The postman always rings twice


As much as I love my vintage sewing machines, so far I’ve left the serving of them to professionals. But when I was given this beauty for free, I wanted to make sure the cost of service would be worth it, so I decided to take a look myself. How hard can it be?I found a manual online, as well as blogs for working on sewing machines and set to work.

The previuous owner claimed it worked, but worked too slow. I thought there would be a reduced speed function as I have on my Husqvarna but couldn’t find a knob for it, and no info of that in the manual, so it had to be an inner issue. Taking off one cover at a time, I found it wasn’t really dirty, and putting some oil on all moving parts had the desired effect, the speed was picking up with every try


As I came to the end, however, I realized there was a broken part in the feeding function and some other parts with signs of old age. Ah, the sixties and seventies and their happy use of plastic instead of steel!

But by now I’m seiously hooked and have oredered replacement parts. Anxiously waiting for the postman


19 responses to this post.

  1. Cool! I’ve been missing my old Singer from the ’70s, and I’m thinking of looking for one. I don’t know why I gave it away! It was jammed, for sure, but could have been fixed.


  2. I love older sewing machines they seem to have been made when manufacturers believed longevity was a good selling point.

    Well done you for problem solving! Hope the replacement part works out well.


  3. Good on you for giving it a go!


  4. So glad you’re doing this! Over here educators are beginning (barely!) to realize sewing increases women’s mechanical skills, and when taught from an early age, could lead to more women training as engineers, and other similar career paths.


  5. Posted by eimseims on September 13, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I very nearly bought an identical machine second hand but feared it might have the plastic parts of newer machines. I’ve heard metal parts are more reliable (though I’m no expert) so I decided not to take the risk. Seeing the problems you had, I’m glad I didn’t buy it, but I’m sure your skills and determination make for a successful repair!


  6. […] are the brittle, broken machine parts all in plastic that had to be replaced on a Singer 533. It took some […]


  7. Wowzers – so impressed with your attempts at servicing. I recently acquired a Singer 538 and took it straight to a man who can – he sorted me right out for £45 and it’s working like a dream. Your machine looks a beauty-hope you managed to breathe life into it.


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