Saturday, August 30, 2014

Return to Sender

I have never had to return a sewing machine. I might have wanted to but was not able to go back to the garage sale or it was a thrift store with "no returns or exchanges" policy. But now I have a sewing machine that I was initially enthralled with until...

Kenmore 158-16540
...I found out it only goes backwards! Augh! Again? Yes, I seem to be cursed with this syndrome but this time it looks like there is something actually missing. They do have a 14 day return policy at this store and I think since it didn't have any cords or foot controls with it AND it has this fatal flaw, I will be returning it. Sigh.

Sorry for the delay in posting this week but I was rear ended on my way to work and this necessitated a few days of rest (no sewing machines!). I'm fine but my car isn't so we might be spending time car shopping if it gets totaled. So now I finally could spend more time with this sewing machine and found out a few things. There was a switch on the back with plus and minus marks that didn't seem to be working. I took it apart and moved the mechanism, finding I could make some adjustments. This hooked into the reverse mechanism so I hoped it would have some effect. Success! It now stitches forward. It wasn't reading the cam like it should, not following the movement of the cam so the left side of a zig zag was distorted. It also didn't return to zero stitch width from a 4 (widest) setting. Much oil and and application of heat with a hair blow dryer and it moved better but not enough. Best to sleep on it.
Cam in place but not working right
 This morning I couldn't wait to try her out and what-do-you-know overnight the lubrication worked and it now would return from the widest zig zag right down to a zero for straight stitch! The cam mechanism was still a bit slow but in the many times around and my coaxing it to follow, it finally kicked in and moved as it should. Here's a photo of the inside with the zig zager on the left and the cam on the top of the photo:

It stitched very nice with hardly an adjustment to the tension. Success! When I tried other cams it had problems when they had forward and backward action (that stuck in reverse problem again!) but I can continue to work with it. This machine needs a cabinet so I will haul it out to the garage to see which one of the 12 cabinets stored there  would fit best.

So no return to send, another sewing machine was rescued, but where did I get a set of cams for this model? They were the $3 set I got for the Kenmore 158-1980. I know I was pretty excited when I found them but I ended up finding another set for the Kenmore 158-1980 with complete buttonholer and all the feet for only $20 on Ebay. See, it does all work out in the end.

2 comments:

  1. hmmm. I've got a Kenmore 401A that only zigs and won't zag, and forget about any of the other stitches. It's been sitting in dust waiting for me to be motivated to lube and heat and manhandle it some. I thought perhaps when the yard work stops, but this inspires me. Love those old Kenmores!

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    1. I had this happen to another Kenmore that really frustrated me. Do you mean Singer 401A? Those are my all time favorite (as if I could pick just one!).

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