Jan 20, 2014

1927 Singer Model 66 Restoration Pt. 5 - Removing and Cleaning the Bobbin Case

For this post, I'm not going to show a step by step dissasembly because there are already some fabulous tutorials out there on the process like this one from Elizabeth at My Sewing Machine Obsession.

Nope, instead I'm going to focus on the before and after.   Let's start with these before pictures, one with natural light, and the other with a flash.  I love how the flash highlights the dirt.
To clean the bobbin case, everything has to come out.  That is no easy feat since dried oil and lint seem to be the original recipe for super glue.  I knew I was in for it when I saw this as I started to loosen the first screw.

Yuck!  That's kind of icky.
However, it's going to be really satisfying to clean and it gives me some insight into Freddie Mae, the original that is.

For example, I know she took excellent care of this machine until it went into storage.  Sure, it's obvious that the lint wasn't cleaned out the last time the machine was used, but there isn't a huge build up either.  Probably just a few sewing projects since the last cleaning. 

 I can also tell that she kept the machine well oiled, which was far more important than getting every spec of lint out back in the day.  That oil preserved the machine and kept rust at bay over all these years.  The only downside is that countless summers spent in an attic baked the lint and oil into cement. 

However, perseverance, the right tools and Liquid Wrench will always win in the end and I did manage to get all the parts out with only a few minor hiccups.

And these are the parts before and after cleaning.

I love it when a part I think is painted turns out to just be dirty.  

Next up:


  1. Anonymous3/15/2015

    Hello, Thank you for your wonderful photos and explanation. I am restoring a Singer 66 and am working on the bobbin case and hook. Using your information I successfully removed and cleaned the bobbin case but the hook underneath is not coming out. I removed the set screw underneath and soaked everything with oil, several days in a row. Do you have any suggestions? I don't know exactly how it comes apart so I'm not sure where I should be focusing my attention.
    Thank you for any advice you can offer.

    1. It's been a while, but I think I had to use a little persuasion with mine. This is a bit hard to put into words. If you look at the last picture on the "sewing machine obsessions post below, she has a great picture of the screw that needs to be loosened or removed before you try to remove the hook.


      Once that is taken care of, I pushed the tip of the hook and it popped out. Looking at the picture on the site above, and using the placement of the screwdrivers tip as a reference. If the machine were upright, and not on it's side as in the picture, the screwdriver would be to the side of the point you'd need to apply pressure to, and you need to provide pressure from the bottom on what is actually the tip of a rod that is part of the hook.

      Now if those directions get you what you're going for and you remove the hook (and honestly, even you don't) You will likely need to "re-time" your machine. The link above should help with that, but be warned it is super tedious.


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