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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've been looking for a Singer to put in my 42 cabinet. It came with with an incredibly heavy Domestic 762 (makes the 201k feel like a Featherweight in comparison) which kept pulling off the hinges and now seems much happier housed in a scavenged 50s portable case. Anyway, I've been halfheartedly searching for a Singer I thought might suit the cabinet and be hopefully a bit lighter, perhaps a 191 or late model 201k. These are fairly rare in my neck of the woods though...

Someone has just offered me a Singer 306K -- a black one with the cams--which from the photo I really like the look of. It was given them several years ago by the proverbial old lady who was apparently the original owner and they have no idea if it works as no one in their family sews.

I've read that the 306s need special needles and can be temperamental. I'd like this one to work, but it wouldn't be my go-to machine. Any thoughts from those of you who know 306s?

Many thanks

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Cecilia

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don’t know the 306, but I have a 319k and I looooooooove it!

Please share the photo!

The needles can be bought in size 12 and 14 easily.

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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks! Good to know about the needles. Here is the picture. I think it's very handsome...

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Andrew

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Reply with quote  #4 
Stunning in black! Mrs. D is holding a beige 306 for me.

There were several different cam sets for the 306, hopefully the original owner had more than the basic set.

If you like, you can purchase an extra bobbin case and modify it, then class 15 needles will work. There's a thread here somewhere about that.

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #5 
I've read that 15x1 needles can be used, if you make a small modification to the bobbin case.  There's a thread here, and probably more hits as well -- this was just the first search result I came to:  https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/singer-swing-needle-bobbin-case-replacement-8490388?pid=1300184610
 

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Cecilia

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Reply with quote  #6 
I would be willing to experiment with a new, replacement bobbin case, but not with the original Singer one. Farmer John mentioned to me once that there is a bobbin case that fits, without having to modify... unless I’m remembering incorrectly, which is entirely possible.

Personally though, I have decided for my 319k to keep it as originally set up. Apparently even though the machine will function and not strike the bobbin case with the modification, the needle point being longer can compromise things, as the needle remains in the fabric for longer in the stitch cycle than the timing was set up for.

So for me, I have accepted that this will be a 12 and 14 sharp needle stitcher, no fine needles or leather needles or ballpoint needles.... and thus, I will just have to maintain another 12 or so beautiful old machines, to have one for every type of job! ;-)

I also figure, even thought the needles are “expensive”, it brings me great joy to see on, and after all, I only paid a couple of sandwiches and ice cream’s worth of money for the machine... so I’ll spend more on needles in its lifetime with me, but that’s okay.

CD Thayer Rags, if you’re reading this, you recently made some posts and I saw your gorgeous 319... it is in beautiful condition!!! Also I’m terribly sorry to hear about your wife. Hang in there, both of you, and as Steve said, just holler any time.

Ana’s Dad, I ordered needles from Central Michigan Sewing, and also there is a place that sells them by the 100. I forget them name.

i had a very bad experience with SingerSewingPartsOnline or something like that, in Ohio I think, and do not recommend them. I’ll have to look up the exact name of the company and post in the vendors section, as a warning to others. I paid, and never received a shipment , and all of my inquiries went unanswered, and after a couple of months I had to have the credit card company dispute it. Very sad.

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Cecilia

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Reply with quote  #7 
Also, Ana’s Dad, is that a centennial badge on yours? How nice!
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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thank you all so much for the great info! Today brought, as my late grandmother used to say, an embarrassment of riches. Not only the potential 306 but then a call from one of my fellow local SMAD friends to say he has a very nice black 1954 201K in aluminum in need of a home. What to do?

Well as it turned out, after much deliberation I decided on the 201K for a couple of reasons. First of all it comes just as the head plus electricals and ready to put into my 42 and secondly it's what I had imagined I wanted in the first place.

The 306 came in its original cabinet and it would have been a shame to take it out, I have no room for another cabinet plus it's not a design (no.65) that I like. I had first refusal on it but the seller said the next in line was a woman who REALLY wanted a 306 and was in love with the cabinet. So she was thrilled to give it a home and I think the 201K will be just the thing for me 😊

PS It wasn't a centennial

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Reply with quote  #9 
A 201k in a 42 cabinet just seems right for some reason.  Please post pictures when your cabinet and new machine are united.
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #10 
I agree with Tammy. That royal cabinet deserves a queen of a machine and the 201 fits that bill.

