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HettyB

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello - my first post here but some of you have generously answered questions for me before at The QB.

A sorta 2-part question:

My 1958 Singer 201k Brown Beast (belt from motor to handwheel) stitches beautifully but hesitates, accompanied with a loud buzzing from the motor whilst engaging the 'foot pedal' to begin sewing, sometimes I have to 'help' it a bit with a light nudge on the handwheel.

Now, the foot pedal is held within a bracket inside a Singer Sewing Machine Cabinet No 40 (Queen Anne) which means it is knee operated, however, it is installed correctly.

The Beast was given to me 3 years ago after being in storage for years and when it was serviced the chap said that the bushings were starting to go.  Is that what is happening here or is it the footpedal?

2nd part of question - I bought the cabinet off ebay to house the Beast and when I collected it, it came with an early 201K (black) with near perfect exterior and a potted motor however, someone had done some dodgy DIY electric on it to lengthen the lead.  I did a little sewing test, it ran well, stitched well - very quiet but I took it out of the cabinet due to the wiring issue and replaced it with then newly & fully-serviced Beast.

Should I get the black potted motor one serviced, re-wired and put in the cabinet or just get Beast overhauled?  The black one looks prettier, however, I have to keep in mind costs.

As a side note, I bought the cabinet in beautiful condition, the black 201k with original manual and green box of accessories all for £45

Many thanks in advance for any advice

HettyB
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #2 
My somewhat educated guess is that when your original service person said the bushings are on their way out, this would mean that the motor may not have years and years to go. The grumbling and hesitation would be symptoms of such an ailment. without the previous diagnosis I would be checking the brushes and communicator for wear and carbon build up. The potted 201 would certainly be a good substitute as long as the wiring is addressed, but perhaps (?) the quickest, easiest and least expensive route might be to find a suitable replacement motor - Singer or otherwise. The original Singer motor should be a model BAK 4-12 or the BAK 4-11. That's my thought anyways. You may even be able to nurse the old one along for a week until a sub arrives - and I probably would stick with an original if possible Singer motor since the reviews on some of the 'new' replacement motors are rather mixed.

*I should have probably noted that the very first thing I would do is to make sure the machine itself is spinning freely and that the issue isn't with the machine mechanisms. Loosening the hand wheel lock nut as if to wind a bobbin, and then turning the wheel by hand should give some indication as to how freely the mechs are working.

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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
There is grace within forgiveness, but it's so hard for me to find - Ben Gibbard
My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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HettyB

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Reply with quote  #3 
It all moves freely when turned by hand.

The routine at every stop and start is:

Press knee lever - get loud, sustained BUZZZZZZ, nudge hand wheel and away we go and buzzing stops
Or
Press knee lever - BUZZZZZZZ keeps buzzing and eventually away we go and buzzing stops.

I don't feel comfortable with the 2nd method - seems very wrong.

Over the past 3 years it has had heavy use making home furnishings including 8 sets of heavily insulated interlined and lined double width full length curtains.  My little Bernina couldn't cope but the Beast breezed through it.

A deciding factor between the two is - which will be the quietest.  The Bernina lives in the sewing room but the one in the sewing cabinet, which is so pretty, is in the sitting room.  My hearing is rubbish and I hate having to ramp up the TV or music system volume to 11!

HettyB
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Hetty B,

  Recently there was a good and with many inputs discussion on motors and the vintage machines.  We bought our 201k-23 specifically for it matching the 230v mains here but more importantly because of the belt driven motor.  This allows me to buy simple motors when eventually the stock/original 50 plus year motor gives.  I see lots of folks doing amazing work on their motors but I'm kind of lazy on the issue of going through extensive maintenance beyond normal maintenance on the motors (electric background really isn't an issue for me especially with the wealth of documentation on the forum on motors).  There are modern higher amperage motors easily available for external belt driven.  The obvious is that the potted motors are superior when the gears are in good shape and match/mesh well.  But the down side is the fact they aren't as easy to replace.  I like the Kenmore machines personally because they have sometimes the double pulley internal that gears down the motor internally.  They are not direct drive by gears.  Also, for any heavy work I find the oscillating shuttle design, class 15 clone, to be superior on a wider range of heavy to light threads.  We have a few Kenmore either 158.1914 or 158.1060 and the Cub 7 version from same factory.  This is just my 2 cents on the issue.  Also, a recent discussion, I prefer the later 70's Kenmore stretch stitch setup because they are more mature than the earlier machines.....but they are not double needle capable so one ends up getting both in our case.  The classic vintage machines are awesome. Recently, off line, a person brought up to me the advantage to the earlier zig zag mechanism where the entire hook moved back and forth.  Didn't occur to me the advantage to this which is that the timing remains completely unchanged while doing this.  I have an industrial Juki lz391 with a very wide zig zag.  Finally getting the timing at widest zig zag to not miss stitches on one side or the other was fixed by using a different bobbin (both worked at narrower widths like 3/4 of max).  It was strange and quite a bit of work.  Sewing machines are sooo not all the same as one learns more about them even the do-all domestics are so different.    Your cool comments about the heavy to light use of your nice machine in the house is what encouraged me to make the comments.

