Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main > For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
Singer 319: to paint or not to paint? >

Singer 319: to paint or not to paint?

Singer 319: to paint or not to paint?

Old 12-23-2022, 10:37 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 151
Default Singer 319: to paint or not to paint?

I've had my reliable 319W for a while now. It's always been a good runner, having mostly been given a light clean and oiling when purchased. It would oddly go out of time for no apparent reason, but always adjusted back with a quick tune.

It obviously belonged to a heavy smoker some time in its; past. It doesn't smell, but it certainly had tar and gook build up in the internal spaces. It's literally everywhere; If air could get at something, the tar came with it. I figured I'd tear it down one day and do a proper cleaning, but that issue has been pushed up the schedule. In fact, it's sitting in boxes and bins right now, having been dropped in the ultrasonic cleaner several times.

The reason I tore it down to nuts and bolts was I was trying to time the hook to the needle (again) and noticed when I loosened the lock screws, the hook would turn but it was turning the mechanism further down the drive-train, thus throwing all the mechanism out of time. I don't know why I hadn't noticed it before, but it definitely is wrong.

Further investigation revealed the hook assembly was frozen on to it's shaft. So while it looked like I was timing the hook properly, the entire machine was out of time. Explains why I could time it, get it stitching and for no apparent reason, it would start hitting the shuttle and bobbin case (often snapping the needle). Once I finally got it apart, you could see the tar build up inside the drive shaft to hook, seizing the shuttle/hook to the drive shaft. Most of the rest was the same way and I ended up soaking everything else with penetrating fluid in order dissolve the tar and get things apart.

Now that it's fully apart, I'm considering changing the color. This is a mint green model:


(picture borrowed off the net)

It's not in bad shape. The usual 50 -odd years of chips and scratches. The main body is not bad, except for the usual paint "crack" around the base of the harp where it meets the bed. The covers and things like the stitch bight are a different story. Chips, peels and even a bit of rust here and there breaking through the paint.

I though about trying to match the colors and just fix up what I can, but that seems like a "halfway" measure at best. Not to mention, Singer seems to have used 20 different shades of green on this thing.

I do have a favorite blue color I use on lots of the machines I rebuild. It's called Rustoleum metallic turquoise:


That's the color on my Atlas 10" lathe I "resto-modded" a while ago. I quite like the color. It;s almost a "color shifter", depending on how the light hits it. Here it is on a Singer 327 project that's been languishing for a couple years now



So I guess I'm asking for an opinion, which means there is no right (or wrong) answer. The 319 paint is beat up enough to warrant attention, but matching it will be near impossible because of the hues and the age of the paint. I don't mind the green (it's actually funky 50's period correct), but I'm not overly fond of it either.

So, leave it the factory "couple shades of green" and try to touch it up, or "update it" to the turquoise? Of course, new OEM style gold "Singer" decals will also be added to complete the look.

What's your opinion? Multi-green or Turquoise?
great white is offline  
Old 12-23-2022, 02:41 PM
  #2  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 18
Default

To me, the mint green is part of the charm of those machines. I wouldn't change the paint or decal color.
But, it's your machine and your labor. I'm sure it'll look great either way.
AlZilla is offline  
Old 12-23-2022, 04:05 PM
  #3  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,611
Default

I would keep the green. I just love those little mint green machines and always keep an eye out for them at estate sales.
cashs_mom is offline  
Old 12-23-2022, 06:31 PM
  #4  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 116
Default

It's your machine and you should do what makes you happy. For myself, I really like the greens that Singer used and I wouldn't change it. Now, the fact is that I so dislike the brown that they used on these machines that I can't imagine not wanting to paint one of those a different colour.

As far as matching the paint goes, I bet you can get a perfect match from any auto paint shop.

On a slightly different topic, I would love to know the procedure to dismantle the bottom of the machine. I've been wanting to do that with mine, but the procedure is not obvious to me.
1.41 is offline  
Old 12-24-2022, 06:38 AM
  #5  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 151
Default

Originally Posted by 1.41 View Post
On a slightly different topic, I would love to know the procedure to dismantle the bottom of the machine. I've been wanting to do that with mine, but the procedure is not obvious to me.
Going back together:



It was stripped to the bare frame, I've got the main shaft re-installed in that pic.

For paint I'll just custom mix the touch-ups myself and make a couple passes with the airbrush.

Sorry, can't help much with a "procedure". I'm one of those guys who looks at a machine and just knows how to assemble it. You could put a bucket of parts in front of me, not tell me what it was and I'd put it together. Machines just make sense to me, like languages do to some others.

That being said, the service manual is still invaluable. So are the parts list/diagrams.they don't tell you how to 'step by step assemble it", but it gives you critical alignment and clearance specs. The rest you just have to figure out (ie: basic mechanical skills) or have taken a lot of pictures and labeled everything.

