Singer 251-3 Sewing machine.

  • Initial test run with the new bearings @tinfoilknight bought:

    Turns out that if the bearings are not completely siezed, the thing runs impressively.

    Looks like we are an oil filter and change away from sewing some serious projects.

  • Woohoo! Nicely done!

  • Metal

    I’ve already got a few projects I’d like to do, and I know a lot of other people who want to use that machine !!

  • Design Lab

    @tinfoilknight you’re awesome.

  • I put the motor back in forward orientation, and adjusted the stitches/inch to 6 so we could punch a pattern of holes in a napkin.

    Wiring diagram:


    Matias Wandel had a pretty good video that taught me how:

  • Threaded the machine, made stitches in some nylon strapping. I’m not actually good at sewing… but the machine is as nice of a straight-stitch machine as I’ve ever used. Super smooth and powerful.

    I’m going to leave it set up so you can just take the cover off, plug it in and sew stuff. Hopefully somebody with skills will come in tomorrow and show us how it is done.

  • Wood

    Like a racecar! Nice work!

  • Design Lab

    @pierre top shelf, brutha!

  • Excellent work. I am a sewer and sewing machine restorer of sorts. Look forward to giving it a spin later this month.

  • Design Lab

    @Kile and I turned that machine on today, and the motor sounded like a 1967 Rolls Royce Silver ghost warming up…

  • Hi,

    Cleaning out the garage this weekend, and we’ve got an old Singer that nobody in the family seems to want, including us :)

    Apparently it “worked when parked” 20ish years ago. Free to the space if anything thinks it’s worthwhile, otherwise free to any good home…


    Let me know if there’s any interest!


  • @Torren
    I am interested. Would like to have a look at it.

  • If you are interested, I can tell you that it was made in 1956 in Kilbowie, Scotland.

  • Design Lab

    Amber is interested as she has been aiming to setup a sewing machine in her Clearwater classroom.

  • Great that you have found a good home for it. If she does not already have someone to have a look at it, please tell her I can go over it for her before she brings it up.

  • Design Lab

    @Lawrence thats awesome - lets cue it up @torren !

  • I broke it!

    Okay, that may be a bit too much in this case (not sure yet), but I thought it would be good to reuse in the forum. An “I broke it” posting. Perhaps this posting could be a starting point for a template for someone to use when they have screwed the pooch?

    What: Singer 251 industrial sewing machine.

    The problem: the stitch length adjustor will not adjust. This may only be jammed (needs a tap with a mallet) or it may be something more serious like a stripped gear or thread.

    How it happened: I depressed the button on the top of the machine before the machine was fully stopped. It made a sound that said “this can’t be good”.

    What I have already done:

    1. A quick assessment with Pierre determined that we could not fix it just using our hands. It is jammed.
    2. I finally found (not too easy in this case), downloaded, and printed the documentation for the machine and have it posted on the wall behind. I hope this will prevent a repeat.
    3. Reported it directly to Vaughn.
    4. Felt like a complete moron. Okay, the feeling passed, but I think I sense it coming back…

    What is further to be done: It needs an expert eye and assessment . This may require some disassembly. Then proceed from there.

    What I am going to do: If I can get some help, I am going to try to assess and repair it. Vaughn has suggested I try John B (Mips), and I have PM’d him to inquire. If that does not work, I will take it to have it looked at professionally. If it needs parts or paid labour, I will pay for it.

    Lessons learned: I was exploring the machine without a proper orientation, nor documentation. This is not always necessary, if you are already familiar with the tool in question, or its type. I thought I knew the operation of the sewing machine from my experience with quite a few domestic models, (including their disassembly, repair, reassembly, lubrication, parts replacement, etc.) but this one is very different in the way that stitch length is adjusted. The instruction manual warns not to depress this button when the machine is in motion, but I did not have the manual at the time.

    Future suggestions:

    1. A 101 on a machine is always good, but for some things overkill, plus you have to wait. A compromise might be a label on each machine with a list of people who could do an orientation on that machine (just please don’t use my name for the 251… :-) Pierre was right downstairs when it happened, but I was not aware that he had any experience with that Singer. It could have been prevented, and a lot of time saved, if I had known to ask him to please give me a quick orientation.

    2. Don’t assume that because you know one table saw, thickness planer, etc, you know another. There are differences in design and application that could be critical.

  • Ok, two things:
    #1, My friend Rudy is a professional upholsterer, and he’d like to come by the space and check it out, and he’ll take a look at the machine. He fixes them at work all the time.

    #2 Grant Griffin, owner of Versatile Upholstery is shutting down his shop. If someone wanted to approach him (I know him personally) we might get some goodies? He has several sewing machines, glue guns, foam saws etc… even fabric and foam galore?

  • Roland: Is the fact that Versatile is closing public knowledge? Do you know if they are having a closing out sale or anything? Scorpion buys some stuff from them, and it might be good for us to “stock up” on some items before they close their doors.


  • @BrianB not sure if it’s public or not. I think so because customers are heading to other shops. I’ll contact Grant tomorrow and see.

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