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Thread: Singer 401 A woes .......

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Singer 401 A woes .......

    A month or so ago we got a 401A. No case top, no foot controller or power cord, needed some tensioner parts, a bottom spool pin and a lot of cleaning.
    The poor thing was just covered in grime and grunge and smoke residue. Not to mention that everything that could be greased (even if it shouldn't be) was slathered in something brown that looked and felt like chassis grease. YUCK.

    So I spent about 12 hours or so cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and then cleaned some more before I started lubing and greasing. Yes, the owners manual calls for grease on the gears only. It actually states to not use any oil on them.

    Got it all cleaned up. Put in a new bottom spool pin, got the tensioner parts replaced at our LSMS, installed the new cords and foot controller and tested it out.

    NICE ...... Joey likie!!!

    We got some cams and accessories for the slant stitch from the LSMS too and really haven't' done anything with it yet but test stitch and play with it.

    But ......

    My wife has:
    Singer 538 with complete set of decorative cams ( currently out of service )
    Singer 319K with all of it's cams and those from the 538
    Bernina Record 930 with about a million built in stitches
    Ideal Automatik with 20 cams
    The MW URR 988 that will have cams when we find them
    And a couple other zig-zag machines with built in decorative stitches .......
    And a Singer 4622A with 25 built in decorative stitches

    I've used them a bit, they just don't speak to me.
    She loves that 319K, but it just doesn't do anything for me.


    I have fallen for the 401A.


    I want it

    She won't let me have it

    I think she's being greedy



    I'm gonna take it anyway



    If sometime I don't come back you'll know why.




    Joe

  2. #2
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    Well, has she got a lot of nerve. I think you deserve it. You have bonded with it,haven't you? Just take it to your room and hide it. LOL Barny

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barny View Post
    Well, has she got a lot of nerve. I think you deserve it. You have bonded with it,haven't you? Just take it to your room and hide it. LOL Barny
    Good idea .

    Joe

  4. #4
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    Well, Joe. Just tell her it isn't a puppy you want to keep. Just a sewing machine and it makes you really happy and maybe she will agree to get rid of one of hers so you can keep yours. She won't like that idea much but you will get to keep your 401 and she will get to keep hers.
    mea

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    mea,

    My wife get rid of a sewing machine?????? Not a chance in the world. I think she'll just have to share.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    Hi Joe,
    I completely understand and am with you about the 401A. Found mine right after Christmas at our local Goodwill for $30.00. Clean as a whistle and in a very nice cabinet. It purrs and has become my favorite machine. No extra cams but so many stitches built in that I can wait a while to purchase the extra cams. If I can find them, haven't looked yet on line. No attachments came with it but feet to my featherweight and Singer 9134 both fit so that is no problem. Am really looking forward to using a twin needle, don't have one just yet, but can't wait to see the stitches side by side in two colors. Loving it. Sure hope she at least lets you use it occasionally. Kitsy
    Last edited by kitsykeel; 03-03-2012 at 09:01 PM.
    Kitsy

  7. #7
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Kitsy, check with Cathy (board name Mizkaki) I got a set of cams from her for the most reasonable price!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Joe maybe set up a schedule and you can share it ? Compromise
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  9. #9
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    You seem to find either the nastiest machines or just do a lot of cleaning. I know I have seen some that were dirty and rusty on here, but yours seem more gross then normal. After all that work, just tell your wife that it was like a skunk that needed special attention and it only likes you now. My mama always said that if you put all that work into something then it is yours. Did anyone ever tell you that you sound like someone else?

  10. #10
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    I sewed for years on the 401A that my mother had. Some years ago I got one for myself... I agree with you - they are the BEST! Looks like you'll just have to get another one - his and hers!

    Enjoy!

    Laura

  11. #11
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    My laugh for the day !!!! Charming.
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  12. #12
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I think it should be yours since you did all the dirty work. Now is time for you to play with it. If she loves her 319 she shouldn't go after your 401. My thoughts. If I ever did all that work for something and my hubby thought he was going to get it--I'd tell him to find his own.

  13. #13
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Come on Joe. Just find her another machine that she will love more than that 401a. Or even better, get another one. You do know don't you that there is alway room for another sewing machine?
    Sweet Caroline

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyK View Post
    You seem to find either the nastiest machines or just do a lot of cleaning. I know I have seen some that were dirty and rusty on here, but yours seem more gross then normal. After all that work, just tell your wife that it was like a skunk that needed special attention and it only likes you now. My mama always said that if you put all that work into something then it is yours. Did anyone ever tell you that you sound like someone else?
    MistyK,

    Cleaning is therapy of a sort. I'm not employed now and doubt if I will ever be again. To many physical problems that reduce my stamina to about a 2 hour burst. After that I need to rest and or eat a hand full of pain meds.

