When I was taking care of an older relative a few years ago, I thought the time might come when I would need to stay overnight, so maybe it would be a good idea to have a sewing machine over there to give me something to do during the down times. I found a nice Singer 404 in a thrift shop in Petaluma for only $35, with a cabinet. That is a lovely solid metal machine:
Well, now it is several years later and my sister mentioned wanting a vintage machine, so, since I already have a 301A that is very similar, I gave this one to her. She lives upstate, so we had a lovely drive up there to take her the machine. She has much more room for a machine in a cabinet than I have.
I have been thinking about my machines and how I really don’t know how they work, and every time something goes wrong I have to take them into the shop. Around here the rate for a visit to the shop is at least $130. That can put a dent in your budget very quickly. I decided to learn a little more about my machines and how to do proper maintenance, including what lubricants and oils to use where. I got a book about fixing vintage machines and looked up information on the internet. I was especially interested in the Singer 401A information because I have one with a frozen cam stack with a cam stuck in it. I learned that Tri-Flow is what professionals use:
So I tackled my first sewing machine fix. I used the Tri-Flow, a hair dryer, and followed the advice of an excellent video I watched (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdaWx1gGZWg), and hurray, I got the stuck cam out, managed to get the stitch selectors working again, and all in all, felt proud of myself.