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Caroline

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Reply with quote  #1 
I don’t have photos yet, but this last weekend I was given both a (1953) Singer 301-A and a Singer 401-A.

It was Christmas and several birthdays all rolled into one grand day.

Where/How do I find the serial number on the 401-A?

Thanks, Caroline

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Carolinein the wilds of North Dakota
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1974 Singer 252 Fashion Mate;  1954 Singer 15-91;  1952 Pfaff 130-6;  1951 Singer Centennial 201-2; Bernina 230PE, and  Pfaff Serger 4874.
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #2 
With the orientation of the machine as if you were to sit down and sew, needle to the left, hand wheel to the right:
The serial number on the 401a will be found on the underside of the machine.  It is stamped into the metal at the halfway point
between the 'front' (as if in threading instructions) of the deck and the 'back' of the deck on the farthest left lip.

On the 401a the bobbin plate runs from the needle to the front edge. If you would imagine the plate running left from the needle to the deck edge
then the serial number would be centered exactly underneath the furthest left edge of the plate. Same 'spacial' area.

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x marking the spot on the underside of the left lip

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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #3 
Even knowing that it is on the underside of the left lip, it is sometimes hard to find and read. I had one that had to take a flashlight from different angles as it hadn't been stamped very hard and was hard to see.

As for dating it, the best source I know of is http://singer301.com/dating/default.html

Janey

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Caroline

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you for the quick answers. I Took the bottom - the part that hooks into the carrying case top - off and then I found the number!

Can you tell me if a 301A and a 401A can share the same feet and accessories?

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Carolinein the wilds of North Dakota
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1974 Singer 252 Fashion Mate;  1954 Singer 15-91;  1952 Pfaff 130-6;  1951 Singer Centennial 201-2; Bernina 230PE, and  Pfaff Serger 4874.
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #5 
"Can you tell me if a 301a and a 401a can share the same feet and accessories?"

The answer is yes and no. Yes, they will all fit on both machines and can be used on both machines except where you run into the problem of zigzag. I have a ruffler and tucker for a 301a that I can use on a 401a if using straight stitch only. But - I also have a ruffler and a tucker for a 401a that I can use on both machines without worry since both of these have the wide zigzag slot in them. The ruffler and tucker for the 301a have only the straight stitch needle hole. 

Keep in mind that the 301a came out in the early 50s and was only a straight stitch machine. The 401a came on the market in 1958 and with it the wide slot feet and attachments for zigzag. All of them are Singer slant shank. I should mention that the Singer Automatic Zigzagger, slant shank version, was intended for the 301. 

I should also mention that it pays to keep mindful of what needle plate and feet are being used on the 401a when going from straight stitch to zigzag. My rule of thumb is that unless I need the straight stitch foot and needle plate (usually marked AK3) I just use the general purpose zigzag foot and zigzag needle plate. 

Using straight stitch AK3 settings is also something I usually don't do unless I am locking myself into straight stitch. Usually, I set the machine knobs to BL for zigzag and just slide the needle position lever over to 1 for straight stitch and up to 5 for zigzag and just leave it like that for general sewing. It's easy and quick. It's even easier to just get a 403 and use that. Ask my wife. 

- Bruce
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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #6 
"Can you tell me if a 301A and a 401A can share the same feet and accessories?"

 Caroline, As you have both, did they come with any of their respective feet? As Bruce mentioned, some may work on both, but some designed for the wider feed dogs of the 401(ZZ sm) won't feed as well on the narrower feed dogs of the (SS) 301, eg., the slant walking foot. (I haven't used that much as I use a Davis VF for those situations).

 I have a hopping foot for my cl. 401 which might also work well on 301 as that doesn't use the feed dogs. (But, as the cl 401s don't drop dogs, but rather raise the plate, maybe the hopping foot's pressure mightn't be right for the 301?)

 I have a blind stitch braider foot which I think was for 301, but can be used on cl. 401 as the latter has center feed dogs, so this narrow SS foot works.

 Feet/feed dogs matching is just something to notice when you want to switch out the feet.

 Congrats on your fine sms.

 Stacy
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #7 
Check Shopgoodwill. I have picked up amazing finds there in grab bags of attachments, sometimes finding real gems. One such batch contained a complete set of attachments in original green box for the Singer 301. 

My wife has a 301 long bed portable in the grassmat trapezoid case, I have a two tone mocha and beige short bed in the trapezoid cabinet with mounting cradle. We have the complete set of attachments for both plus the Automatic Zigzagger, etc. Lots of fun with these machines. 

Personally, I think the 301 is far superior to the 221 Featherweight and is a great machine. Why people will easily pay the high prices for the 221 and not the 301 is a bit of a mystery to me. I have seen some 301s go for pretty low prices, but average is 75 to 150 dollars in our area. The black one is the one that goes sky high. Personally, I prefer the mocha portable. Easy on the eyes when sewing. Same with the two tone. Classic black is fine on some machines, such as my Singer 15-75, the modern adaptation of the Singer 15-90. Very angular and Goth looking. Still, for actual sewing I prefer the 15-125; same body, but two tone green is easy on the eyes, no light glare. 

-Bruce


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