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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey All, new 101 owner here. It’s a 1923 issue date with a combo table and lovely Mahogany base and bent wood top. I picked it up last weekend knowing it wouldn’t sew. I do not have a power cord, and The handwheel turns freely through about 1/2 of a cycle, but no further. I have removed the cloth plate, presser foot, needle plate, slide plate. I removed the gear covers from the bottom and cleaned the 1/8 cup of dust and thread snips (no long pieces), several straight pins, needles and pieces of needles. There is no rust. I did not notice any damage to the gears, or much oil or lint buildup on them, but gave them a good brushing with a dry toothbrush. I removed the feed dogs, bobbin case, and hook and reinstalled them. I cleaned a 201-2 last year so it was familiar, and I referred to the Adjuster’s manual. There was quite a bit of lint in there but nothing else (no bits of needles).
I usually start a project by cleaning and oiling, and then worry what the motor is doing. I have not oiled this one yet, but the movement I have is very free, and quiet.
The feed dog system is very unfamiliar, but it all moves when the stitch length dial is moved without any sticky spots. Everything looks normal under the face plate. There was a lot of dust/lint, but no rust.
I’ll not throw out any wild speculation. I learn mostly by watching videos, and reading blogs with photos. A very visual learner, so while I have lurked around some yahoo groups in the past the only forum I’m on is for my 1958 Chevy Suburban, and I’m not active there, although MR is.
Sort of patiently waiting for help 😬
Thanks,
Deb

Attached Images
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #2 
For what it's worth, I picked up a Singer 101 (made in 1930) on Craigslist for 10 dollars (marked down from 20 dollars) because it appeared to be for parts only and was attached to the back of what was once its cabinet. 

When I got it home and got it unstuck (it was a bit rusty) and could move the needle bar, lift lever and foot, I could only get it to rotate one full turn on the top shaft, then back one full turn and it would jam each time at the end of the rotation. 

Having checked all the other gears and mechanisms, I figured it must be something to do with the vertical top gear. I removed the motor cover, then removed the motor attachment screw (nickel, on the front of the machine) and pulled the motor out to look inside. Everything looked fine but when I used a flashlight and rotated the hand wheel while watching the vertical top gear, I could see where it jammed each time - something was stuck in the gear teeth. I took a pair of long nose tweezers and pulled out a piece of wicking.

Apparently, sometime during its life someone had clipped the ends of the oil wicks that go to the oiling points on the lower half of the machine and the piece eventually wound up in the top part of the machine, probably when being lowered back into the cabinet, and found its way into the top gears where it jammed. 

Once removed, the machine would rotate normally. Cleaned and oiled, I had it running full speed the same day I got it. 

This is something you might want to look for too. I'm attaching the Singer 101 Adjusters manual for you along with a copy of the user manual. 

-Bruce


 
Attached Files
pdf Singer 101 - adjusters manual 1.pdf (4.23 MB, 32 views)
pdf Singer 101 - adjusters manual 2.pdf (3.86 MB, 30 views)
pdf Singer 101 instruction manual-with cabinet 40 and 360 manual.pdf (8.53 MB, 26 views)

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #3 
Deb,

Do check out the 101 owner's manual. There's a section toward the back where they describe the yearly motor maintenance - yeah for real - they actually believed that customers would do all this stuff on their own back then - and many of them did! Anyways the description in the manual tells you exactly how to examine underneath the motor. You don't pull it out - like completely separate it from the machine - the motor will slide out and still be attached via the wiring. Still though... it gives you a great vantage point to see inside the gears as Bruce mentions above, and the opportunity to see if the motor is turning 360 degrees because the gears of the motor won't be in contact with the machine gears and you can eliminate one or the other. Your issue may be as simple as above...

Congrats on the purchase. I'm sure we can help you through it.

