Saturday, February 12, 2011

Singer 127 - thoughts on oil and oil wicks

I don't know if this might help or interest anyone out there, but I'm putting together a series of Getting to Know my Antique/Vintage Singer Sewing Machine (Singer 127). Today I learnt about The Wick.

I would like to ask any sewing machine experts to please point out anything I'm doing wrong. I'm a self taught sewer and am learning about the machine by working my way through the manual.

I was reading the manual I downloaded for my treadle powered Singer 127 (Beautiful Sphinx), trying to figure out what to oil. The diagram is, um, well, blurry would be an understatement. If I could figure out where to oil, I would take a photo of the machine and photoshop some brightly coloured arrows to each oiling point. Of course, I also have to relearn how to photoedit, but that comes with the territory.

Reason tells me that I'm not the first person online to wonder about how to oil my antique sewing machine. One would assume that a google search would produce the photos I was planing to make. Surely someone else out there had trouble interpreting the manual and thought why not make life easier for others.

But no. Either my google powers are too weak or the photos I seek are not out there. Maybe everyone else can understand what is meant when the manual says to apply a drop of sewing machine oil to each of the places indicated in the blurry picture.

If anyone knows of such a resource, please point me in the right direction. I'm really not in the mood to download a photo editing program and learn how to use it.

There is however, one resource I've come across recently that is promising. Treadle On is a site focused on Human Powered sewing machines. I love that, human powered bit. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Treadle On has resources like how to get that gucked up old machine you found at a garage sale working again: cleaning and lubricating a machine head.

There are also some nice resources about the vibrating shuttle machines. My Singer 127 is a vibrating shuttle sewing machine. Happy days!

On the page about winding and threading the shuttle, I found this photo.

Now the manual for this machine tells me that I should fill the wick with oil, but I couldn't find it anywhere on my machine. But here it is. Just a bit of red felt. See the internet can be a great resource after all.

I'm off to go cut myself a wee bit of felt to stick in my wick hole. (wait. did that sound rude?). I hope that will do the trick. The more I use the machine the louder the shuttle seems to get. Fingers crossed that this is all that I'm missing.


vrea154 said...

Thank you. I recently pulled out that Singer 128-23 someone gave me and started playing with it. How correct you are. Available instructions are so blurry you can only guess what some of the diagrams are pointing to. And your post is the only one to address this issue, in addition, to addressing the oil wick. As of yet I have not found any replacement, specifically, for the wick. I used some felt. I don't know if the original wick was the type of felt as I have or a different grade, etc. to properly apply the oil as the shuttle passes by. How did your replacement work out for you; since you have had use of your "new" wick longer than I have mine. I sure don't want to ruin this machine - because "they don't make 'em like they used to".

raven said...

I used real felt for my wick - made with wool - and it's working great! I use the machine quite often with no problems.

Fluzz said...

Wow, now I have to check my Singer for a wick hole. The shuttle is the noisiest part of the "old beast"

As for where to oil, I downloaded the manual for mine and the image was less blurry. I shall contact you when I take photos and upload them with handy arrows. I worked it out partly via the manual and partly by looking for where things move :)

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but check out this youtube video for wonderful hands on info of these little gems. I ind the shuttle machines almost magical.