Cari

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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #11 
Well, I think today calls for another of my late grandmother's favourite sayings -- wonders never cease...

As I had said, just a couple of days ago, I passed on the 306K and my friend has found me a lovely black late model aluminum (or should I say aluminium as it's a K?) 201K -- which he'll have ready in a couple of weeks--to put in the 42 cabinet. Right. The second part is still true.

However, as of this evening I the proud owner of that 306K as well. It seems the women who was so enamoured of it disappeared and the owner called me and offered it at a great price as she needed it gone. It works just fine but needs cleaning, oiling a new belt etc. It was made at Kilbowie but has a Singer Canada 110 motor. I think there are a total of ten of those flat cams, the original manual from 1954, extra throat plates and even some extra needles. There is only one bobbin, but the bobbin case is intact and works as it should. I'm going to have lots fun getting to know this one. Good thing I decided to take next week off as a staycation.

I'm not sure what's going to happen to the cabinet as it' s not a design that really appeals to me but it weighs a ton and has one of those fancy little silver foot levers connected to a motor controller in the cabinet I think.
It's split 50 X 50 at the top and instead of those standard Singer pop out supports it has 3 hinges per leaf.

BTW does anyone know where you find the serial number on one of these? I had a quick look, but now I'm off to bed to dream of 201s and 306s 😀

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Andrew

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana's Dad
BTW does anyone know where you find the serial number on one of these? I had a quick look, but now I'm off to bed to dream of 201s and 306s 😀


Tip it back and you'll find it facing downwards at the front left

Mike

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Reply with quote  #13 
I have yet to delve into my 319W, but between it and the parts machine (and box of parts), I plan to have it up and running to original spec at some point. In addition to vintage 206x13 needles I've been able to find here and there, I purchased needles in lots of 100 directly from Schmetz, who still make them and yes, only in sizes 12 and 14. These work out to about 70 cents a needle from Schmetz, and you can buy smaller lots for about the same on Amazon. You can sometimes find them for even a little cheaper on ebay or the like, but beware those who sell the 10 packs for more than 7-8 bucks apiece. 
There are other groups that refuse to allow discussion of modifying bobbin cases etc. to allow the 206/306/319 to use 15x1 needles; while I think everything should be discussable, there's a lot to be said for sticking to the original needles for these. There are even some who modify 15x1 needles to have shorter points, as the shank-to-eye distance is the same, though unless you're really a fine machinist or one of the ladies back at Kilbowie in the 30s, it might be tough to get them just right!
Replacing that cleated fiber belt can be a terrible job -- but pretty sure it's doable. May not have to be done if it's in good shape and hasn't been soaked with oil...

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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks, Mike! Thanks, Matt! Turns out it was made in March 1955 -- first batch in the second year of production.

It's moving pretty nicely so far and the fibre belt I can see underneath has no visible oil on it and runs well. It's been beautifully cared for with just the tiniest bit of wear to front bed decals where the fabric would have fed. Otherwise the machine head look almost mint. There are 24 of those flat cams including the zigzag and the original green box of attachments marked for the 306K. It apparently had just one owner (the original buyer) for nearly all its life until she died a couple of years ago and her family sold it.

This photo makes the finish look cloudy but that dusted off and the original clear coat is nearly perfect. I think I'm going to really love this one...

Cheers

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Andrew

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Reply with quote  #15 
Andrew that's just absolutely beautiful. I wonder if it might be missing the "intermediate bight regulator screw," as many of this line seem to be...it screws into the left side of the stitch regular knob-and-levers apparatus. There's a thread about it here, and they can be had on various sites that sell parts. I don't think it affects performance to be lacking it, just that it may be difficult to lock in a setting and switch from zig-zag to straight and back to the same zig-zag, I think (but again I haven't dissected this machine yet!)

https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/singer-306w-missing-screw-t269041.html

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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #16 
Thanks, Matt

You are absolutely right. It's missing that little screw so I must look for a replacement 😊 Central Michigan is out of stock and I haven't been able to find one after a bit of searching on eBay but I'll keep looking.

