Anyone use Singer Touch 'n' Sew?

socksSeptember 28, 2008

My Singer is one of the old Touch 'n' Sew's from about the 1970's. I've had a problem for years which I just struggle with. Maybe someone here can help me.

Often when I begin to sew, a tangled mess of threads is created on the bottom of the fabric and I cannot continue sewing. I have to pull the whole thing out and cut it all off and start over. Sometimes I can continue sewing, but there is still a tangled mess on the bottom of the fabric. What causes this?

Thanks....Susan

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damascusannie

A question first: How often do you clean the lint out of the bobbin area? That's the first thing to do when this sort of thing happens. If you have been keeping on top of the daily maintenance (yes, it should be cleaned every time you sew), then my guess would be that you're either getting backlash in the bobbin, or you have a burr somewhere on the hook or bobbin case that's snagging the top thread. Keep in mind, that the Touch and Sew has a fairly bad reputation, especially the earlier models, which are known to the old sewing machine repairmen as "Touch and Swears".

Annie

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 5:25PM
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budster

I have a T&S 638 and there are a few of us here on the forum who sew with them all the time. I agree with damascusannie.....clean out your bobbin case area first thing. Check in your manual and it will give you detailed instructions on how to remove the case. If you have the bobbins that are plastic and with indication rings on them, do not wind them past the last ring (that could be another problem). I would play with the needle thread tension and the pressure dial are at a correct setting. For my machine most times the pressure is at 4. Are the bobbins even when filled? Same thread in bobbin as on the spool. Change needles, change thread, clean and oil....as a last resort take it in for some TLC. My 1967 T&S will outlast me according to my repair person

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 7:14PM
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joansews4u

There is a wire by the tension disk. Look at your threading diagram & make sure it is threaded correctly at that point.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 2:25AM
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lamalu

I love my Touch 'n' Sew and mine sometimes does this - I'm not sure why. I've gotten into the habit of doing a test on a swatch every time I rethread my bobbin which makes it alot less annoying. I had no idea Touch 'n' Sew had a bad rap - I've had mine for years and am very satisfied with it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 9:46AM
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damascusannie

lamalu--It's only the EARLY T 'n' S machines that have the bad reputation. Apparently, they got the bugs worked out in later models. Because I collect antique and vintage sewing machines, I've gotten to know quite a few retired sewing machine repairmen and they all agree that the early T 'n' S's were pretty bad. Actually, Touch 'n' Swear is the NICEST name they have for those models!

I've also met a lot of gals like you that have later versions and love them, so Singer apparently took the complaints seriously and made the proper changes.

Annie

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 9:52AM
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loganhogan

I see that My Mother, Joan and Budster have already responded. I think we are the only 3 people on earth who like T&S. As Bud mentioned I sew on mine almost daily and several hours at a time. I've learned to clean, clean, clean, the bobbin casing.

Mine is a 1964, 600 and it is actually called an AutoReel, so I guess that was the name before T&S.

Is this (birdnest) happening when you start sewing or when you're well into the project? I make sure to always leave a long tail of thread when I start out.
Good Luck,
Susan

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 3:06PM
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lamalu

Annie - How do I tell what year my machine is? I bought it used. Last time I had it serviced I asked my repairman if I should consider replacing it and he advised me to keep it - so maybe it's newer.
Speaking of sewing machines I'd love to get a portable to take to sewing/quilting classes but am not up to spending hundreds on a Featherweight. Any suggestions?
Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 3:39PM
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damascusannie

Singer has a good dating list on their website for dating machines by serial number. I can look it up for you if you wish.

Get a Singer 185 or 99/Spartan for your portable machine for classes and retreats. The 185 is the lighter of the two, but the 99s and Spartans are easier to find. They are not quite as small as the Featherweight, but still much smaller than a full-sized machine.

Annie

Here is a link that might be useful: Singer 185

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 4:50PM
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budster

Excuse me, lamalu.....but watch for Singer 22l's......a few people on the various sites have gotten some good deals on (dare I say it) ebay. If you ask a Singer or local sewing machine repair place to watch for something they might find you a machine........Budster who found a Singer 222 just that way.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 9:22PM
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socks

Wow, thank you all so much for your helpful replies. It's so interesting to hear from you. I'm a little embarrassed to say I have struggled with this problem for years. On my recent project it was much better. I was using a size 11 needle, smaller than usual. Wonder if that had anything to do with it.

The bird's nest starts within the first inch of sewing. I can hear it building up underneath, and very little forward progress is being made. I make sure both top and bottom threads are nicely to the back before I sew. It could be some kind of burr or something which snags in the bobbin area. I'll check that out.

I do usually keep the bobbin area free of lint, threads, etc., but I'm sure it could use a good cleaning at this time. I usually use a q-tip and long pins to dig the lint out. I also oil the machine per book instructions.

My machine is a T&S Model 758. I bought it before I was married and loved it because of the Flexi Disk which had the little ducks swimming. Anyone have that? And guess what--have never used it even once!

Yes, the plastic bobbins fill evenly, and I do not overfill.

Is it important to take these machines for a professional tune-up occasionally? It hasn't been in for many years.

The machine is put away now, but I'll print this and check out some of the suggestions. Thanks all!!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 10:14AM
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loganhogan

Susan,
I think Mother's (Joansews) is a 758. She's worn out several of these machines and buys one everytime she finds one. I know the inside of my bobbin area is a little different. You may want to make sure that the needle is all of the way in place and that it's not catching on a "hook" in the bobbin area. I bent mine a little bit becasue it was snagging the thread.
Susan

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 3:21PM
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lamalu

I finally got around to looking up the serial number for my machine - it is Model 603E, made in 1964. I didn't find any other information than that, tho.
This weekend there is a big yard sale nearby so I'm going to start scouting around for a portable. lol - this will be my 4th sewing machine - I've got the Singer, my grandmother's treadle and a Necchi that I use for sewing leather and upholstery. Someday I supppose I'll have to downsize but I don't want to think about that!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 3:56PM
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damascusannie

Downsize? Honey, you've just got a good start. I have five machines in my big sewing table alone--over 60 all together.

Annie

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 7:51PM
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ralfsmom

i had the gloden touch and sew bought in 1072 and it took me 30 + years to wear it out. i found when mine would have a problem with that a new plastic bobbin took care of it. i don't think the plastic quality was good. i have a janome now and love it.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 9:28PM
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msmarion

You said it happens within the first few stitches and that you keep the threads in the back. Try holding those threads with just a little bit of tension for the first few stitches. I think it would help.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 7:56AM
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lamalu

Oh Annie! You are my hero! Next time I get the business about buying sewing/craft equipment I'm going to show them this post!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 9:00AM
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kathyg_in_mi

Awwww! I miss my T & S 778. A couple of years ago I took it apart and gave away all the pieces to people on THS who wanted them. I know it all went to good homes. Still, I sometimes miss it, had that thing for over 20 years! Just wore it out!
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 12:00PM
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kathielo

I have a T & S 620 and I love it. It is my favorite over my Athena 2000. It is 41 yrs. old and going strong. Yes, every repairman tells me it a great machine and I shouldn't get rid of it ever. So as long as it works I won't. However, I contemplate getting another one but then I think...for what? I did buy a serger which I am not crazy about..too much fiddling with the tensions to get it right.

Can any one suggest a machine that would do more than the T & S and be worth buying at this point. I sew mainly children's clothes, repairs, etc. no quilting. I'd like something that can handle fine fabrics like chiffon and silk with ease.

