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Thread: sewing machine repair information

  1. #1
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    sewing machine repair information

    Unplug Your Machine

    For your own safety and to prevent damage to your machine always unplug the machine before you start cleaning and oiling your machine.

    Remove Lint

    Fabric and thread are a combination that is going to produce lint. Lint can build up in unseen areas of your machine leading to wear and tear that is preventable.

    Open all areas that you can and clean the lint out of the machine. Use the brush that came with your sewing machine to remove lint in cracks and crevices and from under the bobbin case.
    Try to get in the habit of cleaning the lint out of your machine every time you finish a project. That way the machine will be ready to sew when you are!

    Sewing Machine Oil

    Sewing machine oil is not something you borrow from the garage. It is clear white oil. Be sure to use the proper oil. Refer to your owner’s manual for the proper spots to oil. Some of the older machines have these areas marked.
    After oiling your machine run stitches on some scrap fabric before you tackle your project. This allows oil to escape on to the scraps, if it's going to, instead of the project you are working on.

    Oiling the machine not only lubricates your moving parts, to prevent wear, it reduces the risk of rust. Rust forms rapidly with any dampness, even just the humidity in the air. Surface rust can act just like loose sand granule in your machine, and create excess wear.

    Loose Screws

    As you clean and oil the machine you will find many screws and set-screws. As a general rule, tighten regular screws as you run across them. Set screws which usually require hex key wrenches, should only be adjusted by a repair person unless you have a complete understanding of the timing of your sewing machine.
    If the set screws are missing or loose, take the machine to a repair shop. It may seem easy to just replace the screw or tighten it, but all of these details go in to the timing of the machine. If the timing is off you can do great damage and the repair bill will be much more then a tune up.

    Wires

    You should always be watching for wear signs on wires but while you’re cleaning your machine, take the time to honestly inspect the wires.
    Check the entire length of the wire for abrasions to the plastic coating or for damage a pet may have done.
    Check that all the electrical prongs are tight and secure.
    Consult a repair person or electrician for any problems you may find.

    Here is one of my favorite resources - Sew Classic. Jenny has put together a list of links. She also sells parts for old Singers.
    http://blog.sew-classic.com/2008/11/...intenance.aspx

    http://www.sewusa.com/Sewing_Machine...Singer_301.htm
    301 trouble shooting

    FOR ALL METAL MACHINES ONLY:
    http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachi...gmachines.html
    I do not like WD40 or 3in1 oil for cleaning up the machines.
    Use some kerosene apply with a brush or Triflow oil

    http://sewing-machines.blogspot.com/ someone obviously loves the old machines and he has some good pointers about cleaning them up.

    http://sewdelish.blogspot.com/2007/1...-machines.html I like to get lots of opinions before I try anything new.

    http://marmaladekiss.blogspot.com/20...g-machine.html
    another blogger has a post about cleaning up a machine - If you have never done it before, don't try to take the whole thing apart - just do a small area at a time. Clean the whole exterior. Do the tension. Put it back. Do the throat area. Put it back. etc.

    http://www.tfsr.org/publications/tec...achine_manual/ I learned a lot from this site

    http://sewingmachine221sale.bizland....re/page89.html Short but some good insight.
    There are various places to buy the kit - might be a good idea if you don't have that stuff around.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Old-...den-Treasures/

    http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/how-t...sewing-machine - interesting info - does not totally refurbish but cleans and oil

    http://zsuzsybee.hubpages.com/hub/Wh...Sewing-Machine
    looks to be advise from a sewing shop - not bad info though

    Here are some websites that were most helpful:

    www.ismacs.net an international sewing machine collector's website.

    www.neeldebar.org lots of good pictures and information here.

    www.tfsr.org This is an organization that takes in repaired machines and sends them to Third World countries. Their online sewing machine manual is a techinical repair book for the most common of the old black Singers. Very useful information for restoring a machine.

    www.treadleon.net Very good site dedicated to people powered machines, meaning Treadles and Hand Cranks. Loads of different types of information on restoring machines. At first sight this page may seem a little strange but the people here know their business. They have a sister site: www.quiltropolis.com

    For lots of pictures people have posted on line of the their favorite machines and hobbies go to www.webshots.com. There are thousands of pictures here.

    Singer's website has the list of serial numbers for machines back to around 1900, when they first starting keeping the serial numbers lists. You can also buy or download free manuals for Singers. www.singerco.com

    You do NOT need to take it completely apart. I don't recommend that at all.

    Get a box of q-tips, a tooth brush, and an old (but clean) mascara applicator/brush, a hair dryer, good quality sewing machine oil, some sewing machine grease and some Tri-flow oil.

    For the grease, you can use the Singer stuff they sell in a tube at the fabric store. I use tri-flow grease and oil that you can probably purchase at your local bicycle shop.

    Take the lid off the top of the machine. Be careful as the top hinges and door hinges on the 500 are prone to breakage.

    Cover the bed of the machine with a layer of protective newspaper and plastic.

    Using your q-tips and other tools clean everything that you can. Then replace the grease on the gears (one under the cam stack too) and oil where ever metal moves against metal. Do NOT put any oil on the geared motor shaft!!! Only grease goes there. If any thing is still stiff or stuck, put your hair dryer on high and warm it up while you wiggle it. Once it pops loose, clean and oil it.

    Careful - do NOT get anything on the wires.

    Or take it in to be serviced.



