Singer 503 feed dog adjustment

Old 03-07-2018, 05:04 PM
  #1  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2,836
Default Singer 503 feed dog adjustment

I've used this machine as my primary machine for a while, so I know it pretty well. When I was using it, I dreaded sewing long runs, as it pulled to the left. I read the directions for adjusting them. and decided that trading it for the 401 was easier. So, I traded them . The 503 was in the building waiting for me to fix it.

Then, I needed the machine for my kids, as 2.5 Touch and Sews have bit the dust. Now the feed dogs are too low and knocking the plate upward. So, I have no choice other than to adjust them. I have the manual, it is specific, but being a free copy, the illustrations are not really clear.

I dread it. I have no idea what I'm getting into.

Has anyone done it? Any suggestions?

bkay
bkay is offline  
Old 03-07-2018, 10:11 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 473
Default

Farmer John over at VSS has stated feed dogs should be set at a height equal to the thickness of a dime, tho I don't know if that is model specific. I do know that a 99 I was working on for a friend had a terrible pull to one side, 1/4" in 6", and the feed dogs didn't look "straight."

I finally gave up and took it to an osmg. I didn't pick it up myself, so couldn't ask questions, but the tag read "adjusted needle bar pressure."

I hope this helps, but, bkay, I have no doubt you will succeed in making the right repair!
WIChix is offline  
Old 03-07-2018, 10:58 PM
  #3  
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Victorian Sweatshop Forum
Posts: 4,096
Default

Lori I hope that repairman fixed the machine before he smoked his lunch.

The dime trick works for all machines I think. There's an old joke that anyone usually has a feed dog height gauge right in their pocket.

Bkay sorry I'm no help to you right now, my puter here doesn't have any manuals/service guides on it.

Cari
Cari-in-Oly is offline  
Old 03-08-2018, 07:07 AM
  #4  
Member
 
Treadle&Gears's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: ubiquitous
Posts: 94
Default

I sold my 503 service manual with the machine, but I think I still have a 400 series manual if it is any help... I may be able to borrow back the 500 series book and copy the page you need but it would be next week.
Treadle&Gears is offline  
Old 03-08-2018, 08:05 AM
  #5  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2,836
Default

Originally Posted by Treadle&Gears
I sold my 503 service manual with the machine, but I think I still have a 400 series manual if it is any help... I may be able to borrow back the 500 series book and copy the page you need but it would be next week.
Thanks, I'll let you know if I need further help.

I'm pretty sure I can do it. I just wish my pictures were better and that I had that tool that I saw when I first started posting here. It held the sewing machine so you could turn it upside down and work on it. (Was that Janey and John?)

It's probably not worth a trip to the OSMG. Their minimum charge is $125.00. I'm pretty sure I could buy one or two 503s for that amount of money.

So, I just have to do it, whether I dread it or not.

Thanks for your help.

bkay
bkay is offline  
Old 03-10-2018, 10:28 AM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 90
Default

If you have checked that the feed dogs are straight in line with the needle plate there isn't much to do with them.
Feed dog height won't cause the material to feed crooked.
If the problem is only during zigzag operations then the problem is with the cam stack alignment.
On 400 and 500 Singers and all Touch and Sew models there is an adjustment for the cam stack.
It is simple but is only found in a service manual. I have had a couple machines that pulled the
material sideways and it was this cam stack alignment.
But this would be a problem during zigzag only.
Quilterman is offline  
Old 03-10-2018, 12:54 PM
  #7  
Super Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2,836
Default

Originally Posted by Quilterman
If you have checked that the feed dogs are straight in line with the needle plate there isn't much to do with them.
Feed dog height won't cause the material to feed crooked.
If the problem is only during zigzag operations then the problem is with the cam stack alignment.
On 400 and 500 Singers and all Touch and Sew models there is an adjustment for the cam stack.
It is simple but is only found in a service manual. I have had a couple machines that pulled the
material sideways and it was this cam stack alignment.
But this would be a problem during zigzag only.
No, not when zigzagging, it's when straight stitching. When you sew a long run, like adding a border to a quilttop, you have to fight to keep it going straight. Otherwise the leading fabric veers off to the left. Also, the 503 doesn't have a camstack. It only has removable cams.

There are instructions in the service manual. But, I have a free copy that I downloaded from sewingdude.wordpress.com. The photos/drawings are not really clear. However, the descriptions are pretty detailed, so I should be able to do it. I also have another 503 that I purchased at an estate sale a few weeks ago, so I can check the other one to see if there are differences.

Thanks for your input.

bkay
bkay is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
J Miller
For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
3
01-22-2013 06:02 PM
Annaquilts
Main
1
10-16-2011 03:26 AM
featherweight
For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
50
03-10-2011 10:59 AM
Brenda Sue
For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
10
06-06-2010 09:23 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


FREE Quilting Newsletter