Kathie

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 2:23PM
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budster

A friend gave me an attachment for sewing circles that is for the T&S. I know it has a "proper name" but it eludes me at the moment. I already had one but hey, two is always better than one right? My friend found it at a local SA for a quarter, can't complain right?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 6:09PM
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socks

I think they're called Fashion discs or Flexi-Stitch discs.
You might have gotten the one called Ball Stitch, which is a Fashion disc.

Marion, I've started to hold the threads with a bit of tension for the first few stitches, but I haven't done it long enough to see if that helps. Thanks for the suggestion; it reminds me to keep trying it.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 9:53PM
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kitah

I have a Touch n sew #758 also! The problem I have had was if I start to sew on the very edge of the fabric. If I move the foot up on the fabric and back stitch it seems to help me.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:13AM
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socks

Kitah, yes, that's exactly what happens when I start right at the edge!! But if I start "in" a bit, then I have to turn it around and sew back to that edge, so I don't like to do that. But I like your idea of backing up. I'll try that. Thanks!!

I do like the machine. It's seen me through a lot of quilts and Halloween costumes.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 9:48AM
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paulah_gardener

Susan All of the above solutions sound good. I was told after the needle goes up and then starts in the down position stop sewing, or move the needle by hand to this position. This is where you start sewing this works for me and I haven't had a tangle since [well almost never ] because It's always more fun to sew without knots. Paula

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 9:35AM
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shortfrog

I just got my Touch 'n' Sew today at a garage sale bought it for 8.00's I don't think they realized the worth of the machine. I am not sure which one it is that you guys are talking about but I will go and look hehehe.. got me interested... I seen it with the case and all was listed for 100.00-150.00 .. wow I am like should I use it. But I am going to, just going to take good care of it. I JUST CAN'T FIGURE OUT THE THREATEN THOUGH... MY BOBBER IS THE PLASTIC TYPE WITH THE METAL ON IT.... LOL I AM NEW AT SEWING BTW.

BUT I GOT THIS PILLOW QUILT CRAFT AND I WANT TO MAKE IT FOR MY FRIENDS BABY THAT COMING...

ANYONE HELP?

LADONNA ... THANKS .. OH ANOTHER ?? ANYONE KNOW THAT THE METAL HANDLE LOOKING THING IS ON BOTTOM IT LOOKS LIKE A KICK STAND LOL BUT I KNOW IT CAN'T BE...

WELL NICE DAY EVERYONE!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 9:37PM
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loganhogan

You should see a number on the outside of the machine. Tell us that number and we should be able to help you. The bobbin is plastic and the metal thing keeps it in place. You wind the bobbin inside the machine, unlike most other machines.
Susan

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:47PM
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budster

Yes do as Susan said and tell us the number and I'm sure someone would jump in to help you. Great purchase by the way....hope it runs well for you.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 5:26PM
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lamalu

Been searching around for a portable for quilting class and found a 185 for $5 about an hour away but when I talked to my sewing machine guru he said he didn't think it was worth the trip and to come down to the shop because he had one and look before I drove all that way.
Well, one thing led to another and he pulled a couple Featherweights out of the back room. Oh my. The newer one [1964 I think] was in absolutely pristine condition - I don't think it had ever been used. $400. And the 185 was the most delicious green color. Don't you know I bought them both?
Happy owner of 5 sewing machines and counting!
He also told me that he had NEVER found a Featherweight at a yard sale in my area. As if I needed any more reasons to get it!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 12:14PM
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melly298

How do I download a manual for the 620? I found a service manual on the T&T website, but I would like directions for the circular stitcher I ordered off Ebay.

My plastic gears are fine on my machine, but does it stop sewing if the plastic gear breaks?

I like the different types of decorative stitches on it, a piece of history just 6 months younger than me. :p

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 6:50PM
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damascusannie

Lamalu--Great finds! I'd have driven the hour to get the first 185.

Melly--If a plastic gear breaks, you will not be able to sew with your machine.

Annie

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 8:10PM
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krsanna

I have a T&S 600E, which I love. I bought it from a retired Singer repairman, who said the 600E is the last model made with metal gears. He promised the 600E would still work in 100 years. I also have a new Brother machine that doesn't do any better than the T&S.

I do pretty well with it. Recently, I've noticed one problem that just started. It looks like the bobbin tension needs to be adjusted. The top tension is fine. When sewing on two pieces of fabric, the stitch on top (top tension) is perfect, but when I turn over the fabric there's slight puckering on the other side. This indicates the bobbin tension needs to be adjusted, but I don't know how.

I could take it in to the repairman, but I'd rather learn how to make the adjustment myself.

I'll appreciate any tips anyone has.

Thanks,
Krsanna

Any ideas?

Krsanna

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 10:41PM
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damascusannie

I'd adjust the top tension first--just because the stitch looks good on the top, doesn't mean that the top tension is necessarily correct. Any time tension is off, it simply means that the tensions between the top and bobbin aren't in balance. Try tightening your top tension a bit and see if that solves the problem. If it doesn't, then work on the bobbin tension.

Annie

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 8:30AM
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phyllis_philodendron

If I remember correctly, the tension was what made mine do this. I had a 638? I think for years that I learned on, and my mom bought it probably in the late 60s or early 70s with those green stamp things you used to get at the supermarket, I think. It could be frustrating, that's for sure - but when they did work, they were TANKS, which is nice compared to so many of today's plasticy kinds. We actually dropped mine on the wood floor once and it left a nice gouge (in the floor), got a bit cracked on the casing, was repaired and worked for about another decade!

I always liked the bobbins it took that unscrew in case you need to re-use them again before the thread is used up.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 2:50PM
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mia40997

Just bought a Model 600, Auto-Reel at the thrift shop, without a manual. The Singer website http://www.singerco.com/accessories/manuals.html offers one for sale @ $15. but am not sure it's the right one. Haven't ever used (or even seen) an auto-reel bobbin before. Are they still made?
Very grateful for any input on the 600.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 12:54PM
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catsykes1986

PLEASE HELP!!!

I bought a Singer T&S 645 for $40 at a thrift shop. Got it home, it works. I think. I am trying to wind the bobbin, and it WON'T. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, because I'm new at this. If anyone has any suggestions, please help.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 10:19PM
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budster

Dear Cat - I assume you have the drop in plastic bobbin you can see through - open the throat plate at the bottom, you should see a tab (mine has a red dot on it) just outside the bobbin case - push it (mine goes to the right if memory serves me correctly) you will hear a "snap" - meaning the rewinding mechanism is engaged. Press the foot pedal and wind until the thread reaches the last ring on the bobbin.....not all the way to the edge because your bobbin will be overfilled. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 7:32AM
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sallyanns

my husband's mother has a 600E T'n'S she bought new years ago. while being an avid sewer for many years, she can no longer get new bobbins to wind and when using previously wound bobbins, thread gathers (bird nest) under fabric.

she recently bought some new bobbins that are the same as the original ones. they will not wind .

PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
she is really missing her sewing machine

thanks

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 9:59AM
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budster

Has she cleaned out the bobbin area and oiled what is needed? Does the little level still snap into place? Does she see the bobbin actually moving when trying to rewind? See if anything is stuck anywhere....that is my first thought. Budster

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 3:05PM
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seasoned_planter

It must be synchronicity or something that we just got
a model 645 and then found the posts from catsykes and budster.
We didn' get any attachments or manual.
We found a manual at sewusa.com, but we can't find any web sites with attachments for that particular model. We don't know if any attachments for other models are compatible with the 645.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 8:30PM
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birkach2001

I have never seen a T & S before but I have one now. The thing I am supposed to press so the bobbin will wind is broken, it won't stay down. Is this something that can be fixed, do you think?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 8:06AM
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budster

Yes it can be fixed according to what I have read. Do a search on the web and see what comes up. The winders are listed as replacement parts on some sites so I assume they can be replaced. If that is the only thing wrong with your machine than you are lucky......it still sews correctly? Did they give you a bobbin filled so you can try it out? My bobbin winder doesn't snap up and down, there is a lever which holds the bobbin down and a little button you push over and hear a snap. Get an estimate for your repair before you commit to anything and see if it will be worthwhile for you. I bought a Sidewinder from Dritz (I think it's Dritz) and all it does is wind extra bobbins......it was $20.00 I don't know if the T&S bobbins work but I don't see why not. That might be a thought for you if the repair is too expensive....you could always try it and then return the sidewinder if it doesn't work.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:23AM
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loganhogan

I have the 600 Autoreel and it's basically the first T&S they came out with in 1964.
I've also had a few problems with newly purchased bobbins. It's like there is a dud bobbin in about every 5-6 new ones I open.
Susan

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:29PM
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darthval86_gmail_com

I bought a desk off craigslist with a model 600 T&S in it, but it did not come with an instruction manual. The only sewing machines I've ever used are much newer models, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to wind the bobbin on this thing! I feel so stupid even asking this but does anyone know where to put the bobbin so that it can be wound? I can't find a spot on the top of the machine for the bobbin to snap into, and I don't know how or if bobbins can be wound elsewhere on a machine. There is a plate on the right half of the top of the machine that pops up, but it doesn't say anything about bobbins in there, just special discs, and the bobbin doesn't fit anywhere in there anyway as far as I can tell. Please help!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 2:45PM
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msmarion

It's been many years since I had a T&S but aas I recall the bobbin winds in the bobbin case. You push the buttin to the side.
Hope this helps.
Marion

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 4:34PM
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budster

Msmarion you are correct.....the bobbin is wound in the bobbin case and there is a button on the left of the bobbin case you push to one side to wind the bobbin. The needle must be in the C position and the buttonhole controls must be set at "off" to make it work. darthval - did you get it to work?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 4:45PM
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ralfsmom

hi, my 1970's touch and sew lasted 30 yrs. a long life considering the heavy use when it got olderi would have that problem after i filled a bobbin and i found out that the lever that you pushed back after wasn't clicking in place and left the bobbin in wind position. it also had plastic or nylon gears that kept breaking.i finally laid it to rest and got a jamone which i love. ans i used to think singer was the only machine. ralfsmom

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 10:23PM
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loganhogan

I bought a desk off craigslist with a model 600 T&S in it, but it did not come with an instruction manual. The only sewing machines I've ever used are much newer models, and I can't for the life of me figure out how to wind the bobbin on this thing! I feel so stupid even asking this but does anyone know where to put the bobbin so that it can be wound? I can't find a spot on the top of the machine for the bobbin to snap into, and I don't know how or if bobbins can be wound elsewhere on a machine. There is a plate on the right half of the top of the machine that pops up, but it doesn't say anything about bobbins in there, just special discs, and the bobbin doesn't fit anywhere in there anyway as far as I can tell. Please help!

Val,
You put the bobbin in the machine like you are going to sew. With the machine threaded wrap the thread around the screw that holds the presser foot on, 2-3 times and hold it in place, then press the silver button to the right hand side of the machine down. Press your foot controller and the bobbin will start to fill. It should cut that thread that you are holding around the screw. WHen the bobbin is full, press the silver button to the right so that it pops up.
Susan

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 12:59PM
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darthval

THANK YOU SO MUCH! It worked perfectly!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 2:59AM
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budster

That is great news darthval.....now you will join the group of T&S users. They are generally great machines and good workhorses. Budster

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 5:17PM
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lizlovesgreen

I have the 638 model, and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to get the bobbin thread to come up through the throat plate! I just recently acquired it at an estate sale, and there are no notches like I'm used to in regular Singers! To my understanding, you just put the bobbin in, snap that latch down, and make sure the thread comes out through the notch in the sliding plate. Any ideas?? It didn't come with the manual, but I was hoping to at least get a preliminary sewing job done before I went lookin' for the manual.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 2:34AM
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andee_gw

Put the bobbin in while holding on to some excess thread as you close the throat plate. The excess thread should be held to the left of the latch and in the hole in the throat plate as you close it. With the machine threaded, hold the needle thread up and toward you as you rotate the hand wheel toward you. The needle should go down and catch the bobbin thread. As the needle comes up, catch both threads and pull.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:40PM
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ninaroseknits

I received an old golden t&s a few years ago that had been recently serviced for a new timing mechanism. I was under the impression that it was ready to go, but I've tried to use it and the needle keeps hitting the bobbin casing. I'm wondering if the timing is off, maybe when the repairman put the machine back together? Or perhaps I have the machine on a wrong setting? I've tried adjusting the needle "margin" (not sure if that's what you might call it) to get closer to where the needle needs to go into, but it's still about an 1/8 of an inch off. Any suggestions would be a huge help!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 11:13AM
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shadylady2u

Have you tried putting a new needle in? Could be slightly bent. Make sure the bobbin's in the right way. Make sure it's not stuck in zigzag or some other decorative stitch mode. Not that long ago, one of my machines was doing that and I had forgotten to turn the buttonhole setting back to regular straight stitch. Also try rethreading.
Remove the plate cover and make sure there's nothing under it, like threads or a piece of a broken needle.
These are things that pop in my head, but if it's none of them, it may need a trip back for another repair.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 12:47PM
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marshamyagent_yahoo_com

I need a manuel for a Singer Touch & Sew, model 758.
Can anyone help me?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:15PM
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mmobluda_suddenlink_net

Anyone know where to get fashion discs for a T&S 638? Also, the button hole knob (with the S for Singer on it)has cracked and is about to fall apart. Where would I get another? Any ideas would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 2:15PM
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budster

My own source for these things is the thrift store... my local Salvation Army store sells the parts off machines that are donated but don't run. I've seen the whole box of attachments for $4.00 - as for the knob you seek, that would require asking if they have any junked Singers in the back they are going to toss OR another suggestion is to call around the your local sewing stores that sell used machines and ask if they have any parts for a Touch and Sew and tell them what you want exactly. They might also have pieces from junked machines. That is what I have done in the past and it has worked for me. Good luck. Budster

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 7:34PM
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bay9marlene_yahoo_com

looking for a chain stitch without the bobbin...machine...was told it was Singer Touch and sew 1964....cost $25o.oo from a shop...Is this a good deal ? wanted it for very fine fabric....

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 7:17AM
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cooksnsews

$25 for a chain stitcher is a good deal IF it sews.... Not all T&S models were capable of chain stitch, and those that can require special parts - a bobbin cover, stitch plate, and a thread guide, I believe.

An appropriate T&S would be your best and cheapest CS option. I have several antique CSers, and they weren't cheap!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 3:37PM
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bamboo1_foxinternet_net

I need a manual for a 600E T&S, would any one have one?
I was given a 600E in real bad shape and have reconditioned it and it sews OK but I have a question about bobbin thread tension. How do you adjust?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:43PM
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gouthros_hotmail_com

Is there a trick to using the decorative fashion discs..They dont do what it shows in the book...I have the Touch and Sew 620 Help!!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:32AM
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janelburker_gmail_com

Great info! I am new to sewing but am using the TnS model 758. I am having all the problems that are listed with the bobbin & all. Many of you said that you love this machine. Can you tell me what is good about this machine as opposed to another? Considering buying a new one but sounds like this problem may be worth putting up with.

