Monday, March 26, 2012

Sews through 12 layers of DENIM...WITH EASE!!!!

So sellers on eBay proclaim.  Or better yet, SEWS THROUGH  LEATHER.  The 201 is a strong machine and, indeed, it can sew through leather and many layers of denim.  But not day in and day out.  Still, it is what sells machines.  So sellers will continue to brag about all those layers.

I have four 201s and I really wanted to get another one stitching today.  This one, being the one with the best wiring, seemed like the best candidate.  I took the motor off the machine and serviced it first.  It was not in terrible shape and the wires were fine.  I decided against replacing the motor leads after I inspected them.  Less work.

I thought that I would replace the brushes as long as I had the motor opened but when I compared the new brushes to the old, I saw absolutely no advantage to doing so.

I cleaned up the commutator
and the grease tubes and the worm and the housing itself and popped the whole thing back together.

I had some difficulty getting the flat on the shaft of the armature to line up with the screw of the worm but finally lucked out. 

I then cleaned the presser bar and needle bar
The bobbin area was VERY RATTLY so I took a look in there.

The bobbin case was loose.  I could see that the finger of the bobbin case was not secure in the position bracket.  I tried to afix the bobbin case but instead the bobbin case ring and bobbin case just came out.  I thought I was missing the spring, but consultation with another 201 in stock proved that it was there.  It was just very loose.

I managed to tighten it so that the bobbin case would stay put.  But when I tried to replace the bobbin case position bracket, it broke.
 Well, I was BUMMED.  I think that because the bobbin case was not positioned correctly, it kept hitting this piece, weakening it..  I spent all that time on the motor and now I had a piece that was broken.  Time for lunch.

I decided to look over the other two 201s that I have and see which one looks the best and switch over the motor to it.  Neither looked better than the other so I took the one with the less bad motor, thinking I would switch motors back once I had the other one re-wired and had a new position bracket.

So I set to installing the motor.  I really wanted to hear what it sounded like.  In retrospect, I wish I had just set to cleaning the machine.  Mucking around with the motor on the machine was cumbersome.

But it sounded very sweet and strong, though I could hear some protesting somewhere.  So I set to looking around

All the gears were dry dry dry.  So dry there was no evidence of flung off grease in the gear caps
I greased them and oiled corresponding oil ports and where metal rubbed against metal.

Then I took a look around front.  CRAP.
The bobbin case and hook area were worse.  I should have realized this because I took the needle plate off of this machine when I was "consulting" with it earlier.  The feed dogs were loaded.
I cleaned that all up and then cleaned the tension assembly.

No adjustments necessary.  This machine sailed right through denim, again and again and again.  I got up to 8 layers, just by folding it over and over.  It would not do 16 layers.  Nope.  But 12, yes it did.
AE313680 ABOUT 1936


  1. So once again no injury, just routine COA. How do you luck into these things over and over again?

    1. Well, I don't know, I think that the loose bobbin case ring spring is injury. I may have to take out the hook to fix that. And the broken position bracket cost me ten bucks plus shipping. Oh and I forgot, the bobbin case is missing a tiny little screw.

      And a COA can be TIME CONSUMING

  2. I love the 201. But I am always puzzled at people who need to sew so many layers...I have sewn backpacks, boat covers, tents, garments, quilts....I have never need to sew 12 layers of anything, ever! Oh well, I guess it is the same syndrome that causes all these city dwellers to drive 4 wheel drive cars...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Too many typos in the last reply

      City dwellers driving urban assault vehicles; power and status. Sewing through many layers; proving a nonsense point.
      I did, though, have a Wal-Mart special once that barely sewed through two layers. Perhaps eBay sellers are trying to make that point. Who knows?

  3. Hi everyone!

    Thanks for this blog! Just my grain of salt, but: jeans hems, flat felled seams: 4 layers for the FFS * 3 layers of hem = 12 layers of jeans, right?