Monday, March 11, 2013

Singer 201-3 transformed to a treadle

We had a beautiful warm March day today.  The snow that fell mid week has melted, almost completely.  The sap was running and  I half expected to see a robin or two.  Spring was in the air.

After I cleaned up the dog yard (you know what shows up after snow melts, and there was a whole lot of it) I set to work on the Singer 201-3 Centennial that I found when I was in NC in February.

You all know that I love 201s.  Though I am rather sick of them.  The bobbin case is a PITA to remove because the retaining ring is tricky to get out and back in.  For more information on that process go here   The potted motor on the 201-2s (common around here) almost always needs re-wiring.   A rewarding, though tedious task, IMHO.

This one is a 201-3; external motor.  No need for a motor when treadling.  I ditched it.  But I still had to service the thing. 
This treadle stand is the one that I rescued last summer.  It was in terrible shape.  I see that I must shim up the front piece so that it sits flush with the machine.  More to do.  Later, much later.

The belt is way too tight on this machine.  I ordered the coil spring belt tonight from McMaster Carr.  Once it comes I can set up one treadle stand for many machines.  I tried this machine in each of the four treadle stands that I have.  Each belt was too tight.  Even this one, that usually houses the 237.

Even thought the belts were all too tight, I did manage to stitch with this machine on the treadle out in the shop.   It makes a lovely stitch.  I was hoping to make something tonight but the belt is just too tight.  I could go out to the cold, lonely shop and treadle on the stand out there.  Instead I will sip wine, cuddle with poodles and tell you all about my day.

I took the hand wheel and the face plate off.  Then I took the slide plate off to expose the bobbin and race.

OOOOH LA LA .  CRUD and DUST every where.
I took the bobbin out to discover a piece of thread caught up in the bobbin case and around the hook

I was sure that I would have to take the hook out to get at this, but turns out, my dental pick lifted it right out.  I admit, I was disappointed.  I was up for the challenge.

I took the needle plate off and removed the feed dogs  next. 
Then I removed the retaining clip and the bobbin case. 
Which exposed a boat load of dirt and grime and lint and FUN !!! 
I knew I would need to get the hook out to do a proper job of cleaning. I removed the position bracket to get at the hook.  But the screw would not budge.  So I dropped some Tri Flow onto the screw and applied some heat with the hair dryer.  I put some more oil on and then left it.  I believe in the tincture of time.

While time was doing its thing with the hook screw, I next serviced the gears. The shuttle gears are harder to get to.  I cleaned them all up with a toothbrush and Kerosene the applied the Triflow grease by reaching up and around with the curved syringe.   It isn't exactly precise, but it worked.  That thread was just sitting there.  I still wonder how it got in there behind the gear cups (which are not shown in this photo)
The back gears are easier to access.  I gave them the same cleaning treatment.  After brushing with Kerosene, I applied some vaseline as well which I then wiped off.  Finally I applied a thin strip of Tri Flow grease and turned the handwheel to distribute it. 
See how it gobs up?  I just took that gob and put it on the gears and turned the hand wheel again.

Then I put the gear cups back on and cleaned up the bottom.
By now the hook screw was ready.

Next post, I promise.


  1. Wonderful photos and description! Can't wait until I get my treadle on Friday. Even though I have to drive 1 1/2 hours from Buffalo. I hope I can clean my machine as good as this. I hope the machine works. Your description is very understandable and instructive. Thanks!

    1. I can't wait to find out if that treadle you are fetching is a 115! Let me know!

  2. Replies
    1. Singer 115. Full Rotary shuttle.