Also, I need a manual. Where is the best place to get this & can I just download one onto my computer?

Thank you in advance for your help!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 1:41PM
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dywong_seas_ucla_edu

I have a 758 that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago. I'm having my first baby in december and have been sewing things off and on in preparation (bumpers, pillows, nursing covers...) I'm planning on sewing some burp clothes and cloth diapers, but the plastic gears started breaking a month ago (maybe because I tried to sew some very thick layers of fabric) and I got replacements for the feed dog gear set, but am having trouble getting the old ones off. Does anyone know how to get the main shaft out? there are some parts that I can't figure out how to move out of the way to slide the bar out so that the narrower gear can slide off to be replaced. Hope someone is able to help.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 2:29PM
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janelburker_gmail_com

Darice- I'm new to sewing too. I wish I could help you. Sorry.

Everyone- I decided to have my machine serviced & got a manual also. I tried out some of the different stitches. As I was sewing, my needle got stuck in the down position & I can not bring it all the way back up manually or with the pedal. (It currently won't sew but machine makes a humming noise lie it is going to begin stitching.) Can anyone tell me how to get the needle up and working again? Is there something I am missing? -- Please help me...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:13AM
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Celie1

Hi, I'm new and I happened to find your site and discussion about the Singer Touch & sew while I was looking for a user's Manuel for a second hand Singer t&s 758, I just bought. I learned to sew, before my teen years, on an old singer, non electric that had a shuttle bobbin and a plate you moved back and forth with your feet to make the needle go up and down. I got some good information from reading your questions and answers. I now know that the bobbin is wound, in place, under the foot and doesn't have to be wound up by hand. Don't I feel dumb! But I can't find out how to adjust the bobbin tention? The thread is too loose and makes a mess under the foot plate and since I only paid $25 at a second hand store, it didn't have any manual or attachments, except for the zigzag cam, that was probably left in it, the last time it was used. I have had several sewing machines in my life but the last one I bought, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, is an peice of c__p with too much plastic where they should have used metal. When I would try to sew, I had to keep putting it back together again.
Did anyone find a Manual for the 758 that several of you were talking about and can I get a copy?
I would certainly appreciate any help or advise you might want to share! Thanks,
Celie

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 5:42AM
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vlro1953

My DH is trying fix a Singer T&S 600. The bobbin keeps jumping up. Any clues?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 8:05PM
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clt3

There's a wealth of information here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Touch 'n sew

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 7:06AM
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Jenyphero

Just bought a TNS 638 at a yard sale for $10. It didn't come with any attachments or an owner's manual, and for the life of me I can't figure out how to get the needle to pull up the bobbin thread. Apparently I'm also going to have to struggle with actually threading the bobbin if and when it ever comes to that. My first challenge is figuring out if the machine even works! I'm hesitant to purchase an owner's manual off E-Bay. They're selling for $25-$30 and I don't even know if the machine works. Not sure that I want to invest that kind of money yet. Does anyone have step-by-step instructions to tell me how to get the machine to pull the bobbin thread up so I can sample sew? Please email me at jenyphero@gmail.com. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:18AM
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cooksnsews

Open the slide plate and turn the wheel by hand. Does the hook go around and around? If not, you likely have a broken gear, which is not a trivial repair. If the hook does rotate, the most common reasons for no stitch are improper needle insertion or threading. You can download a manual at the Singer site for $15.

Here is a link that might be useful: Singer Manuals

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 5:10PM
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traysee61

Specifically I cannot always get the thread to "catch" on the wire thingy around the tension plates.

HELP PLEASE

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 11:06AM
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linda1216

I have my mothers old Golden T & S. I've been using it for many years. The problem I'm having is it will still sew jeans wonderfully, but won't sew anything light weight or slippery. It won't pull the material through and forms a "nest" of thread under the fabric. Any ideas? I have no clue where to even start.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 10:24PM
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linda1216

As follow up, it's a 770. I have the original manual and a plastic box of "junk" that goes with it. I only shorten jeans and do small sewing tasks, so I never use the other stuff. After looking at the manual, it looks like I may need to replace the feed dog. Mine is rubber and really worn down. Should I go with rubber again or they also sell metal????? Help please.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:50AM
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lizzie2

I was given a 638 touch n sew for the owner could not get it to work. I cleaned and oiled the machine, went online to singer and found the user's guide and now it works well. I have not figured out the chain stitch yet and some of the other stitches but it has all cams and the needle threader works. I have not taken the time but I am amazed this was possible in 1968. I had not seen one of those before it has a replacement hook for the threader. This machine came in a cabinet. I do not know what the knee thing is for but am hoping it is a knee pedal. I now have 3 touch n sews and only one does not work; it continually goes out of time. I got that one for $25 at auction along with an apple box of sewing notions and a singer slant buttonhole attachment. I am beginning to think the older singers are good to have. I have over 10 sewing machine now and my sewing room is full. All those machines and so little time.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 4:56PM
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SpyderSueQ

I have inherited a Singer Touch'n Sew that has never been used (except for one time only and it wouldn't sew -- so was stored until now). It's a model 638 and the problem is that the top and bobbin threads won't engage each other to form a stitch. It will hand turn to pick up the bobbin thread but that's it!!! My husband is super great at repairing my machines but this one has him stumped ........ so, I'm reaching out in the hopes that someone else has had this problem and can tell me what to do to get the machine to sew. Thanks in advance ...........

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 3:24PM
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clt3

Sounds like a timing issue if a stitch won't form. You can download directions on how to adjust the timing here(not free):

Here is a link that might be useful: Touch and Sew

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 8:38AM
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batshtcrazy

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I bought a T & S at an estate auction a few months ago (pd $20) and I absolutly love it! I had to thread my bobbin and everything was great! Until the next time I had to reload the bobbin! I was having that "bird's nest" problem and could not figure out what I was doing wrong. This is my 1st EVER sewing machine. Anyway thanks to some old posts here I got it going again! Once again THANKS BUNCHES!!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 4:37PM
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cleyla

Hi, I'm new here :) I hope it's okay that I'm joining in to this conversation...I found it while searching because I am having trouble with a Singer Touch 'n' Sew.

My machine is called the "Special Zig-Zag Model 626". It belonged to my mom, and I haven't used it in years. In fact the last time it was used was when it was tuned up in 2000. Judging by the scrap fabric left in it, all stitches worked fine then.

I tried using it tonight and was getting my top thread bunched up (birds nest?) underneath. I fiddled with the tension, and then decided to re-wind the bobbin (since I'd had a similar problem with what must have been a burr on a plastic bobbin on my grandmother's old tabletop Singer--new metal bobbin did the trick there). When I went to re-wind the bobbin on the Touch 'n' Sew, I couldn't get it to work (it started but then the thread broke) and now when I try turning the hand wheel (pardon my lack of terminology!) when the needle is in the down position, it hits some part of the bobbin mechanism as it spins around! I hope I didn't do something wrong while winding the bobbin...it's been years since I've used the machine and had to look up how to do it.

Anyway, bottom line is I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about this particular model and whether it's worth getting fixed or if it's time for a newer investment? I don't care what the machine may be worth money-wise, it's more of a sentimental thing. But then again, I want it to work!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 10:34PM
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hof79

My mother has the 603E. A part dropped into the bobbin area and she tore it apart a couple of days ago. She has torn the machine apart before and after several tries was able to get the "black curved bar by the bobbin case" to snap back into place.

