Monday, May 7, 2012

Vintage White 167


Steven and I went to Albany yesterday to fetch a Singer 328K and a Singer 237.  On the way home  we hit a thrift shop in Cobleskill.  There were three machines for sale.  A Kenmore 120 something.  A newer model Singer and a mystery machine in a "desk."  There were things on top of the "desk" so I asked permission to see it.  The very nice lady told me that it didn't work.  I insisted on seeing it, which set her aback a bit.  I could tell.  The machine had no tension assembly, only the tension stud and check spring were intact.  It was dirty but it did turn over.  I asked if I could buy the machine only and she said "You can take them out?"  So I gave her a little lesson in sewing machine set screws.

I oiled it first thing when I got it home.  The stitch length knob WOULD NOT MOVE.  I applied heat and got it to budge a little.  I pulled the motor out and sprayed Tri flow and put the machine on its side so that the solvent could seep down into the stitch length knob.  Then I left it alone and went to work on the 237.

Sunday I finished up the Stylist.  It does make a gorgeous satin stitch.  I can't wait to sew with it.

Then I set to work on this machine.  It was a challenge.  On that long bed 301 you could see all the sticky"varnish" from congealed oil.  Not on this White.  It took most of the day to just get the stitch length knob freed up.  The zz mechanism was stuck too.  It does have plastic cam for built in decorative stitches.  I cleaned them up the best that I could.  Now they could be nylon. But I don't know how to tell.  Look like plastic to me.

Finally I was able to put my attention to the tension mess.  I had found some parts in the drawer at the shop.  I salvaged them when I took the machine.  But the stop was missing and two of the tension discs were gone. I had one (it is a twin needle machine so would have three discs) but that isn't enough.  The tension release pin was also missing.

I managed to cobble together a tension assembly form various assemblies I had available.  This is a hybrid White Singer assembly.     I learned  the concept of tension assembly and what each part does from Toby Benetti last Wednesday.  Thanks to that lesson I was able to piece together a functioning tension assembly.  And the machine stitches.

The knob is from a 306W I bought at an auction with Betsy last fall.  I didn't realize it was a parts machine then.  Good thing I had it, though.

  The numbered dial is from a tension assembly Betsy salvaged from one of her Singers.  We had used a tiny little set screw from one of my Singers to fix a 401 of hers.  She brought me the whole tension assembly to replace that set screw. 
The stop came from the same assembly.
 The beehive spring was original to the machine.  I found it in the drawer of the "desk"
The tension release plate indicator was also original to this machine.
The tension discs were from a later model White that bit the dust when we tried to re-time it.  I don't think we even noticed that it did not have a check spring!!!
The check spring came from a Singer 66
The tension stud was original.  I used the tension release pin from the Singer assembly. 

I had the original check spring as well, but I buggered it up when I was trying to get the tension stud out.  I released the set screw but that was holding the whole silver jacket in place.  Once I got that out I found the set screw that was holding the check spring in place.

It isn't gorgeous like the original tension assembly was.  BUT it works.  Maybe one day I will find a very cool looking one for this machine....

The machine is not really sure of itself in the straight stitch mode.  There is a bit of a list......I know that it has to do with lubrication.  It is just a question of working it and getting things moving again.  I hope that the automatic button holer works.  I love the way this machine sounds.  It is very quiet and smooth.  Fit and Finish.  That is what these machines are all about.

UPDATE November 16, 2013

A reader wrote asking how to set the machine in straight stitch mode.  Hers is set is zz mode now  Here is a photo with directions.

Loosen Stitch width selector lock 1.  Move stitch width selector 2 all the way to zero.  Set needle position selector, 3, to M .  Set stitch selector (4) to Zig zag.  When the width is set to 0, there will be no zz.  At least that is the way I think it is supposed to be set.  That's what worked for me.  Be sure that the machine is well lubricated and all parts move easily before attempting to move anything.  Don't force it. 

23 comments:

  1. A reader sent me this post, with an email address. I did not want to include the email in the post so here it is, copied and pasted here. It appears under my name as I could not eliminate the address any other way.

    I am new to the world of sewing machines lol, but I really wanted to learn.I went out searching for a sewing machine and came across a White 167 at a garage sale.I have no idea on how to work it, and I am having some difficulties finding the user manual for it,I was wondering if you could give me some information on how to get things started please it would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. I was with my mother when she bought the White 167 brand new. She passed away in 1999. I now have the sewing machine. It has out lasted my singer bought in 1984. The White still sews as good as it ever did. I have the manual. I will be happy to make a copy for you, if I can get an address to mail it to. LHay

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    Replies
    1. You are so kind. I have the manual. It just isn't very useful to me. I can't figure it out!!!

