Friday, April 2, 2010

Singer 403A - Ready to Sew

While sitting in front of the new-to-me Singer, I debated whether to do the initial inspecton, cleaning and the oiling/greasing myself or take it to someone with mechanical experience.  Part of me felt that I could (and should) take care of it myself.  It merely needed to be wiped with a damp cloth and have a little oil added here and there.  The only thing obviously amiss was a loose bobbin cover plate.  However, the other part was thinking, “What if there is something wrong with it that I don’t notice and I end up ruining it?" and, better yet, "What if it catches the house on fire?”  Therefore, I didn't even plug it in.  It sat while I decided what to do.
In the end, I took it to the Bernina shop.  Yes, I know that it is a Singer, not a Bernina, but they service non-Bernina's there, too. 

Besides being inspected, cleaned, oiled and greased, the upper and lower tensions have been adjusted and the bobbin cover plate re-attached.  There was nothing mechanically wrong with this machine.  Get this - the shop visit was more expensive than the purchase price of the machine!  I could have skipped the visit and spent the money on accessories instead.  Still, no regrets as it has received the blessing of the service technician.
Once home, it was plugged in and stitches were made.  I like this machine.  A lot!  The sound of the motor is wonderful!  It makes a beautiful straight stitch and the zigzag stitches are just as nice. 

If I want the 403A to make decorative stitches, it will need more cams.  It should have a zipper foot and a few others.  Maybe a carrying case, too.  A case would make it easier to transport - this thing is heavy!

The machine is supposed to have a bottom cover. It is missing.  Performance is not affected by not having a bottom cover, but having one keeps any oil drops from damaging the table below. So, if I can find one, and it is reasonably priced, I will get it.

Even without the bottom cover plate and the extra accessories, this supasses my expectations for a sturdy back-up machine.  I now understand how people become obsessed with old sewing machines.

It needs to be taken on a test drive.  What should the first project be?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great model - the last all steel Singer (no plastic insides--gears, etc.) that Singer made. Mom bought one brand new when I was about first grade (circa 1957-58). I learned to sew on it. Still have it. Great machine! Hope you enjoy it lots!