(says the guy with 5 and a half 101s)

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you both, Bruce and Jim! I will pull the motor and check that out. MR was saying isolate a segment, which I agree, but he was suggesting taking a gear off to do so. I don’t remove gears from shafts unless it is necessary. They lap/wear together over time and I believe it makes things noisier if they are not meshed the same as before. He was also encouraging me to remove the motor, and I have broken one of the screws loose, but had to stop to eat. I will review the copies of the Manuals you have posted, and let you know how it goes. It may be a day or two. The county fair starts tomorrow and I hope to help out in the judging at the Needle Arts section. I always learn so much, and get to see so many beautiful things.
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Reply with quote  #5 
If you don't have a copy, there's a PDF of the 101 adjuster's manual here:  http://www.foxharp.boston.ma.us/tmp/z/Singer_Adjusters_Manual_101_Class.pdf
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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #6 
pgf, thank you very much. I have printed the Adjusters Manual and have it in a binder with sheet protectors so no grease will smear the ink ☺️
I need to print the Owner/Instruction Manual, but I downloaded the above linked copy from Bruce.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #7 
Trying to remove the motor. One instruction says to remove two screws in the front of the machine, and another says to remove only the screw that holds the motor in (smaller of the two). I believe the other screw (larger screw on the vertical post of the head) is where the motor shaft rides.
This is for what I believe is a model 101-1. Issue date January 9, 1923, serial # G9778863
Do you all remove both? I just want to do a preliminary check in there to see what is keeping things from a full rotation.
Any advice on getting the motor un-stuck from old grease? I have it sitting in the sun (in Maryland, not as hot as the sun in south FL or TX).

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #8 
Just the smaller one needs to be removed.  The larger one is just a decorative cover.
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Reply with quote  #9 
Deb,

I followed the manual instructions on pg 30.   The illustration is not so good and I'm not home for a few days to check on my machine but I believe it was the screw (just the one) that the user manual instructs (not the adjusters manual).

On mine, the motor wiring was not challenged so I just had to clean.  I have past worked on 201 potted motors so it was pretty easy.  I cleaned all the old grease out from the grease cups, replaced the lubricant (I used vaseline), replaced the wicks, checked the motor brushes and cleaned them, and cleaned the commutator (I have a leather belt like tool that is for such cleaning and works fantastic).  And of course cleaned and relubricated the worm gears.

For cleaning I manually get as much off as possible then use alcohol.  I wiped down the lead covered internal wires with alcohol.

I fortunately did not have any issues as you are describing - hopefully once you get it all cleaned out everything will turn as intended.  

Do you have the aluminum model?  I'm repeating myself here, but the 101 is an amazing machine for precision sewing and one of my all time favorites.  The only downside I've experienced is the piercing power on mine does not hold a candle to my 201. This doesn't impact my use of it since for general garment sewing it makes no difference (but it's not the machine I would use for sewing leather or making heavy duty bags, etc.). Not sure if this is specific to my 101 since I've only used just this one.  It's really a top machine and well worth your restoration work.  


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pgf

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Reply with quote  #10 
Deb -- removing the motor is a good diagnostic step for your 1/2-turn issue.

But also:  have you removed the stop motion knob from the hand wheel?  If not, you might do that, and try turning the shaft without the wheel engaged.  The 101 stop-motion mechanism is different than most Singers -- there's a stack of washers under the hand wheel that act as a multi-plate clutch, which must be installed in the right order.  My 101 was stiff to turn over, and I used a lot of penetrating oil on it before I finally noticed it was fine with the hand wheel loosened up.  It turned out that my washer stack was installed in exactly the reverse of the order it should have been.  I can't say for sure it could cause it, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were possible to get a "1/2 turn" symptom with just the right mis-installation of those washers. The ordering is described on p.19 of the Adjuster's manual.

paul

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #11 
Chaly,
thanks for your info. I didn’t think I needed to remove both screws, but I know since it is an early model there can be little things that were changed in time...when they figured out they were not the best idea, lol. The wiring I can see looks ok. The cloth covers look good. As soon as I can get the motor out I’ll decide about rewiring. My 201 is clean and waiting for a motor removal to clean and rewire. I can see bare wires on it.
I loosened the stop motion knob, but have not taken that assembly completely apart. I did remove the stop motion knob and saw the part/washer, but did not remove it and the three under it. Very interesting with the clutch mechanism described in the Adjusters manual (if this one has that). Very different from the simple ones in all of my other 20-ish Singer Models. When the stop motion knob is disengaged the handwheel turns freely. I was actually going to start by looking at the clutch assembly, but the Adjusters Manual said the motor needs to come out before that can happen, and it’s a better place to start anyway.
It is aluminum, which I didn’t know when I went to get it. I am very psyched to own it. It is so less common than most models of it’s era. Most of my sewing (when I’m not greasy) is quilt piecing, and I have a 31-15 and a 12 year old mid-arm for machine quilting. I’ve only made one or two bags, and might choose my 15-91 for that...if I get it rewired. I guess you can see a theme. My treadles and hand cranks are much more likely to work before the ones that need wiring. I need to learn that skill.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #12 
Paul,
Thanks for the info on those washers. I have not done that yet, but maybe I’ll check those washers before I remove the motor. It would be nice to know there is actually nothing in the motor preventing it from turning. I need to remove the motor anyway, although I’m not looking forward to it. I stuck a straw coffee stirrer in the hole in the top and the grease came out a bit dry. Not hard, but more opaque that I imagine it should be, so it needs cleaned. This will be my first potted motor opening, but I have two more waiting, a 1951 15-91, and a 1940something 201-2 that was a one owner, and lived on the same street in Baltimore MD it’s entire existence!

