|05-21-2012 08:57 PM|
If it is working OK, the basic maintenance procedure is this:
Clean lint and debris from bobbin and hook area.
SEWING MACHINE OIL in oil holes and lube points (see owner's manual.)
Grease (no oil!) where gears mesh. Vaseline can be used if you can't find sewing machine grease.
Decent car wax on painted parts. I use (orange bottle) Nu-Finish.
New rubber bobbin winder tire and broken spool pin can be purchased from Jenny at Sew-Classic blog (from earlier message.)
PROtip: If the stitch selection knobs resist going into some combinations, push on the needle bar towards the right lightly, and the knobs will move much easier. (BTW: You can also put TWO standard needles in the machine at the same time, rather than buy expensive twin needles.)
Enjoy. Don't be surprised if you start looking to buy another one soon.
|05-21-2012 08:19 PM|
I paid 125 for it, with the table and drawers with needles, thread, bobbins.... great deal! I will check all the links you sent me and see if i can join the group and learn how to do the cleaning myself
|05-21-2012 05:35 PM|
Looks good. How much did you end up paying?
Now join this forum:
and look through the "Bill Holman" files section. There you will find loads of step-by-step info on the rehab/care and repair of these machines.
Search the messages, and you'll find every question you're likely to have about the machine. They even have the original service tech manual for the units, which makes working on it easy.
Oil, heat, and time will limber everything up. Use real sewing machine oil, NOT 3-in-1, which is what causes most of these problems for old machines.
Don't be afraid to work on it yourself, they are really well-built but simple machines. (It will easily last another generation with just simple care and basic handtools.)
At the bottom of this page, you can date your machine's serial number:
Other forums of note to a new 401 owner:
|05-21-2012 05:04 PM|
Thanks you Querty!
I got the sewing machine.. and as you said the knob wouldn't move at all to change the stitches and they went down 75 dollars!!!!!!!!! i have cleaned it and now is working perfect! I will probably send it to be serviced tho.. I think that sewing machine has never been cleaned or serviced and I am just scared I might ruin it instead of fixing it! thank you so much for your advice! here is the picture of my new old singer 401A I am sooo happy!
|05-16-2012 05:15 PM|
i hope i get it!
I am so glad I joined this wonderful site, it has been very helpful for my desicion! thanks for the manual and hopefully they answer me from craigslist and from what I've read I think this is a lifetime sewing machine so I will be happy to get it thanks again.. if I get it.. I'll post a picture
|05-16-2012 04:54 PM|
Here is the manual for it:
A common issue with Slant-O-Matics is the knobs for selecting stitches get sticky. The secret to fixing it is sewing machine oil on the posts either side of the cam stack, a hair dryer, and some time. (You can use that to your advantage to negotiate a possible better price, since it is such a trivial fix.)
Avoid sewing machines on eBay, as they often arrive damaged due to poor packing. IF you can try it in person, you're much better off.
|05-16-2012 03:25 PM|
think i am making up my mind
i read about the old singer models and i just found one in craigslist a 401 for 200 dollars, it looks like it's in perfect condition but i will try it before buying it. I save money this way and i can look into getting maybe a coverstitch or a blindstitch as well.. I don't do lots of sewing but i like to have a bit of everything when i do... it is my only hobby so might as well spend a bit of money on it. I loved the Silrite but if I am going to get pretty much the same with an older cheaper sewing machine, then that sounds much better.. maybe if i get really good someday and start selling my work i can start my search again for an industrial sewing machine. thank you all for your help... now.. what coverstitch and/or blindstich could I get? i think i have about 1000 to spend on toys... thanks again for all your help!
|05-16-2012 02:58 PM|
Modern Singers are not the same as older Singers.
If you want to use a home grade sewing machine, I would look for older all-metal singers from the 1950s-1960s. Models of note would be 401, 403, 411, 500, 503. Used Kenmore all-metal gear machines from the same era are also a good bet. These can be had for $5 at a yard sale, to a couple hundred rehabed on eBay. Good info here:
A compound feed (walking foot, feed dogs, and needle pull fabric together) is probably overkill for making felt backpacks. These machines are best when multiple layers of thick material must be kept aligned and fed evenly through the machine. These are large, heavy and have big tables, so unless you plan on doing serious work with it, this machine is overkill for your needs, esspecially because it will not work well on light-weight fabric without significant adjustments.
