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  1. #1
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    Thread injector manuals

    Where is a good source to find copies of manuals for older thread injectors?

    I just found my mothers Montgomery Wards URR-279A sewing machine (c. 1958) hidden away in a cabinet of my garage. It's off being cleaned and oiled, but it would help to have the operating manual.
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    Google brings up several for sale, but I didn't find a free version.

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    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Many manuals will work for similar class machines. Ex oscillating hook vs rotary hook, drop in bobbin (most newer home machines), side load bobbin (singer 20u, sailrite), rear load bobbin (Bernina 217n), slant needle, etc.

    There is a singer site that has manuals, parts lists, and adjusters manuals for their older industrial machines free for download. The 20u will be similar in operation to some older home zigzag machines, although it's far beyond a home machine.

    http://parts.singerco.com/ -> go to industrial products -> manuals (or service manuals)

    The service manuals are pretty good if you can read them. They appear to be scanned from old documents.


    I think I've seen Kenmore manuals online as well and should be similar to the montgomery ward.

    As a last resort, try babylock's site. They have their manuals online. I know I have seen my wife's "decorators choice" manual online recently. It's much newer, but sewing machine fundamental operation hasn't changed much in a long time.
    Last edited by nacra533; 05-29-2012 at 14:00. Reason: added link

  4. #4
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    From the bicycle world, I expected to find images of manuals somewhere. There are enough collectors of vintage machines.

    But I haven't, and the department store machines can be problematic if you'd like the work done for you, such as identifying all the parts that can benefit oiling. Or the preferred threading if there is more than one way it might be threaded. Many of these are quite fine machines, made as house brands by quality manufacturers including White, Brother, Toyota, and Janome.

    But, here's a start-up tip that I think holds true. Flat part of needle faces left on some machines, (eg Singer?) right on the other (Italian Necchi) Which for your machine?

    Well most old machines have a last thread guide above the clamp holding needle the needle The flat of the needle will be on the opposite side, and the thread will pass from the round to the flat side.

    And another: End loading bobbins can likely be dropped in so thread runs clockwise or counterclockwise. Just always do it the same way with a given machine.

    Last one: Oil turns to varnish with time and heat. Machine will perform smoother after oil, more oil, and operation. Parts that seem to stick or rub in the drive chain just do.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemostiX View Post
    Machine will perform smoother after oil, more oil, and operation. Parts that seem to stick or rub in the drive chain just do.
    This is absolutely completely totally wrong. The varnish needs to be cleaned off and then minimal oil used. To follow the above directions is to absolutely assure problems. Oil for sewing machines is measured in drops. And then only where the manufacturer suggests.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  6. #6
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    This is absolutely completely totally wrong. The varnish needs to be cleaned off and then minimal oil used. To follow the above directions is to absolutely assure problems. Oil for sewing machines is measured in drops. And then only where the manufacturer suggests.
    Not what I did in restoring close tolerance machines that had been dry, maybe for decades, following advice of those who have been restoring them for years.

    I apologize if I did not make clear the difference between maintenance and restoration. On maintenance, the desired amount of oil is just what the mfg recommends and no more. In this thread, the mfg often cannot be found.

    On varnish removal: Yes, such as 3-in-1 and penetrating oils can work faster and certainly better clear up linkages. But, they explicitly do not lubricate plain bearings and bushings well enough to stop wear. They can even cause it. So, they need to be flushed with oil after use. I don't know how you flush from bronze bushings except with excess.

    On amount of oil. Only a drop at each point is needed for maintenance, and it would be better to be able to adjust the size of the drop, as you can with a needle applicator. For a Necchi straight stitch-only machine, I count 23 oiling points. From the original mfg booklet, in 1956, page 10: "If used continuously it should be oiled every day. For intermediate use (once or twice a week) oil it about once a week." That's not just a lot of oiling; that's a lot of oil.

    If RR is concerned about attraction of lint and dust to oil: So am I. I hate grease and oil.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 05-30-2012 at 01:21.

  7. #7
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    You are correct...restoration IS different than maintenance. That was not clear. Sorry for jumping up and down in my hob-nail boots.

    But even so I would not use oil for restoration until things had been very well cleaned and polished. I would never use 3-in-1 oil even for restoration. That stuff is death to sewing machines. That is why I recommend a _professional_ cleaning job. The removal of pits and corrosion is as important as removal of the varnish. Most people do not have the equipment to buff finely polished surfaces. That is done with powder. Even the finest sand paper will just make things worse. Excess of oil will not remove those problems.

    In many cases the best way to clean a sewing machine is to take it apart and work on the pieces individually. That's one reason a professional job can be so expensive. Bushings that have sat around for a long time may need to be replaced rather than simply flushed.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  8. #8
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    I appreciate full restoration, and the possibilities of immortality.

    It will rarely happen, and insisting on full restoration will be death of the stock of machines that could be brought back to life for a long time on a shorter duty cycle. With repair of electrics and a couple of hours of freeing and lubrication, height and timing adjustment, say $100 -$150 in parts and labor, a quality machine from the 1940s to 1970s can last the new owners lifetime of pants hemming, and making of dozens of packs, tarps, hammocks, and if need-be in emergency -- tents.

    But, full tear-down, polishing of bearing surfaces, and reassembly to design tolerances, when skills are rare, and manuals rarer? That's several $100s. A $10 35lb machine in a cabinet will be melted for scrap or dis-assembled for parts long before that happens.

    Better to get the machine running (and safely with respect to electricals and wiring.) I read good things about Tri-Flo for melting varnishes. Then lubricate. If it won't make a good stitch with new quality thread and the right quality needle, find a repair service for adjustment. (I read that Singer's and Schmetz's "S" needles were terrible in machines not made for them.) But, make this too great a $ challenge, and none of it will happen.

    The range of duty cycles for different users and machines --maybe a thousand to one --makes it difficult to insist more should be done. Old iron was good enough to operate 70 hours a week for years. Most sewists like me will probably have a machine in actually operation for just several hours over the course of years, and then only at relatively slow speeds. At that rate, even the quality of the oil won't matter much.

    I am distinguishing here between preserving years of potential operation and best practices for thousands of hours of actual operation.

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