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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #13 
Deb, you might want to pry off the covers on the bottom of the machine and have a look at the gears down below. It may be that one of them has some wick debris in them. It's part of the cleaning and lubrication maintenance anyway, so I would go there first. My 1930 101 only requires the removal of one screw to take the motor out. First, twist the motor cover counter clockwise to unscrew it (it just bayonets on) and then remove the one screw as per the manual. The motor can then be wiggled out. If it's stuck, some soaking the seams and parts with penetrating oil will do wonders. 

-Bruce
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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #14 
Deb, Clutch on gear is one-way, enables motor to drive hand wheel, keeps hand wheel from turning motor.

Removing motor provides view of upper bevel gears.

A method to identify stuck components is to carefully rock hand wheel at position it is locking up. Other hand is used to feel other moving components. An example, feel hook rotate, as hand wheel stops. Will hook rock some with gear back lash? That suggests hook is free. Similar check on needle bar travel, takeup lever, feed dog linkages. What ever is tight, is potential problem.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #15 
Bruce,
I did take the bottom gear covers off, and while I found lint and needles, the gears looked undamaged using a good flashlight. MR looked too.
The motor is firmly cemented in place, most likely with old grease. It is going to take patience. I think I’ll put it in the car in the sun in the morning. If that doesn’t work then I’ll try a little oil.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #16 
Kitcarlson I find the clutch feature fascinating.
I’ve checked under the face plate, and under the cloth plate. I’m not familiar with all of the components of the feed dogs, but I did not find anything that is clearly jamming. I think tomorrow is free of commitments, so hopefully I have some progress.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #17 
Through no effort on my part, besides setting it in the sun on the driveway, it now turns freely. This is great news! I still have not gotten the motor to pull out, but eventually.

New questions
When I manually turn the hand wheel forward (towards me) The motor commutator does not not rotate. The hook rotates.
When I turn the hand-wheel away from me the commutator rotates ( counter clockwise if looking at the motor from behind the machine). The hook still rotates. I will assume the clutch mechanism is gunked up with old grease and not functioning. (and hope the clutch spring isn’t broken)

Should the commutator rotate when the hand-wheel is turned forward?
Should the commutator rotate when the hand-wheel is turned backward? Remember I do not have power yet, can only turn it by hand.


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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #18 
Turning hand wheel forward should not turn motor. Turning motor rotor in way to rotate hand wheel forward should work. A spring feel evident at first, and again when releasing.
There is a hoop spring, that cushions initial motor takeoff. I have found those to fail on well used machines. I make them from music wire. The machine will work without, but not as smooth.

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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #19 
A trick to get motor to push out. Loosen motor screw about 2 turns from tight. Insert screwdriver in slot of screw, and tap with plastic hammer. The slop made by releasing screw, and the tap will push motor backward, enough to get it loose. Do not tap on screw if threads are not engaged a few turns, it will damage theads! If motor is loose, remove screw, rock motor to pull it out.
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #20 
Deb,

Kitcarlson explained this perfectly.  The design with the 101 is that the hand wheel does not engage the motor.  Also,  the hand wheel should have a spring like feel when you try to turn it backwards.  It's a different mechanism for sure compared to other such Singers of the time.
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Reply with quote  #21 
And I agree with the rubber mallet. I think I once removed the motor hold down screw and gave the outside edge of the motor a couple of very loving taps in opposite directions just to break the old hardened grease seal. (very softly) It was just enough to get a wiggle. And if it can give me a wiggle... well that's that's needed.
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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #22 
Kitcarlson ,

Thank you so much! I know I sound like a kindergartener...I am at 101s for sure. I thought that I had read/saw somewhere that the hand-wheel did not engage the motor, but I couldn’t find the info again.