Reassembling the bight was a treat. Doable, but the mind that created it must have been on LSD or something.....

Last edited by great white; 12-24-2022 at 06:49 AM.
great white is offline  
Old 12-24-2022, 07:07 AM
  #6  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 151
Default

To add: the service manual pdf's found online are terrible quality. They're poor quality scans from paper copies. The pictures are especially useless, being not much more than black blobs. The narrative is legible, but hard to read because the scan quality is so poor. Making it even more difficult is a lot of the narrative refers to the pictures for things like labeling and orientation.

I have found what looks like better quality ones, but they're being sold by someone on ebay as paper copies and are quite expensive. Well, maybe not in USD. But when you add exchange rates and shipping, its over a hundred bucks for just the service manual with a 319 supplement. I actually thought about ordering them, but i can get by with the scanned pdf's.
great white is offline  
Old 12-24-2022, 02:36 PM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 151
Default

Bottom end going back together:

great white is offline  
Old 12-24-2022, 04:46 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 116
Default

Thanks for your replies. I believe I understand what you mean about "language" when it comes to understanding machines. I've done some very basic work on my machines but nothing in your league but even with the very limited work I've done, sewing machines have started to make sense to me in ways that they didn't before. I have taken apart the bottom of a Singer 15 for cleaning and was hoping to do the same with my 319, but I can't figure out where to begin. The set up is completely different on the two machines.

On my 15, after cleaning, polishing and adjusting the pivot points I was very very surprised at how much faster and smoother the machine worked. I thought that I had it working well, but after the disassembly and cleaning, it works so smoothly that if I didn't now better I would have thought it was a rotary hook machine and not an oscillating hook.

Yes, the service manuals online are not as good as they need to be. I was however able to follow the instructions for re-setting the stitch length regulator, mine was banging away on the longest stitch, eliminate some end play and retime and ultimately change out a hook assembly. I did find part of a manual that has excellent resolution but it only covers changing the belt.
1.41 is offline  
Old 12-25-2022, 10:53 AM
  #9  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 151
Default

Originally Posted by 1.41 View Post
Thanks for your replies. I believe I understand what you mean about "language" when it comes to understanding machines. I've done some very basic work on my machines but nothing in your league but even with the very limited work I've done, sewing machines have started to make sense to me in ways that they didn't before. I have taken apart the bottom of a Singer 15 for cleaning and was hoping to do the same with my 319, but I can't figure out where to begin. The set up is completely different on the two machines.

On my 15, after cleaning, polishing and adjusting the pivot points I was very very surprised at how much faster and smoother the machine worked. I thought that I had it working well, but after the disassembly and cleaning, it works so smoothly that if I didn't now better I would have thought it was a rotary hook machine and not an oscillating hook.

Yes, the service manuals online are not as good as they need to be. I was however able to follow the instructions for re-setting the stitch length regulator, mine was banging away on the longest stitch, eliminate some end play and retime and ultimately change out a hook assembly. I did find part of a manual that has excellent resolution but it only covers changing the belt.
That's pretty common.

These machines are 50+ years old and there's no knowing what their previous life has been like. Smoking tar, lint, dust and even dried up oil.grease gets anywhere and everywhere and just generally gums up the works. A full tear down, cleaning reassembly, oiling and timing bring 'em back to like new and they run so much better than before a good deep cleaning. Even my 319 was gummed up in several places where the only way you were going to get it clean was a complete tear down to nuts and bolts.

All my machines usually get a complete tear down and cleaning shortly after entering through the front door. You just never know what the PO had done to it. As an example, my 331k105 was bought from a local "seamstress". She claimed she had just had it professionally serviced but it was somehow dropping stitches, so she was just selling it on. Got it home and numerous linkages were either gummed up or seized and whoever timed the hook last should probably go have their eyes checked for a stronger prescription. After a good cleaning and adjusting, it runs beautifully. I was even able to nearly double the stitch length (from 4mm to 7.5mm) with a few modifications to make it even more suitable to sew leather car upholstery.

Never underestimate the value of a good cleaning, oiling and adjusting.......
great white is offline  
Old 12-25-2022, 11:05 AM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 151
Default

Well, the 319 is nearly reassembled and I think I'm going to tear it back down to the frame.

The thing is, I'm looking at the mint green and the more I look the more "imperfections" I see in it. A chip here, a little rust pop through there and general overall staining and discoloration is just making it look old and dingy.

Yes, it is old. Yes the mint green is period correct. No, I don't like doing a total rebuild and still having it look old and dirty

So a repaint it is. Still leaning to the Metallic Turquoise with gold lettering.
great white is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


FREE Quilting Newsletter