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Thread: Wards Signature J278B sewing machine

  1. #1
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    Wards Signature J278B sewing machine

    I just bought this machine at an auction, and am looking for a manual before I try to use it. I am seeing all sorts of sites that want me to allow tons of access, but nothing that seems to have actual information. Does anyone know somewhere "safe" to get this information?

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    I was unable to find that particular model at montgomerywardsmanuals.com. I would double check the model number. All the MW manuals I found were for 3 or 4 numbers + the letters.

    It's also possible that you will have to look for the manual by the way the machine looks. Most all the manual sites have what appear to be technical drawings along with the name or number of the sewing machine. Finding the "picture" is the way you have to find many Japanese made sewing machine manuals, as many sewing machines were sold under several different names.

    It's a long shot, but you might post a photo of your machine and someone might be able to ID it. I finally found one photo of a 82URR and it is very similar to one that was discussed last week. Whether the one in the photo is really an 82urr, we don't know as the description is kind of unusual.

    bkay
    Last edited by bkay; 01-25-2019 at 02:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    I now have the correct model name for this machine: J278B, but the only manual I have found for it is from Wards and is not free even as a download. I don't even know if this thing runs, as it threads so differently that I want to know more before I even try it. My previous identifications were off another label and were incomplete. I even have the serial no. now, 27X22533, but this hasn't helped me.
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    Last edited by Lee in Richmond; 01-27-2019 at 03:06 PM.

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    Threading can usually be figured out. Post a photo and someone will have a good idea of how to thread it.

    bkay

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    The first link below was a Big help! I cannot see anything else on their site, tho, apparently because my PC is saving me from dragons, and I don't know how to make it free up one particular site. . . I can at least thread it and see if it runs now! I sure wish I knew who manufactured it.

    Quote Originally Posted by OurWorkbench View Post
    I haven't seen many Wards/Signature manuals available at all, let alone free. For threading you might want to look at http://www.sewusa.com/Threading_Diag...ng_Diagram.htm and http://www.sewusa.com/Threading_Diag...ng_Diagram.htm to get a general idea.

    However, looking at your picture, I'm thinking that the needle should be inserted with the flat on the right and threads from left to right.

    Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-30-2019 at 06:25 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

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    Quote Originally Posted by OurWorkbench View Post
    I have problems with that site, sometimes. I found if I go back to http://www.sewusa.com/ then I can navigate from there. Are there any JA or JC numbers on the base somewhere? Sometimes they are stamped and sometimes cast in the base.

    Like Cari pointed out the needle goes with flat to back and threads from front to back.

    Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
    Thanks for trying, but I cannot see anything on their basic website. I think my cookie blocking has gotten out of control, and I shall have to find out how to rein it in.

    I managed to thread the machine, with help from this site, and it sounds and feels good sewing, BUT. Stitch length does adjust, from minuscule to medium, the former being the first 4 settings and the latter the last ones. So no really large stitches, but it does do a nice zig zag. Also, the top tension thingy on the front needs more help than I can give it. I think I will have to turn it in to a technician for a look-see, meaning I have just invested a whole lot more in this than before (actually buying a new light bulb pretty much doubled my investment so far).

    I had forgotten how much I like the new drop-in bobbins; this is like my Pfaff, except even more awkward to reach. Still, a nice solid metal machine probably worth keeping. Thank you all for your help!

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    Oh, how many more surprises? I changed out the needle on this machine, as it looked weird -- turned out to have two color bands on it, which I have never seen before and was a tiny bit longer. On the front of this machine there is an etched diagram of a needle and the words "exact needle length 1-17/32". I have never seen other lengths of needles -- does anyone know what this is about?

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    Many much older machines would have the diagram and the length, becasue the Internet wasn't invented yet and folks in sewing centers needed some guidance that might not be in their books.

    Heck a few years ago I asked a Bernina dealer for a bobbin for a stell bodied machine. They looked in ther charrts and told me Bernina didn't make such a thing. They had alearning experince. but i still didn't get a bobbin.
    "Sacrifices must be made." Otto Lilienthal

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    Quote Originally Posted by leonf View Post
    Many much older machines would have the diagram and the length, becasue the Internet wasn't invented yet and folks in sewing centers needed some guidance that might not be in their books.

    Heck a few years ago I asked a Bernina dealer for a bobbin for a stell bodied machine. They looked in ther charrts and told me Bernina didn't make such a thing. They had alearning experince. but i still didn't get a bobbin.
    Regarding the needle length, has there ever been a different length? In my 60+ years of sewing there has not been a variation, so far as I know. Or have I gotten a really aberrant machine?

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    I just took this machine to a guy who has been servicing the old ones forever, and learned some stuff. He says needle length has not changed in these old domestic machines (my imagination at work, I guess), and all the old ones sold around here in the 60's were made by Singer. In his little shop he actually had the exact same machine - model number and all - that he took as a trade in! He has the actual manual, and I am going to try to get him to sell me a copy of it - hope that's not a copyright issue. Oh yeah, he says the adjustments I need are the usual ones and I'll get it back later today.

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    I think your service guy is being rather closed minded. And I don't think many of the machines that don't say "singer" were made by Singer in the 60's. Singer was not one of the companies that made machines for other back then. And by the 60's, so much was being outsourced that Singer may not have been making their own machines either.

    As to needle length, before the advent of Japanese made machines, domestic machine used a wide variety of needle lengths. At the time Singer used what several of the foreign companies used, but most of the other US manufacturers used something different. The Japanese started out making machines that followed the Singer 15 design, and they used the same needle that Singer used - and then it became common and most people don't know that there once was a wide variety in needle lengths.

    I have several Boye needle cases, and set out to collect an example of a machine for each needle length and each shuttle they sold. I think there were around 12 different needles. Some are quite close in style, and some very different.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-30-2019 at 06:26 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

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    I just got the machine back a few minutes ago, and am going to go up and play with it. The man in the little shop, selling vacuums and servicing sewing machines, has 3 machines to sell in his shop, all oldies, and one of them is my exact model and has ALL that came with it in the 60's, he thinks. The many feet looked completely unused. He let me borrow the manual long enough to copy many pages on my printer -- I am a happy camper!!!

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    huzzah for you
    "Sacrifices must be made." Otto Lilienthal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Richmond View Post
    Oh, how many more surprises? I changed out the needle on this machine, as it looked weird -- turned out to have two color bands on it, which I have never seen before and was a tiny bit longer. On the front of this machine there is an etched diagram of a needle and the words "exact needle length 1-17/32". I have never seen other lengths of needles -- does anyone know what this is about?
    Years ago my mom had a Wards machine-the needles were a slightly different length. Just enough that you had to buy Wards brand needles. It was a nice enough machine but the needle size was a pain-you had to go to Wards to get them.

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