This time she is having a difficult time with the luck of popping/snapping it back in.
If you have a picture of your current machine's bobbin area - that may help her, too.
We have the manual. Not quite the angle of the parts we need.
(BTW: I remember being 4 years old when the machine came to our home. And, the wedding dresses my mother sewed that summer to help pay for the machine). They're both sewing along like crazy with each other 48 years later!
She says it's somewhat a spring.
Do you have experience and more methodic direction than luck to rearranging this area of the machine?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:15AM
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margarita10

I picked up a T&S 600e at a Goodwill a few years ago for $30.00 with the sewing table. Sews like a dream.

A few days ago the light bulb went out and I tried to pull out the bulb and I know I broke something.

End of the day I had to pry the bulb out in pieces the machine still works but I need a new light compartment but don't know where to obtain one.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated I have a new grand and she needs summer outfits.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 1:45PM
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lizzie2

Go online and google sewing machine parts. I have used one called sew and vac; they carried parts for a really old machine I have. Since you can still use the machine, I would probably not fix it. I have an old lamp behind one of mine and it seems to do okay for me. Congrats on the new addition and sewing for her. You are an inspiration.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 1:41PM
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keithnick

I just got a touch and sew 626 with table, hand me down from grandmother, to my sister, to me today. Came with manual attachments and extras. Thanks for all the tips I prefer to troubleshoot now before sewing. I started five years ago with a singer tradition making "ecwcs" lightweight clothing for southern cailfornia.
Thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 10:49PM
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DebYoung

I too have inherited my mothers machine! It works well but I am trying to find out HOW to use the buttonhole attachment (not buttonhole foot) and have not been able to find a manual online for this attachment. I've been manually making buttonholes BUT want them to be nice and hoping this attachment will do just that! DOES ANYONE have any idea how to use this attachment or know where I can find the manual that will tell me?? thank you in advance for any advice........

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Jpm55

Hi,

I have used and like the Singer 9960.

Here is a link that might be useful: Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist Review

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:31AM
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clt3

If you're referring to one of the old black Singer's with a buttonhole attachment with templates, there's a manual here that you can download a free PDF:

Here is a link that might be useful: Singer buttonholer

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:38AM
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qwkslver

Another place to explore your machine might be quiltingboard.com. They have an antique sewing machine area.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:24AM
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staceylouwho37

I have a touch and sew 758 that i got a few months ago. I am happy to have found a place with so much information about these machines. I hope one of you can help me. My machine won't feed at all. If i pull the fabric through, everything else works great. It did not come with a manual. I have not had a machine in several years, since hurricane katrina washed my last one away. What i had before was a newer model singer, and there is a big difference, so i am having trouble figuring out the problem. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 12:11AM
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staceylouwho37

I have a touch and sew 758 that i got a few months ago. I am happy to have found a place with so much information about these machines. I hope one of you can help me. My machine won't feed at all. If i pull the fabric through, everything else works great. It did not come with a manual. I have not had a machine in several years, since hurricane katrina washed my last one away. What i had before was a newer model singer, and there is a big difference, so i am having trouble figuring out the problem. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 3:47PM
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staceylouwho37

I have a touch and sew 758 that i got a few months ago. I am happy to have found a place with so much information about these machines. I hope one of you can help me. My machine won't feed at all. If i pull the fabric through, everything else works great. It did not come with a manual. I have not had a machine in several years, since hurricane katrina washed my last one away. What i had before was a newer model singer, and there is a big difference, so i am having trouble figuring out the problem. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 4:16PM
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grubbyknees

WOW! It's like a Touch and Sew fan club here!
I have a 630 that was a gift brand new in 1968 when I was 18. I've used the devil out of it ever since.
My problem is the bobbin winder. I had the machine completely gone through about two years ago, but the bobbin winder was not really fixed. Can you get new bobbin winders?
I tried to buy a bobbin winder at the fabric shop, but it did not have a spindle small enough for this machine. I've been winding the bobbins by hand, but besides being a pain. I think it is contributing to the "bunching up" problem this machine is so prone to.
Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 2:19PM
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clt3

Here's a very comprehensive site with a lot of information about the Touch 'n Sews. There's a PDF on adjusting the bobbin winder.

Here is a link that might be useful: Touch 'n Sew

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 7:27AM
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SewSwitzer

I also just got an old Singer Touch and Sew 758 and my top thread was bunching up on the underside of the fabric while stitching. I tried to adjust sooo many things, cleaned it out, did it all over again for days. Then tonight I just adjusted the thread tension alllll the way to 9 and it is all of a sudden sewing like a dream!

It does still have issues as the two rectangle push along things that are meant to push the fabric along for me have lost their plastic and so I have to push the fabric through myself, making for a lot of jumps and bunches in the stitching. I've got to go hunt for some new push along things (no idea what to call them) tomorrow as I've got a pile of angels to sew for a fundraiser!

I AM looking for some help of how to re-wind on the thread on this crazy looking (skinny and flat) bobbin. I've posted a new thread on the topic... No idea how to do it as this machine does not seem to be set up with a bobbin spinner on top or a wheel that disengages the needle. Any help?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 2:17AM
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melelg

I have the same problem as socks12345. I have tried rethreading the top thread and putting a new bobbin in and wind it. I am going to use the suggestions that have been suggested. I am a newbie to this forum.
Anyone looking for information on their touch and sew. Go to Singer.com and look under support. There is a link where you can get a download of the manual you need. You can also get information on your machine. I found out what hear it was made and where it was made.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 9:54AM
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suemiller

I recently got a singer touch n sew at a yard sale for a couple dollars. It worked well at first... now the feed quit working and I don't know what to do. Anyone have a suggestion?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 7:41PM
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suemiller

I recently got a singer touch n sew at a yard sale for a couple dollars. It worked well at first... now the feed quit working and I don't know what to do. Anyone have a suggestion?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 7:42PM
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kathyg_in_mi

Did you drop the feed dogs by mistake?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:47PM
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JimS2

I just replaced the hook gears in a 758. Parts and instructions are available at

http://www.tandtrepair.com/

If you have worked on machines, it's not difficult, but if you haven't done any repairs, it's going to be a challenge. I'm somewhere in the middle. Even with the instructions, I spent a lot of time just worrying. But now I know how to time any Singe machine.

The feed dogs are coated with rubber that deteriorates. They aren't expensive or difficult to replace, but that's what you have to do.

To replace the gears you will need several small hex wrenches. I'm sorry, but I don't know the sizes. I have a comprehensive set. You will also need some screwdrivers.

You have to remove the parts that activate the bobbin winder in order to remove the hook gear. Nut on the hook shaft is reverse threaded. It comes off clockwise and goes back on counterclockwise. I would take some good pictures of how things look before disassembly.

To remove the other gear you have to loosen the set screws on the gear and on the timing pulley. that's the thing that is run by the timing belt. There are good pictures of these things available from the parts guy in his instruction book.

The gear shaft will slide to the right after you loosen the set screws. Then you can get the gear off. That's pretty simple compared to some of the things you might encounter on some machines.

Re-timing the machine is pretty simple, but you absolutely need the instructions. I think I could re-time the machine in ten minutes, but the first time, it took at least an hour.

Jim2.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:02PM
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JimS2

I just replaced the hook gears in a 758. Parts and instructions are available at

http://www.tandtrepair.com/

If you have worked on machines, it's not difficult, but if you haven't done any repairs, it's going to be a challenge. I'm somewhere in the middle. Even with the instructions, I spent a lot of time just worrying. But now I know how to time any Singe machine.

The feed dogs are coated with rubber that deteriorates. They aren't expensive or difficult to replace, but that's what you have to do.

To replace the gears you will need several small hex wrenches. I'm sorry, but I don't know the sizes. I have a comprehensive set. You will also need some screwdrivers.

