Monday, October 05, 2015

With 4 mg of memory!

I bought 4 sewing machines over the weekend, from 2 different places, and paid $114 for the lot. All of them were supposed to 'work' or 'run.' Ha. I learned a lot about what is wrong with them - trouble shooting is an important skill, after all - and Sweetie and I spent a considerable amount of time trying to repair them. All of them has something wrong; either a belt needs replacing, or the clutch is worn, or the thing doesn't want to zig or zag.

I futzed with the last one this evening, an old Singer 401 from the late '50s. (May I insert here that I have gotten very good at disassembly and re-assembly? Save for these new clam shell dealies that require a certain tenacity and dexterity. I was given a 'dead' one to autopsy, so maybe I will be able to figure it out. Sweetie wanted to use a screw driver to prize the pieces apart, but that is a nope nope nope. Do not do that! Just sayin'.)

So the old Singer actually worked quite nicely! Especially after a good cleaning with compressed air and oiling. The zig was a little wonky on the right side, but I was able to coax (threaten) the needle bar to behave. What a good feeling to finally have one good machine up and running. I even serviced my old Brother machine that I bought at Sears sometime in the late 80s. Does Sears even sell sewing machines anymore? That baby made me a lot of money back in the day, (jeez, that makes me sound like a pimp,) but has sat unused for a long time.

And that is the worst enemy of a sewing machine - not being used and left to sit in the closet or attic or garage. The lubricants can set up into 'varnish' and make the machine seize up. But one can place drops of lube (Tri-Flow, if you can find it,) on the seized bits and slowly work the wheel. It might take a while, and sometimes the heat from a hair dryer helps. Those are the words of the instructor. He has been servicing machines since he was a young feller. He is an old feller, now.

And so once, at Sewing Machine Camp...


Brother, can ya spare a belt?

If I can get this baby working, boy o boy! 

I plan to autopsy this piece of crap. Do not buy this machine.

I love the watermelon pink! A Brother Festival. 

Singer 401, up and running. Yippee!

One little tidbit that I learned from the inner tubes over the weekend is that the Brother machine was almost called the Sister machine, but some other devise had that name already. Brother is a Japanese company.


1 comment:

Zippi Kit said...

that 401 slant needle is a saweeeet machine. I had two until I gave one to the Daughter Bee.