors would work. If you use anything other than kerosene, make sure to flush the area with kerosene to get rid of whatever you use..

Check whether the stitch length lever moves. Take a look at whether the sliding block connected to the lever is jammed. If so, it can be unscrewed from the side and cleaned.

Check whether you have thread jammed up, wound up between the shaft and the handwheel.

Remember that the most important tool in the tool chest is patience. Use lots of it.

I'm sure you'll succeed in getting this machine working fine. Good luck.

Christine- 11-23-2021 06:09 AM

All good suggestions 1.41! Thank you!

Christine- 11-23-2021 06:56 AM

1.41, the gears on the handwheel are really needing cleaning. Do you recommend taking them off? Or would the spring/parts be too fragile?


Originally Posted by 1.41 (Post 8521325)
My first recommendation is this: do not force the handwheel. Move it very gently. These machines are not entirely made out of metal as some people believe. There is a “Textolite” gear under the handwheel that’s made out of a combination of Bakelite plastic and I believe cotton fabric. This gear is spring loaded to prevent damage to the motor if the machine jams. Remove the handwheel and take a look at the Textolite gear. It may be jammed or the spring may be jammed. If the gear is broken the machine won’t move. The liklihood that the gear is damaged is remote, but you don't want to be the person who does damage it by forcing the wheel. I do not know whether that gear can be safely cleaned with kerosene. Look at page 27 of the Adjusters Manual.


1.41 11-23-2021 10:12 AM

If it were me, I would take it apart. Before you decide whether to dismantle or clean in place, take a look here for full instructions complete with pictures. After looking over this webpage you'll be in a better position to decide whether you want to take this on.

https://pungoliving.home.blog/2020/0...balance-wheel/

The man who runs this site, Lee, is a retired engineer who regularly takes vintage sewing machines apart, restores all the parts and puts them back together. He is someone who is happy to share his knowledge. An altogether extraordinary individual. If you can't get the 201 up and running with the suggestions you've seen here, it can't hurt to send Lee a message and see if he has any suggestions.

Lee has also posted a step-by-step "record" (I hesitate to say "instructions" but it's close to a that) showing a full restoration of a 201 here:

https://pungoliving.home.blog/2019/1...-singer-201-2/

leonf 11-23-2021 12:07 PM

don't forget heat. pull out a hair dryer and hit where old oil and grease can turn to varnish. It can do wonders.

FoggyButFocused 11-24-2021 03:08 PM

I am not familiar with the 201, I am familiar with the 301. I bought a 301 that was "jammed" and exhibited the same symptom. The hand wheel would move the needle just a smidge, back and forth.

It was because the machine was set up to wind a bobbin, which meant the needle diddn't go up and down. I would double check this before I started taking things apart.

Good luck!!

Christine- 11-25-2021 06:33 AM

5 Attachment(s)
I'm fairly certain the cause of the frozen 201-2 is mechanical, not gummed up parts. Here are photos of the gears as they are, I didn't bother cleaning because they are already clean. All I did was add oil to them. The machine jiggles in place and I hear a metallic click when I jiggle it. I've checked every mechanical setting I can think of and I'm coming up with a big fat nothing on why this machine is frozen up. It has me stumped. I have removed the motor and handwheel so the machine should rotate on it's own! Does anyone have a suggestion as to what mechanical might be wrong?

Christine- 11-25-2021 06:38 AM

P.S.: I have done all of the following...


Originally Posted by 1.41 (Post 8521325)
Check the bobbin area for jammed up thread. clean it carefully with kerosene and oil the race. This is a delicate mechanism that can get jammed up and freeze a machine.

Check both ends of the feed dog connecting rod. Page 58 of the Adjusters Manual. If there's any rust or corrosion at either end that could freeze the machine. Some rust remover and kerosene and even 3-in-1 oil to clean rust inside the connectors would work. If you use anything other than kerosene, make sure to flush the area with kerosene to get rid of whatever you use..

Check whether the stitch length lever moves. Take a look at whether the sliding block connected to the lever is jammed. If so, it can be unscrewed from the side and cleaned.

Check whether you have thread jammed up, wound up between the shaft and the handwheel.

Remember that the most important tool in the tool chest is patience. Use lots of it.

I'm sure you'll succeed in getting this machine working fine. Good luck.


JoeJr 11-26-2021 08:20 AM

Have you checked under the face plate to see if anything is amiss there? Might be a long shot but I would look.

I would want to be as certain as I could be that it was a mechanical problem and not a cleaning problem. If it was my machine I would be spraying kerosene or some kerosene cleaner in the oil holes and on all moving metal on metal spots I could identify. If this didn't fix it then I would have to look at isolating the top main shaft from the bottom main shaft, which means disconnecting the rod running through the pillar. I've not done this on a 201, only on machines with a removable top cover. Disconnecting the top from the bottom would allow you to pin down which isn't moving freely. This would be fairly involved and others may have better ideas or warnings as to not trying this.

