Friday, September 9, 2011

How to service and clean a Singer 66... the hook



 Let’s remove the hook and clean and lubricate  the feed raising bar rollers. I first learned about the feed raising bar roller  on the Yahoo group vintage singers.   The instructions are quite clear and easy to follow.  It is not necessary to remove the hook to do this job.  Access to this area is better, though, if you do this job and the hook removal at the same time.

Turn the machine on it’s side and  locate the screw that holds one of the feed raising bar rollers in place.  It is a big one.

Remove this screw.  The feed raising bar roller will come out if you wiggle and jiggle it.  You may need to turn the handwheel to get enough clearance.  Keep working it, it will come out.  JUST DON”T FORCE ANYTHING

In this photo you can see that I have freed it up and it is ready to come out.

Here is one of the rollers.  Surprisingly it moved freely and only required some cleaning and oiling.  I did use alcohol and then blew it dry with the hair dryer. I applied some Tri Flow right away and turned that roller 163 times to be sure that it was well lubricated.

This photo shows the other roller.  It is the only clean and shiny thing in this picture.  I do not remove this one.  I check it and make sure that it rolls easily.  I admit to cleaning this off with alcohol too.  I use a tooth brush dipped in alcohol to clean this and hold a rag underneath the part to prevent spray from the toothbrush reaching the bed of the machine.  Then I apply Tri flow (shake that Tri flow) and turn this  87 times.  Since it is harder to get to and harder to turn I don't turn it as much.

These rollers are subject to getting gunked up and "frozen."  If they don't roll, the machine will work but the roller will wear and have a flat spot on it.  Neither of these rollers had worn to that degree.


But if you feel adventuresome and your machine is filthy and full of grit, then come along. 

Now for the hook removal  Turn the machine, still on its side, so that you can look at it from the end.  Find the screw that holds the hook mechanism in place.

This screw can be accessed from this position.  I wanted to clean all of these parts so I chose to dis-assemble this whole mechanism for cleaning.  So I waited until I had removed some other pieces before I actually loosened this screw.  It is important to realize that this screw is accessible because this is the screw that we will loosen and tighten when we time the hook.  Oh Boy.  (I will not take responsibility for the damage to this screw.  I will put that on some OSMG)

Loosen and remove this screw.  Here you can see that it is almost out.  When this screw comes out the other end of this piece will come off as well.  I put these pieces in the ice cube tray with a little bit of degreaser to start soaking.

 See the hook screw just behind this piece to the left in the photo. (Gotta get photo shop software if I do this again)

Now you can see how much more accessible that hook screw is.  Loosen it and remove it

All these parts flop around  without their mutual supporting structures.  Be careful.  Don't turn the handwheel when these parts are in this precarious state.  If you must turn the handwheel reposition the parts so that they don't bind things up.

The hook did not lift out easily ( 80 plus years of oil and dirt held it pretty tight).  I tapped gently on the bottom of the hook to free it up.  I love my rubber mallet for just this application.  It’s all about the tools.  Just the same I had to apply LW from the top and the bottom and twist the hook around in its casing to get it up and out of there.

Here you can see that it has loosened and is moving up.  Don't lose that little piece from which you took the screw.  It will fall off once the hook is lifted up and out.

The pencil is pointing to the end of the hook stripped of that little part in the photo above.

Hook emerging as seen from the top of the machine

Hook out.  I still am amazed that this machine stitched at all. Check out all that lint.  The whole bobbin area and hook area were caked with this stuff.  Imagine a 401 stitching  with all that lint build up.

Now it is time to clean all these parts.  I use a degreaser that I found at the hardware store.  I scrub each part and then rinse with rubbing alcohol and dry with the hair dryer on low.  Each cleaned piece goes into a clean container.  Inevitably, despite my best efforts, an extra screw pops up during this whole process.  I never panic when that happens.  I know that eventually I will figure it out.  Save yourself some stress, just the same, and keep your screws together with their corresponding pieces unless the screw is back in the machine.

Next time: tension assembly

read the comments.  Luis has a Singer 66 and has broken the part number 8302  I looked up on my downloads and found the schematic of the parts;


You can see part number 8203  above.  I think it must pass through the pillar.  Luis mentioned trying to solder it.  if it is broken clear through he will need a new one, I think.  Good luck Luis.


  1. Hi Elizabeth!

    I followed the link you posted on the wefixit group. I was curious about the blog and the machine. The machine looks fantastic. The blog is wonderful. Keep up the good work and we will all benefit from these educational exercises. Thanks!!


  2. Hi Elizabeth. This is a very interesting blog to me, because I like the vintage sewing machines. I'm trying to restore a singer "66" from 1928 that I bought in a junk depot, but sadly I broke the 8203 part :(. did you ever had fully disassembled a singer 66?

    1. HI Luis
      I am sorry that you broke that part. I have never fully disassembled a Singer 66. I am not that brave. Good luck.

    2. Hi again, let me tell you that I finally got my singer 66 fully disassembled, it was very hard and it's gonna be harder to reassembled. I broke one part, but I think that I can get one with an antique dealer, or, if I can't get it, maybe I can solder it. You should to take a look to my machine's parts, I cleaned them with hot water and dish soap and they look very nice. Well, there's still a lot of work to do. Wish me good luck.

    3. I tried cleaning an old and fully jammed 1920 Singer 66 without any disassembly. Got some success and posted a youtube video too for others who may get some benefit out of it.

  3. Thanks so much for this tutorial, it is fabulous and was a huge help in the restoration of my 1927 Singer 66 that I've named Freddie Mae, after it's first owner. Hope you don't mind, but this was too great not to share, so I put a link to this post from a couple of posts on my blog, "The Elusive Bobbin". I love seeing all the machines you've worked on. Thanks for the amazing job you do.

  4. hi luis id love to hear how the arm rocker shaft disasembly and re assembly went... i broke the same part on my 66 and finnally gave in and dropped a 19 in my treadle for now.... i dont want to give up on this machine though.. yet cant find anything about replacing this part. any help? Part number 8203 (the arm rocker shaft)

  5. Thank you for amazing instructions. I was able to identify the issue with my Singer. Piece 32529 and 32594 are stuck at an angle and will not separate. I soaked the pieces in LW and oiled with all purpose machine oil and tried to pry it open or shut with wrenches and it will not budge. Any pointers on what I can buy to get these pieces rotating freely?