Everything is moving as it should and it really is in lovely shape. There was next to no lint to clean out and it had been oiled relatively recently it seems so it runs as silently as the 201s. Now I just have to be patient until the 206x13 needles and proper bobbins I ordered yesterday arrive! Then I can thread it up as it should be done. I found out the name of the original owner who loved this 306 for so many years and have called the machine in her honour. Oonagh, a lovely Irish name.

So while I'm waiting, I'll take advantage of the good weather and clean up the finish on the top of the cabinet so it looks worthy of the pristine machine head and do the same for the White in the Martha Washington, which has been patiently waiting. Oh, and I'm finally learning to treadle more efficiently, practising on the orphan 201-3 I fitted up into a 1940s stand. It's lots of fun to have reverse. This should keep me occupied until the needles show up...

Cheers

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Andrew

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Cecilia

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Reply with quote  #17 
Andrew, were you able to find needles in Canada, or did you have to order from the states?

I’m really happy that you got this 206. I -adore- my 319; it handles so well! I do remember going cross eyed reading the manual about the bight screw stuff, and also if you can’t find one the machine will still work.

I’m so jealous that you have the full set of cams!!!!!

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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #18 
Cecilia, I ordered the needles from Central Michigan. I needed some other bits as well and like you, I've had very good experience dealing with them in the past. They always ship promptly and then I wait as the arcane progress through the U.S./Canadian postal services unfolds...At least it's not the Global Shipping Program as per eBay which is an endless source of frustration for us Canadians 😕

I wasn't going to keep the cabinet, but I'm growing quite fond of it. So I think it's a keeper and I will re-home the 15J in a 40 cabinet to make room 😀

Cheers

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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #19 
Trying to keep busy while waiting for those needles. The cabinet is far from perfect now but it's a whole lot better. And a friend has found me the matching stool...

Before and now,

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Andrew

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Reply with quote  #20 
Very nice.  I never thought I liked those cabinets, you may have changed my mind.

I do really like those foot levers, I've wondered if you could do a similar setup on a 42 cabinet.

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Tammy

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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #21 
I wasn't keen on that design either and wasn't planning to keep this one but it's grown on me🙂 And it really looks much better now.

This is the first time I've used one of these little silver foot levers and I quite like it -- although truth be told, I'll take a knee controller any day. I have seen this little lever on 42s before (well, in pictures) so it's possible for sure.

Cheers

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Reply with quote  #22 
Very nice.  What did you use on the cabinet?
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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #23 
So far a quick wash with Murphy's oil soap, then Restor-a-Finish -- cherry looked closest to the least faded bits underneath. I let a light coat of Feed-n-Wax set in over night which I buffed off today and tomorrow will give a coat of wax and some more elbow grease. Gotta love Howard products...

Cheers

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Andrew
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Reply with quote  #24 
I have also seen the foot lever on a #65 desk. I was surprised to learn one doesn't press down on it, one pushes it to the right with the side of the foot.
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttatummm
Very nice.  I never thought I liked those cabinets, you may have changed my mind.

I do really like those foot levers, I've wondered if you could do a similar setup on a 42 cabinet.


There are two versions of the #42 cabinet. One has this foot control and one doesn't but I don't remember which is which.

Cari

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana's Dad
I wasn't keen on that design either and wasn't planning to keep this one but it's grown on me🙂 And it really looks much better now.

This is the first time I've used one of these little silver foot levers and I quite like it -- although truth be told, I'll take a knee controller any day. I have seen this little lever on 42s before (well, in pictures) so it's possible for sure.

Cheers


Andrew - really nice work on the desk.  I have a Singer 65 in blonde that I refinished - also with the silver foot.  It is a bit different than you desk - 3 drawers and 75/25 split top.  I house my Rocketeer in it since I think, style wise/era wise they are a good.  This cabinet design also grew on me - it is very practical with all those drawers and is easily used and disguised as a desk.  Very nice machine as well - lucky you!
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