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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've just finished cleaning up my Singer 101.

All old oil and grease removed and cleaned up from all moving parts and gears. I re-oiled with Triflow and used regular SM oil on the wicks.  The wicks are working nicely.

I removed the motor, cleaned the brushes (they were quite good) and commutator - see photo,. General cleaning on the motor case, etc.  I then replaced the grease wicks and used original Singer Motor Lub (I had an old tube and the grease was still white so I think it good) to fill the motor grease cups.

All other gears I greased with vaseline (as per the original manual).

I cleaned the wire light tube and coated with vaseline - turned out great.

All wiring is actually in great shape - so no need for a motor or light rewire.

The only thing I could not do is remove the screws to disassemble the bobbin case.  I tried TriFlow - PB blaster - heat, etc but the screws do not budge after about a week of trying. I cleaned this area as best I could and daily give a bath with TriFlow.e

The motor runs great - nice response and no noise.  But I am getting a grinding sound at about medium speed.  At low speed - no sound.  When I bring up the speed the grinding sound starts.  At full speed I can't really hear it.  It sounds like it may be coming from the bobbin area but hard to tell.  It is definitely not from the motor.  I have run at full speed for a full minuets and then back down and no change.

Any ideas?  I am thinking since the bobbin case was not disassembled maybe there is dirt in there that is causing this grinding.  I don't know where else it could be coming from - everything looks like it is moving smoothy and everything but the bobbin case area has been thoroughly cleaned and re-lubricated.
Singer101motor.jpg 

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #2 
It's a hollow grinding sound, sounds like it's about in the bobbin case, varies with speed. On mine it was the transitional gears inside the front cup. I went in with q-tips and a tiny crochet needle (dedicated to the tool box, practically a dental pick) and scraped/cleaned out each gear tooth. Re-greased it all and capped and noise is almost gone. If I wasn't listening for exactly that frequency, I bet I wouldn't notice it. *Yours may differ* lol.
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks, Jim.

I've cleaned all the gears and re-greased - just like you do - each tooth done!

I'll check to see if I've missed anything though.  Are the 101's generally very quiet?  Since this is my first one I'm not familiar with how they are suppose to sound.

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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #4 
There may still be some grinding noise from the shuttle drive if there is still dirt and grit in there. I haven't used PB Blaster yet, but I know it's popular. I use Aero-Kroil, but although everyone I know who uses it loves it, it's not lost on the makers since they jacked the price to about 20 bucks a can. You can use Hoppe's No. 9 gun bore cleaner, which I use a lot for the mechanics on sewing machines, but be aware it should not be used near old clear coats and decals. It works wonders for un-sticking things though. At least for me and anyone with the common sense not to slather it on haphazardly, but only where it's needed. 

As for the sound of the Singer 101, it may very well be that there is nothing else really wrong here except the Singer 101 has it's own unique sound. It does amplify the noise of the lower gears since the removable bed plate (4 screws) is stamped steel and thin - acting like a soundboard. The lower casing is bowl shaped, so combined with the stamped steel bed plate panel you would have an excellent musical instrument if you like steel guitars and resonator guitars using metal cones for sound production. I was amazed the first time I heard my Singer 101. It stands out as unique among Singer designs. 

As for using grease on the lower gears, I personally am against it. The Singer 101 manual specifically says to use oil on those gears. Same with the 201 manual. The motor grease is supposed to be used only on the motor drive gears. There are oiling ports and noted oiling ports in the oiling section of the manual which included where to oil the lower gears. 

The reason not to use grease on the gears, at least under the hook area, is because the grease will trap lint, dirt and other debris and will turn the grease into an abrasive that will damage the gears - literally polish and grind them away. This was noted well in a book about restoring and maintaining old phonograph players that I have. A lot of those gears are brass and don't take much to wear down, but it even states that the soft brass will imbed grit and act like an abrasive and damage the steel gears. Therefore, they always recommend oil only as it will wash away the grit and lot hold it. 

As always, this is only my opinion and you know what they say about opinions. 

-Bruce
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #5 
Bruce, I'm going to try that. It takes but a few minutes to pop that cover and clean all those gears off (now that all the black gunk is gone). The machine is sill on the bench, so I'l do that, and lightly oil. I have to agree about the sound though. My first 101 was nearly silent, with just a slight resonance to a distant hum.
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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #6 
On some machines left for years without service, clean and oiling brings them back. Other have a noise, I resort to pulling parts/linkages, to trouble shoot. On the 101 bobbin carrier there is a locator part, it indexes the carrier in a notch in a crossbar by feed dogs. The locator part has a screw and spring underneath. The locator has a bit of movement, and the spring enables it to flex, and return. In two out of three 101, the spring was incorrectly placed after prior work. The tip of spring was on wrong side, so no function.
Another noise in same vicinity is slight rub of side of feed dogs and needle plate. That can happen with loose or out of adjustment cone setscrews on feed dog main linkages. I use thin feeler gauges to check center of dogs in slots.


