Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Auction 201 Update

Progress has been slow on the 201 because we are gearing up for craft show season. I spend the majority of my spare time making wrist wallets and table runners and get very little time to tinker with sewing machines.

I learned that the bobbin winder kickout spring is broken and the bobbin winder rests on the balance wheel all the time.  I didn't have a spare spring but they are available on the internet for $4.25 plus shipping or $9.99 with free shipping.  The price was a little bit of a deterrent, since I only paid $12 for the machine, I hesitated to spend another $10 on a measly little spring but the  major issue was that I would have to wait for it to be shipped.  The spring is a very simple affair, just three coils of spring wire with a bend on one end and a 1.25" leg on the other so I surfed the internet for instructions how to make a spring.  Lowe's sells a package of four assorted sizes of spring wire for $2.98 and I picked up a pack.

. Each piece is only 6 inches long and I needed 4.5 inches for the spring, Knowing I would only get one shot, I got some fishing tackle with piano wire at Wal-Mart to make some prototypes by winding the wire around a bolt..  

  The fourth prototype fit but the piano wire is not strong enough to keep the bobbin winder suspended when the machine starts running. This evening, I made a spring using the Lowe's spring wire and it works fine.
  While unsuccessfully searching my spare parts boxes for a kickout spring, I encountered a stroke of good luck - I found a 201 terminal block!  I was already prepared to manufacture a box to contain the light switch but the switch I got at Lowe's fits just fine in the 201 terminal block.  I got this box of 201 parts about 20 years ago from a lady who had parted out some 201s and wanted to reclaim some space in her garage. That's why I hate to throw anything out, you never know when you might need it.

  I was pleasantly surprised when I installed a fresh needle and the machine made an almost perfect stitch on the first try.  A little tweaking of the upper and lower tensions and it now sews like a Singer 201 should. 

 When it's running, it still has a little buzz that shouldn't be there but seems to be lessening with use.  If it doesn't go away soon, I will break out my mechanic's stethoscope and track down the source.  Here's the almost-finished product.

Now that I see the photos, it appears I still need to do some more cosmetic restoration (cleaning). Honestly, it looks better in person.


Sheila R said...

Another show of genius in making that spring. Nice restoration of a forlorn 201.

QuilterBee said...

Hey Ed! Do you happen to have a Singer 301 adjusters manual by chance? My new to me 301 has an issue where the feed dogs seem to be sitting to low and just barely hitting the top of the bobbin assembly making a very annoying noise. My other 301 is so quiet. I'm stuck on how to adjust the dogs just slightly lower to keep them from hitting every rotation.
Thank you! Amie

Ed Lamoureux said...

I do have one in PDF but no way to email it to you. -Ed said...

Hi Ed,
I have just acquired a beautiful Vintage Singer Model 15-91 that really works, but the wiring is original and in poor condition. I have replaced the foot control wires but want to get the pot motor rewired before I really start to use.
I am just smart enough to be really dangerous and don't want to risk making a mess and ruining it.
Do you know of anyone in the Maryland, Virginia or driving distance in West Virginia who could or would be will to re-wire my pot-motor?