Repairing a Singer Sewing Machine

Some problems that you may experience with your sewing machine can be repaired or adjusted at home, others will need to be looked at by a repair person. This is a guide about repairing a Singer sewing machine.

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Singer Sewing Machine
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I have a Singer sewing machine, model 6180. It just stopped while I was stitching. I discovered the problem that the bobbin shuttle is not moving. And a tiny screw had come out. I am not sure where that screw is from. It was rolling inside some where. I found it with that noise. How do I fix it and how do I open the sewing machine? Please help!

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    I just bought a Singer 301a. The needle is centre correctly, but my attached presser foot is not. It is shifted to the left so the needle is very close to the right hand side of the foot. This is the case for all the feet. How do I adjust the presser foot bar so they are centred correctly. Otherwise, I see broken needles in my future.

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      Here's a link to the user guide for your vintage slant needle machine:

      http://www.singerco.com/uploads/dow ... 8d6b837d82e1e8bef36ad0d14d6145d0.pdf

      And here's a link to the most reliable online parts and repair tech EVER - he is in American Samoa and what he doesn't know about vintage Singers isn't worth worrying about:

      tandtrepair.com

      Now - what I suspect (I'm a self-taught successful vintage Singer repair tech here in Scotland) is your machine is currently wearing the wrong class feet - probably 66 or 15.

      But your machine is a slant needle machine which means your machine needs the specialised slant feet.

      Being off by as little as 1mm will cause the problems you describe, and there is that little difference between class 66, 15, and slant needle machine feet. They may all look the same but they are not. Contact a reliable local repair tech - he/she should be able to trade you your class 66 or 15 feet for the slant feet you need - it may cost you a few (insert your local currency name here) but will get your gorgeous vintage slant Singer back to sewing.

      Congratulations on the find of a slant, by the way. Lovely machines that make an outstanding stitch. Go to tandrepair.com and have a good long browse about the slants. He also sells parts, manuals (domestic and service), and posts a great lot of very helpful information and links regarding caring for and maintaining these lovely ladies of Singer sewing.

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      I got a Singer sewing machine model 7011. It stitches on the top, but gathers on the bottom of the fabric. We changed the bobbin, but nothing changed. What would be the next step? We got it at a garage sale about 10yrs ago.

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        When thread is bunching underneath the fabric it is usually a problem of tension balance. The upper thread doesn't go down enough. Reduce the tension on the needle thread by putting the tension knob on an average tension level.

        There is also a little screw on the bobbin holder that adjust the tension on the bobbin thread you can tighten it with a screw driver. As Grandma J. said dusting, cleaning all parts

        of the machine where the threads go through is very important specially the tension disks in your case (these are the disks the tension knob is pressing on) and of course make sure you are using the same kind of thread for the bobbin and to feed the needle.

        They can be different in colours but they must be the same type of thread, cotton or polyester and good quality threads made for sewing machine and not thread for hand sewing which are wax coated to make them stronger.

        If they are different in type it will be very difficult to balance the tension as for example cotton thread and polyester thread do not have the same elasticity.

        Balancing the tension is the tricky part of sewing with a sewing machine even with the most modern machines. Once you have succeeded don't forget that the first thing you should sew is a proper cover made to the shape of your machine that will protect it from dust.

        Hope this helps !

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        I just brought a new sewing machine, a Singer Promise 1408. I had been sewing for approximately half an hour then stopped for a few moments and then started again. Only the machine wouldn't go. The spindle is to the left and from what I can see, there's no threads jammed in the bobbin area or inside the machine. What do I do? I urgently need to complete a bag that I am making for tech or I'll get a low level.

        I have three days left and this is important or I'll get bad marks and my teacher would be disappointed and I'm going to be disappointed and also annoyed because this awful machine broke and I looked on the internet and I can't find anything useful and I'll get bad marks and it will be absolutely horrible and I'll get bad marks and my fish will die.
        And I'll get bad marks. Please help.

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          I strongly suggest you return the machine to the store for an immediate fix or replacement. Why will your fish die?

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          I have a Singer 478 Stylist special zig zig sewing machine.The bobbin is not moving at all. I just purchased the machine and it was frozen so I oiled it in all places and it unfroze itself, but the bobbin is not rotating like it should.

