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!