You have to remove the parts that activate the bobbin winder in order to remove the hook gear. The nut on the hook shaft is reverse threaded. It comes off clockwise and goes back on counterclockwise. I would take some good pictures of how things look before disassembly.

To remove the other gear you have to loosen the set screws on the gear and on the timing pulley. That's the thing that is run by the timing belt. There are good pictures of these things available from the parts guy in his instruction book.

The gear shaft will slide to the right after you loosen the set screws. Then you can get the gear off. That's pretty simple compared to some of the things you might encounter on some machines.

Re-timing the machine is pretty simple, but you absolutely need the instructions. I think I could re-time the machine in ten minutes, but the first time, it took at least an hour.

Jim2.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:05PM
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JimS2

Sorry for the duplicate. I was trying to correct spelling mistakes.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:08PM
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childstar

Hello, I just wanted to correct some errors made by people who made previous posts, and had put some misinformation "out there" for people read. Firstly, I am well trained ( years ago) by the Singer company and wish to share correct information on the internet. First, the early production models of the Singer "Auto-Reel and Touch and Sew" machines were made with all metal gears and were far superior to the machines made later. A good deal of problems arise from the consumer not being educated as to how to properly wind the bobbin. The thread "tail" must be held ( wrapped around the presser foot thumb screw ) so that the built in thread cutter under the bobbin case is allowed to clip it when the winding has started, otherwise a ""birds nest" will form. And lastly, ALL the #600 machines were capable of "chain stitch". I have a 1963 chain stitch kit and manual that was used for the first "Auto-Reel" machine.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 11:40PM
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suziqluvsredshooz

I'm working of a 603 for a friend (the model with the silver button on the right side for bobbin winding). I need help with the bobbin (reel) winding process. I've cleaned the machine and the sewing works fine but it's a little noisy (noise is from the bobbin case rattling). I followed the instructions but after a few seconds of winding the thread breaks. Any ideas as to why the thread keeps breaking? I've checked the upper tension, bought new reels, scratched my head, took a break, but I can't seems to get the bobbins to fill to the outer marker. Thanks for any help!

    Bookmark   last Monday at 10:29PM
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childstar

In reference to the Singer #603, there are most likely two issues. The one is that the upper tension is too tight when the bobbin is winding. Make certain that the tension disks are clean and free of lint. I run a piece of stiff fabric soaked with WD-40 between them to make certain they are clean. The "release pin" in the tension assembly may be missing. The tension disks should "wiggle" a bit when the presser foot lever is up. Are you winding the bobbin correctly.. The machine needs to be set on "straight stitch", presser foot lifter up and the bobbin needs to be empty. The top thread is wrapped around the presser foot screw and DO NOT LET GO OF THE THREAD.. The automatic thread cutter under the bobbin case clips the thread as the winding process starts. The other issue is the loose bobbin case. The bobbin case cannot be too loose or it will "jump out" causing an issue and possibly damaging the hook. Under the "slide plate", which is the access to the bobbin, there are two small screws. The right screw clamps the "bobbin position bracket screw" and that needs to be gently loosened with the proper small slot head screwdriver. Next this allows you to adjust the "concentric" screw on the right inside of the bobbin case bracket which holds the bobbin case ( the black bracket ). To reduce the amount of excess movement, turn the screw to position the bracket to the left a bit..But not too much, or it will bind and the case will not move properly. I use the blade of a small slot head screwdriver as a gauge to determine the clearance between the bracket and case. The case needs to wiggle a bit, because this is how the thread circles the hook. and make certain this is well oiled. I oil mine nearly every time I sew… The best of luck !!!!!!

    Bookmark   Thanked by socks    last Monday at 11:22PM
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socks

Helpful posts, childstar. I haven't used my Singer is so long because of the birdsnest issue, but when I have some time I'll make sure I'm doing the bobbin correctly. I do recall wrapping the thread around the thumbscrew though. Incorrect bobbin winding can cause the birds nest when sewing? Also, I suppose, incorrect threading on top?

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 6:07AM
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suziqluvsredshooz

Childstar you are a rock star! I'm in the process of cleaning the sewing reel in oil (I dissembled it and need to put it back together, so don't go away - I'll need you!) I did notice the top tension seems to tighten up some times in the winding process. I've dissembled and cleaned it (the pin is there and in place) but I'll try the WD-40 right now (I'll get back to you on that one). Regarding the 2 small screws under the "slide plate" - I'm not seeing that on this machine. The "black bracket" which is kind of a backward L-shape has 2 small screws is that what you are referring to? The black bracket seems to have the correct space (1/15) to allow the thread to pass thru. Your knowledge is invaluable, do you have a blog or some other way of sharing and helping Singer owners? You sound like a great teacher!

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 8:42AM
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childstar

The screws are "under" the front area of the slide-plate… They appear as small holes.. Use a small slot head screwdriver and remember the one you need to loosen is the RIGHT one. This locks the screw which adjusts the position bracket. It sounds as though it needs no adjustment. Check the top "pretension" also to make certain it is clean..And the chrome guide at the bottom of the needle bar.. I use WD-40 and dental floss to clean this.. Sometimes it's a good idea to "overlubricate" the machine ( especially if you suspect it has been sitting for a long time un-used ), then simply sew in some old scrap fabric. Hand wind a bobbin and use that.. This process used to be referred to as "running in" the machine. This will re-activate and loosen old lint and debris. I find that these machines need about 15 minutes of sewing in scraps before they start "behaving" and the tension works well. Another thing, the tension pin may be in place, but stuck in gummed old oil and not moving as it should, so be liberal with the WD-40 and blast it.. Sometimes a blow-dryer is a good assistant to help free the stickiness.. Use in a well ventilated area though… P.S….. Another thought, make sure that the top thread holder is smooth and free of blemishes and make certain that the thread spool is not catching the thread and causing it to break.. Never wind a bobbin without placing the top thread in the horizontal thread holder.. The man that invented that ( 1962) also made the separate bobbin winder you can purchase in the fabric stores, ( it will not work in the auto- wind machines ). I remember times when I obsessed, only to discover that the thread was catching on a thread holder ( smooth by buffing it on a old white towel ) and check the thread spool.. Many times I thought it was the machine, only to discover it was the spool….

1 Like    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 9:16AM
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suziqluvsredshooz

OK - back to the 603 - I have a question, Childstar, I have the machine on it's back (cushioned of course (-:) I see the 2 screw holes on the front right under the lip of the machine and near the face plate brackets. The one on the right I loosened rather easily, the left took some tenacity (I ended up deforming the slop the screwdriver goes into so I'm treating it with tender care). The only change I can determine right now (with no bobbin in yet) is the tension bracket that holds the sliding face plate loosened and is pushing against the . Is it suppose to adjust something else? I played with the machine earlier w/o the bobbin (reel) case in the machine and the noise (knocking to a beat) seems to come from the housing for the bobbin case (reel. While running the machine, I put pressure on the spinning housing for the reel case just a little and the knocking sound stopped. Is there an adjustment or is it related to the above issue. My second question is, regarding the tension on the bobbin itself. I read you adjust the bobbin reel tension using the small screw - it (the screw) holds the tension bar for the reel latch. I apologize for being "scattered" with questions regarding 2 issues (being able to wind the bobbin and the knocking noise). I appreciate you info regarding running time, I had OMG moments after oiling where it sounded worst than prior to me "fixing" things. Regarding the thread holder, I don't have the front cap for the horizontal post, I'll have to ask my friend if she may have it but I'm thinking she didn't get it from the lady that sold her the machine (estate sale). I'll try and come up with an alternative. Stay posted my friend please, you have given me and others excellent info!

