Monday, September 01, 2014

Singer 615U

On my second trip to a new thrift shop in town, I spotted a modern-looking cabinet.

The cut-out in the top told me it was a sewing machine cabinet and it was so modern, I wouldn't have given it a second look, except for the SINGER nameplate on the door.

The machine inside turned out to be a 615U, a 1968 Touch & Sew made in Japan.

The cosmetic condition is exquisite although I am not too crazy about the gaudy blue plastic faceplate.

It had the instruction manual and a unique attachment box. Most of the attachments are still in their original plastic envelopes.

The store owner plugged it in and ran the motor and that's when I noticed that the hook was not rotating.  Anxious to demonstrate my extensive knowledge, I told him it had a broken gear.  Imagine my embarrassment when we opened up the bottom plate and found that this model does not use gears to transmit rotation from the upper section to the lower, it uses a cogged timing belt.  Here is what remains of the belt.

I didn't make any decision that day, I came home and checked the internet to see if a replacement belt is available and it is, so I put one in my cart.  Yesterday, I stopped by to see if anyone had taken the machine for parts and it was still there.  The owner said he would take $15 but I was with Kathie, so I couldn't take it then.  This morning, Kathie was at a sew-in so I went to the store and picked it up.

Except for the belt and the camstack, it is all metal inside.  Everything is clean and rust-free, even though the dropping feed dog and one of the cam selectors are frozen, common ailments on old sewing machines.

The machine is in such nice condition that I would like to get it running but the idea of replacing that timing belt has me nervous.  I have yet to find instructions anywhere in my service manuals or on the internet.  The lower pulley is easy, it is at the end of its shaft

but to get the belt over the upper pulley, the belt has to go over the main shaft.  It would be nice to know if I can remove the rear bushing and slide it in that way or if everything on the main shaft has to be removed or loosened so the shaft can be slid out far enough to insert the belt from the top.  If anyone can provide guidance, please do.

The jury is still out deliberating whether to invest in a belt and try to replace it or just carve the machine up for parts


Gail said...

The T&S 750 has yhe same belt Maybeyconfiguration and I (with none Of Your experience) replaced the belt and now every adjustment on the machine is off. I haven't goten back to that. Everything in the top has to come ot beginning with the hand wheel. You probably can do this but I am completly new to fooling with these old machines.
Maybe one day I'll get back and make all the adjustments to get it right or sell parts.

Jonathan said...

I have to agree with the first person who posted. The belt set up in this machine is the same as the 700 series touch & sews. I purchased TNT's set by step repair manual for replacing the belt on the 700 series touch & sews. I haven't been brave enough to try it though. The cabinet this machine is in, is really nice! I found a similar machine at a thrift store a couple years ago. Mine had metal gears and an ugly teal green face plate. I sold it but can't remember if it had a belt.

Marie said...

I have the exact same machine, in it's original case, and it also has it's original metal bed extension. It was like new for $15 when I got it, the accessories were still in the original cardboard packaging. (Photos of my machine are on the Needlebar web site.) The machine is definately not the same as the 700 series as the 615U has dropping feed, the metal bed extension, and does a beautiful chain stitch. Plus, there is a cam release button on the front of the machine.

Marie Battisti said...

I forgot to add earlier it is NOT a touch and sew as it uses regular class 66 bobbins and winds a bobbin just like a Singer 401. The touch and sew machines wind the bobbin while it is in the bobbin case under the bobbin plate (hence the name touch and sew). The 615u does not. The 615U can also be treadled!