Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Singer 401a and Greasy Terminal Prongs

Hi everyone, I know, long time no talk. I recently got to meet Elizabeth from My Sewing Machine Obsession and that was pretty cool. She mentioned that I hadn't written in a while. Over a year!

I've been busy with work and fixing sewing machines on the side, even making housecalls in Manhattan. If you need repair work done on your machine, are in NYC and/or can bring your machine to me in lower Manhattan, drop a line.

Anyways, a customer brought this Singer 401a to me. She came my way from Peter Lappin's sewing blog. The customer had just purchased the machine from a "reputable" seller online, and the machine had been damaged in shipping, with one spool pin broken off. She asked if I could fix it, I said no problem.

When she arrived with the machine, she mentioned that after five minutes of sewing, the machine would begin to emit a smell. I told her I'd check it out.

Well, never mind the spool pin, I was appalled to see the condition of the machine. So much so that I subsequently looked up the seller. I will not mention him by name, but based on his reputation and self-description, any of us would probably buy a machine from this guy in a heartbeat. He has been working on machines for longer than I've been alive, so I cannot understand how he let these things go.

The first thing I went to do is plug her machine in to uncover the source of the smell, but I stopped dead in my tracks. Check it out:

See that green stuff? Old Singer lubricant (grease) turns that shade of green after many years, I've seen it inside plenty a machine. And here it is on the terminal prongs--not good. Even worse, there was more on the cable: