Jan 24, 2014

1927 Singer Model 66 Restoration Pt. 7 - Removing and Cleaning theStitch Length Regulator and Such

also known as:
What the heck was I thinking?

If you've taken your machine apart this far, and you're not a professional, you need to ask yourself: 

"Just what kind of a glutton for punishment am I?"

Then, congratulations are in order, because you are either really lucky or really patient.

Removing and Cleaning the Stitch Length Regulator and Feed Dog Crank is on the menu today.  I don't recommend it.  It's a bit like plumbing, working in tight spaces with fiddly things which have potentially devastating effects if done wrong.

I couldn't find a tutorial on this one.  In fact, I couldn't even find a good illustration, so I will attempt a tutorial with tips I picked up along the way.  If you know of another tutorial or have any suggestions on my process, especially if you've got a better way, please comment below.

Let's start with an anatomy lesson.

A.  Hook Ring Crank
B.  Feed Dog Crank
C.  Stitch Length Regulator
D.  Thing-a-ma-jigger
E.  Rotating Drive Shaft

Today I'm taking out B, C, and D.  I want to get out A and E as well, but some screws just can't be unscrewed, So I'll do my best to clean them in place. 

Next, lets try to understand how they fit together.  
See "D" up there?  I can't find the official name of this part, so I call it a thing-a ma-jigger, or the bane of my existence for the better part of a day, or just plain EVIL incarnate.  Cleaned up and out of the machine it and it's friends look like this:

 By screwing the Stitch Length Regulator "C" in and out, it changes the position of the Feed Dog Crank in the Pillar, which affects the movement of the feed dog and that determines your stitch length.  Screw all the way in for the longest stitch, and all the way out for the shortest.

"So what's the big deal?" you might be asking. 

I suppose if you can somehow remove or even loosen "E" and "A" first, it's not so big a deal.  But  I couldn't get "E" or "A" out.  It's tight in that pillar, and "B", "C", and "D" fit together something like a Chinese finger trap.  Maybe some more pictures will help.  
I love lots of pictures in a post. Pictures of myself, not so much.

    There are 3 access holes in the pillar:  

      Side (beneath the balance wheel)

      Back (remove the decorative cover) and

      • To remove the Feed Dog Crank, "B", you first need to remove Screw "F". 
      • Next, is the tricky part.  "D", "C" and "B"  fit together in such a way that they almost lock themselves together even without the screw.  This is especially true with some old gunky oil helping them stick together. 
      • The trick I used is to tilt the machine on it's side (support it with rolled up towels), and gently rotate the top of "D" forward, (or maybe it was backward) using the circular grove as a pivot so that the channel disengages the roller (cylindrical knob) of "B".  
      • You will have to play with the position of "C" screwing it in  or out to find the sweet spot that lets you do this, and you may need to lift or jiggle "B" a bit.  
      • Once disengaged, "B" should come out easily, then just slip "D" off the knob of "C" if it doesn't fall out on its own.
      • Unscrew "C" and your done.

       Sounds easy enough, but it's one of those things you just have to hold your mouth right to do.  Good Luck!

      Next up:

      1 comment:

      1. Thank you for these details! I was just about to tackle removing the stitch length knob, and thanks to you, I now know that it's not worth it. ;-) Seriously -- I think you just saved me a lot of time. Nice writeups on your blog, and great photos. Good tutorials are hard to find -- keep it up!


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