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    2. this is MY lucky day
      ı desperately need the maunel of this modal
      please please
      jansetbaykaldi@yahoo.com
      thanks

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    3. I need it too please send it to joemaniscool@gmail.com

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  3. Here you go!

    http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/1009_white-167-x.pdf

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  4. I found this same model 167 like new with all accessories manual , letter from the White co and the receipt how it was purchased in 1968 with 44 books of S&H Green Stamps! $20 and I can hardly wait to use it

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  5. I was referred to this site from Facebook. I was sewing a kilt (light to medium weight denim) and had gone through *hundreds* of yards of thread with no issues at all. Out of nowhere, the thread started to shred (for lack of a better word). I assumed the the thread tension was too tight for some reason.

    I reduced the tension (apparently too much) and the whole assembly just flew out...knob, plate, spring, release plate and the first disk...ALL OF IT!

    I *think* I have it put back together right (I can't find a repair manual anywhere :'( ), but my machine won't sew more than 8 stitches before the thread shreds and breaks again.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Start over. New needle, new "good" thread, newly wound bobbin with the good thread. Oil the bobbin race. Make sure that the thread path has no burrs on it anywhere. Check your thread guides. Then re thread the machine and if you have the copy of the manual (see comment above by Amanda) you will be able to see how to thread it. This was likely not a tension issue originally. But if the tension assembly is not re-assembled correctly and there is no variability when you turn the knob (don't worry about the numbers, they are arbitrary) then something is amiss.

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  6. I was referred to this site from Facebook. I was sewing a kilt (light to medium weight denim) and had gone through *hundreds* of yards of thread with no issues at all. Out of nowhere, the thread started to shred (for lack of a better word). I assumed the the thread tension was too tight for some reason.

    I reduced the tension (apparently too much) and the whole assembly just flew out...knob, plate, spring, release plate and the first disk...ALL OF IT!

    I *think* I have it put back together right (I can't find a repair manual anywhere :'( ), but my machine won't sew more than 8 stitches before the thread shreds and breaks again.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

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  7. "I" have this machine and use it all the time..."but" I'm having an issue finding the right cord pressure foot to buy.....as I don't know if this model is a low shank or a high shank.....I usually use my machine for "straight" stitching. I've never needed a cord...and since the cord is going to be wire....I don't want to use a zipper foot....please dear help me!!!! lol um you can text me if you'd like as I'm in some what of a hurry! Thanks 5152102716 Michelle I guess I want to know if this machine is low or high shank...I can go from there.

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  8. Dear Michelle

    It is a low shank machine

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  9. I found a beautiful White 167 this past weekend at a garage sale. The owner said that it works and she serviced it little before she stored it and stopped sewing. anyway, question to anyone who can help me - When i tried to sew the thread keeps slipping out of the needle hole (breaking). I have re-threaded the upper thread, bobbin, changed the needle and tried adjusting the tension and the thread still breaks. Any idea/ suggestions what else I can do to fix the problem. This machine is in beautiful condition that i really want to have it working properly.

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    Replies
    1. I would suggest that you start with a new needle. Be sure that you have the presser foot up when you thread the needle. Check the bobbin, bobbin case and hook. Look for lint and dirt. Clean and oil it again. If it has been stored, it might be dirty

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  10. hey!!

    I had the same problem when I got my machine. threading needle from left to right solved my thread slipping out problem. I thought my needle was broken and letting thread slip out. my machine was also completely set up solid especially the thread length control. a couple of hours with a can of product called free and all works fine.

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  11. A "new-to-me" sewing machine arrived at my home yesterday, inside a wooden sewing cabinet. Using Google image search, I matched it to the photo on your blog of the vintage White 167. I look forward to exploring this machine's capabilities, and am glad to have discovered your blog. I am sure it will be invaluable in the pursuit of my goal to better understand and perform basic maintenance upon my sewing machines. Thank you also to commenter Amanda Mosher for posting a link to a manual for the White 167.

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  12. HELP!!! need operating manual for white sewing machine 167 23778 Machine works well but has no manual or parts and I would like very much to use it I do not like trying to guess how to fix it which is what I have been doing so far I now need a manual to continue Help would be greatly appreciated

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    Replies
    1. At the top of the page you will find Resources for Sewing Machine Repair link. There you will find a link to Tias which is a good source for manuals.

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  13. Would it be possible to take a picture of the tension release pin from the inside of the machine. I am not sure why my tension pin is not hitting anything inside and I would like to make sure that I am not missing a part.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry. Not sure that I have this machine anymore

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  14. Pblevins66@yahoo.comJuly 17, 2017 at 7:24 PM

    Help! I inherited this machine from my grandmother and I went to sew on it today on a quilt for my daughter to take to college. Well, when I try to sew a straight stitch it isn't catching the bobbin thread. I don't know what to do about. Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps you have the needle set incorrectly.

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