I am sure the clutch mechanism is not working, since the hand-wheel will turn freely backwards, and the hook assembly with it. I’ll be working on that as soon as I get the motor out, and serviced. I took the friction wheel off and cleaned the washers today. That was working properly, disengaging the needle bar, even before I cleaned it. I took photos of the order they came out, and a photo of all of them in the correct order before putting them back in. I may print that and put with the Adjusters manual I printed. I did not go any further, since the adjusters manual says to remove the motor before disassembling that mechanism.

I have been wanting to tap that motor screw all day, but was afraid of stripping the threads. I didn’t know if it screwed into steel or aluminum. I did tap the sides of the motor housing with a small brass hammer using a wooden stick in between. The stick is in my tool kit for this same purpose, usually on cover plates on treadles with shuttles. The back one is often stuck. A good shock can do wonders, but did not help this time.

As soon as I get MR out of the shop and fed I’ll try to give it a gentle nudge on the screw.

I don’t know how to include the quote thing with part of a previous post in it. That makes the thread so much easier to follow. I guess I’ll have to learn that too. 😄
Thanks again,
deb

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #23 
Chaly and Jim,

Thanks for confirming Kitcarlson’s info. I am a nervous Nelly when it comes to this stuff. The more experienced advice I get the more comfortable I am.
I had Grandma’s Singer 66 treadle for more than 15 years before I found info and got brave enough to work on it. It was a year last week since I got it running and made a quilt top on it.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #24 
I’d call you all experts, but my Dad the plumber used to say “An ex is a has-been and a spurt is a drip under pressure.”
😬😁😬

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb Milton
Chaly and Jim,

Thanks for confirming Kitcarlson’s info. I am a nervous Nelly when it comes to this stuff. The more experienced advice I get the more comfortable I am.


Once upon a time... I was giving serious consideration to a few taps with a rubber hammer and explained my tentativeness to a friend. She, in turn. said "It's broke right?" and I nodded. She then said: "Then you can't break it any more than it is."

Very difficult logic to argue (within reason, of course) and her advise has helped me through several sewing machine dilemmas. Sometimes you just have to take a chance.



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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #26 
Deb, The clutch is likely OK.
I will try to outline how the drive assembly works in the 101. There is a hollow sleeve, about 3" long, the upper main shaft fits inside. The hand wheel is attached by two set at one end, on the other spur gear, that has the internal clutch, and hoop spring shown earlier. Without the clutch operation the gear would slip on the sleeve. The stop motion nut and washers lock the sleeve to the main shaft. The clutch is a small roller in an inclined channel. When the motor drives the gear, the roller jams in the channel against the outer part of sleeve, locking gear to sleeve. In reverse where the hand wheel tries to turn gear, the roller pushes away from sleeve, resulting in slip of gear and sleeve.

I hope this helps. The gear/clutch should only be taken out as assembly, otherwise parts may be lost in machine.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #27 
Jim,
I don’t consider this one broken yet 😬 and I really do not want to be the one that breaks it.
However, I did grow up working with Dad on our old trucks, and understand the concept of creating a shock to break something loose. Used to do it on old rusty truck parts on a regular basis, and I’ve done it on a few VSM parts too. I prefer to work on people powered machines....no motors..but I want this one 💜

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #28 
Kitcarlson,
Ok, I think I got that. Looking at the photo in the AM (adjusters manual) it does not show the assembly in place. When I saw the hollow sleeve I thought that was the upper shaft and was pretty freaked out, thinking the main upper shaft was hollow, lol.
So will the whole assembly slide off of the main shaft when I take the hand wheel off? That would make things easier. I can see me loosing that little bearing inside the head.

