Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pfaff 330

I haven’t done much playing with sewing machines lately because I was involved in a larger project, recovering a chaise lounge we purchased at a thrift shop.  I did get to use my Singer 20U that hasn’t been exercised since we moved over a year ago, but that’s another post.

This Pfaff 330 was an ebay purchase from several years ago.  I decided I had to dig it out of the garage and get it running or get rid of it. 

I liked the machine because it is an early example of a zig zag machine and the bed extension is built in. It just swivels up into place when the operator needs a flat bed.

It came to me with a box of accessories, carrying case, instruction book dated September 1952 and a sales receipt dated 4 June 1953. Not many of my machines have such a provenance!

Those who are familiar with the Pfaff 330 will notice that the bed is unusual.  The paint was cracked and falling off.  Assuming I would never find a suitable paint match, I stripped all the paint off the bed and polished the aluminum.  

After cleaning and oiling, I used it on a small project to test it.  The needle thread kept breaking, so I looked for a burr on the hook that might be the culprit and found the two screws on the outside of the hook burred.  This is not a good photo, I took it with my cell phone but you can get an idea what area I am talking about.

 I smoothed them down somewhat and reduced the amount of thread breakage, but still need to do more work in that area.

I had to stop working on the thread breakage issue because on my second project, the motor became intermittent.  I would step on the foot control and nothing would happen – no hum, no smoke, no rotation – just nothing.  If I turned the balance wheel by hand, the motor would then drive the machine for a while, then nothing again. I popped the motor out of the machine and found the surface of the motor covered with corrosion.  Another poor cell phone photo, but you can see the corrosion all over the surface of the motor.

Apparently, the machine has either been in a flood or subjected to very high humidity for a long time.  The motor commutator was quite dirty and the motor brushes are quite short. I cleaned off all the corrosion I could get to, cleaned the commutator oiled the bushings and cleaned out the brush tubes so the brushes can slide easily.  Reassembled, it appears to be working; I’ll have to use it for a while to determine whether I have made a permanent fix.  In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a new pair of brushes.


Gustavo Bourdieu said...

It is possible to make carbon brushes, with batteries, AAA,AA, C, or D with carbon center.
It's easy to make
Gus Bourdieu

Ed Lamoureux said...

Interesting thought. I have cut down larger brushes but never considered making them from scratch. I have a tub of old motors from parted-out machines that I planned to mine for a good set of brushes but might try the battery method just for a learning experience. Thanks for the tip. -Ed

3pack said...

Hi Ed. I just read most of your blog. I'm looking for advice on the felt lubrication pieces in a singer 201. I had to buy a second 201 because my daughter wants the one that my MIL gave me (phase 2?) some years ago. I made the mistake of teaching her to sew on it. Anyway the newest acquisition has the felt piece missing from the pressure bar hollow screw and I was wondering if there were any other felt pieces in the 201. Thanks for any advice.

Jonathan said...

The chaise lounge looks AMAZING!!!
I LOVE the fabric!
Nice work!

wendy said...

Have just found your website, while looking for needles for my 306K.
I have a Singer 224 that is immaculate in black and gold, has cams, feet, everything I need, but an instuction manual!
It was made in Japan in 1956, but can find no other info, can you or anyone out there help in any way???

Anonymous said...

I bought one on eBay about a year ago. I bought heavy duty needles for it and a zipper foot. I am a retired upholsterer and wanted something I could use anywhere. I cleaned it, new belts and oiled it. It needs painted. The only thing is it doesn't work with any welt feet I have. Not enough lift. I don't know if its adjustable.
The zig zag isn't great and the manual is a joke but it sews pretty good.

theelwells said...

You can blow that out and sand the brishes. still more life keft.

Rae Petertson said...

i have just found my mums Pfaff 330 i was wondering how old this machine is i well remember it as a kid.

Dani said...

Hi there! Any chance you know how to take the handwheel off? I need to change the bobbin winder tire but everytway I try to remove the handwheel doesn't work! Thanks!