Sunday, August 5, 2012

Singer 404: Update

I have a confession to make. Of all the Singer straight stitch sewing machines, this model is my favorite. It is a straight stitch only, slant shaft sewing machine, and the it was the ‘lower end economy model’ of the 400 series when the Singer 401 was the ‘top of the line’, and the Singer 403 was the mid-range model. Each of these models have the same size, gear driven motors. These models are strong, and they can sew a lot faster than any of the newer home sewing machines. I don’t know how many stitches per minute they can sew, but in my mind, it must be close to 1500, as that is how many my Juki TL98E can sew.
404 003
I have had many of this model pass through my hands, and each time, I fall in love all over again. I’m not sure why. When I started collecting sewing machines several years ago, I found these often. Now, I don’t see them very often. At one time, I had about four of these. My friend Christie, at the time I had all four, hosted a sewing day here in my home for the ladies on her husband’s side of the family, and they all made a flannel raggy quilt. All four of my machines, and a few other of my machines were put into use that day. A few years ago, I donated them, and a bunch of other machines back to Goodwill. (That was before I knew of The Sewing Machine Project). This is the back of the ‘now clean’ Singer 404. I’ll start with the ‘after’ photos, then I’ll show you the ‘before’ photos.
404 004
It sews a beautiful stitch. That is the beauty of a straight stitch only sewing machine. The precision of the stitch is perfect, because the machine was not built to do any other stitches. There is no ‘play’ in the movement.
404 005
You’ll have to enlarge the photos to see the full extent of ‘dirty’. We found this machine for $4.99 in Madison Wisconsin, the day we delivered 21 sewing machine to The Sewing Machine Project. (We didn’t want to go home with an empty van!)
this and that 004
I believe it had been terribly neglected for many years, and I really don’t think it had been used much, as the original, although dry and brittle bobbin winder tire was still on the machine.
this and that 006
It was missing the bobbin cover slide plate, and the power cord.
this and that 005
Look at the lint and dust on the inner workings! I wonder if the machine sat above a heat register. I also wonder if the previous owner smoked.
this and that 010
I couldn’t believe the amount of lint I collected from the bobbin area. Just when I thought I had all the lint, I would find more. It reminded me of wool.
404 001
The back wasn’t too bad, just dusty, really, as was the foot control. We removed it from it’s cabinet, and the evidence can be found by the attached cabinet hinges.
this and that 007
404 002
The motor sounds strong and FAST, and we didn’t feel we needed to do anything with it, so we didn’t.
I am undecided at this moment on whether I will keep this machine, or donate it. Do I NEED it? No. Can I part with it? Not sure. I have decided to donate this machine. I have another. 
Am I the only selfish person who does things like this?
Have a great Sunday. We plan on a motorcycle ride. Unlike the 100+* temperatures we have been experiencing, the high today is only supposed to reach 82*. It should be a beautiful day!


Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

You can always give it away later. Keep her for a while. =) I think she is a beauty!!

Have a great ride! My best friend's uncle died, so we will be going to the wake otherwise we would be going for a ride today, too. Perfect weather!!

Yesterday I took my long arm class. =) It went well. Russ is very talented! He should be the longarmer. Seriously...

Kristie said...

I'd say keep it! If you love it, keep it!

I looked for old sewing machines yesterday at that big yard sale. Saw a few but nothing to bring home.

Have a wonderful and Blessed day

Connie said...

Beautiful sewing machine and I think you need to keep one of these in your "collection"! I have a 401A and the zig zag on it is perfect!

Jeanna said...

It's OK to keep something you love! You can always change and decide to give it away later - but once it's gone it's history!! It looks great - another job well done.

Elizabeth said...

I do the same thing. I get a machine and fall in love and then talk myself into parting with it. Then I kick myself... A certain 201 comes to mind...... (only kidding)
At our sewing class on Wednesday I tested each machine before class and fell in love again and again and again. Three of the machines were mine, once upon a time. I have considered selling the shop owner one more ( a Kenmore 158.1803)but I am keeping it. I can look for other Kennies for her class. This one is mine....

Packrat said...

I agree with others who have commented. Keep it for now. There are other machines to find and fix to donate. You can always donate it later if you wish.


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