Sunday, April 3, 2016

Putting the Presser Bar back together on a Singer 201-2

I've found that I have a LOT of bookmarks that are valuable resources to Servicing and Restoring Old Singer Sewing Machines.   Some of which I find myself referencing over and over again. As well as reorganizing over and over again!   The biggest downside to using someone else's notes & references are that they are never in the order that I need, when I need it.  They are also missing my personal experiences and observations.  And God forbid....what if they take their blog\site down???   I better start making some of my own posts!

When I tackle a machine on my bench for full restoration, I take apart every single piece.   Clean, sand, polish every screw.  Extreme?  Yep!   But that's why I take so much pride when my machines leave my shop!  I keep everything for each machine separate and in their own trays, cups, area. EXCEPT when they are all my personal stock!  This past winter I had some time in between customer machines, for a change, to work on some of my stock machines.   I decided to tackle a handful of 201-2's at the same time.   (NOTE: if a part varied on a machine (ie Chrome verses Black hand wheel, blackside parts, etc. - I kept a log to ensure that the original pieces went back to the machines they came from)  Not that anyone would truly notice the difference mind you...but authenticity is important to me.   Anyway - I digress.

Pieces & Parts for FIVE Singer 201-2's
Lotsa motors to go with all the parts 
Phew!   It took an entire weekend to take all those machines apart!   Some parts had to be oiled, penetrated...coaxed to separate from the head.   And at Midnight on a Sunday night, it's time to go to bed and head to work in the morning.   I'm excited to get right back to it after work!   The phone rings on Monday, some friends want to go out - ok!   Tuesday - big outage at work, gotta work late.  Wednesday - flat tire    Thursday - what a week!   Netflix and Wine!    Friday - a Sit N Sew with all the Gurlz!!   Woo Hoo!    Maybe next weekend I'll get back to the boxes of parts.    Well you get the idea.   I'd love to tout that I can leisurely work on these babies 24\7 but alas, I still work full time at an 8-5 job, have family and friends, and lookee there - I'm a human being and get tired!   

I thought it was a GREAT idea to tackle multiple machines at once.   And I still do, to a certain degree.   But when customer machines still come in, and orders, sometimes it's just this nagging "I have GOT to find the time to finish ALL of those!"   Over the next few months, I took a small tray of parts at a time and got to work.    Cleaning, dremeling, polishing, wiping, inspecting...every piece, until I could finally say all the parts were ready to go back on the heads.    Whoops....gotta do the motors.   You can see the process of cleaning and re-wiring those babies here

After cleaning, polishing
Don't even get me started on what it takes to clean the head - we'll get to that on another post.  Today, I want to point out what to do and look for when your trays and stuff have been moved around 42 times and you aren't 100% sure which screws go where!   Unless of course you have a fully intact machine sitting next to them all.   (Whew - thank goodness I do!)  But when I DON'T - here's a reference for which screw is which! Along with the part names & Numbers according to Singer for easy look up!   We're just going to focus on the Presser bar area in this example.  I threw the stop motion clamp & screw in there because the screw looks similar to the others.   Until you look closer!

Screws are different but VERY similar
Let's start with the screws that go with the Clamp Stop Motion Screw, Tensioner release lever and Presser foot lifter.   2 of these screws are what are called "HINGE" screws.  They are called Hinge screws because the parts that are held onto the machine move freely on the screw.   That's what the little solid part above the threads of the screw are for!   I put a sewing machine needle in the individual photos to help decipher the size.

Tension Releasing Lever & Hinge Screw 
Ref Singer No's 32573, 97
Thinner and smaller diameter than the Presser Foot Lifter Hinge Screw
10mm in length - 5mm diameter on the head
Presser Bar Lifter & Hinge Screw 
Ref Singer No's  66564, 85
Fatter and shorter than the Tension Releasing Lever Hinge Screw
12mm in length - 8mm diameter on the head
Clamp Stop Motion Clamp Screw  & Stop motion screw 
Ref Singer No's 51280, 45294, 45295, 45336   Screw - 246
11mm in length - 4mm diameter on the head - 3mm unthreaded at the bottom
Tension Releasing Lever & Presser Foot Lifter
Above is a visual of WHY these two parts need "HINGE" screws.   Both of these parts need to be able to "rock" freely on the shiny smooth portion just under the head of the screw.   If they aren't working in unison together, one of those screws aren't seated correctly.  This is just one example of WHY I take everything apart.   Those "hinges" should get a drop of oil, and with a drop of oil can lead to build up and prohibit "smooth" hinges!   Also - when you are putting this area back together, the Tension Releasing Lever should go in first, then the Presser Foot Lifter.

Next - we focus on getting the presser bar back in.  You'll need the Presser Bar Guide Bracket, set screw and the actual Presser Bar.
Presser Bar Guide Bracket & Set Screw
Ref Singer No 45237, 453

Presser Bar Guide Bracket & Set Screw
Ref Singer No 45237, 453
Roll the hand wheel until the needle is the down position - this gets the gears out of the way so that you can "side-shimmy" that piece back in above the Presser Foot Lifter Level.   DO NOT FORCE THIS PIECE.   There is a sweet spot where this piece slides right in.  This piece is another area that needs to always move FREELY - Up and down with the presser foot lever.  Hold the guide bracket in place with your fingers (with the set screw out far enough to not impede the inside of the bracket) and slide that presser bar down through the top - through the bracket (held by your fingers), and down through to the bed of the machine.  

Presser Bar & Presser Guide Bracket
Note - you can tighten the set screw on the presser bar guide bracket enough to hold it in place for now, but plan on going back to it later.   For later reference when doing final TWEAKS - Presser foot height needs to be set at not more than 19/64 of an inch between presser foot and the top surface of the throat plate.  The presser foot should be parallel with the feed dog when lowered. The needle should be close to (but not touch) the inner or right hand side of the large toe of the presser foot.

Slide the Presser Bar Spring right through the top until it rests on the Presser Bar Guide Bracket
Presser Bar Spring
Ref Singer No 32675
Then you add the Pressure Regulating Thumb Screw AND THE THIN WASHER to the top to keep all the pieces in!
Pressure Regulating Thumb Screw and Washer
Ref Singer No's 51228. 66773, 66772
Presser Bar back together
Almost done!   Don't forget to add the thread cutter back onto the bottom of the bar before you add your presser foot!

Thread Cutter
Ref Singer No. 26075
Now the most interesting part I found I needed to research was for that thumb screw that holds the foot on!   I honestly thought the thumb screws were all interchangeable.   But then again, I had never piled all the parts for multiple machines into trays before.    Interesting findings!

The thumb screw that measures a little more than 1/2" in diameter and 3/4" in length is the one for the presser feet as well as the shiny side cover on the back of the machine.   The one that is a little LESS than 1/2" in diameter and 1/2" in length is the one for the Faceplate!  Regardless - they are all threaded the same on the screw, other than the feed dog lever, so it's easy to put them in the wrong place.