|Singer 237 (Before)|
I know I shouldn't have done this but I decided to see if it would stitch in the condition that it was in. Sure enough, it stitched great but it sounded terrible. The motor sparked more than I was comfortable with but it didn't smoke.
The first thing I did was head over to the Sew Classic blog to see what I could learn about this machine. It just so happens that I have the 237, which features a straight stitch and an adjustable zig zag stitch. It also has a dial on the bed that lowers the feed dogs. This dial was an addition to the later model machines. One of the only parts that this machine will give you trouble with is the hook race cover which, in the case of this machine, was cracked. The belt and the bobbin winding tire appeared to be in good shape.
I began by dismounting the motor, light and pedal assemblies and setting them aside. There are a number of plastic faceplates on this machine that needed to be removed for cleaning. There are a number of mixed reviews about using compressed air but given the fact this is an all mechanical machine and condition it was currently in, I pulled out my husbands compressor and blew all the dust out of the top of the machine.
Blaster, which is rust inhibiting soak that is used for lubricating, cleaning breaking frozen bolts. I imagine it's similar to WD-40. I got incredible results with this product. Something to be aware of when cleaning mechanical sewing machines with something labeled "lubricant" is that you still need to oil the moving parts and lube anywhere you have metal on metal movement. There are numerous sites out there to help with sewing machine maintenance. I spent about 10 hours meticulously cleaning every part of this machine.
|Singer 237 with the plastic face off (before)|
|Filthy Feed Dogs (before)|
Even with the cracked bobbin hook race cover being cracked, this machine now runs smoothly and quietly. The sound is similar to a Singer 501 Rocketeer. I am looking forward to using this machine on a regular basis and I am thrilled to add it to my collection.
Additional info: I have enough sewing machines that I really don't need to look at individual manuals. If you have the good fortune to find one of these machines and are looking for a manual, the vast majority of Singer manuals are available for free download at their site: http://www.singerco.com/accessories/instruction-manuals
Vintage White manuals are also available at the above link. I have to assume that Singer acquired White at some point.
A really clear Singer 237 manual is available here for FREE. I can't tell you how many listings on eBay are selling pdfs of publicly available manuals for over $15 each.