Thursday, November 1, 2012

Skipped stitches

Well, I can't produce new stories for the blog while my thumb is splinted.  (I really am surprised at how much it hurts today,  four days post injury).  Instead I will tell the story of the Singer 222.

 We had two machines to service on Saturday.  One was a White Jeans Machine.  The other was the 222.  We started on the Jeans machine.  When we got that pretty clean but had more tension work to do, we gave it a rest and went to the 222.

It was pretty dirty.  The feed dogs were "all stoved up"

And had  a really impressive thread lock

It still had a 'catch' in its action so we were pretty sure that there was debris, if not thread, behind the hook.

We took that off too.
And were rewarded for our efforts:
It was pretty dusty and dirty in there and it still caught.  We wanted to get that plate off of the shaft but the screw was "tight" and had already been "buggered"(you can't see the screw in this photo) up so we gave up on that idea.  That was when I had to leave.
Betsy flushed and flushed that area with oil.  Her compresser was on the fritz so she just kept flushing with oil and finally hooked the motor back up and ran the sucker full tilt Lizzy.  That did it.  What ever was back there was either pulverized to smithereens or flushed out.  I am voting for the flush.

Well, there is only one way the hook will go back on.  We neglected to take note of where the "flat" belonged with relation to the hook so it was a trial and error to get the hook back on.  Then when Betsy stitched it in, it skipped stitches.  She took things out and put them back a few times, convinced that we had done something to the timing.

Finally she gave it up.

On Sunday afternoon she brought both machines over.  By now she was pretty frustrated and ready to just give up on the 222.  "This machine is NOT MY FRIEND. I HATE IT.  I don't EVER want one."

First I switched out the bobbin for a fresh one from my stash.  Honestly when I looked at the one she had been using I was certain that was the problem.  She had not wound a fresh one but had been using one from the case.  The bobbin had a second layer of thread under the layer she was using to stitch test.  (Well, no wonder, I muttered under my breath....)

The stitches didn't get any better with a freshly wound bobbin so I produced a completely DIFFERENT bobbin.  No better.  So then we switched out the bobbin case with one from one of my FW.  Perfect stitches.

Then she looked at the miscreant bobbin case and there, buried along the edge was some lint.  Just enough.

So now the thing stitches very nicely and we can return it to its owner all clean and shiny.

If she wanted to sell it, we would buy it.  But not for market value.  We don't like it that much.  Not now.  Even though, the machine was not at fault.  It was just dirty.


  1. AGAIN, I am amazed at how unafraid you are of digging clear to the bone to find problems. I would have quit before you did. I would have not disassembled the bobbin area like you did. Bravo on your bravery and success in figuring out the problem. I am a chicken. Bawk. Bawk. I hope you charge her accordingly.

    1. It is really rather straight forward removing the hook on a Featherweight. And the manual describes how to remove the bobbin case because these things are NOTORIOUS for thread locks. Nice stitches from a darling machine. I think I can sew on a FW. Gotta try tomorrow.

  2. If given the chance and a low enough price, I'd have bought it to rescue it from someone who left it that lint-filled. Wouldn't you think that the first thing they'd have done when the thread lock hit would have been to clean it? If they bought and it arrived in that condition, then it isn't their fault, but I still think I would have tried to clean it before taking it to be worked on.

    1. Sometimes people just don't know.....

  3. Ha! That's awesome! I just pulled a thread ball even larger than that out of a 301. I bought it after being told "it doesn't work, it's jammed or something". I knew it would live again. The FWs and the 301s are hard to kill permanently. I just wonder how you'd get -that- much thread in there.

    Good on you for showing people that it's not that hard to service these little machines. :)