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Reply with quote  #29 
I recently had a replacement part arrive which was a bobbin and case assembly for a White Family Rotary.  Paid pretty high price for it and when it arrived the slotted screw just would not budge for adjusting the tension.  Tried oiling no-go.  Took a 1500 watt heat gun and oiled then heated then oiled then heated.....then came back a few hours later after letting it sit and repeated.  Screw turned like it was new with no resistance.  I could see the smoke rising from the oil off the heat gun but everything was metal being held by a pair of hemostats carefully.  So, my take is that if everything is metal heat does wonders.  You mentioned working on trucks.  I've broke lugs on wheels on my 4 wheel drives before using too much strength resulting in new lugs needing to be pressed on.  But, a little spot application with a torch and oil and they would always come right off without having to break them when rusted together.  I've seen lots of folks talk about using a hair dryer and recently saw a post in the last few days where a smart member put a machine out on the hot driveway (was it your post?).  Just my 2 cents as I'd try gentle soaking with heat in repeated applications.  There are screwdrivers that can be bought that have been designed to be tapped from the rear and they turn with the force of the tap.  Still available but I used them with great success in the military many years back.    I've used rubber mallets on the back of screwdrivers that have adjustable wrenches around the flat spots on the handles with equal success just turning a bit on the adjustable wrench and subsequently screwdriver handle as I tap the back of handle with mallet. 
Best regards, Mike
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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #30 
Deb,
After hand wheel is removed, there are two screws that attach bobbin winder, and end bushing. It seems there was a collar with set screws, on inner end. The 101 was my first machine that got me started, over two years ago. After first, others quickly find me, serviced three.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #31 
Kitcarlson,
I understand about them finding you. I have been given at least three, a 15-91, a 15-88(I think that is the right -# for a treadle) and a 1914 Lady Washington hand crank (made by New Home I believe), and my Grandma’s treadle. I also have one that was free from an ad. Then there are the ones I just had to have that I paid a fair price for, definitely not the steal of a deal price. I guess it all balances out in the long run. My problem is I rarely repeat models, so there is always something new to learn. My tablet is so full of VSM photos. I should weed through them and include a few of the important ones (like tension assembly laying out in order) for the next newbie that gets them when I’m forced to let them go.
Hope to get back to work on this after a morning trip to the farmers market.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #32 
I finally got the motor out this afternoon. I started with my small hammer, then my medium hammer, then MR brought his brass mallet up and that did it. He had to twist and pull it out. I couldn’t get a hold on it.
Thank you all for your help. I’m sure I’ll be asking for more help as the project continues.

Here is the photo of the order the washers go into the hand wheel.

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jpeg 33B72652-5433-4E90-B573-61DABDAE885D.jpeg (354.47 KB, 15 views)


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Reply with quote  #33 
Congrats on getting it free at last!  Now you have access to the internals and can access what you need to do.

On my motor I was surprised it was in such good shape.  The brushes were not nearly as worn as I expected and I've seen much dirtier commutators.  I just needed to give everything a good cleaning and re-lubrication.  I always replace the grease wicks in motors when I take them apart.  I know some folks clean them and reuse so it would be interesting to get some feedback from others here on what they do and prefer.


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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #34 
The motor worm gear is cleaned, grease caps cleaned, internal gears cleaned, and ready for the next step.
I was hoping to pull the brushes to evaluate motor condition. The screws came out without an issue, and the springs do not have any grease or oil on them, but they are not pulling out easily. I didn’t want to pull too hard and misshape the springs.

Any advice on getting them out?

Here’s a photo of the motor out of the machine. I didn’t disconnect the wiring because it looks good. Nice that this little gift box, in the drawer of the coffee table, is the perfect height to prop the motor so it’s not pulling on the wiring.

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jpeg 47615254-8DC3-450E-B654-D4630908B467.jpeg (297.00 KB, 8 views)
jpeg 7787C011-EE43-4080-895C-1E9554C258AB.jpeg (364.64 KB, 7 views)


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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #35 
Chaly,

Good to hear your motor was in good shape. What year is your machine? From what you said I guess you completely disassembled your motor. I was hoping to check the brushes then put it back together to try the machine out. Probably a bad idea 😐

I was wondering what to clean the wicks with. I was going to ask what others use to clean them. They do not want to come out of the springs. Seems it would take a lot of twisting to get them out. Where do you get grease wicks? And what type of grease do you all recommend.

The grease was filthy black, or that was what color grease they used. It was still very greasy in the cup furthest from the motor, but the cup closest to the body of the motor was more dried out. I assume that is not unusual since it is closer to the heat that would be created by the motor.

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Reply with quote  #36 
I cleaned some wicks with mineral spirits, I think, but it wasn't a very satisfying cleansing.  Perhaps sufficient, though -- I don't know.  I eventually bought some wicks on ebay, and then when I realized that this was going to happen again (and again, and again, and...  ;-) ) I bought some (5 feet!) from McMaster-Carr.  (https://www.mcmaster.com/8767k22)   I'd offer to send you some, but it would probably take me 3 or 4 times to send you the right thing, based on past experience! :-)   Oh -- and they're held into the springs by a final bend in the last turn of the spring, which pokes through the wick.  It's a little messy to replace them.

paul

As for grease:  Singer used to sell a specific grease for the motor wicks (which wasn't black), but I saw a pretty thorough test somewhere that said that vaseline is an entirely appropriate substitute.

