singer 401 A question

Old 05-28-2010, 08:25 PM
  #21  
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The knob in the middle of the machine has two parts if I remember correctly, and is the stitch selector. You have to pull out and the turn, both sections turn and should have little metal finger pointers. The little red lever to the side adjusts the width of your stitch.

Do you have the instruction booklet that comes with the machine? That would be a great help for you as you try to learn your way around this machine.

I learned to sew on my mothers 401A and then when I was pregnant with my first daughter, my mom bought me a used one of my own. I have them both now that mum is gone.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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Thanks Billy and Nursie. No I don't have the instruction booklet but did do some research online to try and glean some information. My brain is swimming! lol
Thanks for sharing nursie.
I did find some cords on another site that was posted on this site. So doing more research before I jump in! lol
Thanks again to everyone for their comments and helpfulness!
Carol
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:01 PM
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I do have the manual right where I can find it, so if there is anything that I can look up for you, let me know and I will do my best.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:09 PM
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The cord for the 501 is not the same as the 401. The 501 plugs into the machine with only one plug. The 401 female receptical on the power cord has three holes and the machine has two pins. This is the way my power cord is for my 404 and it is also shown in the 401 manual this way. The lever on the bottom right of your machine is the Troat Plate Positioning lever. The knob in the center is the Stitch Selector. Do not turn the screws on the front of this knob for now. I first clean my machines with a damp cloth and Dawn dish soap. I use lighter fluid for the dried up oil and greese. Lots of Q tips and cotton balls from the 99 cent store.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:32 PM
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Thanks nursie you may wish you had never offered...lol

Ken thanks for the heads up about not turning the screws on the knob in the center and how to go about cleaning it.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by KenZ
The cord for the 501 is not the same as the 401. The 501 plugs into the machine with only one plug. The 401 female receptical on the power cord has three holes and the machine has two pins. This is the way my power cord is for my 404 and it is also shown in the 401 manual this way. The lever on the bottom right of your machine is the Troat Plate Positioning lever. The knob in the center is the Stitch Selector. Do not turn the screws on the front of this knob for now. I first clean my machines with a damp cloth and Dawn dish soap. I use lighter fluid for the dried up oil and greese. Lots of Q tips and cotton balls from the 99 cent store.
Thanks Ken I have never had the chance to play with any of the Slant shanks until I got this 500A and I have not even messed with it yet. I have way to many machines to service for paying customers that need to be taken care of first.

As far as using lighter fluid to clean the oil and grease off of a machine I would think that would be a bad idea especially if it is an older machine that used a Varnish or a Shellac to protect the decals. You might as well clean one with Lacquer thinner and strip it to the bare metal.

The only reason it worked for you is because you have an Enamel based paint on your machine. If I did that to any of my treadle machines I would be missing decals, japan, and it would destroy a perfectly good machine.

Billy
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:30 AM
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Billy
I got the idea of lighter fluid as a quick easy way to buy Naphtha from "Those Fantastic Featherweights" By David R. McGallum. Other chemicals are very destructful to japan (Shellac) finishes. Alcohol is the solvent for shellac and will distroy the finish of the pre 1960 machines on contact.
My 7th and 8th grade wood shops used shellac as a finish and that is where I started to use naphtha.

You will enjoy your Singer 500. My wife and I purchased a Singer 501 new in 1961 and it has never been in the shop. She has done all of the maintenance herself and she still uses it.

Thanks for your input, nice to have a sewing machine professional in the group.

Ken
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by KenZ
Thanks for your input, nice to have a sewing machine professional in the group.
Far from it but thanks for the complement anyway!

Billy
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:22 PM
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Carol, My DH was doing some research on the web and couldn't find a free 401A manual, but turns out the 431 is the same with the exception that it has a chain stitch option and a free arm. The PDF takes FOREVER to download, but here is the link to it:

http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...anuals/431.pdf

I have flipped through it and it seems very similar to my 401A manual with the differences I mentioned before. Hope it is of help to you. Remember to give the PDF time to download.
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CarolLady
Yes I have read that the feed dog plate raises. , from the picture the numbers look kind of warn... but from an online picture I ran across I think I could figure it out.
The little lever on the bottom right adjusts the throat plate (the feed dogs don't actually go down). I believe that all the way to the right is the normal stitching position, the middle posdition raises it so the you could do FMQ and all the way to left unlocks it so you can take it out and clean it or put a different one in.
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