Monday, June 27, 2016

Singer 403 and Fitbit Bracelet

I am always looking for small (quick) projects to exercise my vintage machines.  I have so many that they seldom get used and, like an automobile, letting one sitting idle is about the worst thing that you can do to either.

My daughter has a Fitbit that she wears religiously every day.  Problem is, the rubbery bracelets produce a rash on her wrist.  we have dozens of sewing machines and probably a ton of fabric in the house, so I volunteered to design a cotton holder for her Fitbit that would not cause a rash.

This is the design I came up with on the third attempt.

Begin with a strip of fabric 2 inches wide and 19 1/2 inches long.

Fold 1/4 inch of the right side of the fabric over twice

and tack down.

Mark the center of the fabric strip and fold the tacked end up to center.

Fold the other end up to center and overlap the tacked end by 1/2 inch.  Pin in place.

Sew up both sides with a scant 1/2 inch seam.

Clip the corners.

And turn right side out.

To keep the Fitbit from sliding all the way to the end, sew stitches 2 3/4 inches from both ends.

Attach hook-and-loop (one to the top of the bracelet and one to the under side.

Slide the Fitbit in through the opening.  push it all the way to the stitching and then work it back to center.

Initially, I was concerned that she would not be able to see the lights on the Fitbit and constructed the first prototype with a plastic window.  She didn't like the looks of the window and says she can see the lights through the thin cotton fabric so she told me to make future models without the plastic window.

The old Singer worked flawlessly throughout the process but I noticed that while left and center needle positions were correct,

 when right needle was selected, the needle only went slightly past center.

 I suspect lubrication is the issue but I oiled every piece I could get to in the circuit and was unable to correct the situation.  The odd part is that when sewing zig zag, the needle goes full throw left and right.  I notice that the left-Center-Right selector "pops out" when left or center positions are selected but does not "pop out" when right is selected.  That is where I will concentrate my efforts.


Jonathan said...

I don't own a Singer 403 but they are handsome machines. I've done a majority of my sewing on belt driven machines. I greased and oiled up a Singer 401A recently. Nice machine but the gear noise was more noticeable than I expected. Does the gear noise on these machines bother you?

Jonathan said...

The Singer 401A I am using sat unused for a very long time. Maybe the gear noise will soften with more grease and use. I've read great things about the 400 and 500 series Singer machines. In my limited experience so far with my Singer 401A I'm partial to my belt driven Singer machines. They are smoother and quieter. What do you prefer gear driven or belt driven Singers?

Ed Lamoureux said...

The gear driven machines do have a different sound than the belt driven versions, but I do not find it obnoxious. Suggest you pull out the motor and run it outside the machine. I think you will find that any objectionable noise is originating there. If that turns out to be the case, oil the top bearing where the shaft enters the motor housing just below the worm gear. Remove one of the screws from the bottom of the motor housing and put a drop or two of oil in the lower bearing where the shaft enters the bearing. Run the motor full speed for a minute or two to work in the lubricant and see if the sound level decreases considerably. After reinstalling the motor, put grease (not oil) on the set of gears in the upper section and the two sets of gears in the lower section. -Ed

Chen Alan said...

Nice posting...

Jonathan said...

Thanks for your reply!

kimcase9 said...

I have a 403 and before I owned-- someone has had tension issues-- they have sanded one of the disks-- where can I buy a new one-- I disassembled the whole thing and tried to repair-- works great straight-- however over 3 on the zig zag-- and I get a rats nest under... any suggestions--- can I flip the disc around> does it matter?