    When we bid on these sewing machines I look the adds over for details that would cause others to avoid them. That way we can usually get them cheaper.
    For instance the machine in this thread was really grungy and yucky. Was missing it's cords and foot controller.
    And so we got it for a price much less than 401As usually go for.

    It gives me something to do besides sit at the computer or pace or be frustrated.

    Plus I've found I have a talent for what I'm doing. I just might be able to turn it into some income down the road.

    .................................................. ..........................................


    My wife doesn't worry about me running off with the machine. We share. Well, except for the treadle machines which she doesn't want anything to do with. Those are "mine" cos she can't seem to get the rhythm going to use them .........



    Joe

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    We're running out of room for more machines. There's sewing machines in the front room -6, the middle room - 3. The bed room -1 or 2 and the basement - ? . There's two treadle bases in the garage waiting for the weather to warm up. Their machines are wrapped in plastic in the basement.

    So, we just need a bigger house for these machines.

    Doesn't mean we won't bring another one in though.



    Joe

  16. #16
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    401's- we love them and they sure are nice. . . never had any cams for mine, and I didn't know the feet from a featherweight will fit, so, the reverse would be true too???
    Always learn stuff from the folks here.
    Joe - possession is 9/10's of the law, you have it in your possession, right????? Enjoy!

  17. #17
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Well, right now it's in the middle of the front room on top of my #2 treadle machine. I'm playing with it.

    Check for Goodwill auctions, they have cams there a lot. 401,403, 600,603, cams will work on it. They are all the same design.

    Joe

  18. #18
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    I understand the addiction to the 401. I have had one for many years, and have never wanted another machine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    MistyK,

    Cleaning is therapy of a sort. I'm not employed now and doubt if I will ever be again. To many physical problems that reduce my stamina to about a 2 hour burst. After that I need to rest and or eat a hand full of pain meds.

    When we bid on these sewing machines I look the adds over for details that would cause others to avoid them. That way we can usually get them cheaper.
    For instance the machine in this thread was really grungy and yucky. Was missing it's cords and foot controller.
    And so we got it for a price much less than 401As usually go for.

    It gives me something to do besides sit at the computer or pace or be frustrated.

    Plus I've found I have a talent for what I'm doing. I just might be able to turn it into some income down the road.

    .................................................. ..........................................


    My wife doesn't worry about me running off with the machine. We share. Well, except for the treadle machines which she doesn't want anything to do with. Those are "mine" cos she can't seem to get the rhythm going to use them .........



    Joe
    I didn't know. It is always good to keep busy when something is wrong. Care to share? I know how hard it is to be in pain and only be able to do so much. Well I don't personally know, but I watch my brother who lost his leg just below his hip and has heart problems. He is amazing tho. If you didn't see the one leg you would think he had all of his limbs. He repairs engines and does woodworking. In the winter months when it is too bad to go out he builds miniature log cabins and buildings. He has a whole village and people buy them. I know his stamina is very low at times and he fights thru the pain. Stubborn man, but has to take pain meds as well. Like you he has found a talent and wasn't expecting to make money from it, but that was a second benefit. So I admire anyone who finds projects that keep them occupied, active, and gives them a purpose. Your particular problem sounds extremely challenging.

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Joe I know what you mean about bonding. I have a 401G I found in horrid condition - it was GROSS. I bonded with that. Pretty cool machine.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    What isn't to like about a slant-o-matic? I can see what I am sewing - my neck doesn't hurt from straining to see the needle. I thought I would never get that 401G to work - it has so many issues when I found it. I could see it had good bones. So when I found a 403 I snapped it up. I bonded to that one too. My best friend got one from me - she has one of those computerized Vikings and a very nice Pfaff her mother left her and guess what she uses.... Yeah, the 403. They are so simple and yet so well made.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  22. #22
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Laura,

    Did they come in any color but beige and white?


    Joe

  23. #23
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Joe - the 411G and the 401 are slightly different shades of beige. LOL
    See window 90 http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...t130994-9.html
    Last edited by miriam; 03-05-2012 at 06:52 PM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  24. #24
    Senior Member tate_elliott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Well, except for the treadle machines which she doesn't want anything to do with.
    Joe - there's your answer! Some time when your wife isn't around, convert the 401 into a treadle!!! Or mount it in a treadle table with a treadle belt on it to make it look like a treadle.

    Look at my avator to see what I had to do to hide my 500a - I convinced my wife that I had converted it into a jet backpack!

    Tate
    King of the Rocketeers!

  25. #25
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The repair man says he can do it - I'm not sure how much he charges - I've been thinking of converting one to treadle just to see how he would do it. The 401G and the 411G will treadle just like they are. They have a knock out for the belt, a channel for it to go through and slightly different body than the 401A.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

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