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            It sounds as though the bobbin gear has given up the ghost. This isn't a home repair, so you'll need to take the machine to a repair tech. Be sure to ask if he/she is using a 'salvage part' (not as reliable, please trust me on this) or a 'new-milled' part (not sure if this part is still being milled but the repair tech should know and be able to source the part for you).

            If the tech has to use a salvage part, I urge you to consider retiring your machine. Once the bobbin gear goes on a vintage Singer, the machine quickly become a 'money pit' requiring more time on the repair bench than putting in sewing hours. I'm very sad to say as I love vintage Singers so much I own a few service manuals and do limited repair-refurb for my Sewing 101 students over here in Scotland:)

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            I bought an old Singer 6110 from a yardsale. It plugs in, and the light turns on, but when I press the foot pedal, it doesn't run. The cords and foot pedal seem to be in good shape. I need a little help.

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              What about my quest to become a self taught tech by searching for tips and information on the Internet? So far I'm not having much luck. Gotta start somewhere :-/

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              I want to repair a Singer sewing machine, the Fashion Maker Rotomatic model. I am in need of a the lower bet at the base of the machine. Where can I get one? Thanks.

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                Try this fellow - he specialises in vintage Singer parts and has an excellent reputation in the US. I live in the UK but my American friends, fellow vintage Singer enthusiasts, highly recommend him - he carries just about everything, and can direct to a source if he doesn't stock it:

                http://www.tandtrepair.com/

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                This is a borrowed machine, a Singer Stylist 418. I have a model similar to this but a few years newer. They operate basically the same. My problem is with the bobbin. The needle will not pick up the thread....nothing. The bobbin was almost empty, and the thread caught inside the bobbin area. It would not come out, I pulled it hard and it broke off. I rewound a new bobbin, and the needle, unlike my machine, went up and down during the winding process. Now, it will not pick up the thread. I changed the needle, adjusted the needle, re-threaded the machine several times, the bobbin is in correctly. I took out the bobbin housing and removed the little piece of thread left in the area. Any advice from someone?

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                  Bonnepm, thank-you for your update! The Stylist was (is when still operational:) such a great sewing machine, it was one of the few 'domestic' Singers that made as good a straight stitch as a zig-zag - many machines (not just Singers) do one or the other beautifully but not both - on a zig-zag machine the straight stitch is never really-really-really true straight. But the Stylist line could go from straight (true straight!) to z-z and right back to a true straight. Bliss, really, for home sewers. I loved my 513 so much I kept it going yonks past its use-by date! Finally, though, it became a very real money pit. When that bobbin gear goes everything seems to go.

                  But wow-wow-wow, to be lent a '49 Featherweight is amazing! All metal gears, it's really hard to 'kill' a pre-60s Singer and a Featherweight to most of us vintage enthusiasts is the pinnacle of Singer sewing machine ingenuity. I don't blame you for wishing it could be yours, I wish I could find one myself:)

                  Best wishes for a safe delivery of a beautiful healthy baby for your daughter!

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                  I have a Singer 600E, I've threaded the bobbin and all that good stuff. But when I push my pedal down my needle won't move, the motor runs, but nothing happens. Is it my pedal?

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                    It most likely is a problem with the bobbin casing. There is probably a piece of thread stuck in it somewhere and if you don't remove every little piece, it will not go. Sometimes, you can find the piece and pull it out, but sometimes, you just have to take it in.

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                    I replaced the slide plate as one of the springs had come loose. Since receiving the new plate Part No. 313166 and installing it, I cannot get the bobbin to work correctly. At best it stitches, but pulls many strands of thread at the base of the work. Observing it in action it seems that the spring loaded clip that holds the bobbin case in place is stopping the thread from advancing around the bobbin housing. Are there any adjustments that I can make at home? Or do I need more new parts? I have owned this machine since 1985 or 6.

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                      I think your problem is the bobbin class you're using in the machine - the 6268 uses a very specialised bobbin - the Centour II, and while class 66 (and some badly milled 15J or K class) bobbin WILL seem to fit, the use of them WILL cause the very problem that had you replacing the original plate, and your current problem (thread catching on springs).

                      You need to be sure you're using the Centour II bobbin class, or a bobbin marked specifically for your 6268.

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                      I have a new to me Singer 237 sewing machine from the 60s. After having trouble with the light we took it apart to find some kind of wax ring in the parts inside the lamp. The wax was preventing contact to the poles. Where do I find a replacement?

