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Message Board > Sewing Machines > 401 and also the cabinet I bought arrived ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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401 and also the cabinet I bought arrived
a little miffed
mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/12 6:30 PM

Ok the machine was from a restorer who removed and cleaned the camstack,etc. and who has it in great mechanical shape and serviced. He did not put a new cord set on it and I thought he should have. Fortunately that is an easy not expensive fix but very annoying. At the very point the wire goes into the plug there is a short so I know that went unnoticed (I had to put on the reading glasses to see the problem) and yes the wire was in good shape appearance wise but I thought most anyone who restores machines would put the new power cord on being the electrical is 50+ years old. I am going to order the replacement from sew classic and also the replacement for the foot pedal though it is ok. I have it sitting on the blond cabinet now instead of in it as I want to get those here before dh puts it in the cabinet. Of course after I saw the boxes all willy nilly in the fed ex truck it's probably a wonder it wasn't in a bunch of pieces. It does work beautifully if I keep the cord straight out so I know it will be fine when the new one arrives. What would you all say if your machine was said to be awesome and totally restored to collectible state and the power cords were not changed? I am definitely keeping it but I am not happy that he failed to do this. On the flip side it is very very nice,sews like a dream -I guess I could have gotten a bummer machine or had it in a million pieces so I am going to just move on. My retired singer fellow suggested this model was his hands down favorite when I told him I was thinking of adding a slant needle to use my touch n sew attachments. I really like that it has the same bobbin that my 66,99,201 uses so that will be handy not to have another bobbin type here. I guess there can always be a hiccup of some sort when one buys things like this.

SouthernStitch
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 8/30/12 8:19 PM

I bought my 403 (401's cousin) from sew classic and I really love that machine. It sew so nicely. I just got it back from a friend I lent it to so I need to use it.
Some refurbishers don't bother with electrical, but I look for that. I won't mess with it. He at least should have known it had this problem and warned you.
I'm glad you can do it though, and are happy otherwise.

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 8/30/12 8:36 PM

It's kind of like those button type foot pedals that come with the US made Featherweights and 301s. Most restorers don't want to do away with them, and hence their wiring, because it takes away from the "vintageness" of the machine. I found this out after a couple trips to a sewing machine shop; the dealer didn't want to remove the cord, nor the pedal due to keeping its aestheticness.

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arianamaniacs
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Date: 8/31/12 3:14 AM

Quote:
restored to collectible state

It might be for just that reason that it wasn't replaced. Give him a call and have a chat whether that was the reason, or just oversight since he saw that it still worked.
mssewcrazy
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Date: 8/31/12 8:02 AM

I panicked when I opened it up as it would not power on. That is when I found that there was a very tiny deterioration at the sewing machine plug end. Straightening out the cord it sewed without issue but I personally feel this is a bit dangerous so I was disappointed that I would have to be jiggling the cord to power the machine on. True it might have happened upon folding up the cord to ship. I am just going to order a power cord and forget it. After we had a house rewired we own that the wiring was put in it in the 1930s we were shocked at the deterioration here and there -real fire hazard. The cords on a machine can look just fine as mine did but are probably very brittle inside. There is so much handling with a power cord also. I guess you all are right that a restorer wants to leave as original as possible but for me I want new power cords, He did open the motor, service and do the brushes -I think the main thing is I need to get a power cord immediatel -the look of a new plug/cord is pleasing to me as I want to use the machine not look at it only. The foot control will be in a cabinet knee bracket so until I get issues there I will wait to change its cord. Anyone want to weigh in on this. If it were on the floor I'd just put an electronic controller but I prefer the knee bracket. I think you all are right-restorers want to retain the original-hadn't thought of it this way.

mssewcrazy
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In reply to Miss Fairchild <<


Date: 8/31/12 8:12 AM

There was some short with the original pedal that the service man couldn't correct on my featherweight. The light powered off when sewing which was very annoying. I use an electronic pedal and all is well-retained the original in the box for someone that wants the vintage experience or can get the short out. I am beginning to think there is a fine line between the restorers and the user that can't be crossed. Lol!

