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Singer 500A "Rocketeer" complete restoration

Singer 500A "Rocketeer" complete restoration

Old 11-09-2019, 06:14 AM
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Default Singer 500A "Rocketeer" complete restoration

Hi everyone,
I thought you might like to see photos from my complete restoration of a Singer 500A. It's just such a gorgeous machine. I'm pretty sure it was sitting in a portable case for many decades, out of the light and safe from moisture, before it came to me.
I knew it would at least need heavy lubrication and cleaning, but when I discovered the YouTube channel AndyTube, with its encyclopedic library of Singer restoration and maintenance videos, I was inspired to do a complete teardown and overhaul.
(AndyTube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUS...tRoz1VA2U1xJ4w)

Here is "Bernadette" in the Singer Spinet "trapezoid" case that I previously posted about, having modified it to be able to accept a 500A (it was designed for a 301).
101.jpg

The four motors I had to choose from. One came out of my machine, another from another machine (the backup!), and the remaining two from separate purchases.
110.jpg

Total teardown of the PA 10-8 motor, including removing (driving out violently!) the commutator shaft from the bearing housed in the aluminum casing at right.
111.jpg

Pressure-fitting the new bearing onto the commutator shaft, with thanks to Neighbor Dave for the use of the pipe clamps, without which I would have had to locate a hydraulic press somewhere!
112.jpg

The vibrating bracket assembly completely disassembled -- this is what swings the needle for zig-zags and patterns.
120.jpg

The needle bar driving arm rubber-banded in place along with the rest of the pattern selector assembly, missing the cam stack
121.jpg

The pattern selector assembly parts removed -- this was the part that made me the most nervous.
122.jpg

Washing day! Literally in the sink with grease remover and water, followed by chasing rust, drying, grease, then oil.
130.jpg

All 186 removed parts arranged roughly geographically; they were otherwise stored by groups in plastic zipper bags to keep them organized.
140.jpg

It was quite an adventure, and now (I promise) all the parts are back where they should be, lubricated properly, and singing beautifully! I couldn't have done it without Andy!

Cheers,
Matt

Last edited by Rocketeer; 11-09-2019 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:11 AM
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If you run out of something to do, I have a 401 that I would love to have that treatment. I would never finish the job, however.

All I can say is, I'm impressed.

bkay
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:30 AM
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Thanks! I would love to do this to a 401 -- it's just about the same machine, after all. Too bad these are too heavy and precious to sling through shipping on a whim. I am in the Philadelphia area if you're nearby...

Originally Posted by bkay View Post
If you run out of something to do, I have a 401 that I would love to have that treatment. I would never finish the job, however.

All I can say is, I'm impressed.

bkay
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:51 AM
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I love my Rocketeer! They are so great looking! I have the same trapezoid table. I haven't adapted mine but the Rocketeer sits in it just a bit high. Some day . . .
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:14 AM
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That's awesome Patrice! If you wanted, you could remove that trapezoid-shaped piece inside the cabinet and send it to me, and I could make you a replacement part in about 5 minutes : )

Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
I love my Rocketeer! They are so great looking! I have the same trapezoid table. I haven't adapted mine but the Rocketeer sits in it just a bit high. Some day . . .
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:21 AM
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First of all congratulations on stepping up to this incredible challenging job! How proud you must be of yourself. Now if you are out for hire I might have one here that could use your touch . Great Job!
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:31 AM
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Wow! What an amazing job, such a beautiful machine. I have a 401A, but I have a longing for a Rocketeer. The Rocketeer is so distinctive and has such cool lines. Thanks for the link to Andy's channel, I know it will come in handy.

Tammy
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by juliasb View Post
First of all congratulations on stepping up to this incredible challenging job! How proud you must be of yourself. Now if you are out for hire I might have one here that could use your touch . Great Job!
Thank you juliasb!!! I have to admit I'm in the "let down" phase when I come home from work and I no longer have a partially-disassembled Rocketeer taunting me on the dining room table! I would love another project, and my understanding is that it's at least just a little easier now that I've disassembled and reassembled the extra-complicated 500A. I'd be up for doing this for hire perhaps in the future : ) I think Andy of AndyTube does it too!

Originally Posted by ttatummm View Post
Wow! What an amazing job, such a beautiful machine. I have a 401A, but I have a longing for a Rocketeer. The Rocketeer is so distinctive and has such cool lines. Thanks for the link to Andy's channel, I know it will come in handy.

Tammy
Andy's channel is really awesome -- sometimes I watch and listen just to relax after a stressful day! I really credit him with turning me into a Singer Repairman. : )
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:29 PM
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PS-- the official "Installation Ceremony" when I put this machine into the trappy cabinet is tomorrow. The Four Tops "Bernadette" will be playing, and I'll plug her in and rev her up! The first project will be very "meta" -- making a slip cover for the Spinet cabinet to keep the wood from fading. After that, when the materials arrive, I'll be sewing through ballistic nylon and seat belt material to make a winter coat for Harry the doberman!
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:30 AM
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That's impressive! That machine looks like it's brand new.
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