Sunday, September 11, 2011

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

Once the hook is back in the machine, it is time to time the needle and the hook.  The adjuster's manual gives great instructions for how to do this.  It can be found in the files section of the yahoo group We Fix It.  It is also easier to do this with the presser bar out of the way because it is easier to see the needle and the hook.  You can see that I did not time the machine before I put the presser bar back in.
Timing marks
Timing gauge

Place a fresh, unused needle in the machine.  Turn the handwheel toward you so that the needle is in DROP DEAD CENTER.  At this position the top timing mark should be at the top of the timing gauge. 

Turn the handwheel toward you until the bottom timing mark is at the top of the timing gauge. 

At this point, if the machine is timed correctly, the hook should be just behind the needle.

If the hook is not in proper position, rotate it so that it is.  This is why we left the screw loose in the OHS (Oscillating Horizontal Shuttle ) crank.  Once you have the hook directly behind the needle with the timing mark in the proper place on the gauge, tighten the screw in the OHS crank

I do tend to do this with the machine on its side so that I have the best access to the screw in the OHS crank.
This process does take patience and it does require very minute adjustments.  Keep the screw loose enough so that you can rotate the hook, but not so loose that it requires a lot of effort to tighten it.  If you jostle it too much you could disturb your position of the hook and the needle.  It might take multiple tries but I manage to do it and I am not a professional (sewing machine mechanic, that is)

So that's timing the hook of a Singer 66.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I just got a Singer 66 at a garage sale, and it wouldn't take up the bobbin thread. Thanks to your post, I realized the hook was the problem. It not perfect yet-but it actually catches the thread now!


  2. Thank you so much! I was frantically trying to get a 99K13 ready as a Christmas present and found this. I got it right on the first try and it stitches perfectly now!

  3. Thank-you! I recently inherited my grandmom's 66-16 and was having some difficulty getting it to work.

  4. thank you so so much. i never thought i would be able to get my poor 66 to pick up the bobbin thread, your my hero.

    1. I have a model 66 with no timing marks. I mean nothing. I eyeballed the position of the needle in relation to the hook when slightly past bottoming out and it looks close. I'm stumped.

  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Without this my beautiful singer would just be a decoration in my home. Now it is a functional and very useful item in my home. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  6. I am resurrecting an ancient Singer 66 that was given to me. So far your site has walked me through all the steps and I can't even begin to tell you how helpful it has been! My next project is timing, which scared me until I read your page. I'm going to wait until the kids are in bed (or gone to school, when I'm not as tired), hoping a quiet house will let me concentrate and do it right. I really appreciate the information and photos. Thank you!

  7. Hi. I have a 66K with no timing marks. It only has either a part or serial number stamped where your timing marks are. Any suggestions or should I just take an educated guess

  8. As the last entry was submitted in June I'm guessing that you have worked it out by now but if not try this (The 66k that was'out' but luckily enough I had a 1925 model that did and had already been timed. The distance between the two timing marks is 3/16 of an inch and the needle point at its highest point 9/16 of an inch above the bed. This was my starting point. If the needle bar is out go to and follow instructions for adjusting needle bar. When this is correct turn the handwheel towards you until the needle bar is in its very lowest position then turn again so the needle bar rises by 3/16''. The needle should be in the correct position to time the hook as per instructions above.