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #37 
Paul,
Thanks for the wicking source. Do you know if the wicking is the same as for the potted motor on a 201-2 and a 15-91? I could order enough for all 3. Maybe I should open up one of those motors too (this is turning into a can of worms)

I know there are varying results and a multitude of opinions on grease. I have about half of a tube of the Singer Motor Lube they used to sell at Joann’s. It’s golden brownish in color, but I”m sure there is not enough to re-grease this entire machine. I hear the new stuff with a Singer label is white and completely different, and has a much higher melting point. I did a bit of reading a while back about petroleum jelly, and found there are different grades. I think the short story there is DO NOT buy off brands, but real vaseline brand. Some are a blend of pj and oil with an additive to hold the oil in suspension and fails under heat and pressure, and with age too. All of this info was from varying sources. The part about the blended stuff was from an industrial website.

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #38 
Deb,

I purchased my wicks same place as Paul - McMaster-Carr.  This was a few years ago.  I've redone a few potted motors and have three more to go so I got all the supplies at once:  the wicks, electrical repair parts, brushes, and the commutator cleaner. 

The old grease on my 1930 Singer 101 motor was also black - very thick and sticky.  I've always used Vaseline for my motor work.  In fact, my Singer 101 manual specifically states to use Vaseline to refill the grease cups.  I have never had any problems with any motors I have redone with using the Vaseline.  I do know there is considerable debate on this topic but I figured if the Singer manual specifically instructs to use Vaseline then that's what I'm going to use - unless someone can objectively prove this to be harmful.  See the thread that I started discussing the issues I had and the motor work and lubricant topic came up: https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/singer-101-grinding-sound-10164076?highlight=singer+101

I've used a needle pointed pliers  to very gently twist off the spring from the wick.  Just keep gently turning and it will come off.  If you bend the spring a little don't worry as you can reshape it back into place.  
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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #39 
Chaly,

Thanks for the info, and the tip on getting the old wicks out of the springs. Did you get your brushes from them too? I didn’t see any 1/4” square brushes on their website. I can see the brass tube and it is square so I assume (oops there I go again!) the brushes are too.

I read that thread before joining this group. It came up in my first Google search for 101s.

I have a 201-2 and the instruction manual says oil not grease. I was so freaked out when I read that. I just couldn't get my head around it, but after discussion and thinking about it, it is logical because the area would be less likely to trap thread and lint. I think this one was oiled not greased in the lower gears.

I have read a few versions of the instruction manual. I wonder if Singer first recommended grease or vaseline, but later changed that recommendation due to lint collecting in the oil or possibly a materials change in the metal used in manufacturing the gears.. I know we can only speculate, but I keep trying to find the date on the manuals to see when it changed.
It seems the 101 had many small changes, quite the experiment from the Singer factory.

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #40 
All of the 101 manuals that I have recommend "Singer Motor Lubricant" for both the cups and the gears.  The thing is, sewing machines are pretty light-duty machines, as machinery goes.  My guess is that oil would be fine on the 101 gears.  The cups should get vaseline -- as I understand it, it melts at about the operating temperature of the motor, so it will slowly lubricate the shaft.

(Agreed on the "experimental" nature of the 101. )

paul

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #41 
Deb,

Don't know about all the versions of the manual - mine is copyright 1929 - which would be a later one.  I don't see a problem using Vaseline on any gears that would not get lint/dirt.  And if you clean the machine and check regularly it shouldn't be a problem.  But Paul has an excellent point that oil may be fine for domestic use.

For the grease cups, Vaseline has been recommended by many since it does have the right melting point - more in line with the original Singer motor lubricant.  Some people do say that it (Vaseline) does not have the same wicking properties and these folks recommend newer proprietary greases designed for such motors.

I think I may have gotten my brushes from Sew-Classic https://shop.sew-classic.com/searchquick-submit.sc?keywords=motor+brushes

Yes, the 101 does have some unique characteristics and I think this is what makes it very special.
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #42 
Deb,

I was curious about the manuals so I checked my 1947 201 manual and compared to the 101.  I am thinking Singer recommended Vaseline to the lower gears (instead of the motor lubricant) since when the machine warms up it melts and doesn't create a sticky mess when lint and thread get caught up into it. In this way, there will be avoided damage to the gears.

