Old 12-18-2016, 04:57 PM
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Default timing


what causes the timing to go out?

more generally-

how often should i expect to have to tune up a singer 401?

is there a point in an older mechanical sewing machine's life where it just ceases to work properly? i mean....if i use the machine well, take good care of it, have it tuned and serviced however often i am supposed to, i am wondering....do they wear out? slowly become less reliable and more prone to doing things like...sending their timing off?

thanks for your help, as always

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Old 12-18-2016, 05:43 PM
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There is some good information here http://possumjimandelizabeth.com/xht...g_sing401.html.

Are you certain this is a timing issue? Is the machine stitching? If it is stitching, do the stitches look off? This might be a tension issue.

These older machines are pretty tough and very reliable. The only time I've had a timing issue was my own fault. I used hand quilting thread which has a glaze. It didn't take long for the machine to be throw out of time.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:30 PM
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Sewing over those big "quilting" pins will throw the timing off and damage the hook. I tell all of my students to throw those big things away and get the patchwork pins or extra-fine glass head pins.

On those 401's I've seen the motor wear out and slow down, but not have the timing off.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:15 PM
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I have yet to see the timing off on a vintage machine like a 401 unless Igor or Bubba have been working on it before I got it. Too often timing is blamed when other things are actually the culprit. I've also never seen a worn out motor on one. Ones that need to be serviced, but not worn out.
I also sew over pins all the time. Occasionally break a needle or bend a pin but I've never thrown off the timing in a vintage machine. I am careful however when I sew over pins with a newer machine, knowing that it could happen.

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Old 12-19-2016, 09:26 AM
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I've seen hundreds of machines and timing being off isn't something I've seen unless it was caused by something other than timing. I've made a machine go out of time by doing stupid things but they don't just wear out and go out of timing for no reason that I have yet seen. I had a machine with a bent needle bar be out of timing but it was because it was a bent needle bar not because it was out of timing. I've had a loose shuttle because I loosened it. Sewing over a pin with an old black machine might make a nick in the hook from the needle being bent and forced but I doubt if it will go out of timing and even then I think it takes a lot of stupidity to get a burr. If you are trying to sew through heavy fabric you will need a needle made to do that. If the needle isn't enough you may need an industrial machine and even then some are not made for heavy fabrics. I have an old worn beater Singer 15-75 that sews through amazing amounts of fabric. The worst case I can imagine with that machine would more likely be a bent needlebar from weight or pulling stuck fabric than for that machine to go out of timing.
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