Best regards,
Mike
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #5 
My first thought is - where is the take up lever when you first start to sew? If you make sure the take up lever is just at/over the top of its travel, the motor should start without that hesitation.

Cari

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Mickey

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Reply with quote  #6 
I have a beige 201K(-23) from 1955. It runs fine with out any trouble. I would not give up on the machine unless it's something majorly wrong. They are light weight enough to keep in a portable case, mine is in a small teak cabinet though. Among things to check is the pedal, it can need adjustment and sorting out. In some cases it can sort of lag a bit behind when it comes to flow of electricity, causing a hesitating buzzing noise.

It is a super smooth machine, the mechanism runs light and freely. The machine head takes oil on all points since it doesn't have any potted motor, and I think the motors on them were lubrication free. Even if you have cleaned it I would still take out the bobbin case, throat plate plate and clean. The edges and grooves under there often neeeds to be scraped cleaned with a tooth pick and you often don't get to it until a second cleaning after the initial oiling and cleaning. On both of my machines I needed to get the needle clamp off and scrape out the groove in the needle bar where the top of the needles goes. There were hard packed lint causing the needle to be off it's mark (hitting the turning part under the bobbin case slightly in needle down position).

I would make an effort and go over all the oil points a second and third time on a machine that's been stored away for some time. Even if it seems unnecessary it often makes a difference. Poke down the holes on top of the machine to check if there's any dust or grime. The hand wheel sometimes needs to come off to get a more thorough oiling of the parts involved (especially if it's hard to make the needle bar stand still when you wind a bobbin). The oil point in center just under the bobbin case (a screw) often needs to be cleaned out too.  If you are relatively new to 201s, make sure you oil the needle bar where it moves up and down in the cast aluminium part of the head behind the face plate. With a bit of investigation you might even discover missed oil points. The gears, rods, hinges, camlike parts under the bed often needs repetitive action too. These are basic and obvious things, but usually it's one of them that causes problems and need extra attention

Another thing to check is the belt, make sure it's  in good condition, clean and oil free. Sometimes the groove in the hand wheel and pulley on the motor needs to be cleaned. Over-oiling happens easily when we clean a neglected dry machine, sometimes it's necessary to dissilve dried up oil and grime, but it can cause oil seeping into places it should not be.  The original brow or beige belt can't be found anymore, but the black v-belts doesn't look too bad. Make sure you get a suitable size, there are size differences between the cast iron versions and the aluminium version.

Because of the buzzing noise and delayed take off, test sew with a different pedal you know works well. It might be the first thing to check when trouble shooting.
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Mickey

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Reply with quote  #7 
Sorry about the tedious things to check,  maybe my reply turned out a bit wrong. I can say my beige 201K runs just as smooth as my black cast iron 201K, both belt driven. I'm sure it has all to do with finding the trouble spot, be it cleaning, oil, pedal, motor or belt. The aluminum 201 is lighter, it's easier to move around and stitches exactly the same, perfectly.

There is a slight difference in how they feel, the aluminum version feels  abit stiffer some how, not sure. My cast iron 201K has a spoked wheel and is part of the difference between them. The heavier cast iron absorbs bit more of the movement when I push the machine to it's limit, but I have to say the aluminium version is as close as it can get.

The motor on these are usually very good and durable, the bakelite button pedal is in theory much the same too. I'm pretty sure the problem is a minor thing that needs attention and sorting out. Have you had a chance too take a second look at the pedal and belt?
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey
Because of the buzzing noise and delayed take off, test sew with a different pedal you know works well. It might be the first thing to check when trouble shooting.


I'm in complete agreement with you Mickey. It's funny the things you learn to do by rote. Swapping pedals would have been the very first thing I would have done if the motor buzzed. So much so, that I don't even think about it anymore - it would have been automatic - entirely conditioned behavior since I have other pedals at my disposal.

__________________
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
There is grace within forgiveness, but it's so hard for me to find - Ben Gibbard
My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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Guy Montana

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HettyB
Hello - my first post here but some of you have generously answered questions for me before at The QB.

A sorta 2-part question:

My 1958 Singer 201k Brown Beast (belt from motor to handwheel) stitches beautifully but hesitates, accompanied with a loud buzzing from the motor whilst engaging the 'foot pedal' to begin sewing, sometimes I have to 'help' it a bit with a light nudge on the handwheel.