Then, later, Singer decided to recommend just oil for these lower gears - I think with the same idea as above.  I suppose oil would be the safest bet because some people could misinterpret the "Vaseline" to mean grease.  The whole point being to avoid greasy gummy build up with the lubricant and the inevitable lint and thread that comes to rest on the lower gears.

Clarification regarding the Singer Motor Lubricant - the 101 manual does days to use this for the grease cups (along with the 201 manual).  Since the original motor lubricant is not available -Vaseline is one substitute that many have used without problems due to the similar melting point (and as I referred to in my last message). There are other substitutes as well that I have not used.  Important is not to use the current Singer lubricant as the formulation has changed.  And I don't think original old tubes of Singer lubricant would be good as time could break down the composition.

I mistakenly said the Singer manual recommends Vaseline for the grease cups - this was in error as I was thinking of another vintage brand that the manufacturers did recommend Vaseline as the grease for the motor - this may have been White - not positive.  Just wanted to set this information right. Paul was correct on this point. The Vaseline mentioned in the Singer 101 manual I have refers to the gears (see previous thread I mentioned for photos of the manual pages).  
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #43 
I think the reason Singer recommended oil instead of grease/Vaseline on the lower gears is because oil will wash away debris and the natural wear of metal to metal, whereas grease or Vaseline will hold it. This same point was brought out in a book on vintage phonographs, The Compleat Talking Machine by Eric L. Reiss - "Although some repairmen grease the gears, this attracts dirt and dust, which will eventually cause the gears to wear,and is therefore not recommended. However, if the gears are already worn, a little Vaseline will decrease motor noise, particularly on the fast-spinning governor gear."

An old cylinder or disc phonograph does not get the amount of lint and other debris that a sewing machine gets, particularly in the hook gears, so in this regard I think any lubricant other than oil should be avoided except for Vaseline in the motor wicks. 

Regardless of the type of lubricant you choose to use, the main consideration should be to proper cleaning. It will not matter if oil or Vaseline is used if a machine is constantly used and set away full of lint to the point that there is enough of it to compact into a felt block like some machines I have acquired. I swear, there was enough lint to knit a pair of socks. This not only adds wear to the gears, but holds moisture which causes rust and helps to absorb and pull the lubricant off the gears. 

The Singer 101 has removable covers which must be pried off to inspect and clean the gears; the 201 has covers that require removing and replacing a screw (not always a quick and easy job as aligning the screw to the hole can be a job ruled by Murphy's Law) and as such may not be done as often as is necessary. In this regard, the gears are at least being flushed when oil is used and the debris drips into the pan or cups. 

-Bruce
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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #44 
Chaly and Paul,

Thanks for all of your input. I’m sure I have an old jar of Vaseline brand PJ somewhere. When I get it back together I’ll probably use oil on the lower gears, at least on the hook end of the machine. I usually clean lint between bobbins, so I’ve never had a problem with lint in my other machines.

The shaft is happy where it is (stuck) so I am still working on coaxing the motor apart, which isn’t really a good thing to do between loads of laundry.

Maybe one day I”ll find a manual that addresses the 101 portable in the convertible table, but for now the other issues are working well enough, with all of your help 😊 . The Adjusters manual is published in 1923, the same year of this machine.

Deb

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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #45 
I still have not been able to get the motor apart. I took the set screws out that attach the worm to the shaft. I”ve wiggled and tapped.
The brushes and springs would not come out when I removed the cover screws and I don’t want to grease and reassemble without seeing those brushes.
Any help would be appreciated.
Is there a safe place to give it a whack?
Deb

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #46 
Deb,

Hmm - I am thinking that the reason it's stuck is the old grease, oil, and dirt is acting as a glue.  Is there anyway you could use heat again.  In theory, it's got to come apart once the cementing gunk is comprised, melted, or dissolved.

I agree - you really should inspect the brushes.  I'm no expert on "safe" areas for tapping maybe others know of a spot you could use to give a strong whack.  You can't easily dissolve the gunk in this area -I think you'll need to crack it loose or get it softened.
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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #47 
Chaly,
Thank you so much, that’s a good idea. I just can’t think on some days, especially when I’m stressed. I’ll putting it in the car tomorrow. It’s supposed to be kind of hot. I’m too stressed today to work on it any more, or I would disassemble the hand wheel and clutch, which needs done before I can put the motor back in.
Feeling a little better
Deb

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