Christine- 11-26-2021 08:26 AM

Thanks Joe! I have checked under the faceplate, all is well there. I took the hook shaft out today, thinking the problem was there in the gears but all is well there. I'm at a loss. I'm not experienced enough to do anything with the main shaft or the gears there. So I'm not going to touch those. I'll have to find someone in my area who works on 201s. I live in the Raleigh area of NC and I'm sure I can find someone. It's worth it to me, this is a nice machine which has had little use.

Thank you everyone for your words of wisdom! I appreciate your help!

1.41 11-26-2021 09:06 AM

Well it looks to me like you've gone some distance to eliminate the likelihood that the problem is under the machine, that leads me to think that it's more likely something at the top. The most delicate parts at the top are the mechanisms that move the needle bar and take up lever. It might be the problem will be found in there.

1.41 11-26-2021 04:27 PM

Look here: .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-8G5AaVD3o

At 9:32 Bob Fowler explains how to loosen a pushed in stop motion bushing. I don't think one needs the tool he uses. A $10 plumber's faucet remover might do, a few small taps with a hammer all around the bushing would also be something I would try if it were me. He also welcomes emails with questions about machine repairs. Use "My Worst Nightmare" in the subject line.

Also, if you haven't removed the hook assembly, I would certainly do that to look at whether a piece of a broken needle or a entire needle has slipped inside the assembly.

1.41 11-26-2021 04:44 PM

In your last picture, right in the centre, is that a broken needle? There's something that looks a bit like a broken needle sticking up at about a 45 degree angle and it looks like it's stuck in the gears. What I'm looking at is right behind the horizontal shaft.

Christine- 11-26-2021 05:39 PM

Is this the correct video? At the 9:30 mark he is talking about timing a 201. [edit: I found the bushing at 20:32... I removed the fly wheel and the motor and the machine still isn't moving. So I don't think it's the bushing.]

Also, I did remove the hook and the bobbin shaft and gear. I wanted to see if there might be a bit of broken needle caught up in the gears and there was none. I'm not sure what that is in the photo, hmmm....


Originally Posted by 1.41 (Post 8521897)
Look here: .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-8G5AaVD3o

At 9:32 Bob Fowler explains how to loosen a pushed in stop motion bushing. I don't think one needs the tool he uses. A $10 plumber's faucet remover might do, a few small taps with a hammer all around the bushing would also be something I would try if it were me. He also welcomes emails with questions about machine repairs. Use "My Worst Nightmare" in the subject line.

Also, if you haven't removed the hook assembly, I would certainly do that to look at whether a piece of a broken needle or a entire needle has slipped inside the assembly.


1.41 11-26-2021 06:43 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I think you know the picture I mean, it's this one: Right in the centre of the picture something that looks like a needle seems to be sticking up.

Christine- 11-26-2021 06:52 PM


Originally Posted by 1.41 (Post 8521907)
I think you know the picture I mean, it's this one: Right in the centre of the picture something that looks like a needle seems to be sticking up.

That thing sticking up is the clip found on the bottom of the bar that holds the hook in place. I have removed that bar, the hook, the bobbin shaft and the gear at the bottom of the shaft (after marking it so I know exactly how it fits back in there!). And the machine still won't move. I am not comfortable removing anymore parts on the machine, it has reached the limit of my knowledge at this point. I found someone who has worked on these old machines for over 40 years and he said he would come to see what was wrong on Monday. So I'll keep you updated on the progress. I'm bound and determined to get this great machine running!

FoggyButFocused 11-27-2021 08:35 AM


Originally Posted by Christine- (Post 8521675)
P.S.: I have done all of the following...

Are you sure the balane wheel is engaged? This would keep the needle bar from moving up and down.

Have a great day and I hope you get it resolved!

Christine- 11-27-2021 08:40 AM


Originally Posted by FoggyButFocused (Post 8521975)
Are you sure the balane wheel is engaged? This would keep the needle bar from moving up and down.

Have a great day and I hope you get it resolved!

That was the first thing I checked. I have since removed the wheel and also the motor, yet it still doesn't move.
I have a guy coming on Monday who has 40+ yrs experience to help figure out what is wrong with it.


1.41 11-27-2021 09:05 PM

Sorry, but now I'm confused. I see a silver coloured pointed pin or needle shaped object in the centre of the picture, right up against the bed of the machine, behind the hook driving shaft. It doesn't look like a clip, it looks for all the world like a pin or a needle stuck in the drive gear. I looked at the Adjusters Manual for this machine and didn't see anything like that in that area.

Christine- 11-27-2021 11:19 PM

Yes, it's not a pin or needle. Here is a photo of the clip you're seeing.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KAC5cADho...1/IMG_0300.JPG

1.41 11-27-2021 11:40 PM

Right. I now understand thanks Christine. In the first image, there seems to be something that looks like a braided cable in the arm of the machine, What is that? And could that be blocking the movement of the upper shaft?

Christine- 11-27-2021 11:44 PM

I'm not certain but I think that is the wiring that goes to the light. That's the only thing I can think of.

I have someone coming on Monday to look at the machine. He has 40+ yrs experience working on these vintage machines. I'm looking forward to finding an answer to why this machine won't move. I'll keep you posted.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:04 PM.