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 6:42PM
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childstar

Well, the left screw ( should not be tampered with, or it will hit the hook race- it is for the purpose of holding the slide plate spring ).. If you are trying to wind a bobbin without the horizontal thread holder, that is the problem. The horizontal thread holder was developed for that machine in 1962 to eliminate the problem of "thread drag" during the winding process. I wish I had known that to begin with, because all you needed to do was clean and oil the machine. All the other grief you have been through could have been avoided. The upper tension will never be correct without the complete cap assembly for the horizontal thread holder. You can buy them on E-bay.. The "knocking noise' is due to the uneven flow of thread from the top. The bottom tension is only adjusted after the top tension ( thread ) is "free flowing" when the presser foot is down and set at zero… Then test and adjust the bottom using contrasting thread colors to determine even tension ( set top at # 4 ). Use the small screw to loosen or tighten and once set, never touch it again. Only adjust the top for various fabric needs. P.S. …I was thinking that the knocking sound ( if you are running the machine with no thread ) may be caused by the back ( left ) stationary position bracket.. This is even a tad tricky for the pros…Wait until you can obtain the top assembly and if the knocking continues, "carefully" without scarring another screw-head ( it's not as though you can order these from your local "Singer Dealer" ). loosen the hold down screw and push the bracket a couple of millimeters forward.. This will tighten the fit of the bobbin case inside the hook race.. But there needs to be clearance for the thread to travel around the case- hook race assembly.. These were the most complicated machines made at that time and the repairmen of today hate adjusting them.. I bought the professional service manual years ago and taught myself. I'm sorry I am not there to help you. When those machines are adjusted properly and have not been butchered by a "repairman", the metal geared #600 machines are just as good as a Singer #401 or 500 ( I learned on ). The motors are the best Singer used and will sew "fast and smooth"...

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 8:46PM
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suziqluvsredshooz

OK - thanks for more info. I think I need to reverse my process. I thought I was suppose to unscrew the right screw at the front of the machine under the slide plate area and then the right screw. You are correct, once I released (unscrewed) the right screw it is up against the bobbin reel housing and froze up so nothing moves now - ugh! Please stay with me, while I get my knickers out of a twist!

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 9:16PM
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suziqluvsredshooz

Well, surprise, surprise on this 603. I reset the plate screw and put the bobbin (reel) back together and she sewed a perfect stitch w/no knocking. Then I actually was able to rewind a bobbin using the snap on pin for 2 thread sewing (and my hand as a guide) without the thread breaking! Yippee ! I tested the sewing again, but alas the knocking started again, it seems to come from the bobbin area. I'll have to try again tomorrow. Thank you so so much Childstar for all your help and information. Somehow with all my mistakes and your patience, the 603 is coming along. I'll have to see if I can find the spool cap. PS - I found a 403A at the thrift store today for $15, this will be my next project. She needs a drip pan but looks good otherwise (-: -- In the meantime, I will keep working on the 603 until she purrs like a kitten!

    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 10:05PM
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childstar

I wish I lived in an area that had a # 403 for that price.. I live in D.C., where no one sews and I am under the impression "all the good stuff is sold on ebay or crags list".. I really have more machines than I can use, but I like that price. When you are "out and about", consider a junked newer Touch and sew to use for extra parts.. Those are hard to find and an extra bobbin case or feet are good to have. Look for the # 22 cam, it was introduced in 1966 as the first attempt at a flexible stitch, but I love it as an overcast/ serge stitch. You can find the drip pan on ebay.. The same one fits a 401 or 404...

1 Like    Bookmark   last Tuesday at 10:15PM
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suziqluvsredshooz

What excellent info, Childstar! Thank you for your generous contribution to the vintage sewing world! I saw (ebay) a drip pan for the 403 for $24.95 plus S&H - more than I paid for the machine. I'll have to be patient and wait for a better price. I did a search for the felt that goes over the drip pan and there doesn't seem to be any. Any suggestions? Also, regarding the 603, the drip pan made of plastic seems to always be warped (checking ebay and Youtube vids). Because 2 screw holes on the same end don't seem to be drilled correctly, I can't completely set the screws in the holes which causes some problems when setting it in the case. I guess they were in a learning curve when it came to plastic. What are your favorite machine models? Do you have an absolute favorite that you can't part with. I've sewed for years with a Bernina 930 but just since this last January (2015) started my "addiction" with vintage Singers when I found (local Craigslist) a 201-2 1951 (Centennial) in a #40 cabinet for $30. I bought a power cord for $20 and spent hours cleaning her up (she hadn't been used in 20+yrs). I'm the third owner but 2nd user. She absolutely gorgeous! I'm not confident yet to open up the motors, that will be my next level of learning.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 9:11AM
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childstar

All the plastic bottoms on the #600 machines warped..It was a new plastic for the time… If you can't get the holes to "line" up, bend it a bit, and do not tighten them all until they are seated in the holes. They are hard to break.. The "washer" for the # 403 is a felt thread spool holder base.. any will work as a washer.. My favorite machine is the early 1970's Elna, but due to practical reasons ( parts are impossible to find and they are expensive ).. So I will stick with my old trusty #600 Singer.. knits are a challenge, but I use the chain stitch ( double row ) and overcast the edges

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 9:57AM
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suziqluvsredshooz

What model Elna - I'll watch for a machine in my area. There seems to be a lot of machines between St George Ut and Las Vegas, NV that go up for sale. I'm trying to resist another vintage Singer in a cabinet for $55 in excellent condition from what I can tell from the pic. = Horses need to hold me back! --The felt I was referring to was the felt that goes on the oil pan of the 403. I couldn't find any supplier doing a Goggle search. -- I'll try lining up the 603 drip pan to see if the screws embed as they should, just seems like the 2 on the one end were not drilled correctly. I tried using another screw in the holes and it wouldn't go past a certain point. I cleaned the screws and the holes, just don't go past the 3/4 mark of the hole. That would be a minor problem compared to the stitching and bobbin winding. I'll let my friend who owns the 603 know how to treat knits, she'll have to get the chain stitch attachments. Thanks again for your advice. Keep posted (pls (-: ) since I know I'll need to take advantage of your knowledge.

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 1:33PM
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childstar

Unless the machine is only used as a portable, the bottom on the #603 will not matter. It could be that a part of the screw had broken off in the machine, preventing another screw from entering the hole. Yes, the felt on the # 401 was only a thread holder bottom, used between the nut and the metal pan..

    Bookmark   last Wednesday at 7:34PM
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ferippee

l have a 603 that was made in 63 and has a riveted on Touch n Sew plate with the auto reel winder system heads-up: when winding the bobbin I have seen the thread get a little wild at the thread directing 'button' at the top of the machine (above the tension unit) and throw itself around the metal guide of that button. When this happens, the bobbin pulls the thread, tensioning it and sometimes breaking it. Worse, this puts a permanent tension on the thread in that part of the bobbin where the upper button pulled on it while it was winding and that tension creates thread tangles in the bobbin and puckers and makes thread tangles on the underside of the fabric. The fix for me is to hand unwind the thread that was wound while the upper button was grabbing it and wrapping the thread about and around itself. Removing this 'tense thread' from the bobbin has eliminated the thread tangles on my 603. While winding I take great pains to help the thread through this upper button so it doesnt grab the button and put tension into the bobbin thread.

