Katie, my Singer 128-13, has been having fits all weekend. Out of nowhere it started making an awful ka-chunking sound while sewing and I was afraid it would break another needle, like it did the first night I had it, so I had to stop sewing and try to assess the problem.
I cleaned it, oiled it, removed the presser foot and needle and replaced them to make sure they hadn’t been put in incorrectly or gotten loose and were connecting. I cleaned the shuttle and the shuttle race oil wick (pulling out decades of icky lint that was truly shudder inducing). I changed the needle to a brand new one, since that it was seemed to fix the problem last time – still no dice. I checked all of the screws and tightened one on the bottom that was loose. Still nothing. I tried to check the timing based on tutorials I had found online, but couldn’t figure out what was off –
Both of those pictures are dark because I took them last night when I was having a go at trying to figure out the issue for the second day in a row. All the pieces are Singer parts, the needle was in the lowest position when the photos were taken, but I couldn’t see a line on any of those parts to judge the timing. Maybe I’m just a total dope and didn’t see it. I didn’t know how to get down into the bottom with the feed dogs to assess them correctly, but the sound seems to come from the feed dog area. I don’t see any “burrs” on the feed dogs, everything technically appears fine, but it still makes that noise and sometimes seizes up, so I’ve decided not to even attempt using it until I can figure out something else to try or some way to fix it.
Not being able to use it has made me sad. I love that machine. Last night I ended up having to use my modern Janome (a Mystyle 100), which was a real drag in some ways after using a vintage machine. For one thing, it just can’t cope with thick materials at all. And trying to work with that tiny harp space is a super drag. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy it, but definitely not anywhere near as much as I love using my 128-13. After using a vintage machine, using a modern machine is frankly kind of depressing. But I have a bunch of skirts, other clothing, bags, quilts, etc, that I am in the process of making to donate to my local women’s shelter, so I will press on with the modern world and try to figure out a way to fix poor old Katie. If anyone knows what could be wrong, or what else I could try, please do let me know! I’d appreciate any help I can get at this point.
But Sunday afternoon was finally sunny, so I was finally able to take some better photographs of Zelda after those first gloomy, dark photos! So I thought that I would share them, since I promised last time that I would. Now you should be able to see the gorgeous gold Sphinx decals much better than before.
I wish that using Zelda by turning the hand wheel manually wasn’t quite so slow and so tough on my bird boned wrists, I’d use her to sew with more until I figure out how to fix my other machine.
Wish me luck figuring this all out. I’m a total beginner when it comes to sewing machine servicing and repairs, and this current problem has me completely stumped. I still have a feeling it could be a timing issue, because drawing up the bobbin thread/making the needle thread and bobbin thread form a loop after re-threading the bobbin or the machine is always a matter of trial and error with this machine as well. Plus that first needle that broke and now all of this mess starting up again. I just don’t know what to do at this point. If this is something I can fix on my own, I would much rather do that than have to take it to the shop and get charged an arm and a leg. I’m hoping I can fix it in the end.