Singer 401G Bobbin Case

Old 04-27-2022, 01:11 PM
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I read the description in the video. This individual bought a used machine 5 years ago and never cleaned it. That means it hadn't been cleaned in over 5 years. It's a testament to just how good Singer machines are that the machine worked at all! One should at a minimum brush the lint out of the machine now and then. Start to finish, that's a process that takes 5 to 10 seconds. One should put a drop of oil in the hook race at every two bobbins.
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Old 04-27-2022, 05:34 PM
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Thank you!
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Old 04-28-2022, 01:18 AM
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There's one other point I would make and that is to never use sewing machine oil the way it is used in the video. The result of using sewing machine oil to clean the bobbin area as was shown, will be to over oil the entire area and make it a dust and lint magnet.

Use one or two drops of oil in all the oiling points and no more.

Brushing sewing machine oil all over the bobbin area of a machine is not the way to clean it. Singer recommended kerosene when a machine was gummed up because kerosene will dissolve old oil and then it evaporates. You can also use 99% alcohol which will do the same thing. Don't use 70% as that is 30% water which may rust a machine.
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Old 05-03-2022, 07:15 AM
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Default Klean Heat

I agree, I use Klean Heat in the bobbin area, and to clean the machine in general. It is odorless kerosene. I use q-tips with it. The Elna Grasshopper manual says to use a few drops of kerosene in the bobbin area to lubricate and clean, Fair warning though, don't let it soak into your clothes or thread, it will eat through, let it dry first before putting a bobbin in.
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Old 05-03-2022, 07:20 AM
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I'll have to keep Klean Heat in mind next time I look for odourless kerosene. Thanks for mentioning it!
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Old 05-03-2022, 09:13 AM
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No problem. I like to follow manufacturer's instructions, kerosene, sewing machine oil, and petroleum jelly. I just substitute odorless kerosene (branded Klean Heat) due to the smell. On one or two occasions I have used tri-flow but always follow it up with Klean Heat to clean it up and then follow that up with regular sewing machine oil.
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Old 05-03-2022, 10:21 AM
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I'm with you about following the manufacturer's instructions. Singer recommended kerosene to clean the inside of their machines, so that's what I use. I had forgotten that Elna recommended kerosene for their hook/bobbin assemblies. A point of interest is that the Grasshopper used a nylon (I believe it was nylon but it was certainly some type of plastic) hook pinion gear. So obviously Elna was not concerned that kerosene would damage the gear. And those gears have lasted from the mid-1940's until today.

I have no doubt that technological progress has resulted in more advanced lubricants and cleaning solutions than was available in the past, but that said, one of my Singers is a year or two shy of 100 years old, another is over 60 years old and the list goes on. All of them work like new machines. I also have a 55 year old Elna that works like new. I'm happy with using kerosene to clean and sewing machine oil to lubricate the gears and petroleum jelly in the motors.

One thing I'm absolutely certain of and that is using sewing machine oil to clean internal mechanisms is wrong. It will just attract lint and dirt which will gum up the works or even worse, allow abrasive grit to stick to moving parts.
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Old 05-03-2022, 11:16 AM
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I agree with you. Using sewing machine oil to clean is not what was recommended or anticipated. I've had to use dental tools to scrap dried *oil* off *gears* using kerosene, not to mention the dust and grime, and you can almost hear where the tingy noises come from when there is lack of lubrication or dust/lint built up. There is too much dust in the air, and lint by definition, and if you add a dog or cat to the mix (my dear kitties LOVE to get my attention by sitting right on top of the machines at times) with dander, then all you are doing is hastening the need for thorough cleaning. Hence once in a while I will use tri-flow and a hair dryer to get things moving followed up with kerosene to take all of it off, then sewing machine oil only as much as and where manufacturers recommended.
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Old 05-03-2022, 11:55 AM
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Nothing quite like having a feline helper. Every cat I've ever met was convinced that everything could be improved with some cat fur on it.
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