Monday, July 9, 2012

Singer 201 tension issues continued

I changed the needle a couple of times.  I even took a picture of the needle to look for a burr or a bend or whatever.  NADA.

I adjusted the bobbin tension looser and that seemed to help some too.  But not enough.  Something was making the bobbin tension tighter or the top tension looser.

 Then just before we had to go to Treadwell for the Stage Coach Run, I wondered about the top tension.  The knob seemed to have a bit more "play" in it than the other machines in the shop (well the few that I checked....a couple of 201s, a 66, a 206, a 301)  so I wondered if the spring was sprung.  It did not look any different from another spring from a 201 but what the heck I switched it out.  Then I put the tension back together and set it a bit tighter.  It was hard comparing the lighter numbered dial to the black one......

but it looked like I had not turned the knob quite tight enough originally.  I held the numbered dial against the spring and turned the knob tighter before I  released the dial.  I set it at 6 and the bobbin tension was fine.  The top was a bit tight.  I finally inched it down to 4 1/2 and it seemed ok by then .  Even at top speed.  So who knows what was really wrong?  I did not take the bobbin case out again.  It is a ROYAL PITA in the 201 though I am getting good at it.  THANK YOU RAIN.

The machine seems to sew just fine now.  I will try it out again and see if it is holding true.  But I think the Centennial has to go........I can only have one 201-2 in the house. ...... 

Now, folks I am off to the shop again.  I bought a new toggle switch at the Hardware store today during my lunch break (yes I should have been doing charts, but a sewing machine addict has to do what she has to do) and I am dying to see if it will fit.  


  1. Have you ever heard of this? If you are using a spool of thread, there is one end that has a slit to hold the end of the thread. If you put the slit at the top when putting the spool on, the thread can't catch in it and 'spin' the spool, or 'jerk' the thread. Usually the slit is on the end of the spool that has the bar code on the label.

    Also, did you check your bobbin? Is it bent or rusty, or deformed in any way?

    Hopefully it was just a 'fluke'.

    1. Brand new bobbin newly wound with white thread. No slit on the spool. I did forget to mention all that. thanks

  2. My 1936 201 treadle isn't happy with new bobbins,he only likes vintage bobbins, usually the hole in the bobbin is too small to fit the bobbin winder.
    When I first got my 201 I had constant tension problems and the whole tension assembly would just fall off the machine.
    I discovered that the screw that holds it on from the back wasn't an original and a hair too short.I finally I took it out of the cabinet and we went to the OSMG(old sewing machine guy/gal); he just happened to have the proper screw. Yippee!!! No more tension problems. My OSMG is about 80 yrs old, he's taught his grandson how to work on the old Singers that come in to the store. I once took the bobbin case out....oh my that was a bad idea, thought I'd never get it back together again.

  3. I know what you mean about the bobbin case. I almost had a heart attack when I took mine out to clean and couldn't get it back in! But I kept on trying and finally got it . And so it goes.