I took a little time today to work on this Brother Charger 661 sewing machine and get it ready to donate to The Sewing Machine Project. I have a few more in my garage, but this is the one I picked first.
It is a very nice machine, but it did have a few problems. I picked it up at a thrift store quite some time ago. It is HEAVY! The first thing I noticed, was that the bobbin holder and shuttle were missing. I dug those parts up out of ‘stash’, but then discovered them in the compartment to the right of the machine, so I put those back in. As in all neglected sewing machines, this one needed some oil to free things up. Next, I noticed that when threaded, the needle thread would not pick up the bobbin thread. ‘Hmmmmm, I said, scratching my head’. Upon inspection, I noticed that the little pin that stops how far up inside the needle bar the needle goes, was missing. What does one do then? Why, find a nail that fits through the hole, snip it off, and put in that hole….making sure that it is snug so it won’t fly out! If you look carefully, you can see the head of the nail on the right side of the needle bar, just above the needle clamp, and you can the end of the nail sticking out on the left. Later, I wondered if the shank of a broken needle wouldn’t have done the same thing. I’ll have to remember and try that next time!
You can also see the nail just over the red top of the needle in this photo.
Once I figured out why the bottom thread wouldn’t pick up, I also figured out why the bobbin holder and shuttle were removed from the machine. Did I mention I also found many broken needles and pieces of needles under the machine and in the storage compartment of the machine? I imagine that the operator was just putting the needle in and clamping it down, and many times, the needle was going too far down into the machine, and shattering needles. I hope there were no eye injuries! All fixed, the machine sews a nice straight and zig zag stitch.
I put the Sewing Machine Project sticker on the machine and finished cleaning it up. It is a strong and quiet machine.
I printed some instructions, cleaned the carrying case up, and she is ready to go to Madison the next time we go!