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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks All!

For clarification, I did use vaseline on the lower gears and not motor lubricant grease - this is specifically what the manual recommends: ..."ordinary vaseline should be applied to the teeth of these two sets of (lower) gears...."  pg 33 original Singer 101 manual.  
Bruce - do you favor oil over vaseline for the reasons you outlined?

I'll continue to explore penetrants and try to remove the bobbin case and also check out the other locations as pointed out by Kitcarlson.

As I'm listening more closely to the sound - it may be more of a vibration sound so maybe there needs to be some adjustments in some areas.

I'll keep this group posted on my progress and appreciate the feedback.  I'm learning so much from everyone!
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #8 
Chaly - 

I'm not sure what vintage or issue of 101 manual you have. Page 33 of my digital copy of the Singer green manual is how to use the stripping foot for embroidery or darning - a foot I'm sure most of us have never seen and don't have in our collection. 

The oiling instructions are on page 20 and 21. The instructions indicate only using grease on the motor drive gears. You can grease any gear you want, and many do, but I use oil on my lower gears which is what the oiling holes are for.

Take a look at the oiling diagram - see the hole in the pillar? That one takes care of the gears under the pillar that drive the hook. There is a similar one on the bed near the needle plate area. On the 201, which is more open underneath, you oil directly into the opening above the gears. The 201 has the same oil hole in the pillar as it's predecessor, the 101. 

-Bruce

  SIL10-2682-23a.jpg  SIL10-2682-22a.jpg 
SIL10-2682-35a.jpg 

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #9 
My manual came with my 1930 Singer 101 - it is copyright 1929.  See photo's.  Looks like there are different versions.  Thanks for sharing.
Singer101manual1929.jpg  Singer101lubrication.jpg 

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #10 
Oh and I'm very lucky to have the feed cover plate your referenced.  Hope I can get this machine up and running so I can use it for free motion work...
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #11 
The Singer 101 manual that I have is dated 1921, so it's the first one they came out with. As I understand it, the 101 came out about 1922. The manuals would have been printed during production. This is the Smithsonian digital file. You can download each page and put them in a folder, which is what I did. Time consuming, but they didn't have it as a PDF file. Some of their stuff is being done over in PDF, but the Smithsonian has a lot of stuff that hasn't been copied and made available. 

https://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/2682/

- Bruce
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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #12 
One more noise source came to mind. Singer used rollers in slots for cam motion, typically related to feed dog motion. If the roller is stuck on a stud, it will make a schreech sound. Found this issue on many Singers, think lubrication is missed. Sometimes rollers flat spots need replace, with donor parts.

A bit off topic, but the 101 related. There is a roller in slot, the stich length knob controls roller position in slot. At one end, stitch length near zero, the other end long stitches. I visualize that if the slot part could be designed to have travel past zero, it would reverse feed dogs.... But, There may be problems fitting it under bed plate.

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #13 
First run of Singer 101's: Casting numbers G8176076 thru G8179075, 3000 made, 12 July 1920. The LoC file you show is indeed the '101 & type 40 cabinet' user manual. There's at least one  - and should be two - more user manuals, plus the parts list and Adjuster's manual.

Funny thing about a lot of those Singer 101 resources I just mentioned is that many have been made into pdfs.
PM me and I'll let you know which ones...

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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #14 
One more noise source came to mind. Singer used rollers in slots for cam motion, typically related to feed dog motion. If the roller is stuck on a stud, it will make a schreech sound. Found this issue on many Singers, think lubrication is missed. Rollers wirh flat spots need replaced, with donor parts.

A bit off topic, but the 101 related. There is a roller in slot, the stich length knob controls roller position in slot. At one end, stitch length near zero, the other end long stitches. I visualize that if the slot part could be designed to have travel past zero, it would reverse feed dogs.... But, there may be problems fitting it under bed plate.

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #15 
I've finished all the cleaning today and she's all back together and sews wonderful - especially the very tiny stitches.  I love the stitch length dial - so precise to set stitch length -especially since I'm use to the 201 and 15-91 (their stitch length levers are not my favorite and usually hard to see the numbers unless one does a refurbish of the dial).

I so far like everything about how this machines sews except for the noise that is definitely coming from the bobbin area. The sewing is very smooth but when the machine is running and I press the bobbin case with my finger the noise does dissipate - so it is something to do with this area.  I'm not going to obsess about it now - I'll just wait until I try some different penetrants so I can take this area apart and reassemble.  But for now it's a great machine and I'll soon be doing a project on her.  The cabinet is a Queen Anne that needs some work.  I really wanted the library table 40 since I already have a Singer Queen Anne but I can live with this since I do really like the Queen Anne cabinets and it does fit in with the period - I have the older cabinet with the keyhole.

