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Thread: singer 401A machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member ragqueen03's Avatar
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    singer 401A machine

    Yesterday while going through my parents' basement i saw what I thought was a desk but my sister told me it was a sewing machine that belonged to my grandmother. I took a piece of the top and lifted it to find a 401A singer. Mom told me I could have it if I wanted it. I like the idea that it looked like a desk but not sure if I can find room for it in my tiny house. But I think I am just going to have to make room at home for it! What do you think?

  2. #2
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    I think you need that machine. Imagine how much fun it will be knowing that you are sewing on the same machine that your grandmother used. I have a 503a and I absolutely love sewing on it - not the same machine but similar.

  3. #3
    Junior Member masufa's Avatar
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    I have a 401 among others but I use the 401 for my daily sewing. take it you will love it.

  4. #4
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    You definitely must take that machine home with you. Not only was it your grandmothers but it is a great machine. I love mine.
    Kitsy

  5. #5
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    I really like my 401 as well--took a little elbow grease to get it moving, but it is a lovely machine

  6. #6
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I got one recently at the thrift store and the wonderful members here helped me oil and lube her back into sewing shape. I just made a quilt top on her. Very nice machine. I would keep it if at all possible.
    Alyce

  7. #7
    Senior Member ragqueen03's Avatar
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    I am definitely going to take her home with me !!!!! Yea! i am limited on space in my little tiny house with a little tiny sewing room but I have decided I would put her in my sewing room and get rid of the sewing table I bought a few years ago at a yard sale. the sewing table I have now I will take to our little sewing group to use when we need extra tables so it alll works out. next I am trying to talk hubby into taking my sister's computer desk that she no longer wants. it looks like a big roll top desk that hides the computer and monitor when not in use. my house is definitely getting a facelift!

  8. #8
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    Congratulations, I'm glad you are taking your grandmother's machine home. Definitely a treasure.

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    You will not find a new machine from any company that can top that in quality built machine. It will do a lot of stitches, too. There is a lot of info on QB about those machines. If nothing else find someone who knows what they are doing to service the machine - you will like it a lot better and it will last longer.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  10. #10
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    My 401A is my go-to machine. I've used it quite heavily for 33 years, still going strong!
    Cindy

    Curator of an 1889 Singer model 27 Fiddlebase Treadle, a 1951 Singer Centennial Featherweight, a 1956 Singer 401A, and a 1982 Bernina 830 Record.

  11. #11
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    You will always be sorry if you don't! So go get it!

  12. #12
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    My Mom had a Singer 401 for a few years when I was growing up, too bad she traded it in for Singer golden Touch & Sew 758, nasty cranky machine. I much preferred the 401; it sewed better and with less hassle.
    Sharon

  13. #13
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    I LOVE my 401A! It is 55 years old and going strong; been in hospital only once. I keep her oiled and lubricated and she purrs. The many stitches and cams make it as versatile as any Bernina or other fancy machine. You just have to learn how to use her. Be sure to get a manual to help you.

  14. #14
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    By all means keep the 401A! I have one, and it is an absolute work horse! I like it better than any I have ever used.

  15. #15
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    you can get a free manual here:
    http://www.singerco.com/accessories/instruction-manuals
    you will have to put 401 where it says search then select search
    then all you have to do it print it out
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ragqueen03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    you can get a free manual here:
    http://www.singerco.com/accessories/instruction-manuals
    you will have to put 401 where it says search then select search
    then all you have to do it print it out
    Thanks - i downloaded the manual so I can print it out later (in a few days) I am so excited. I already named her - ha ha!
    I kept opening her up today and just looking at her! isn't that crazy. the desk/table has a drawer that has a bobbin holder attached to the side - i love it! she needs some work but that is ok!

  17. #17
    Junior Member MadCow333's Avatar
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    Wow, that's great. I am so glad that you didn't pass that one by. It's nice to keep in in the family, too.

  18. #18
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    I have a Slant-=O-matic 403 Special and love it.

  19. #19
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janjj View Post
    I have a Slant-=O-matic 403 Special and love it.
    I like the Singer 403, too - it is my go to machine - I've set up others but that is the one I use
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Vridar's Avatar
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    I recently purchased an inexpensive 403a on eBay. New to this game I found why other bidders passed it by. Evidently it had been dropped and tension assembly shaft was bent beyond repair. I replaced the assembly with an after market $11.95 assembly. Now the problem. It ranks with my 15-91 and 201-2 so I have three go-to machines. I assume the 401 has same qualities and more than the 403.

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vridar View Post
    I recently purchased an inexpensive 403a on eBay. New to this game I found why other bidders passed it by. Evidently it had been dropped and tension assembly shaft was bent beyond repair. I replaced the assembly with an after market $11.95 assembly. Now the problem. It ranks with my 15-91 and 201-2 so I have three go-to machines. I assume the 401 has same qualities and more than the 403.
    The 401 does nothing the any better than the 403.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  22. #22
    Senior Member tate_elliott's Avatar
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    Ragqueen, you may also want to join the Yahoo group, singerslants. There's a lot of info there on these machines.

    Tate
    King of the Rocketeers!

  23. #23
    Senior Member ragqueen03's Avatar
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    ok the update on the machine. found out it wasn't my grandmothers machine my mother is in skilled nursing at the local hospital trying to get her strength back from breast cancer and taking care of my dad who has alzheimes. long story short - mom in hospital, dad in nursing home and the daughters/grandchildren are de-cluttering the house per mom's instructions! mom said she actually bought that machine from a man in town who sold furniture and other things he would get at auctions. she told me she only paid $25 for the machine! even though it isn't one of my grandmothers i still love it and am going to adopt it once i get her out of the basement. we did give two portable sewing machines to a friend who teaches young girls how to sew. when they came to pick up the machines my sisters (one of whom helped create the quilting monster i am) found a pair of pinking shears and said to give them to the lady as well. something made me look a little closer and i turned them over - gingher pinking shears in excellent condition. needless to say they did not go with that lady - they are at my house!

  24. #24
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    ooo - thank you for the tip about the slant machine group! I am off to check that out, since I am the new owner of two non-working rocketeers. HA! I have ONE non-working motor, lol! SO much to learn, my goodness!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    My Mom has a Singer 401 hidden away in a cabinet and sews on a 70s Kenmore that sits on top. When knits came in the 401 didn't do them well and my Dad went and got her the Kenmore, it is a basic model that does not take cams.

    I've checked it out and the stitch selector is frozen (no surprise, since I remember the can of 3-in-1 oil that used to sit on the windowsill, it's now hardened in that machine). It's promised to me so someday it will get restored.

    The 401 has the built-in camstack and does many of the stitches that would require a cam on the 403. It does take black top hat cams too, for additional stitches (I think #8, 11, 15, 18, 19 are the cam that aren't built in? I've seen a chart somewhere). Otherwise, the 401 and 500, and the 403 and 503 are mostly the same inside. It is a slant shank, that came in with the 301 and continued through the Touch & Sew line. You can buy accessory sets for T&Ss a lot cheaper than you can can for a 400/500 line and they are mostly the same although the T&Ss may come with chain stitch accessories that the 400/500 can't do.

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