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Repairing a Nelco Sewing Machine

These vintage machines imported in the late 1950s from Japan were well made and can still be found stitching away in many homes. This is a guide about repairing a Nelco sewing machine.


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By 0 found this helpful
November 29, 2016

I have a Nelco sam3b-3 machine. When the reverse button is pushed in, it will sew in reverse. However when released, the machine will not return to forward sewing. I can manually fix the problem inside the machine to make it return to forward sewing.


January 20, 20170 found this helpful
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This site seems to have the manual for these machines: http://www.sewi  anuals/Nelco.htm

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April 15, 20150 found this helpful

I have a Nelco Ultra Buttonhole that is frozen. This machine belonged to my mother. She was a seamstress and used this machine for years. I don't know how or what happened to the machine but nothing will move. The motor runs fine when disengaged.


By Jerry from Belfair, WA


April 16, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

You need to take this machine to a qualified repair tech - don't take it apart any farther than you already have and be sure you get all the parts to the tech or he/she will have to charge you to replace the missing parts.

I do vintage machine repair here in Scotland for my Sewing 101 students. I can't see anything wrong with your mum's machine from the photo you've posted - because the problem is inside, under the head cover.

More than likely the silicone on one of the gears has dried and cracked but without getting the cover off and being able to see the machine up close and in person I can't be sure.

Please. Save this gracious elder stateswoman of sewing and get her to a trained repair tech who has the skills, tools, and access to parts needed to keep your machine sewing.

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March 2, 20150 found this helpful

I want to change the belt on a Nelco A-509-3 sewing machine I picked up at a thrift store. After cleaning it up, I was able to wind a bobbin, beautifully by the way, I have the bobbin winder back in the proper position. I threaded the machine, but when I try to sew on it, it moves very slowly even with my foot all the way down on the pedal.


I'm thinking that the belt might be slipping if it's dried out. The belt is encased inside the side of the machine and I can get the side partially off, but there is a button on that side for turning on the light. I do have a manual for it and there is nothing about replacing the belt. Thanks.

By Suzan


March 8, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm not familiar with that make and model but after several years of doing vintage sewing machines (mainly Singers) I've learned if the user manual doesn't show the user how to do something it means the user shouldn't try to do it.

Take the machine to a qualified repair tech. Please.

A repair tech has the tools and knowledge to change that belt for you in under ten minutes. More importantly, the repair tech will know if the sluggishness of the machine is indeed the belt at all - thereby possibly saving you some fret and money - instead of randomly changing parts, by going straight to the problem, solving it, and getting your machine back to sewing, your repair bill will be lighter.

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October 28, 20140 found this helpful

Why won't the stitch length dial/knob from my "Nelco Sierra 234F" sewing machine move?

By Olga


November 1, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

We have the exact same model and problem. I (husband) fixed it by gently moving the nob with a plumber's wrench protecting it with a rubber thingy to open jars - not elegant but it works!


Now my wife will need a plumber's wrench in her sewing kit :-)

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