    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...y-t194930.html link to info about cleaning some types of bobbin area.

    http://zigzaggers.typepad.com/zigzag...ping-tips.html good info - how to shop for a sewing machine
    http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/c-102.html good info

    Videos I like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bidpJ..._order&list=UL
    it will go on and do part 2 when part one runs completely out
    This is a very good video for cleaning up an old sewing machine!!!
    I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

    She also has one on adjusting tension on a long bobbin sewing machine
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S43_-..._order&list=UL

    I think so far she has 9 videos - all very good.

    http://www.free-press-release.com/ne...263895315.html

    These are blogs with general info:
    Treadle On - http://www.treadleon.net/

    The Treadlers Village - http://www.thetreadlersvillage.com/

    http://mysewingmachineaddiction.blogspot.com/

    http://mysewingmachineobsession.blogspot.com/

    http://imcinnis.blogspot.com/

    This page has lots of pictures:
    Treadle and Hand Crank Machines - http://www.treadleandcrank.com/

    This web page describes how to use a treadle:
    Treadle Sewing Machines: Sew Simple - http://hubpages.com/hub/Treadle-Sewi...inesSew-Simple

    Videos on Treadle Sewing - http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f

    Here are manuals:
    Singer Sewing Co. Manuals - http://www.singerco.com/accessories/manuals.html
    Treadle Sewing Machine Manual Index - http://sewing.about.com/library/weekly/aa012400b.htm
    Free Singer Manuals - http://www.a1sewingmachine.com/manuals.htm

    Here are some sites to get parts:
    Treadle Machine Parts - http://wordsetc.com/treadle.htm
    Treadle and Vintage Parts - http://sewingmachine221sale.bizland....re/page47.html

    MOTORS
    I searched around a bit for info on motor repairs. We went to Border's one night after the library. The library didn't have anything - she ordered something for us but it was a disappointment. Then we went to Borders - they didn't have anything in the store - you can order books from $29 up to $260.

    info on motors
    http://sewingmachine221sale.bizland....ore/motor.html

    http://www.parts.singerco.com/IPinstManuals/15-91.pdf
    Lots of very valuable info - free to print out - info will work for other machines as well

    http://blog.sew-classic.com/2008/11/...ne-review.aspx
    scroll about a third of the way down - info on 201-2 motors - excellent review!!! and she sells parts

    http://blog.sew-classic.com/2009/02/...-401-401a.aspx
    some on cleaning up the motor

    here are some Bennett posted earlier

    Cleaning (and laughing at the 30 minutes part): http://reviews.ebay.com/HOW-TO-OVERH...00000004665359

    Cleaning another type of small motor: http://books.google.com/books?id=rnO...page&q&f=false

    Video on how motors work. (I like to know the "why" too, and I pretty much ignored high school physics). http://youtu.be/RAc1RYilugI

    Here's where the dating site is for vintage Singer sewing machines.

    http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_mach...-database.html
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    This was posted in the links and resources but I think it needs to be found in the sewing machine section as well.

    All my sewing machine repairs are done by small children welding Qtips and screwdrivers and standing precariously on a bench... ARGH... I just can't turn my back now can I???

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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Miriam,

    I will book mark this thread for sure. It's a veritable library index of information.
    Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Awesome Miriam. Thank you. One thing I would add is to always unplug the sewing machine when one is finished sewing. Some don't but I do. One never knows if there is a trickle of electricity still coming through the foot controller.
    Sweet Caroline

  5. #5
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Thank you Miriam! I am sure I'll be back referencing this thread in the years to come. :-) Now ...........I'm off to check out that site with treadle parts to see if I can buy an emery wheel !!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  7. #7
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    It may just be on my end but it seems that the links showing an ellipsis are broken - the link actually has the ellipsis embedded ?!?!

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkCastleDH View Post
    It may just be on my end but it seems that the links showing an ellipsis are broken - the link actually has the ellipsis embedded ?!?!
    Ok. What are you talking about??? THis is actually a repost - this was on links and resources but I think it was buried there. Some of these may have to be copied and pasted.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Ok. What are you talking about??? THis is actually a repost - this was on links and resources but I think it was buried there. Some of these may have to be copied and pasted.
    Miriam - If I click on a link that shows an ellipsis in your message, say the one for the ISMACS serial numbers database, it doesn't work. I've tracked down a couple of them but not all of them by any means:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Old-...den-Treasures/
    http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...-database.html
    http://maryeaudet.hubpages.com/hub/T...inesSew-Simple
    http://sewingmachine221sale.bizland....ore/page6.html

  10. #10
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    ditto what JMiller said....!!!!!

  11. #11
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Thanks so much Miriam. You have put a lot of work into helping all of us work on our beloved machines. I can't tell you how important all of this information is...... of course, you know that already. ......much gratitude!!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for a very valuable resource. This is bookmarked for sure!

  13. #13
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    Great info & I especially love your little red-headed elves!!
    In stitches
    Janie

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitzy One View Post
    Great info & I especially love your little red-headed elves!!
    I, too, love those little red haired elves. They sure are sneaky aren't they. I just couldn't resist getting a picture though. Wilbur loves to 'help' if there are tools involved. Miss L who likes to get 'more attention than Wilbur' will do about anything to get it... They love my little work shop. I have a HC sewing machine they like to turn. I have parts machines I let them use a screwdriver.... After all I like to play there too. But that time they came a bit early and I was still working on the 401 - I had a very stuck stitch selector on it. So I showed them what I was doing. They like looking inside the machines. The girls love to help me clean up lint and dried up oil. That machine was especially full of gunky oil and would not move. The lady bragged what good care it had. That always scares me - after all she is getting rid of it... I did get that one to move and it is an especially nice machine now. Here is what the kids were looking at... well Miss L... Wilbur was looking at what he was going to unscrew I think...
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    Last edited by miriam; 10-23-2012 at 02:04 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  15. #15
    Junior Member DeAnne-Mn.'s Avatar
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    Thanks for all the helpful sites and info.
    DeAnne

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