Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tale of Two (or Three) Singer 237's

It was a Singer 237 kind of a week. I'm not sure what that means but I did have several 237's on the worktable. I a previous post I wrote about picking up a Singer 237 and I got a call from Becky who was interested in two of my "Learn to Sew" machines, a Singer 514 and 237. She talked about buying both but really liked the 237 so asked if I had another one. Sure did, the one in a cabinet I brought home two days earlier. Cabinets can be a problem and for Becky this was a deal breaker: she wanted portable. Feeling confident at that moment, I said I would find a case and she could have the cabinet 237 as a portable. I don't know why I said that because I didn't have a Singer case that would fit and now I needed to find one. If I did get one via Ebay, the shipping would be over my price point so I checked Craigslist and, sure enough, there was a Singer 237 that had languished for a month, just waiting for me! I had to drive 30 minutes to pick it up but there were other errands to run so I didn't mind.

Tackling the Singer 237 in the cabinet first, it gave me all kinds of problems. The bobbin case didn't seem to be right so I tried a spare one but that didn't solve anything. I went back to the original one and tried to adjust the tension by its tiny tension screw but it ended up falling off. When I say tiny, this is almost the smallest screw in sewing machine land. I couldn't find it on the table top, the floor, inside the machine...back to the spare bobbin case but now it was even worse. Upon closer examination it didn't seem to be a tight fit so I opened up the portable Singer 237 I just brought home to see if there was as much play in the race. Not only did it fit tighter, the one I was working on had a different hinge. While I was going back and forth between these two machines, I jostled the one on the table and surprise a tiny screw fell out of the hinge mechanism. That's right, the lost screw from the bobbin case. When it fell out of the case earlier it lodged into the hinge and kept it from closing. Now we were back in business.

It was great to have both machines to work on, compare their parts, speed, and sound. The portable 237 stitched great but the motor was really, really loud. Something had to be wrong. We set both machines on the table and went back and forth:

Twin Singer 237's
As it turned out, the motor casing needed to be tightened down. There were several screws that seemed to be tight but were not, according to my husband who got them REALLY tight. Holding the motor in my hands, it sounded much better. When put back on the machine, though, it needed to be adjusted with the belt so it wasn't too tight (lack of speed) or too loose (loud vibration):
Large screw of left adjusts the height of the motor
Going back to the cabinet model, it didn't seem to have the speed of the portable so the belt was adjusted and she picked right up, sounding just as full of pep as the portable. The cabinet model was put back in it's very nice wood cabinet after one of the hinges was reinforced and the portable got a zip-lock bag of accessories. Becky was notified that her second Singer 237 was ready for pick-up. This was a good exercise that was shortened because I had twin models to compare but it was just fun, too. I have other twins in my collection and have considered selling them as twins: after all, this is the home of the Minnesota Twins.

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