    Bookmark   last Friday at 2:32PM
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suziqluvsredshooz

Thanks for that info. I'm assuming you r talking about the silver round thread guide just about the tension unit. I did have threads that were wound too tight on the bobbin. I'll have to watch for that. I'm waiting for the thread cap that goes on the horizontal spool to come in the mail. I'm hoping that will end the bobbin problems but if not, next step will be to follow your instructions. I so appreciate everyone's efforts to make sewing with a 603 a happy time.

    Bookmark   last Friday at 4:32PM
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ferippee

Yes, that silver round thread guide is exactly the object that might wrap itself with thread to mess up the bobbin winding tension and then cause thread nests in the bobbin volume plus puckers and thread nests on the fabric.

    Bookmark   last Friday at 11:08PM
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childstar

The round "thread guide" is a pre-tension device developed for that machine in 1962. If one does not use the "horizontal thread cap" on the upper post, yes the thread will tangle.. Please read the machines instruction manual. The reason for the demise of those machines was due to their complexity and lack of instruction for the user.. Although some of the German machines had two upper tension knobs to deal with.

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 6:42AM
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ferippee

I have to admit that most of my stitching uses cone thread, where the horizontal spool pin and end cap sit idle. My 603 is mounted in a cabinet and I attached one of the articulated lamps, like the hopper that replaces the 'I' on the PIXAR logo, and move the bulb near the end of the 603 tomsupplemnt its lamp. That mwkes the lamp arm horizontal over the machine. Using a rubber band wrapped around the lamp arm and drawn through itself, I hang a big 'pretzel' looking paper clip the same way on the other end of the rubber band so that two feed zones are hanging off the lamp. I put my cones in coffee cups directly below the dangling pretzel paper clip and that old 603 double needle stitches like a dream. I've done freehand two needle shading effect satin style monogramming that way on it. Just make sure the right side cone goes through the first thread guide that the horizontal spool would use. The left cone goes straight to that pretension button above the tension unit. When single stitching with a cone, go straight from the 'pretzel' to the pretension button directly without the horizontal spool thread guide. As long as the thread doesn't wrap around the pretension button during when bobbin winding, the 603 appears to be a pretty forgiving machine. My only complaint is that when I am making clutches, sometimes the presser foot wont open enough to take the 3/4 inch layer of fabric like a soft geared 750 would, but the rest of the machine doesn't care, it stitches away wonderfully.

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 8:43AM
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childstar

NO Singer # 600 series "Auto-Reel", "Magic Wind", or "Touch and Sew" will either sew properly or wind properly if the "Horizontal thread spool holder" and accompanying cap are used.. I cannot stress enough that this system was developed in 1962 specifically for these machines. ANY thread drag will cause issues in sewing or bobbin winding, that this the reason the Singer company had a design engineer develop this "anti-drag system".This is the main reason the "self winding bobbin" was abandoned, it will only work properly with a "common spool" of thread on the spool holder. I have used this machine since 1964 and even the additional spool holder for "twin needle" sewing causes problems ( thread breaking, bobbin case jumping out etc.). If you feel you need to use a "thread cone" when sewing I suggest using another machine that is more forgiving of this situation. A Pfaff #130 may be a consideration, as this is a "semi- industrial" machine and can tolerate a thread cone. The presser foot may be lifted higher by using the presser foot screw as a "lifting device".. Make certain it is well fastened.

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 9:37AM
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ferippee

I would tend to agree with you that the horizontal spool was developed to maintain a constant thread removal tension off of the spool that smoothed out the thread feed system. However, being a pain in the neck, know it all engineer, I reverse engineered the Singer thread feed system and discovered that Singer was interested in maintaining a constant thread tension which is not attained on a freewheeling spool that is stopped, gets tugged to start spinning, accelerates to overspeed, freewheels and stops with varying tensions reflected due to the spinning spool. The cone, however, is what Singer was attempting to force a standard thread spool to emulate with its spool pin and cap system: A properly placed cone directly under its feed guide (the pretzel paperclip in my previous comment) has a constant tension as the thread unwinds and the 603 is fine with it because it thinks a properly placed spool is being unwound off of the correctly placed and capped horizontal spool. Conclusion: A properly placed cone is equivalent to a properly installed capped spool. Don't be afraid to try this setup on a 603. In fact, for twin needle sewing, the cone is much better than the second free spinning spool.

Thanks for the tip about lifting the presser foot higher!

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 11:11AM
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suziqluvsredshooz

Would getting a separate cone thread holder that sits at the back of the machine, but not on the machine help with the thread tension? I can see the thread tension which causes the regular spool to spin and then stop roughly, could be a problem. I used my hand holding thread out to the side as a means to tame that crazy spin/stop motion.

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 3:54PM
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childstar

I have tried that myself in the past, only to end up breaking thread, jamming the bobbin and needing to literally "pry my sewing project" out of the machine. Those machines can be quite sensitive and were the last of Singers "well made machines".. ( the 600E being the last)..

1 Like    Bookmark   last Saturday at 4:58PM
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ferippee

That is terrible what you are having to do to feed your thread Suziq... The end cap should fix your spool spin woes. I dont want you to have to replace all of your spools with cones. I have tried some spools that I had with the end cap and some smaller diameter spools would not hold properly even with the small side of the end cap butted against it. If that happens, take some scrap felt and cut it to fit the end cap that is the problem. Push it on between the end cap and spool making sure none of the felt can capture thread as it travels around the end cap. This extra piece of felt between the spool and end cap usually is sufficient to make the spool 'rotation free' without you having to jam the end cap against the spool so hard that the end cap felt is damaged. Should you decide to use cones, the thread feed system (usually some kind of string tree) should be free of any thing that could snag the thread. That includes a gap in the frame to extend the tree elevation, nooks and crannies in the arms that could pinch the thread _ it kay be an idea to test a piece of thread on a potential candidate. That is why I suggested hanging a pretzel paperclip from a beam ( my beam being an aticulated light's arm that hangs above the machine and doubles as a ueful lamp and a string tree) with the spools in individual coffee cups - household ready items that wont snag thread.

1 Like    Bookmark   last Saturday at 9:08PM
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ferippee

CORRECTION: Where I said spools in the coffee cups, I meant CONES in the coffee cups. Spools wont feed properly for the machine in a coffee cup and need the end capped horizontal spool holder on the machine.

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 9:15PM
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ferippee

1 Like    Bookmark   last Saturday at 9:29PM
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ferippee

My 603, lamp arm, pretzel paper clip and cone in a coffee cup

    Bookmark   last Saturday at 9:30PM
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suziqluvsredshooz

Good info, thanks so much Childstar and Ferippee (thanks for the pic). I have an added question, I ordered an "end cap" which I haven't received yet. I do have the opposite disc that sits next to the horizontal base but it has old foam. Would I need to order new foam for it to hold the thread tight? I'm assuming the thread is not suppose to rotate at all once the spool/cone is in place.

Thanks so much for your help! (there needs to be another word to express my gratitude!)

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 6:35PM
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childstar

I am a bit "obsessive" and did order new foam pads on ebay, but they are not necessary. I even custom blended the grey/white paint to repair small chips.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 7:50PM
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ferippee

Wow, that is impressive childstar. I wish that I had the ability to blend paint successfully to do that. suziq, I custom cut some scrap felt to make inserts for my soft geared fancy stitching 1970 golden 750 Touch & Sew end caps because I coulnd get a yard of felt for thr price of the factory felt. I had to change out the felt because the previous owner jammed the felt pads too hard aganst the thread spools and destroyed them and the remnant clinging to the end cap would flake off onto my projects.

    Bookmark   19 hours ago
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childstar

Soak them in a "spray" of WD-40 and scrub with an old toothbrush and comet cleanser. Then dry and replace the foam sponges..

    Bookmark   1 hour ago
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