Needles, Discs, Cams
How do you use a fashion disc in a Singer 401a sewing machine?
See the article "How to use a Singer Special Disc"
Do Singer Touch & Sew machines use top hat cams?
600-series Touch & Sew models use the same black "top hat" Special Disc as the 400 & 500 slant-o-matic models. 700-series Touch & Sew models use an off-white disc called a "Flexi-Stitch" disc. Some Flexi-Stitch discs have a "top-hat" style raised center, others are completely flat.
What type of needle does a Singer 411 slant needle use?
All slant needle Singer machines use a standard 15x1 machine needle up to size 18. I prefer Schmetz brand but the larger sizes (16, 18) don't always fit into the needle clamp of the older Singer machines. Singer brand needles always fit.
Make, Model, & Features
What is the difference between Singer model 401 and 401A?
Singer model numbers were used to identify a class or type of sewing machine, but individual features could vary depending on factory of origin. The 401 (aka 401G) and 401A both feature slant needle, built-in stitches, steel gears, and direct drive motor. 401A was manufactured at Anderson South Carolina, has a front-mount bobbin-winder and is squarer in shape. 401G was manufactured at Karlsruhe, West Germany, has a top-mounted bobbin-winder, an additional threading feature called "thread control," and features more stylized lines.
See Singer 401 Gallery for pictures.
Which Singer models are slant needle machines?
An exhaustive list is not practical in this limited space, but here's a comprehensive list of Singer's slant needle machines with known alpha suffixes in parentheses: 301(A), 401(A,G), 403(A), 404(A), 411(G), 431(G), 500(A), 503(A), 600(E), 603(E), and all 600- and 700-series Touch & Sew models. Singer also produced slant needle Futura and Athena models, which are later, plastic models.
See Singer Slant Needle Gallery for individual model details.
Dates & Factories
Where was my Singer sewing machine made?
See the article "Where was my Singer sewing machine made?"
When was my Singer sewing machine made?
See the article "Dating your Vintage Singer Sewing Machine" for details.
What does "Simanco" mean?
Simanco stands for "Singer Manufacturing Company" and was used by Singer to mark parts and accessories.
Where can I find the serial number on my Singer sewing machine?
Serial numbers are usually found either on a brass plate on the front right corner of the sewing platform or stamped into the underside of the machine. Prior to 1924, Singer serial numbers consisted of a single alphabetical character followed by up to 7 numerical digits (e.g., Y1234567). Beginning in 1924 the format changed to consist of two alphabetical letters followed by 6 numerical digits (e.g., AA123456). However, Singer continued issuing single-alpha serial numbers into the 1930's.
Where is the serial number on a Singer slant-o-matic?
It is stamped into the underside of the sewing platform at the needle end of the machine.
What is my sewing machine worth?
The simple answer is: your machine is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. The value of any machine depends on several factors, including availability, condition, and presentation. Do some research before selling (or buying) any sewing machine. For example, check eBay or craigslist to see how many identical machines are currently for sale. Use the "completed listings" feature on eBay to see the selling price, not the asking price. Make an honest assessment of your machine's condition compared to others like it. If yours is dirty or scratched or in need of repair then you can't expect to sell it for top dollar.
Do you provide appraisal services?
OldSewinGear cannot provide specific appraisal services.
Can you tell me what's wrong with my machine?
OldSewinGear is not a sewing machine repair service. We may be able to offer general troubleshooting tips, but it is impossible to accurately diagnose a machine's problem without seeing, touching, and hearing it.
Can I send my machine to you for repair?
No, we don't have the facilities or staff to provide repair services.
Handwheel does not turn.
DO NOT force the handwheel to turn. There are several possible reasons why the handwheel won't turn.
The simplest cause is a jam in the machinery. Visually inspect all moving parts and remove any foreign objects such as broken needles or straight pins.
If there is nothing jamming the machinery then the mechanism might be gummed up by dried lubricant. This is common if the machine has been sitting unused fro 50 years. Try lubricating all moving parts and use a hairdryer to heat the moving parts to aid the oil in penetrating frozen joints. Rock the handwheel gently to encourage movement but do not force it.
If the handwheel still does not turn then the most likely culprit is a frozen motor bearing which will need to be replaced.