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Singer 500a cams, bobbin issues

Singer 500a cams, bobbin issues

Old 01-20-2024, 06:30 PM
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Default Singer 500a cams, bobbin issues

Hi folks, I'm trying to restore a Rocketeer 500a. I've had a 503a since 1989 and I know it, but this 500a was a rescue off of Craigslist. For $10 I couldn't resist trying to restore it.

I've cleaned out the insects and mold *shudder*. The engine seems fine. I've lubed and oiled it. The bobbin area isn't right. It's not easily catching the top thread when I roll the needle down, although a few tries and it does catch it. But then the stitch is completely off. The stitch looks ok from the top, but on the back the bobbin thread is a straight line, completely not engaged, as though I laid the bobbin thread out under it.

I'm giving it to a young woman who wants to sew, and she's ready for it. Any ideas?

The second issue is the internal cam stack levers. The gold knob on the front moves freely. The brown knob in back is really stiff, although I can move it with 2 hands. I oiled the moving parts, but did not oil anything on the actual camstack. What do i need to do to liberate the brown knob??

Thanks so much for any help! Julie

Last edited by oregongirl; 01-20-2024 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 01-21-2024, 03:15 AM
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I don't have any experience on the rocketeer, but from your description on the stitches it sounds like the upper tension is not right. At least that is what happens on the stitches when the tension goes awry on my vintage Singers. Have you tried adjusting the upper tension if it is possible on those models?

Shari
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Old 01-21-2024, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Oddly enough, I hadn't even looked at the upper tension. I'll try that, thank you.

I found the manual on manualslib.com. I printed it out last night so will look to see if the cam stack is supposed to be oiled.

If there's any other advice, I'm all ears. I'll post back after I've checked the upper tension and the manual. Thanks Shari!
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Old 01-21-2024, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by oregongirl View Post
... The bobbin area isn't right. It's not easily catching the top thread when I roll the needle down, although a few tries and it does catch it. But then the stitch is completely off. The stitch looks ok from the top, but on the back the bobbin thread is a straight line, completely not engaged, as though I laid the bobbin thread out under it. ...
In addition to checking the upper tension, it is possible that the the bobbin case maybe out of wack. I had a 626 that I knew that it wasn't positioned properly. It has been a long time since I worked on it, but finally got it working. The other thing is to make sure the bobbin is threaded properly. The needle thread should pick up the bobbin thread the first time.

Originally Posted by oregongirl View Post
...I found the manual on manualslib.com. I printed it out last night so will look to see if the cam stack is supposed to be oiled. ...
There is also an service manual on manualslib https://www.manualslib.com/manual/11...inger-500.html

Originally Posted by oregongirl View Post
... The second issue is the internal cam stack levers. The gold knob on the front moves freely. The brown knob in back is really stiff, although I can move it with 2 hands. I oiled the moving parts, but did not oil anything on the actual camstack. What do i need to do to liberate the brown knob?? ...
Archaic Arcane did a page about these machines that may be helpful - https://archaicarcane.com/stuck-in-t...lant-o-matics/
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Old 01-21-2024, 11:23 AM
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The last 500 I worked on had a similar problem with the pattern knobs, and I had watch very closely for the metal on metal movement points when working the knobs for oiling, particularly where the internal shafts move towards the back of the machine. And I think heat via a heat gun or hair dryer might help loosen things up followed by fresh, clear sewing machine oil.
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