mssewcrazy
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In reply to SouthernStitch <<


Date: 8/31/12 8:20 AM

Lucky you-I buy things from her site. I had such a bad experience with my original slant needle, This one is so smooth sewing. I am ordering my cord today so it can be safely played with. I got a manual for it that I am reading and plan to look in the storage building for the old touch n sew slant feet I had hoping all those will work with the new old baby.

beauturbo
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 8/31/12 12:58 PM

I think I would actually say, why would you ever feel the need to take the metal cam stack out of there, (as that makes zero sense to me at all) and why did it not work as is, before you decided to do that rather very extreme thing, and why would you think doing that, and telling me about that later, that was a good thing at all, and would that even ever be a positive selling point to it? Because for me it would not in be, in any way at all. It would just make me wonder why they would even ever be compelled to even feel like doing that actually. Because I don't think that is normal at all.

I would not care if any power cords were changed or not, if they were fine and worked. But if I paid enough for something, and thought it would run electric wise, and be useable, and that was the agreement, then I would expect at least a working cord of course, just because I would get real tired of turning the fly wheel by hand, if my cord did not work. But I test sew before buying old and not new things too, so I really don't often have way too many surprises later at all either.

gryffin2007
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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 8/31/12 2:04 PM

Taking the camstack out of a 401 is not abnormal at all, when truly restoring/refurbing a 401. After 50+ years, the old oils become like varnish and harden into sludge. This cakes on internal cams and on the followers, making them sticky and not operate properly. While it still may 'stitch' the zigzag and decorative designs, those stitches won't be as clean and perfect as they would be with a truly clean, properly maintained camstack, followers, etc. Also, removing the camstack is the *only* way to reach the internal 'plunger' assembly, which swings the needlebar left and right to make both the zig zag and the decorative stitches. It is a very common maintenance issue with the 401/500/600 class machines for the 'plunger' to become gummed up from hardened oil. Having owned my grandmother's 401 now for the last 20 years, I've learned a lot about this great machine.

As to the cord, he should have replaced it and then included the original cord for you as a 'collector'. I replaced both my power cord, and the cord to the foot controller. (from Jenny at Sew-Classic) The power cord had a hairline cut in it that would occasionally cause a short when moved just the right way. The foot cord was pristine, but 50 years old. I keep both originals in the machine's cabinet drawer, keeping the machine 'authentic' and safe at the same time.

I hope you enjoy your 401. She's a fantastic machine!
Scott

mssewcrazy
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Date: 8/31/12 3:02 PM

I know every person who does machines had a different idea about what should or should not happen. There is a lot of disagreement about whether to disassemble these things. I appreciate both of you weighing in on the 401 redo. I went with the completely cleaned and reassembled one as I had such a miserable experience with my 750 touch and sew(I know all of them were not as bad as mine) and have avoided slant needles since like bubonic plague. I don't know how these machines are supposed to "feel" but this one is quite loose and easy to stitch on,very quiet whereas the lemon slant I had the handwheel was always tight and was prone to shoot out the cams at will. This one drops right into the stitches with no drag and purrs. When I read the pros and cons some mentioned that there was sticking in the cam stack area with some of these so I figured it might be good to clean and redo that area. I guess time will tell whether it was a good decision. I learn a lot on here from others experiences and hopefully your ideas will help others as well who take on the slants to freshen them up. I'll let you know how this goes as the camstack out and reassembled is a done deal on this one. It has new electrics winging their way here as I don't want to get electrocuted when playing with it. Thankfully it is a small fix and it can get bolted into place in the judy jetson blond cabinet that is its new home and I can play with it as time permits. Do either of you know if the newer metal or the plastic foot controllers work ok in the knee brackets of the old singers cabinets? I redid the wire on the button control on another machine but I was wondering how they did if replaced with a more modern style than the button type.

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