Now, the foot pedal is held within a bracket inside a Singer Sewing Machine Cabinet No 40 (Queen Anne) which means it is knee operated, however, it is installed correctly.

The Beast was given to me 3 years ago after being in storage for years and when it was serviced the chap said that the bushings were starting to go.  Is that what is happening here or is it the footpedal?

2nd part of question - I bought the cabinet off ebay to house the Beast and when I collected it, it came with an early 201K (black) with near perfect exterior and a potted motor however, someone had done some dodgy DIY electric on it to lengthen the lead.  I did a little sewing test, it ran well, stitched well - very quiet but I took it out of the cabinet due to the wiring issue and replaced it with then newly & fully-serviced Beast.

Should I get the black potted motor one serviced, re-wired and put in the cabinet or just get Beast overhauled?  The black one looks prettier, however, I have to keep in mind costs.

As a side note, I bought the cabinet in beautiful condition, the black 201k with original manual and green box of accessories all for £45

Many thanks in advance for any advice

HettyB


Hello Hetty B.  Sorry to hear your sewing machine is giving you fits!  However, there is a great feed on here about motors.  Yes your motor sounds like it needs serviced.  The commutator cleaned and carbon brushes replaced.  The buzzing will go away; and strength of the motor will come back, if that is done correctly!  As a sewing machine tech I do that repair fairly frequently!  My own Anker had the same problem, but again it was easily solved.  There are a couple of us repair people commenting on a great thread that Kitcarlson started.  If you read through it, you may be able to even do the service yourself!!  Here's the link to that thread: https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/some-things-about-motors-work-in-progress-10285458?trail=50

I hope that helps you!!  The part number for your carbon brushes from Brewer:  
192457 Carbon Brush Singer 221 5.2mm x5.5mmx15.65mm  Alternative number CMB6.  Brewer is a wholesale only place.  However, lots of sewing machine shops use them as a good part source.  Just call your local repair shops and see if they have carbon brushes.  They average $10-$20 for a set.  Now the only big issue you may have is if the steel springs that push the carbon brushes have worn into the commutator...  Sometimes, that too is repairable.  Go to the motor thread and post some pictures.  We'll be happy to help you!
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #10 


Hello Hetty B.  Sorry to hear your sewing machine is giving you fits!  However, there is a great feed on here about motors.  Yes your motor sounds like it needs serviced.  The commutator cleaned and carbon brushes replaced.  The buzzing will go away; and strength of the motor will come back, if that is done correctly!  As a sewing machine tech I do that repair fairly frequently!  My own Anker had the same problem, but again it was easily solved.  There are a couple of us repair people commenting on a great thread that Kitcarlson started.  If you read through it, you may be able to even do the service yourself!!  Here's the link to that thread: https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/some-things-about-motors-work-in-progress-10285458?trail=50

I hope that helps you!!  The part number for your carbon brushes from Brewer:  
192457 Carbon Brush Singer 221 5.2mm x5.5mmx15.65mm  Alternative number CMB6.  Brewer is a wholesale only place.  However, lots of sewing machine shops use them as a good part source.  Just call your local repair shops and see if they have carbon brushes.  They average $10-$20 for a set.  Now the only big issue you may have is if the steel springs that push the carbon brushes have worn into the commutator...  Sometimes, that too is repairable.  Go to the motor thread and post some pictures.  We'll be happy to help you!

I acquired my 201-2 several years ago, Hetty, and I, too, had electrical problems.  My son, who worked as a SM Mechanic for 14 years before he went into computers, completely disassembled the motor and cleaned and completely re-wired the motor (from the electrical coil in the motor to the switches, etc.  Unfortunately, the electrical wiring on the 201 machines has, historically, not been the best and deteriorates after so many years.  My son acquired the machine for me (it was going to be thrown away), it has 98% of its decals intact, and it would have been a sin to throw it away or subject it to a sledge hammer.  So, I paid zero dollars for it, put a few bucks into new wiring material (my son even removed the very brittle tape or covering on the coil and replaced it with glass cloth tape (I think that's what he called it), plus the melamine electrical switch was broken, and it had no foot control.  All in all, we probably put a max of $50 in the machine.  It is such a good machine for quilting that I would hate to be without it, so I'm very happy that he was able to re-work the electrical and get it ready to use.  As an aside, the machine had been discarded by its prior owner for a very simple mistake -- the tensioner had been removed, probably for cleaning, and was put back in backwards.  It took my son less than a minute to recognize that.  Good luck with your machine.  It is a fairly simple machine to repair, but I'm not terribly educated on repair -- more using the machines!

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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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Guy Montana

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Reply with quote  #11 
So were you able to get it working right?  Can I help you out in some way?
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