Sunday, November 6, 2011

The 206K

I had really messed up this machine.  I found out just how much today when I got it out to work on it.  I had an idea that it was all messed up yesterday at class.   I had to adjust the needle position on the 401 so I put this one away yesterday in order to work on that.

So after unpacking and rearranging the shop so I can get some heat in there, I got out this poor 206K.
I am not fond of this machine.  I see it as a challenge to fix it and get it stitching.  I probably will hang on to it, though.  It is Singer's first attempt at zz.  It is in a class with the 306 and 319.  They all have that big knob on the arm near the pillar. They all are front loaders, meaning the bobbin case loads from the front. I find it difficult to do and a disagreeable part of using the machine. The 306 has flat cams that allows it to do decorative stitches as well.  The 319 has built in decorative stitches and flat cams.  They all take an odd ball sized needle the 206/13 which is slightly shorter than the standard sewing machine needle. The 130/705 is the standard needle and it fits almost all sewing machines.  The 206/13 does not come in a twin needle anymore so the twin needle capability on the 306 and 319 is now obsolete.   . 
You can see that the 206/13 is a bit shorter.  Some people have changed the timing on these machines to accept the 15 needle.  I won't do that.  It is not the way the machine was designed.

Today when I got the machine out there were several things wrong.  The hook timing was way off, the needle bar did not move in concert with the needle bar position knob.  It was all gummed up and dirty.

So starting with the sage advised from Ray White, I lubricated the machine and got everything moving pretty well.  The needle bar did not move easily side to side and I applied heat and lubrication.  But it still would not shift when I moved the needle position lever.  So, I traced back from the needle bar and up,looking for screws that might allow me to make an adjustment.
I got this far
That screw would not let me adjust anything but I looked at the back of this and found this:

Now when I found it, there was no screw there.  You see that the screw has to be there to clamp down on that slot and tighten that connection.  That is what fixed that probelm.  Now when I shift the needle position lever, the needle changes position, just as designed.  Well, almost.  The needle goes to far, because I altered the adjustment when I was trying to figure out how to get that old part out.  I took the back plate off of the machine and discovered this:

I guess someone else had been in there as well.  you can see that the screw it a bit buggered up. 
Well that, as it turns out, is an adjustment, for the pendulum swing of the needle, I am pretty sure.  I am also pretty sure that I totally messed that up when I was trying to figure out how to get the ol broken piece out. I had removed all these parts and put them back together.  At class, Ray saw me get out the new part and his eyes lit up.  Not as much as when I took out the new gear assembly for the cams for the 158.84 (another story).  But light up they did.  He claimed to be unfamiliar with the 206 but he took one look at the new part
Arrows point to the impression made by the set screws.
 and said "  It looks like there must be some set screws....., yes there they are."
You can see then better on this beige 306.  Same place on the 206.  I popped those out and the broken piece came out.  Thanks to all of the triflow  I had applied trying to get it out the other way.  I call that an I d ten T error  (ID10T).  None the less, it did slide out. 

I did manage to get the new one in, but I had to dissamble the adjustment nut from the eccentric and fork on the back, get the nut that belongs in the end of the new piece and put it all back together.  That threw the needle swing WAY out.

I am sorry that there is no needle here for you to see.  Just trace down to the needle plate and you will see what I mean.  This is supposed to be needle far left.  If there were a needle in there, it would hit the foot.  Those 206 needles are not cheap so I took the needle out to do all the futzing around.

And the next futzing around I had to do was with the hook.

That is for another post.


  1. Elizabeth, it has been 5 years and I am very curious about the fate of this poor machine.

    1. Yup. Might be time to just finish that project. I guess I will dig out the machine sometime soon.