                      Also, the needle in this machine rides close to the front of the hole in the pressure plate. It isn't actually striking it, but close. Is there a way to adjust it back half a millimeter? I love the machine, it sews beautifully, but I'd like to put a larger needle in it.

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                        You can find vintage Singer parts (at very reasonable prices, and no, I don't work for the owner:) and loads of information on vintage Singers if you'll click this link:

                        http://www.tandtrepair.com/

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                        So I was sewing and the thread got bunched up, the bobbin case or basket had moved. I don't know what to do, I'm super new to sewing and I'm not sure what I'm doing.
                        It looks like the basket has tuned just a bit and the whole machine is stuck. I tried to remove the basket, but it won't budge and I don't want to forced anything.

                        view of bobbin
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                          I agree with Frugal Sunnie. It is likely a piece of thread stuck in there. I don't suppose you have a friend who is an experienced sewer who could look at your machine for you? I guess not, or you would have asked her instead of asking for hints online!! If you did, I would have her check it out if you didn't find the thread yourself, before you take it in to get fixed.

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                          The top thread on my machine will not catch. I was initially having an issue with the bobbin thread not catching on the hook. Now, the top thread will not stitch correctly. When I change the type of stitch I want to do (i.e., zig zag) the needle moves side to side as if doing the zig zag, but does not make the stitch.

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                            Here's a free download of your user guide from the Singer website:

                            http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/546_7463_efs.pdf

                            Although I do quite a bit of repair and refurb on Singers, I have no experience with the computerised models - go through the manual and be sure you're using the correct settings (there can be several for each stitch wanted). If none of that helps, it's time for a visit to the Singer factory trained repair tech.

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                            I'm new here and hoping for some help or guidance. I have just bought a Singer 99k. I think it's a Simanco 33663. I've given the machine a good cleaning and oil, I'm happy with how it's cleaned up, all seems well apart from something that should be happening with the bobbin thread.

                            When I attempt to sew, the top thread does just what it should in respect that it goes around the bobbin case and pulls up the bobbin thread. So far so good. :o)
                            But then when I attempt a few stitches all I get is the top cotton in place, (these stitches pop out because they are not anchored.) There's no sign of the bobbin thread :o( I've read some trouble shooting threads and used a new needle and adjusted the bobbin tension.

                            I don't know much about these machines yet and was wondering if it's a timing issue, but given that the top thread collects bobbin thread everytime, I thought maybe timing is OK? I've looked underneath the machine and can see where the metal part catches the top thread and takes it round to the bobbin, but I can't work out which bit might involve connecting the bobbin thread! I thought a vintage machine would be easy to maintain on my own!

                            Any advice would be very much appriciated.
                            Many thanks in advance :o)

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                              You can take the machine to a repair tech - it's the bobbin gear (or the rubber 'belt') and needs to be changed and the repair tech will have access to the part - probably has a tub full of them:) This applies to 99Ks that are hand crank or electrified - the workings are the same on both types. I do a lot of refurb and repair on these here in Scotland for my Sewing 101 students.

                              There is a free download available online for servicing the hand-cranks (99K) and treadles (usually the 66K) if you're feeling adventurous, and spare parts can be purchased once you know the name of the part you need. The first link is for the service manual - be prepared it takes some time to download all of the sections but it's well worth the time! The Tools For Self Reliance charity group refurbishes non-electric vintage machines and then donates the machines to be used by sewing business entrepreneurs - you will be able to download without having to pay, join, or pledge a machine donation but if you are interested, all the info you need is there as well. The manual at the link below is aimed at Singer vintage non-electrics and you will find it fascinating and easy to follow:

                              http://www.tfsr.org/publications/te ... l_information/sewing_machine_manual/

                              This link takes you to a parts supplier - he carries an amazing selection of spares for vintage Singers and is very reasonably priced:

                              http://www.tandtrepair.com/

                              Word of warning - these vintage treasures are addictive!

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                              I have a Singer 6268. The feed dogs are in the down postion and I cannot find where to raise them!

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                              I am trying to get a Singer 99k to run. At first it would not turn at all. After oiling it thoroughly over the course of a few days, I can turn the wheel by hand. I noticed that the wheel does not track evenly, but runs out quite a bit, maybe 3/8", and it is still hard to turn, as though it were binding.

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