I would suggest a Sailrite LSZ-1 http://www.sailrite.com/Ultrafeed-LS...Sewing-Machine sewing machine. It is basically a home machine on steroids and is simple, tough, and durable. It is also easy to store when not in use, something not true with industrial machines. There are videos on that website of the Sailrite sewing through 10 layers of Sunbrella, a heavy acrylic outdoor fabric.
The price may seem a little high, especially compared the the computerized plastic wonders at Walmart, but this is an investment in a lifetime tool that will work on everything from light fabric to moderately heavy projects without problems.
|05-16-2012 10:21 AM|
thanks for the replies
i have been looking in craigslist for the consew 206rb5 haven't found one yet.. they are about 1000 new... the heavy duty machines from that site seems like they do the job as well... i have a sewing machine that sews thin fabric, i just don;t want to kill it with too heavy weight.. i actually think both could work (heavy duty or industrial).. and the price of the heavy duty ones are nicer too.. unless i find the industrial one on craigslist does any one have a heavy duty machine and have used it with a few layers of fleece or denim.. by a few I mean 4 or more... i am lost in brands... i know singer was good back then, and the serger brother i have is awsome.. any recommendations on heavy duty sewing machines? thanks
|05-16-2012 09:19 AM|
I just purchased a Consew 206RB-1 off of Craig's list for $750 dollars and it was perfect... So the deals are out there. I had an industrial Singer without the walking foot and it did not like multiple layer of medium material at all. The Consew 206RB has a walking foot and can sew thru 1/8" plywood with the correct needle and thread. I've sewn some lighter fabrics with the Consew with good results. I think the trick will be in the setup of the machine. Use a smaller, rounded tip needle and lighter weight thread, and be sure to reset the tensions on the thread feed and bobbin case lighter and I think you'll be fine.
|05-16-2012 07:12 AM|
|DanTwoLakes||The Consew 206RB-5 is too heavy duty for what you want to use it for. I am certainly not an expert on the kind of machine you would need, but I would look at machines like these: CLICK HERE Good luck.|
|05-16-2012 12:30 AM|
how about the consew 206rb5
thank you for your reply I was just looking to visit a store thy sells industrial sewing machines so I can see one in real life. from all I have read the consew 206rb5 says it sews from light to heavy weight... maybe by light they don't really mean very light... you are right I need to check first. I am working now with a denim needle and it works much better, thread isn't breaking much but still I think I am pushing the machine a bit... maybe it's just my idea... what light industrial machine do you suggest? maybe I read more and find out before I go to the store. thank you again for your reply.
|05-16-2012 12:13 AM|
An industrial machine would help you with heavier fabrics, but they don't sew lighter weight fabrics very well at all, and if you need any kind of decorative stitch, you'd be out of luck. Home sewing machines can sew through a lot. If I were you, the first thing I'd look into would be heavier needles for the machine you have now.
The other thing you could look for is a lighter weight industrial machine that is intended for clothing, like blue jeans. I'd start at an industrial sewing machine store and tell them what you want to sew.
|05-15-2012 12:57 PM|
finally i was able to upload some pictures.
|05-15-2012 12:11 PM|
heavy duty sewing machine or industrial?
[IMG]hi everyone, was hoping to get some help from you. I am not a pro sewing but have made a few dresses, pants, shirts for my daughter and myself, at the moment making dora's backpacks for my daughter's birthday party to give out as favors. My singer facilita intelligent 974 is not liking the layers of fleece. I went to see a few heavy duty machines, Bernini mechanic and elna and even tho I saw wonders with the fleece I am afraid when I try making something else of other material like denim or... idk... I like trying new stuff... it won't handle it. so I was thinking maybe a consew straight stitch or a used pffaff (cause I have seen the prices of the pffaf.. expensive). any suggestions? I would just like to have something that will work with any type of fabric and won't brake or give me a hard time... my husband said yes... so before he changes his mind I'd like to find THE ONE! thank you for all your help. I will post some of the stuff I made for home... If I find out how