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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 7:37 pm   #1
EF80TVVALVE
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Default Singer 99k sewing machine repair

Hi all,

Just having a look at this machine, not something I'm really into but I've been tasked to fix it and I'm hoping some help here will get me there!

So it is an early 1950s machine with its original motor fitted. This is causing the most problems. In operation it is terribly granuchy, loud and rattly. I've had it apart and there is plenty left on the carbon brushes, I cleaned and oiled before reassembling but it is still the same. Just wondering if there is anything I could try or if the motor is worn and needs replacement.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 7:48 pm   #2
electronicskip
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

sounds like worn bearings? only a guess.
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Old 3rd Jul 2019, 7:55 pm   #3
EF80TVVALVE
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

I've given the rounded brass bearings at either end of the shaft a check for play on the communator and they are still very good. There is however two paxolin washers at each end which may have worn down as there is a fair bit of push/pull play on the output shaft on the motor occuring.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 5:31 pm   #4
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

In spite of appearances mine works very smoothly. The motor has never been opened.

I can tell you that there is 1mm play in the motor shaft.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 6:32 pm   #5
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

Can you confirm that the motor runs roughly with the drive belt removed?

If there is no obvious mechanical play then the first thing to do is clean the commutator contacts carefully. You can do this most effectively by dismanting the motor, but you can improve things a lot by removing the brushes and cleaning as best you can. T-Cut or Brasso will get all the crud off, but you should clean off any residue with IPA or meths afterwards.

Check the brushes carefully.

If the worst comes to the worst you can buy a modern replacement motor and pedal for about 30. You should be able to fix the original motor though - they were made in vast quantities and are tough as old boots. They normally last forever with occasional lubrication.

Graham, I strongly advise you to lubricate the motor bearings. They're probably bone dry by now.

(1934 Singer 201K user, original motor)
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 7:49 pm   #6
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

Hi Gents, poor contacts on the footpedal rheostat ?

Ed
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 8:40 pm   #7
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

That wouldn't make it mechanically noisy, though it might cause intermittent operation.
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Old 4th Jul 2019, 11:02 pm   #8
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post

Graham, I strongly advise you to lubricate the motor bearings. They're probably bone dry by now.

(1934 Singer 201K user, original motor)
Will do Paul.

Mine was rescued from my late parents-in-law's cellar before we sold the house, a family heirloom.

As found, the mechanism was seized up. It was the hinged joint that swings the hook. I removed it and applied a blowlamp and bathed it in engine oil while working it too and fro until it was quite free. Then I had to look up how to re-time the hook operation. Quite a satisfying project learning how these simple, yet clever machines work.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 10:30 am   #9
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

The domestic machines made from the 1890s to the mid 1960s are very similar apart from the actual lockstitch mechanism (boat shuttle or rotating hook). They use very robust Victorian engineering practices and have almost indefinite lives if maintained properly. I still have the Jones Family CS bought by my maternal great grandmother on HP in 1897, and it still sews quite well despite having seen very heavy use (it was used for commercial outworking for several decades).

When the mechanisms have seized after long periods of disuse this is usually the result of dried up lubrication. You were supposed to oil them with sperm oil at least annually, but this was expensive so people would try all sorts of things, particularly bicycle oil made from castor oil. The official advice to free them up was to soak everything in paraffin, but nowadays lots of WD40 works well. They obviously need to be lubricated properly with machine oil afterwards.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 6:24 pm   #10
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

Thanks for all of the replies everyone. I did strip it down, regrease along with a bit of oil to thin the grease down a bit and it is still as noisy as before. I've made a youtube video of it running off of the machine so you can hear it, with it bolted on the machine it resonates and makes a much louder vibration and racket. On looking at the communator contacts they do look pretty worn and scored, I've given them a clean but it has had no affect on the running.

youtube link here: https://youtu.be/iOx5711WORo

Any ideas?
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 7:12 pm   #11
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

nickthedentist could use that in his surgery
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 8:08 pm   #12
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

I'm not sure that that is too bad for one of those, it's a while since I've seen one though.when in situ with the belt on the belt might dampen that down a bit. Idid see one that made a lot of noise with belt connected due to a slightly eccentric pulley, it worked well enough, a good pulley from a scap machine made it much quieter
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 9:02 am   #13
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Singer 99k sewing machine repair

That does sound like a badly worn commutator. New brushes might help, but you may need a new motor, either a modern one or one scavenged from a scrap machine. External motors of that type are universal so you don't need to find a specific Singer one.
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