Sunday, June 21, 2015

Feeling a Little Foolish

I was pretty excited to get another Singer 201-2 this week and made a foolish mistake. No cost involved but my time yet that is getting more and more precious. I had been watching a Craigslist ad for this machine but it was located a bit farther away than I was willing to travel so I just kept it as a possibility. Then it was listed at a price I couldn't resist so I emailed the seller. No response. I emailed again the next day. No response. One more time (you know I don't like to give up) and I got an email and text back: she forgot to check her spam box and all of the responses were sent there. Phew! She not only still had the machine but was going to be in my town at 5 pm and could meet me at their doctor's office parking lot. No extra driving!  I got to meet her whole family of 3 kids and a happy husband because a bulky item was moving out. We got the head out of the small cabinet and as it was laid on its back she noticed the light bulb was burnt out. That didn't bother me but she had listed it was having electrical problems: maybe it wasn't electrical but just a burnt out bulb? Maybe. The bobbin slide plate was missing but she had it at home and could drop it off on Friday. That was good because they are pricey: $20-30.
Singer 201-2 all cleaned up
When I got it home and started to clean it up, it was almost full of a brown "dust" even up inside the pillar. It wasn't in the best of shape cosmetically speaking, but when a new bulb was inserted and all was plugged in it sewed great! Then it wouldn't turn on. I tried the power cord from another 201 and it worked so now I knew the cord needed to be replaced. As I went about cleaning and adjusting everything all of a sudden it would not work: the handwheel would only turn about a quarter of the way and back but would not sew. What had I done? I took the bobbin apart again, put everything back together but no improvement. I sat back and thought about when it last worked and what had I done after that. The handwheel came off, I checked the grease cups, the metal gears, nothing. I laid another 201 right next to it to see what might be out of alignment: nothing. Time to go to bed and sleep on it; you know that sometimes solutions have to have time to rise to the top.
She's been well used, no?

Next day arrives and I'm going to figure this out. I get out a strong light that I can further explore both 201's, take out the bobbin holder again (I'm getting pretty good at it by now), try different power cords but no difference. Then I look and see exactly where in the rotation it seems to stop and I can see it's when the needle goes only partway down, the same spot every time. Then I remember I have removed a small thread guide that was broken off. I didn't have another one so I just put the small screw back in. Now I backed that screw out a little bit because when it had the thread guide in it it wouldn't have been screwed all of the way into the opening. The handwheel moved! It was a tiny screw that stopped the movement of the needlebar and everything else. Success! It was at least 24 hours since I had cleaned that screw and put it in too far. Yes, I'm feeling a little foolish.
See that screw above the needle? That's the one!
The power cord works intermittently so it's getting replaced but other than that, it just needs a box of extra feet and other accessories before it can find another home. She doesn't look too beautiful anymore with so much of her decals worn away but if you know sewing machines, this is one of the finest and simple to maintain. It will be reduced in price but still full of valuable years of sewing. We can't all look like movie stars but we each have a purpose in life. Let's hope this Singer 201-2 finds someone who will appreciate her, even love her just as she is.

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