Oh, how I love those old Singer sewing machines! I had taken my favorite 301 machine to use to sew with Nicole. The Singer that I took for her, mainly because it does zig zag and a few other decorative stitches, wasn’t her favorite and she fell in love with my 301 so I left it with her. Nicole’s dad can build anything and builds gorgeous cabinets (he builds and remodels houses for a living) so I left my one 301 carrying case with her to see if her dad could duplicate it.
Leaving my machine with her meant that I had no machine waiting to be used when I got home! There are plenty of machines here but once the old Singers sit up for a while, especially in the winter, the old grease gets cold and they are sluggish. This morning I got out two 301 machines, cleaned them, dug out lots of old grease, cleaned them up with WD-40, oiled them all again and they work like a charm.
I set one of them up in the same spot where I had the other one.
One is back in the cabinet and Boots has checked it out.
Then I got out an old Singer 404 that I’ve never used much. I cleaned it up and will sew on it this afternoon.
Boots is ready for me to sit and sew . . and pet the cat! 🙂
Awe:) Boots is so handsome 🙂 the pics you shares of Addie are just adorable! She is so darn cute! You are so lucky to have Nicole as a DIL!
I have been searching for a cabinet for my 301! Haven’t found one yet 🙂 I am happy Nicole loves the 301! It’s a nice machine!
You are all set up to sew and Boots will supervise! Have fun!
Rebecca Grace says
Judy, you and I were definitely on the same wavelength today– I posted about my Singer 221 feather weights today. I’ve never had the chance to sew on a 301, though, Is it similar to a FW but larger and not as portable? Or or there key differences?
Theresa (aka lw) says
Rebecca Grace– I have both 221s and a 301. The 301 is a full size sewing machine, with an aluminum case and full geared drive train. It weighs 17 lbs (221s weigh about 11 lbs.) I use it all of the time because it is full size. It’s also slanted, so it’s easier to see what’s under your needle.
That 404 reminds me of my mother’s old sewing machine. She used it so much she literally wore out the motor!
Cherie in St Louis says
I have a 301 in a cabinet just like yours, the cabinet that is my 301 is black. I’ll bet you got quite a welcome home from Boots 🙂
Russ S says
You mentioned using WD40 to clean the machines. Be careful. It is listed in industrial charts as a heavy lubricant, not lightweight. After using WD40, you should clean it off with something that doesn’t leave any residue, maybe alcohol or electronic control spray. Then the oil you apply will stay light and won’t cake up so soon.
WD-40 is just fine. Those old machines have lots of built up gunk in them. My husband is an engineer (with two masters degrees – one from Tulane and one from Clemson so even if I don’t have a brain .. he does!) and he knows all about that stuff and he recommends WD-40 for cleaning (NOT for lubricating) and I’ve dealt with old machines for many, many years.
You might want to read this: http://wd40.com/about-us/myths-legends-fun-facts/
While the “W-D” in WD-40 stands for Water Displacement, WD-40 Multi-Use Product is a unique, special blend of lubricants. The product’s formulation also contains anti-corrosion agents and ingredients for penetration, water displacement and soil removal.
The gunk in the machine is, as I mentioned, not caused from oiling the machine but from the grease that was used years back . . before I got them.. At one time, machines were greased heavily but it is no longer recommended to use grease on them and I only use sewing machine oil, which does not gum or cake anything up.
Rebecca in SoCal says
I have been using my grandmothers 301 for about the last 2 years and what a beautiful stitch she has.
I just have it set up in my sewing space, but I have the original cabinet that I would love to get refinished soon. I keep kicking myself. I have had this machine since my grandmother died in 1983 and it sat for all those years just sitting in the cabinet.
If only I had known then what I do now.
I am so lucky to have it, and feel so blessed whenever I sit down to sew.
Thanks for the info.
I don’t know why I imagined you had a super duper machine to use for your sewing – I know you have a long arm – so nice to pass a machine onto your D-I-L
Having them and using them are two different things! I have a Bernina 930, Bernina 1230 and a Bernina Aurora 430 but all I use are the Singer 301 machines.
I love seeing pictures of your old Singers! Reminds me of my Mother, she always had some sewing project going. Made most of our clothes on a Singer that looked just like these. Wish she still had it!
I got a Featherweight at an auction last fall and I need to get it cleaned up and start using it. It’s all full of old gunk. I didn’t come with any accessories tho, need to start watching Ebay I guess! 🙂
Rebecca in SoCal says
Whenever you post about these old machines, it makes me regret that I didn’t take up quilting before my mother downsized and sold the Singer I learned on. I don’t remember what model it was, but it was one of these solid old machines. Wonderful cabinet, too.
Oh Boots is getting BIG!!!! he should be close to a yr old now.
Love those 301s! Can never have too many. =) Nicole is one lucky little DIL! Boots is as cute as ever.
Ooo, I may have to pick your brain when my ‘new’ 404 arrives. Won it on ebay from a guy that picks up and restores old machines. I don’t know much about working on them, cleaning and oiling and all that stuff. In fact, my featherweight’s foot pedal quit working yesterday so I’ll hafta be taking that one in for a good once over.
Have watched for a 301 but have never been lucky enough to find one. Someday. Not that I really NEED one, but would be nice to have.
I bet Boots was happy to see you. Those little four legged kids do love to be petted. He is getting so big. Cute too. ha.
My how that little one has grown, I know you miss seeing her every day. I don’t get to see my great Grands a lot as the grand kids live farther away,, so much fun when they come back to see the grandparents as they come here too.
Becky in VA says
Nicole is one lucky girl to get your 301 – very nice of you to leave it for her. As you know, they sew like a dream – such a good beginning for someone learning to sew. Mine was new in 1954 when my mother got it along with the wooden card table. I use this machine everyday and it has NEVER been serviced, because I keep it clean and oiled and there is nothing to go wrong. The table is also in beautiful condition and I love sewing on a flat surface.
I also use WD40 for CLEANING. I regularly blast out the guts of my hook and race on my long arm with WD40 with the machine running on high to get all the dust and threads out of it, then I oil it liberally.
Susan Fields says
I have heard that the 301 head is good for machine quilting and I have been toying with the idea of buying a frame to mount mine on to give me a quilting……… Any suggestions?
Joan Davidson says
Hi. I, too love my Singer Machines – I have 2 Featherweights, one white and one black. Did you know that you can go to http://www.mysingerstory.com/ and put in the serial number of your Singer machine and you will be issued a certificate that indicates when it was made and where it was made with a little history of the machine for that year. It is quite interesting.
I recently bought a treadle and that is all I know about it. It has no serial number anc I thought they all did on the front. but anyway….Trying to learn all I can but for now would love to know how you cleaned it. TIA Joanie
Theresa (aka lw) says
I have a 401a and use it mostly for mending clothes. I love the various stitch cams. I made my granddaughter some dresses and used some of the fancy stitches. I have my 301, 228, 401a, Janome midarm and serger set up and ready to go.