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Thread: Singer 301 301A

  1. #1
    Super Member chickadeee55's Avatar
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    Singer 301 301A

    Can anyone tell me the difference between a 301 and a 301A? And which one has the long bed, did they both come with it as an option? I was told they came out in 1950.

    I think I might buy one of these(is it really a big sister to the FW), and the one I found doesn't have much information and the seller doesn't know anything about them. Is 150.00 too much to spend?

    Of those that have one, do you use it for sewing and is it a good smooth machine for its age?

    Thanks
    Mare

  2. #2
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    A good place to learn about the Singer 301s is http://singer301.com/about/default.html

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
    ThayerRags Fabric Center
    http://thayerrags.com/

  3. #3
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I have a mocha 301A short bed. I pd. $86.00 for her in a case and then I took it to my sewing machine man and he cleaned her all up and runs like a top for another $50.00. They are the big sister to the FW. I had two long beds in cabinets back before I knew better and sold them. But I got $100.00 each out of them. They handle just about any type of heavy sewing you want to do and I also have a black one that has the holder on it for in a cabinet. I pd $90.00 for her and she went from TX to KS then to WA before she came home to me. The seller used FED Ex and had a mix up and the machines were on a merry go round but evetually ended up where they needed to be, except the beauty that came to me was a Jones Hand Crank in a Bentwood case and was really beautiful. I shipped it to the guy and put ins and a track # on it and he sent it back to the lady in TX and it was ruined. He put the case in water and ruined it, I don't know if she ever got the machine to work again or not. Anyways, I am glad I had repacked it and insured it. He claimed that was how he got it, but he couldn't collect the ins from the PO. He pd almost $500 for her and went into a rage because it didn't arrive on time to him. Wasn't her fault. She was in wheelchair and sent it to Fed Ex to be shipped. So it all depends on what you are willing to pay for a machine, but if they are in good shape they will last a lot longer than us ole quilting ladies. Good luck with getting a good machine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    I love all my 301's. The difference in 301 and 301A is only where Singer manufactured them. They are slant needle machines that are great for piecing and fmq. You can maintain and replace parts yourself. No need for paying for servicing. Great for taking to class or retreats - very portable! The machines come with a long or short bed. The short beds do fit into cabinets - long beds don't. The long beds are much better if you don't have a cabinet. I have been looking for a long black bed to replace my short bed for traveling with. Hard to find! For pricing, I would try to get it down some. Also take into consideration if accessories come with it. Ebay has a lot of these. Check pricing for your area. The bobbin casing also fits the featherweight. Make sure that the machine has all bobbin parts - very important. You can purchase separate but the price should be reduced for missing parts. Good luck and please let me know if you need any additional information. Good luck!
    quilter711
    Nancy

  5. #5
    Member KittyKat77's Avatar
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    I paid $40 for mine, it needed cleaning and servicing. It had some tension issues, but since it has a new belt and the tension fixed, it's been running beautifully. It came with the original case (smelly and musty) and a whole set of attachments: Ruffler foot, binding foot, hemmer, buttonholer and cams, zig-zag attachment and cams.

    The machine is so easy to use my children have been sewing with it, making small tote bags and stuffed animals.

    Personally, I wouldn't pay $150 because that's out of my price range. But, if the machine is in pristine condition, with a table in very very good condition, AND it has every single original attachment with it, then it may be worth $150 to you.

    If there are any defects or issues, you may be able to use those to negotiate a better price with the seller. I found a Necchi Supernova in the back room of a local Thrift shop, and the owner said he thought it was worth $100. It was filthy, some of the cams were broken, and the cabinet needs to be completely refinished. I told him I'd give him $40 and he said "Well... for YOU I'll go $40." Personally, I think he was just glad it wasn't taking up space in his back room anymore. So it never hurts to ask if the price is negotiable.

  6. #6
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    My son and his girlfriend rescued my 301 in trapizod cabinet from curbside. Put out for trash pickup!!! I got the thread from around the bobbin case and she runs like a dream! So I guess free is a good price. LOL I have three now and havent paid over $100 for any of them. Good luck, you will LOVE sewing on one!!!
    You can get older, but you never have to grow up! Tomorrow's just a future yesterday!-Greg Fergerson

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    My Mom still has her 301 that I sewed on years ago. Recently I cleaned and oiled it as it hadn't been used in over 35 years. Sews like a dream. I hope it will be mine one day.

    If i'm not mistaken, short bed or long bed refers to the hinged platform to the left of the needle. If you're thinking one has a longer throat, they're both the same. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    There are many threads about the 301 if you use the Advanced Search feature you can read up. I own 5 of them.

  9. #9
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Yep, it's place of manufacture. 301A was made in Andersonville, SC.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

  10. #10
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    301s are going up in price similar to what happened to the FWs several years ago. $150 sounds a little high, but not out of the question if you want a wonderful machine for piecing and FMQ. If you win an auction on ebay for $100, you have the concern of shipping damage and the price of shipping, so $125 would be reasonable.

