Sunday, April 20, 2014


The very first vintage sewing machine that I bought, came home in its cabinet.  I just hoisted the whole kit n kaboodle into the back of the van.  I was unaware that the head could easily pop out of the cabinet.  Such activity damaged the cabinet.  I have repaired it but I sure do wish I had known about this in the first place. 
I may have covered this in a previous post but nothing pops up when I search.  I  am not in the mood to scroll through all of my posts so I am providing the information here, again or for the first time.

I am a member of the FB group Vintage Sewing Machines.  There, someone inquired about removing the head of the machine from a cabinet.  I took pictures of the set screws on the  Monty Ward HA-1 I just serviced.  The concept is the same for a cabinet machine.  If there is wiring attaching machine  to the cabinet that wiring will also have to be removed from the machine.  This photo shows the basic concept of set screws in the machine that hold the hinge pins tight.  Tip the machine back, out of the case or the cabinet.  A good flash light helps a whole lot.  Identify the screws in the back of the base of the machine.  Circled in the photo below. 

Loosen the set screws just enough to release the pin.  Don't lose the set screw.  If you do, you can get them from one of the suppliers, or me.  I have some.  Singer set screws are likely proprietary.  I think Singer machined their own screws.  Just to screw us.  (More management training)
When you place the machine back in the case or cabinet, use a rubber band to hold the hinge pins up.  This will allow you to line up the hinge pins with the holes more easily.  Be sure to tighten the set screws completely so that the machine is secure.


  1. It all sounds rather complex (although you did explain it well, it's just my brain). I think I'll just call my friend (who's an expert!!) if I ever need to do that!

  2. The first sewing machine I removed, I unscrewed the hinges. Did not make that mistake again. Much simpler your way.

  3. It's easy but the machines I've done were heavy so I found an extra hand is handy.

    1. That is where the third hand comes in that Bill Holman from the Yahoo groups always mentions. I loosen the set screws and then hook my whole arm under the horizontal part of the machine and heave ho.

  4. "I think Singer machined their own screws. Just to screw us. (More management training) "


  5. Thank you so much for posting this. Gee whiz, I have so much to learn. Baby steps.

  6. Can someone please tell me how to install a White Family Rotary in its cabinet with an automatic lowering mechanism? I mistakenly unscrewed the knob at the right front corner of the machine and accidentally disconnected the "catch" connected to
    a long spring. It apparently keeps the machine head firmly seated along the front edge so it won't fall forward when the cabinet is closed. My problem is that I don't know how to reconnect this arrangement. One can hardly even get to it. What is the path for the spring. Where do the two flanged washers go? How does the spring connect to the vertical latch? Oh, help. Pat

  7. I'm trying to help an elderly neighbor get her ELNA out of the wooden cabinet. There is a wooden paddle or "tongue" that extends under the base and I have tried moving it in both lateral directions to have it release the machine so I can remove it from the wooden cabinet to get it repaired. Any ideas?