Daffy's Stitchy Friends

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

The Big (swoon) Purple Dress is nearly finished! I think I got too swept up in sewing machine restoration and dawdled on my stitching. I've only stitched on Monday's for a while now. Since stitching is my stress relief, I find myself keyed up a little.

Monday's are spent at my parent's house. My Mom has Lewy Body dementia and Dad is her full-time caretaker. I help watch my Mom and visit with my Dad. He runs errands or messes about outside. The nurse aid comes to give Mom her shower. Dad and I often sit and chat while I stitch. 

We usually have lunch and it's usually Thai. I make Dad pick our lunch 'cause he's the one stuck at home 24/7. We both love Thai, extra spicy. I look forward to Monday's but I wish we lived closer so I could visit more often. 

Probably 90% of Merry Sunshine has been stitched at Dad's kitchen table! I should lay off my Kindle and stitch more at home. 

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

A Singer Model 404 Sewing Machine, Part 2

This is a continuation of my restoration of a Singer model 404 sewing machine I bought off Facebook Marketplace. If you want to read the first part, click here

Once I get all the parts off, the machine goes outside to take a shower. I scrub it inside and out with a degreasing cleaner and rinse it with the garden hose. This makes it spotlessly clean and fresh-smelling. The machine gets a blow-dry with the leaf blower and I bring it back inside and quickly grease and oil the insides before things get rusty. Now I wax!

And wax.

And wax.

Altogether, I put on 2 layers of cleaner wax and 4 layers of carnauba wax, the same stuff you'd use on your car. This sewing machine's body is cast aluminum, with nice heavy-duty steel shafts and gears. There is nothing that smells better than a clean sewing machine, the wax has a lovely "tropical" scent and even the oil & grease I use (Tri-Flow) has a yummy banana scent.

The parts I cleaned look great and I start rebuilding the machine! These are the "feed regulator" parts I had soaking in the first part. Now clean, they get brushed with Tri-Flow and installed.

These are the external feed regulator parts. 

All installed on the machine!

When I take things off, each area's parts go into a different little bag. Here are the bobbin winder tension bracket parts. 

You can't really leave parts off if everything is all together in a bag.

Here is an undertaking! These are the throat plate positioning parts. My parts look a little different than the ones Andy demonstrated but since he teaches you how things work I was able to put it back together. These were the parts I had such trouble removing before, now they work as smooth as butter!

 All those parts above to move the two little clamping pins at the top there. Ingenious. Sheesh, remember how nasty this hook area was? That shower was really needed!

It feels better to have the thread take-up lever reinstalled. 

The needlebar!

The presser bar!

Here, I am setting the presser bar to the factory height.  

The rotary hook and the feed dogs.

The hook area is complete!

I reinstalled the electrics.

I must have got it right, the light came on!

15 parts in the tension assembly. They got a greasy bath in WD40 so I could remove the set screw to take it apart. 

Now all nice and cleaned and the set screw safely inside its own bag. It's too teeny and I will lose it! 

Now it is all installed on the machine. 

I was able to fix the crushed arm top cover thread guide. 

That horribly rusty stop motion clamp nut shined right up!

Doesn't it look nice now? 

All the parts are on except the motor. Curious as always, I threaded up the machine and it sewed when I turned the handwheel! Now for that motor...

I started taking the motor apart. Once I had the brushes out I could see inside and was shocked to find a perfectly clean motor. What? Why is it so clean? Hardly any carbon dust, even on the commutator.  Has it even been used? I'm no fool, I cleaned the outside of the motor, put the brushes back in and called it done.

I took the controller off my 404, Jake, and plugged it in this one. It sews like a champ! I, however,  don't sew very well with one hand on the controller and the other holding the camera. 

Now to restore this machine's controller!

Starting off, it is just as filthy as the machine was.

Stinky too, like a musty old storage shed.

The parts look great.

After cleaning and polishing the parts look even better!

The bakelite housing got washed and waxed.

When I opened the carbon resistor tubes I was pleased to find very, very clean carbons! I really think this machine was hardly ever used.

All the gazillion parts inside a button style controller. I got it put back together and adjusted. No more musty smell! 

Oh, excellent! I have a great range of control and Jiminy Crickets this machine can fly! It can sew faster than I could ever keep up with.

I am so, so sad to be finished restoring this machine. It was the best fun I've had in ages. I will be putting this machine up for sale since I already own a 404.

Anyone can do this. I am not mechanically inclined. Everything I am doing in these photos can be learned by watching Andy Tube videos. You can do it too.

*waves to Andy* 

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Singer Model 404 Sewing Machine

In addition to needlework and quilting, I enjoy vintage sewing machines.

I picked up this dirty Singer model 404 off Facebook Marketplace a few weeks ago and have been working on restoring it. I take pictures with my iPhone and document carefully what everything looks like before and after. This post is only about the beginning of my restoration.

The machine is in really nice condition under this filth. Mostly it's just been neglected instead of abused. The serial number puts it manufactured in April of 1959. It's a straight stitch only, heavy duty, beast that could sew circles around any machine made today. And look better while doing it. It's my favorite Singer model.

Poor rusty tension unit. 

All these parts get taken off and put into little ziplock bags that are labeled with the proper name. I love the part names and enjoy learning what each thing is called.

Here is a little bit of abuse, the "arm top cover thread guide" has been smashed flat and has a rough cut in the metal. I will have to repair this so it doesn't snag the thread.

Presser bar parts. Once I am finished, this presser bar will be smooth and shiny so it will glide through the bushing with ease.

This wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and yet so much worse! You can't see in this view how dirty the rotating hook is under all the parts.

Once I removed the bobbin case and the bracket that holds it I could see the deep layer of dirt and grime. Oh my!

The kitchen table fills up as all the parts come off.

This was definitely the most difficult part! These are the "throat plate clamps" and they were glued in place with varnished oil. I thought I'd never get them loose!

Oh gosh! Look at that rust on the "stop motion clamp nut!" Will it clean up or is it too far gone?

Taking off the "handwheel" gives me access to get the "bobbin winder" parts off. You can see it's all greasy where I've sprayed it down with WD40 so I can get the screws out.

I take out the motor and all the electrics. This is not scary to me anymore! I will be taking the motor apart (first time) for cleaning too. That's a little scary...but I can do it!


Once I have everything off that I want to take off. I start cleaning! Small parts get soaked in a degreasing cleaner and scrubbed with toothbrushes. Here you see my "feed regulator" parts, internal and external,  getting cleaned.

I also give some things a soak in a rust remover. Once the parts are cleaned I blow them dry with a hairdryer. If they are tarnished, I buff them clean with polish and if more is needed I will use a Dremel tool.

I will save the rest for another post! The machine is clean and I'm putting it back together.

Anyone can do this. I am not mechanically inclined. Everything I am doing in these photos can be learned by watching Andy Tube videos. You can do it too.

*waves to Andy* 

Thank you for visiting my blog today!