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What makes a machine sew fast?

What makes a machine sew fast?

Old 12-17-2020, 04:02 PM
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I brought out the big guns. I used my tri-flow oil and grease and went through it end to end. I also figured out some things I had not fully understood when I tackled this before. I'm still not sure what moves the feed dogs. It did not make a noticeable difference. I adjusted the controller today. It helped. Between both, it helped. I'm still don't think it runs nearly as fast as my 301, though. I may buy an electronic controller. I need one anyway for the other 401.
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Old 12-17-2020, 06:21 PM
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From my reading up between the two machines. The 401A has a lower SPM at around 1300 (still seems a tad high imo) and the 301 is faster at around 1600SPM
Very few run their machines at full speed
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:31 PM
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When you think about it, a 301, being a straight stitcher, has a lot less internal mechanism to move than a 401 does. The 401 has the internal cam stack, the parts to swing the needle bar.

I'm not sure the weight of the 401, but it is definitely heavier than the 301's 16-17#. The 401 may have a more powerful motor than the 301, but I would guess the majority of that extra power goes to move the extra internal mechanisms. Speed is sacrificed somewhat to accomplish zig zag.
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Old 12-18-2020, 07:41 AM
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One more consideration, is the belt tension. I do some local service for friends and one of my gal pals brought her machine to me asking why it was so slow...her belt had ZERO play. Vintage belts should only be tight enough to move the needle mechanism effectively, beyond that is a dangerous weight on the motor. Her brushes were full of carbon from the load on the machine. She sat down to a whole new experience after just a simple fix.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by featherw8love View Post
One more consideration, is the belt tension. I do some local service for friends and one of my gal pals brought her machine to me asking why it was so slow...her belt had ZERO play. Vintage belts should only be tight enough to move the needle mechanism effectively, beyond that is a dangerous weight on the motor. Her brushes were full of carbon from the load on the machine. She sat down to a whole new experience after just a simple fix.
No belts on the 401A
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
No belts on the 401A
I suppose I should know that... I have one in its case upstairs 😂 Itís not particularly fast thinking about it.
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:25 AM
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@bkay & @featherw8love wished i knew how to upload a short vid here of my 401A running to provide you both with a comparison.

Last edited by Hooligan; 12-18-2020 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 12-18-2020, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
@bkay & @featherw8love wished i knew how to upload a short vid here of my 401A running to provide you both with a comparison.
Thanks Hooligan, On part 1 of Andy Tube's youtube video on one button controllers, he shows his 401 running full speed. Mine has improved with the oiling and lubing and adjusting the controller. I adjusted it all the way out and it barely will reach the place where it goes full speed. It's better, like I said.

I'm going to order the new electronic controller to see if it makes a difference. Since I've misplaced the other 401 controller, I need one anyway.

bkay

Last edited by bkay; 12-18-2020 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 12-19-2020, 05:06 AM
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You should be able to sort out the button controller, they are better than their repuation. Either way, a new controller is a very good way to get something to compare with. Replacement controllers can be a bit of a fuzz new or old.

I think a top condition 301 has around 1500 stitches per minute, few zigzaggers reach those speeds. My Supermatic is probably around that speed, and I think the old Husqvarna 19 and 20 (the green 1950s models) are on the speedy side.

I personally regard 1000 to 1500 stitches a minute fast, you have to search for special models that exceeds this range, especially domestic machines. I rarely floor the pedals on my fast machines.

I am pretty sure a 401 should do at least 1000 spm, but how close it comes to 1500 I don't know. For comparison, a lot of new computerised machines are in the 500-800 spm, if you need a faster machine you have to search out special models. An old belt driven 201 or a humble 99 are not slow at all compared to some current models. A 201 with a potted motor tend to be slower than a belt driven 201, something that surpised me. There was a thread on this a a couple of years a go.

With further oiling it might even improve more. I personally like experimenting with oils like TriFlow, and I have found a favorite is a bike oil Finish Line Ceramic Wet Lube. They both have teflon and at least makes my 201 run extra smooth. Some greases are more sticky than others, and the right grease can reduce friction. I haven't tried many greases, just the basic recommended ones.

I go on and on about this, I sort of just talk around the subject. I have been onto much the same with my machines ;- )

Last edited by Mickey2; 12-19-2020 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 01-05-2021, 02:15 PM
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The 400 and 500 series singers are prone to getting oil into the motors from people that over oil the machines.
The oil gets on the commutator and brushes and forms a film from the electric sparking. You can pull the motors out
and disassemble them pretty easily. Use 600 grit emery and polish the commutator and the brush ends to get the glaze off.
I have had some motors that ran real slow with no power and this was the problem.
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