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Thread: Singer 27-4 More Help (Me Too!)

  1. #1
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    Singer 27-4 More Help (Me Too!)

    So.... Since I had a machine head without a cabinet, I went out last weekend and bought this gorgeous Singer 27-4 in a decent cabinet for $75.

    I ordered a new belt since the other one was broken, nice though because they still had the broken belt so I could use it to measure for the new one. Got it on the first try.

    I cannot get this thing to make a stitch though. I am 100% sure this is user error. I have a manual that I printed off from the Singer site but hopefully you can all confirm for me a few things. Does the needle go in with the flat section facing front? That is what the manual looks like it should be however, I am not making any stitches. When I do, the bottom thread is all loopy.

    Here are some pictures of my new toy. I wish one of you lived close to me to help this new treadle owner over the initial hump.
    Attached Images Attached Images




  2. #2
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    How stinking cool! I got it working. I definitely had the needle in the wrong way. So funny, I have three Featherweights that thread from right to left. New machines as compared to my vintages babies that thread front to back and a badged Good Housekeeper and this treadle that thread left to right. eGads, who knew there could be so many ways.

    I am still playing with the tension but it is 100% better than it was. I am so geeked about this.

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

    All the plated pieces on that machine are ambered with old dried and solidified oil, including the top tension. It really should be taken off the machine, cleaned thoroughly with a oil removing solvent then properly reassembled and adjusted. That old solidified oil will drag on the thread and mess your tension up.

    Joe

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    Hi Joe,

    Thank you. I will try cleaning off the old oil. Do you have a product you prefer to do this with? I have no problem pulling this thing apart. I figure after I had to pull my long arm part and put it back together, this should be a walk in the park.

    Gail

  5. #5
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    I have this same machine and LOVE it. It was my grandmother's and that makes it even more special. Enjoy your great find!

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Gail,

    For gunked up non painted parts like that I use Hoppe's #9 gun cleaning solvent. You can get it at Wal-Mart or most any gun or sporting goods store that sells shooting supplies.

    Joe

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    Hi Joe,

    Last night, I used Hoppe's #9 Gun Solvent to pull apart and clean my tensioner on the Singer 27-4 or maybe 27-3. It was way easier than I thought and wow was it gunky. I also cleaned underneath where the thread travels down to the hook. The tension is better but the top thread is still winning the fight even with the shuttle tension cranked down. I am going to take more pictures to post to see what other suggestions there are. I wanted to do it this morning but this little nagging thing called a job stopped me since I was, as usual, already running late.

    If I take the tension nut completely off, the stitch looks way better. Do I need a new tensioner? Or maybe a new bobbin shuttle?

    I know, pictures would be most helpful, I promise will take some and post them this evening. :-) Dumb job, even if it does provide disposable income and pay my bills.

    Gail

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Gail,

    You just described the exact same problem I had with the top tension on my 127. The beehive spring was just too strong. The only way I could get the machine to sew was to remove the nut. Same as your machine.

    I finally took the machine to my LSMG who has a box full of tension springs and picked through them till I found one that would give me the needed tension with the knob on and adjustable.

    It's my "theory" that the thread used back then was so much different than what we have today, that the tension used were much tighter. All I can suggest is hunt down a lighter spring.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Gail,

    You just described the exact same problem I had with the top tension on my 127. The beehive spring was just too strong. The only way I could get the machine to sew was to remove the nut. Same as your machine.

    I finally took the machine to my LSMG who has a box full of tension springs and picked through them till I found one that would give me the needed tension with the knob on and adjustable.

    It's my "theory" that the thread used back then was so much different than what we have today, that the tension used were much tighter. All I can suggest is hunt down a lighter spring.

    Joe
    Oh My Gosh! That is exactly what I discovered last night and thought I was losing my mind! (It was a short journey) If I took the dang nut off, then I would get a decent stitch. I will have to check with the shop near me and see if I can swap a spring. The thread theory also makes perfect sense.

    I will try that and let you know what happens. Thank you!

    Gail

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    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltFaerie View Post
    <snip> and thought I was losing my mind! (It was a short journey) <snip>

    Gail
    HaHa! I now have a new phrase to use on myself. Thanks!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyTheSewer View Post
    HaHa! I now have a new phrase to use on myself. Thanks!
    Honestly, Judy, there is no telling what I might say next. I sure keep them guessing at work. :-)

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    Joe,

    I don't know if I ever thanked you for your help. I got the tension just perfect on the Singer 27. I took off the piece that hangs down under the thumb nut. I think it is for separating the tension discs but I don't know what it is called. Once I removed that one small piece, I was able to adjust the tension correctly.

    I am now happily sewing along on this beautiful old machine.

    Gail

  13. #13
    Muv
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    Hello QuiltFaerie,

    Congratulations on your lovely machine.

    I appreciate you are trying to get the machine stitching, but you need to keep the thumb tab on with the tension discs and keep on working until you get the tension right with the tension discs properly assembled. You might find these posts on my blog helpful.

    http://www.lizzielenard-vintagesewin...ension%20discs

    Have you checked the tension on the shuttle? If it is too loose this will have the same effect as the top tension being too tight. You need to do the shuttle dangle test, which is shown here

    http://www.lizzielenard-vintagesewin...ng-bobbin.html

    You cannot be sure that the spring is too tight until you have checked the shuttle, adjusted it if necessary, and tried the stitch with the tension discs properly assembled with the thumb tab, spring and nut in place.

    If you want to try Peek metal polish (link on the blog if you want to buy it online) it will remove the oil residue and polish the metal all in one go. Don't be tempted to try and get the oil residue off the decals in the same way because you could end up stripping the decals.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Gail,

    You're welcome, but like Muv said that piece was there for a reason. I did not remove anything on my machine. After working with both the top and bottom tensions I switched out the top tension spring for a lighter one. All the parts are still there.

    You're not done with the tensions yet. Follow Muv's advise and make it right.

    Joe

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    Hey, what is the purpose of that thumb tab, do you know? I found it odd that taking it off was what made the difference as it didn't seem to really add much dimension to the tensioner.

    Yes, I also adjusted the shuttle tension. I have a longarm so doing the bobbin test is a familiar activity.

    Gail

  16. #16
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    Duh, never mind, just read Muv's blog link.

    Gail

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    Well, the planets must have just aligned or something because I added back the thumb tab and the tension is still working. Maybe just playing with it, etc. finally got it working correctly. And now I know what the thumb tab is for also. The things I learn on this site.

    Gail

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    So did I. I realized my machine is a later one that does not have the thumb tab, so now I know what it is for.

    Learn something new every day, and life stays interesting.

    Joe

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