Monday, December 21, 2015

Working on the Singer 306k

That has been waiting for me since I bought it early last spring.  I oiled every thing up and plugged it in to see if it worked (the tag from the thrift store said it did not, but we know how that is).  It DID!  And pretty nicely too, except when I went to adjust stitch length with that pretty steel lever bottom right of the machine's neck, that lever snapped right off.  It was set in teeny tiny stitch mode.  It took a while to find another lever, until earlier this month as a matter of fact.  I've had it sitting on a book shelf on my stair landing all these moons. Most days as I walked by I twisted a knob or two, maybe took it for a few threadless stitches, to keep it all free moving and somewhere closer on my to-do list.
I downloaded a service adjuster's manual for a 306w because that's what I found.  Basically the same machine except I couldn't find any light/lamp on the W model.  These vintage manuals can have illustrations that are hard to see, not to mention at times hard to find at all for some of the more obscure machines.  So, I'm offering some illustrations of my repair of the stitch length regulator.  I'm not a pro, yaddi yaddi yaddi. And unplug your machine before starting to take it apart. 

First I had to take off the little numbered plate in front. Actually I didn't have to. That step is to remove the lever that I had already snapped off.  I hoped I would be able to see if my assembly was repairable by looking in there before I took the machine further apart. I really could not.

Next part was down under.  I thought I had cleaned this machine, but I guess I stopped after oiling when that leaver broke.  It will get thoroughly cleaned before it gets put into use.  The eccentric stud (so named by the manual) that the screwdriver is pointing to needs to come out, after loosening the screw just to the left (ingloriously named "C-3").  I did not use the screwdriver seen.  It won't work.  Mr. Rain at the fabulous Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog can tell you all about the right screwdrivers and a wealth of other stuff.  I picked up some screwdrivers from Walmart that will work because they are open at 6am. I am sure they are not as nice as the ones he directed readers to.  They do fit the screw slots on the machine well, and  that's the important part. By the way, that stud only unscrews so much, then you have to pull it out. Don't drive yourself crazy.

Then, ta-da, your assy is off from the bottom. There is one more screw however.  The book names it "screw E", ominously warns you not to strip it (Yikes!), and then tells you vaguely that it's behind the motor,  no diagram.  So, you have to flip it around unless you already had it backside up.  And to answer your other question, yes you do have to take the motor off.  Don't worry, this is really really easy.

It's just that one big ole screw there, holding it on by the bracket.  This is where and how to get most external motors off machines and how you get a new belt on too.

 Motor off, and there's screw E. More dirt, dirt, dirt! And look, this Singer was made in Great Britain. For giggles, read up on ole Mr. Singer one day.  Not if you're a churchy lady though. He was a cad, especially for his time.  Was not received in nice homes. Drummed out of the country and off his company's board too. ANYWAY, I found screw E no trouble to remove at all.  It also has much length without threads, so as soon as I could use my fingers to unscrew I did. Then you can feel when to pull it out.

Now you can pull out the stitch regulator assembly, from the bottom. It really was wedged in nicely.  I'm just a little nervous about getting it back in just right in the dark.

But, dammit!!!  The first lever is snapped off too low to pull out and replace with the new one.  I'm going to ask the guys at my friendly auto repair shop if they can ream it out, but I'm thinking I'll have to order the rest of the assembly. At least I know who to order from.  I have an  Ebay dealer named r0npm who told me he has lots of vintage parts machines, and since he had the lever I'll bet he has the assembly it came out of.  He was quick to respond to my inquiry for a part he did not have listed, confirmed with photo that it was what I needed, even offered technical advice.  Shipped it fast and it was less than $10, shipping included.
For today I still have no control of stitch length or reverse either.  I did clean quite a bit of the external crud from the machine as I replaced all of the screws I took out.

This is the light that the 306W apparently doesn't have.  It's in the back of the machine and very sturdily made.  For some reason it reminds me of Army equipment, WWII to cold war post Vietnam era.  I can almost smell a RATT rig.  I had to tinker  a little to figure out how to get it open  to try a new bulb in it.

If you twist it, it will pop off.  Goes back on easy.  That rust looks fresh. Did I get it damp back there?  I'll clean that up too.  Another day. Had to clean up and come to my 6th nightshift in a row.  Next night I'll sleep, which is tonight because it's black as heck past 5am and I gotta go attend to things.

No comments:

Post a Comment