Singer 401a cam stack

Old 06-22-2016, 08:23 AM
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Unhappy Singer 401a cam stack

Hi
I got a Singer 401a which was beyond filthy when I got it. I now have cleaned everything but the cam stack. I can unscrew 2 of the screws but the one at the 10 o'clock position (silver pillar on top) won't budge. I've soaked it with oil approx. 5 days to no avail. I don't want to strip it, but would like to clean in between the cams. Is it necessary to do this? At this point the straight stitch works great, but I can't produce nice designs. When I got the machine it was frozen solid, but all works like a charm now except for making anything with the cams. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:27 AM
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I have got mine new in 1958 and it has always been a dream machine but that screw did that to me once and I had to take it to my repair man to get it out for me. I was also at the time having trouble getting the settings for the cams right and he fixed that for me also. He told me if I ever had trouble with the screw again to spray it with WD40 and let it set for several hours and it should come loose. I haven't had anymore trouble with it so I don't know how well it works. Good look with the machine it is a wonderful machine.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:03 PM
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I got one a while back and here is the adventure. Maybe this will help
http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...e-t216956.html
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:24 AM
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what have you got to lose? $19.00 gamble
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by crafty pat View Post
I have got mine new in 1958 and it has always been a dream machine but that screw did that to me once and I had to take it to my repair man to get it out for me. I was also at the time having trouble getting the settings for the cams right and he fixed that for me also. He told me if I ever had trouble with the screw again to spray it with WD40 and let it set for several hours and it should come loose. I haven't had anymore trouble with it so I don't know how well it works. Good look with the machine it is a wonderful machine.
Thanks much. I'm going to go get some Hoppes 9 too to clean some possible problems. I hope I won't have to take it to the repair shop, but good to know it can be fixed.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Stitchnripper View Post
I got one a while back and here is the adventure. Maybe this will help
http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...e-t216956.html
Oh my that was a great read. A lot of water over the dam since then. Stitchnripper, is that 401 still going strong for you?
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by miriam View Post
Oh my that was a great read. A lot of water over the dam since then. Stitchnripper, is that 401 still going strong for you?
Miriam - it was a great adventure thanks to you and a lot of others. It worked great the last time I used it. Then in September we put the other house up for sale and I moved that machine and a lot of others to the house here and I do have it in the sewing room now but will have to get it out and see if anything re-stuck. But I still have all my products and think I can fix it if it is. The other machines I've used so far are fine. Just some oil and motor lube. But I know about that sticky cam stack ..
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:41 AM
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I have just read all these 401 threads from start to finish, and bookmarked too...what a treasure trove of info.
Since I have a lot of irons in the fire, I haven't started refurbishing mine; when I got it a couple months ago, it works (sews), but there is a low growling of the hand wheel, I forget what that is called, sounds a bit "reluctant".... so I think it needs a complete going over even though the seller said it had been 'gone over' at a sewing machine shop. It doesn't *sound* like they did a thorough job. Pun intended.

Thank you O experts of the QB!
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:16 PM
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The growling may be motor growl which can be remedied with some drops of oil on the bearings as mentioned earlier. I had a machine one time that growled so bad I pulled the motor and put in a different motor and it still growled with a different motor in it. I re-oiled everything I could think of and it still had a pesky growl and it sounded like the motor was dragging and not turning right. I spent a lot of time on it. Finally laid it on its side and shot some oil into the bobbin area from all directions and ran the bejeebers out of it and all of a sudden it sounded a whole lot better. I think I had cleaned and oiled that machine months before that... Not for sure.... My theory is that some times even new oil can dry and clog up and cause growls. I prefer to re-oil a machine that has been sitting.
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