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Forum > Sewing Machines > Plastic vs. metal bobbins in Singer 401 ? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Plastic vs. metal bobbins in Singer 401 ?
... can I use either?
betsysgma
betsysgma
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 10/28/10
Posts: 106
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Date: 12/30/10 10:44 PM

I've been playing with my Christmas present ~ a wonderful 401A ~
got it cleaned up & oiled & am thrilled by it's nice stitch; & it has the nicest *hum* as it stitches along ~ I swear, it sounds happy to be sewing again! It came with 1 metal bobbin, all the rest are plastic; but I think I
remember hearing that you aren't supposed to use plastic with the old machines? I don't want to try it & mess anything up.
Thanks!

maryl
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maryl
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 6/24/05
Posts: 528
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Date: 12/30/10 10:51 PM

What a wonderful Christmas present! I'm sorry I can't exactly answer your question, but I also have a 401A and I ordered lots of the metal bobbins on ebay for almost no money. Now I use them not only as bobbins for my 401A but I also use the wonderful bobbin winder on the 401 to wind those nice, heavy metal bobbins with thread for my serger and coverstitch. Because they are heavy and metal, they sit quite well on the serger cone holders. And because the spool, or cone, I am winding from sits right on the bottom in front, I hold the top lightly as it spins, so cones and regular spools wind onto bobbins with no problem.

BeeBeeSew
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BeeBeeSew
Advanced Beginner
Maryland USA
Member since 12/13/07
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Date: 12/30/10 10:54 PM

Yes, you can use either. You may find that your machine "likes" metal better than plastic. I think it's the weight. But it won't hurt the machine to use plastic - you may just not get as nice a stitch. OTOH, you machine may not mind a bit and will be happy with either. That it came with a bunch of plastic in an indicator that it didn't mind using them. In any event, it won't HURT the machine to use them.

Michelle L
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Michelle L
Intermediate
Missouri USA
Member since 1/20/08
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In reply to betsysgma


Date: 12/30/10 10:55 PM

Some say you should not use plastic, but I have never had any problems using the plastic bobbins.

I do prefer the metal bobbins.

However, the new metal bobbins often have a rough spot on them that catches the thread as it passes over the bobbin. For that reason it is better to get the old metal bobbins, which are readily available on ebay.

------
Michelle

http://cheapandpicky.blogspot.com/

Lanoll
Lanoll
Expert/Couture
Virginia USA
Member since 1/20/13
Posts: 2
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In reply to Michelle L <<


Date: 5/27/14 3:00 PM

You can use either. Some of these old machines have some settling in the hook, so a plastic bobbins sits a bit higher. You can also bypass the thread guides directly before the tension disks. Lay the thread behind the guide and down into the disks. This was published as the "knit kit" suggestions when sewing knits became more popular. Singer eventually abandoned the pre tension guide.

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
Georgia USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2266
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In reply to Lanoll <<


Date: 5/27/14 3:12 PM

I personally only use vintage bobbins in my vintage machines. Even the modern day metal ones don't work as well IMO. I would never use plastic. Plastic bobbins are for plastic machines!

Vintage bobbins aren't really hard to find, they go for about $1/ea on eBay (often sold in lots of six for $5.99 or something like that).

The 401 uses Class 66? Those are especially easy to come by. (The original Singer Class 221/301 bobbins are a little more expensive.) Seriously, since you have such a fine machine, use the best bobbins for the best results. :)

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

TeeGee

TeeGee
Intermediate
International CANADA
Member since 11/13/04
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In reply to lisalu <<


Date: 5/27/14 6:08 PM

One can use metal bobbins in modern sewing machines too,if the sewing hook is metal.If the sewing hook is plastic,one should use plastic bobbins,especially if the sewing machine has low bobbin thread sensor,most of the time the sensor will not work with metal bobbins.

There is one exception I know of,(there may be other model sewing machines too),the Pfaff 1029 has a low bobbin sensor.It was originally designed to work metal bobbins.The low bobbin sensor "eye" sees through the slit in the metal bobbin.

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