I found the machine and what I thought was a #40 cabinet on Craigslist.  When I messaged the seller to ask if the machine was still available (it had been on for almost 4 weeks) the seller said he forgot to take the ad off when he donated it to Habitat for Humanity.  He also said it was his mother's machine and she sewed on it until she was 101!  I called the Habitat store where he donated it and after several calls and staff looking in the warehouse it was found.  So lucky me.  I wish I could have met the owner though to get more history and now he contact info is gone. 

In the beginning, I was only trying to find a period cabinet for my first Singer 101 - and as so frequently happens one finds a machine and cabinet together.  Since this one was in much better shape than my first one and a one owner with some interesting history I decided to add to my collection.  I am promising myself this is the last time this will happen as I have enough sewing machine projects and cabinet projects and I just want the time to sew.

If I do get the noise issue resolved I will update.

Singer101front.jpg  singer101sidefront.jpg  singer101back.jpg  singer101top.jpg  singer101sideback.jpg 



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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #16 
The 101 looks great! The model 40 cabinet is a favorite. The other 101 cabinet is the 306.

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitcarlson
On some machines left for years without service, clean and oiling brings them back. Other have a noise, I resort to pulling parts/linkages, to trouble shoot. On the 101 bobbin carrier there is a locator part, it indexes the carrier in a notch in a crossbar by feed dogs. The locator part has a screw and spring underneath. The locator has a bit of movement, and the spring enables it to flex, and return. In two out of three 101, the spring was incorrectly placed after prior work. The tip of spring was on wrong side, so no function.
Another noise in same vicinity is slight rub of side of feed dogs and needle plate. That can happen with loose or out of adjustment cone setscrews on feed dog main linkages. I use thin feeler gauges to check center of dogs in slots.


Your info has been so helpful - the noise is definitely not from the feed dogs as they were removed along with the needle plate when I discovered the noise.  I do think your experience with the locator part may be applicable.  I 'll have to wait until I can disassemble the bobbin case area.  I do see that the locator has a bit of movement and I do see the spring you are referring.  Do you have an photos or diagram of the correct spring install?
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitcarlson
The 101 looks great! The model 40 cabinet is a favorite. The other 101 cabinet is the 306.


Very stunning!   Thanks for sharing.

If that is your machine, what is your source for the spool holder?

(edited to reflect one cabinet)
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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #19 
I found this picture, it is not very good. Lower right is locator. I think it shows correct position. It should move a bit, with spring action. Where the hole is the tip of the spring can be seen, if on wrong side, it does not engage part correctly. It may cause noise, because no cushion of spring.
There could also be packed lint under bobbin case, pushing up hard on race, not good.

Yes that is one of our 101, the spool adapter was fabricated by me per my wifes needs. She said modern spools are designed to feed horizontal off the end. So i made a vertical to horizontal adapter, that accepts Brother spool caps. It solves the modern spool issues on vintage machines. I would like to get them manufactured.

Attached Images
jpeg 20180624_154948.jpg (186.87 KB, 7 views)


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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitcarlson
I found this picture, it is not very good. Lower right is locator. I think it shows correct position. It should move a bit, with spring action. Where the hole is the tip of the spring can be seen, if on wrong side, it does not engage part correctly. It may cause noise, because no cushion of spring.
There could also be packed lint under bobbin case, pushing up hard on race, not good.

Yes that is one of our 101, the spool adapter was fabricated by me per my wifes needs. She said modern spools are designed to feed horizontal off the end. So i made a vertical to horizontal adapter, that accepts Brother spool caps. It solves the modern spool issues on vintage machines. I would like to get them manufactured.


You picture confirms what I was thinking - thanks for sending!  Now I just have to get those screws loose!

Your adapter is super cool and a great idea.  I use a thread holder but it can get clunky.  I like your idea better especially for smaller spools.  Best on manufacturing them and keep me updated if they are available.
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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #21 
Getting screws loose. Seems often screws are over tight. Screwheads often show damage. Here are a few things that help. Adli has screwdriver kits about once a year. There are two small hollow ground screwdrivers that work well for bobbin tension screws, and bobbin races. I have bought a few sets, not all perfect, but well worth the price. I consider them disposable.
First clean the screw head. I like 91% or better isopropyl alcohol. It removes varnished oil, but also softens laquer, don't get it on machine topcoat. Use small wire brush clean slot. Tri-flow oil is a good penetrant. A drop on head and let it sit, over night is good. Use screwdriver that fits, hold down with a couple fingers, tap top, with the handle of a larger screwdriver. In the automotive mechanics world it is called waking up a bolt. The tap sends a mechanical shock, that helps compress, the oil varnish, corrosion and tension. Then with confidence, insert screwdriver, pressing down, while giving it a turn. If that fails, use pliers on handle, while holding down. I haven't broken a screw yet.

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