  11. #11
    Super Member chickadeee55's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    I am going to pass on the one that I was thinking about getting, and wait for a better deal to come along. I think I want a long bed, and it doesn't have to be a perfect machine, because we can do any fixing up ourselves. thanks

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    If it doesn't need to be serviced I think it is good. If you spend $85 then have to pay for servicing it might cost about the same.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  13. #13
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    My Mother bought me a 301A in 1956. It came with a card table that you can set machine down in and it is even with the .. Use it all the time for piecing. I do have a walking foot for it. It runs so quiet and does a wonderful job. Have a Babylock and Pfaff but do my basic piecing on the 301.

  14. #14
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    I picked up my 301 at a garage sale for 25.00, with lots of goodies and she works like a charm, so glad i bought it but i think what there asking for yours is toooo much
    Mary

  15. #15
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    The slant needle on the 301 gives me a much better line of vision than I get on the Featherweight. It is great for taking to sewing sessions.

    Keep your eyes open, and you will find something less expesive than the one you passed on.

    Dayle

  16. #16
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    I agree that the price is a little steep on that one. I recently bought my 301a for $50.00 and it even came in a beautiful wooden cabinet that opens on both sides which is great for a big project. You will love sewing on one when you find the right one for you. Good luck.

  17. #17
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    I paid $2 for mine. Cleaned and oiled it myself. My favorite machine.

  18. #18
    Super Member janiesews's Avatar
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    Keep looking and you will find one that is just right for you. They are very nice to sew on and they are out there. I bought one in a cabinet at a local resale shop in a cabinet and bought another one from ebay. Both of mine are the short beds and don't know what the advantage/disadvantage is between the short vs long bed. I have 2 featherweights and love to sew on them too - but really love sewing on the 301's in a cabinet. Good luck with your search.
    This too shall pass.
    Janie

  19. #19
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I have 3 of them, all mocha, 2 short bed and one long bed. $50 was the most I paid, and that one was in a nice cabinet and included a rare Singer side cabinet. The long bed is in a case. They are wonderful to sew on, I almost prefer it to a Featherweight, but they can't match the cuteness factor. Since I got my purple FW, it's my favorite. We are preparing to move in a few months, so I will probably be selling 2 of my 301s.
    Kim
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  20. #20
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    We have heard a good old sewing machine can outlast 3 ladies, and perhaps even longer, with the care the QB ladies are willing to lavish on them. Some started in the 1800s. Not many of us can say that. Just think what all has happened to us in the last 50 years. Amazing isn't it?

  21. #21
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    I received my 301 from Ebay and under $70. because the picture was terrible and the machine had white mildew on it. With a little cleaning, it shines now and has rewarded me with great and pleasurable stitching. Just be sure the parts are all there as that can be costly. It is so much more dependable than my finicky little FW. I use it way more.
    Keep polishing the good old machines so they roll on into the future.

  22. #22
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    I agree with Irish Rose. Shipping is very perilous indeed. We have had some pitiful damage to wooden cases, due to cheap and careless packing. DH just rebuilt a case bottom for DD because of careless packing done by a so-called packing service. Having received several machines from Ebay, have found the styrofoam packing with round corners got the machines through the terrible process in the best shape. They look like small, square coolers. The sender used styrofoam to go around and inside the throat of the machine and that machine didn't move. They one in the other box ,15-91, looked like it had been rolled from Maryland. The corners were rounded on the box. Suspect someone did roll it rather than lift it, due to the weight.. If I ever send out a machine, you can bet it will be packed in nearly solid styrofoam. Oh yes, please remove the spool pins as they will go right through the wood, domed, cases if rolled about. Tape them to the machine. It took about 4 hours to rebuild the bottom and we haven't even started on the top, due to not having the correct material to repair the holes in it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  23. #23
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    Thank you ThayerRags. That link was fantastic. I printed and added it to my technical manual for the 301.

  24. #24
    Super Member judy363905's Avatar
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    That seems a little high, I paid $75.00 three years ago - Mocha 301 with case and attachments...a jem of a machine...I would offer less and see what happens...other had said they paid very little for theirs... Good Luck

    Judy in Phx, AZ

  25. #25
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyangel View Post
    I have 3 of them, all mocha, 2 short bed and one long bed. $50 was the most I paid, and that one was in a nice cabinet and included a rare Singer side cabinet. The long bed is in a case. They are wonderful to sew on, I almost prefer it to a Featherweight, but they can't match the cuteness factor. Since I got my purple FW, it's my favorite. We are preparing to move in a few months, so I will probably be selling 2 of my 301s.
    I would be interested in your long bed 301 if you are going to be selling it. Could you provide some more details about it and pics if possible? Thanks much,

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