Kenmore Sewing Machine Stitch Knob Stuck

My Kenmore sewing machine 158 14300, selector knob for stitches and also the feed dog lever to lower them is stuck. I just got it at a thrift store. It seems like it is brand new, but from the 1970s? It sews a straight stitch very well now. I don't think the person who had it used it much? I've oiled it in a lot of areas even around the selector knob area. I guess its been sitting too long not being used? What can I do?


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March 25, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

If it is sewing a good straight stitch but has these other issues, you got a real bargain - now take this vintage sewing machine to a qualified repair tech and have the machine checked over for worn gears (what I suspect is causing your issues) and a general servicing.

Kenmore machines (like Singers) were built to last even in the 70s when parts began to be milled from plastics (including silicone) - it would be well worth the cost of the servicing and check-over as most of the Kenmore parts for these vintage machines are still being 'new milled' and the repair tech won't have to use salvage parts to get your machine fully functional.

I live in the UK now but spent many happy years sewing on Kenmores whilst living in the US. I do repair-refurb on vintage machines and teach sewing 101 here in Scotland. Unfortunately many of the Singer parts are no longer new milled so I try to steer my students towards new machines to avoid constant breakdown disappointment, but that parts sourcing isn't a problem for the Kenmore machines.

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March 25, 20160 found this helpful

Thank You for your advice I'll look into it. I'm looking for advice on servicing myself not by a service person as they charge an arm & a leg I live in Canada.

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March 27, 20160 found this helpful

The only reason home servicing isn't feasible is the need and cost of model/range specific service manuals. Wowser are those eye-wateringly costly! One of mine cost over £700 (insert hugely shocked face here!).


At the time I bought it I was a long-divorced empty-nester mum needing a small business on the side to make ends meet (uni fees for the two now grown children), so to me the investment was (cough, gasp) worth it. I will say the manual has paid for itself but it took a few years:)

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September 7, 20160 found this helpful

A wonderful reply! I was going to suggest giving the dealer as much money as he/she wants. I could NOT sew without my manual!!!!

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