Monday, May 21, 2012

This one is for Betty. Singer 221 Motor

I had an email from a very nice lady in Maine about her Featherweight.  She had some questions about the wires to the motor.  I suggested that she take the motor off to inspect the wires.  I assured her she could do it and promised that I would post photos of how I did this tonight.  Here they are.

First I took off the bottom by unscrewing the thumb nut

This revealed the bottom and the wires.  Whoa  this bottom is wet.  Guess I had better clean it up some.  Clearly I used too much oil.  Good thing I am doing this.....I have circled the motor wires clamp.  I loosened  this.
 I released the motor from the base of the machine first thing. But I think that you could wait and do that last.  It flopped around a bit when I was messing with the wires on the bottom of the machine. I unscrewed the motor position screw all the way and removed the motor from the machine

And then put that screw right back in its hole on the motor.

I then freed up Mr Three Pin Terminal

And released the motor wires from it.  The nuts on the back of Mr. TPT did not release all that easily by hand.  I gently loosened them with a pair of small pliers wrapped in leather.  The motor is connected to terminals 2 and 3.  The red lead goes to  #3.  You can almost see the red thread in the cloth cover of the motor lead here.  Almost.  And oh my, I guess that is glue holding Mr. TPT together, now isn't it?  Oh the things you learn about the machine.  I wonder how that broke?

Once the leads were released from Mr. TPT, I put him back in place.  I hate losing parts.   I did remove the motor clamp completely at this point and stretched the motor leads out gently.

 Then I gently maneuvered  the leads through the hole in the base of the machine. I pulled one through at a time.  Since #2 is slightly shorter, this worked out ok.  I was VERY gentle.  I did not want to hurt these 60 year old wires.

 I put the motor wire clamp back in its place and put the bottom back on the machine.  I did check one of the brushes.  It looks ok.  But peering into the brush holder I could see that the commutator is kind of dirty.

I  guess I can service it on Wednesday.  The #2 motor lead has some exposed wire on its end.  I think that is ok since it doesn't touch anything else on Mr TPT.  When I put the thing back together I will double check.

This whole operation took me less than 30 minutes.  I am not an expert.  This is simply how I got the motor off of this machine.  I realize, as well, that this post is very similar to a previous post.  But I wanted to go through this process, step by step for Betty, in Maine.  She is up there trying to figure these machines out solo.  I, at least, have Betsy and had the chance to take the Ray White class.  So any help I can offer, I am glad to.


  1. Thanks for the clear pictures and commentary. I have learned so much. Especially about my abandoned 221 found on Craigslist for $40 and her restoration.

    Howard in Rockford,IL

  2. Great post and photos, very clear and easy to follow. I now have two non-functional FWs and will find this valuable when I get around to tinkering with them.
    Cheryl Warren

  3. My children really hate that the Internet feeds into my addiction. But I bought a 221 and after cleaning it up she sewed beautifully. I can't thank you enough for the clear and concise instructions/photos you provide. I no longer build and repair computers, vintage sewing machines have become my new passion.

    1. Oh but there is money in computer repair !!!! Somehow the "s" key on my MacBook Pro fixed itself. I wish that would happen to the 401 I was working on today!!!!! It is a great passion. We are lucky to have found it...

  4. hello! O lord! There are others out there like me! I have 12 sewing machines and am buying another one today! I'm so glad I'm not alone.

    1. Oh No. YOu are not alone. Not at all.