Tag Archives: sewing machine

Singer no. 42 Cabinet Swing-Arm

One of my previous posts about my Singer attracted an email conversation with another owner about the swing-arm mechanism on the no. 42 cabinet. Unfortunately, the end-of-semester insanity struck before the matter was settled, and I am still unsatisfied with what I’ve been able to figure out.

Now that I’ve had a bit of time, I pulled apart my mechanism and took photos, shared below. I’m reasonably certain that if the mechanism is complete and correct, the arm will automatically deploy when the leaf is lifted. Unfortunately, I’m also quite sure that the pieces I do have are inadequate to support that functionality, and I can only guess what the other bits might be.

The larger diameter end of the part I do have matches the diameter of the holes in the hinge, and the smaller-diameter end matches the hole through the swing arm and base.
My best guess is that there are several objects similar to the pictured pin, one of which protrudes below the table into the catch hole of the swing arm through the holes in the hinge mechanism, springloaded “up” such that it retracts when the leaf is out, and is depressed by something protruding from the hinge-hole in the leaf pinning the arm when closed. The pictures sent by the other owner show what looks like the end of a similar pin protruding into the bracket, but it does not extend any where near far enough to retain the arm.

Posted partly in the hopes that my pictures will help other folks with their cabinets, but also if anyone with a no. 42, especially if it has a working swing-arm mechanism or parts that are not pictured, sees this I’d love some more information about how they’re supposed to go together.

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Singer 201-2 Restoration

My 1947 Singer 201-2, S/N AH040755

I wrote about this machine once before a few years ago, but only brought it down to Lexington to work on it at the beginning of July. I’ve had a delightful time cleaning restoring it over the last couple weeks, and just wanted to post some pictures and musings. I did have it correctly identified before – it is a 1947 Singer 201-2, in good mechanical and OK cosmetic condition. The machine’s story from the family has settled on it being my great grandmother’s machine down the matrilineal line, but I don’t know if they were the original owner, or what exactly has happened to it over the last couple decades. My grandmother noted that she remembered her mother doing upholstery work on it, and my mother remembers using it as a child, and it was in my grandmother’s basement three years ago. Descriptions follow pictures below.
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Singer 201-2

I just spent the week out of town, helping move the grandparents on my mother’s side into a more appropriate house, closer to some of the aunts to make life easier as they age. I’m not saying this because I intend to make my blog more personal; it is just prelude to a couple other posts, including the below.

While we were packing things up, I expressed interest in “The Singer” to the aunts, having spotted a featherweight (I believe it was a 221) in it’s case in the basement. My grandmother decided to keep it, but there was a second antique Singer down there, which wasn’t going, and is now mine. The second machine is a 201-2, made in 1947 (old enough to have the pretty metal work), in a Singer #42 “Deco” cabinet. It apparently belonged (briefly?) to my great grandmother, and later to one of the great aunts, where my mother learned on it, before finding it’s way into my grandmother’s basement. Most of it’s doodads (special function feet, zigzag, buttonholer, etc.) are still with it, and everything seems to be in reasonably good condition.

The machine (I’m aware the cabinet is not quite fully open in any dimension):
Some of the accessories, labelled as best as I am able:
If anyone who knows about these machines can tell me what the other metal bits are, or correct my tentative identifications, that would be really cool.

I had read about old sewing machines in general a while ago, because of my fascination with old electromechanical devices, but had never really got into the specifics. Because of this one falling into my possession, I’ve started reading in more detail, and there are lots of interesting things to read thanks to the big, active community around the things. As far as I can tell, this machine and its accessories are perfect candidates for restoring and using; nothing particularly unusual or desirable (at least that I’ve identified so far), not in extraordinary collector type good condition, but a very well liked old machine, and in good enough shape to be beautiful and functional with a little work. I know it’s going to need a thorough cleaning/oiling, and have the entire wiring harness replaced (the EE portion of me recoiled in horror when I looked it over, the existing wiring is a disaster in potentia), which should be a fun project in itself.
Right now, it’s sitting in the basement at an aunt on the other side of the family who lives near the grandparent’s old house until I can transport and store it, but eventually I’d love to restore and use it; it’s beautiful and has history, and based on the pictures of work produced on similar machines, very functional once you learn to work one.

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