Singer 251-3 Sewing machine.

  • 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.

  • Ok @BrianB, I spoke with Grant at Versatile upholstery. It is public knowledge. His plan is to shut down April 1st, and look at have a wrist repaired. He feels it’s unlikely that he’ll improve.
    His plan following, will be to keep his space as a personal hobby shop for cars/bikes, welding and personal upholstery etc… I will touch base early summer about equipment he wishes to get rid of.

    I’ve also invited him to come check out KM, so he knows what we do…

  • Roland,

    Thank you so much for your suggestion that Rudy have a look at it. Since he is familiar with these machines, I think that is a great approach. Can you please let me know when you think he may come by so I can try to be there too? It may be difficult to coordinate, but I would at least like to try. It sounds like Rudy is the right person to assess the situation, and we can go from there.

  • @Lawrence I work Wed/Thurs nights, and Rudy is days M-F. I’m sure we could swing by on Friday eve, Sat or Sun, or next Wed eve. What works for you?

  • Roland,

    Thank you for setting this up.

    I’m afraid this Friday evening is no good for me. You mention next Wednesday, but I thought you worked? I could come by next Wednesday the 29th. That would be best for me if you and Rudy are both free.

    If I misunderstood, next Saturday the 25th after 2 pm, or Sunday the 26th in the morning works for me also.

    Thanks again,


  • @Lawrence 25th I have something I may be able to work around, 26th is good, 29th is good. I’ll ask Rudy.

  • @Lawrence how about 0930 Sunday am the 26th? Are you a keyholder?

  • Roland, I am not a keyholder. Not sure if this makes it impossible.

    I can meet at Makerspace at 9:30 for about an hour. Just confirm that this is okay.



  • Classroom

    @Lawrence, @Roland, I can’t be there for that time on Sunday, but we definitely want to make this as easy as possible due to the nature of the situation. I am sure we can track down a loaner key for this repair if there isn’t a key holder that would find this convenient to attend to.

  • @Lawrence you have my number. I can come down Sunday morning if that’s what it takes.

  • I like the idea of a loaner key as I hate to make Pierre take a special trip just to let us in the door. How are such keys arranged?

  • Classroom

    @Lawrence, I should be at the space working on the pottery studio for most of the day tomorrow. I will track one down in the morning and post here. Can you drop by in the afternoon?

  • @kile if @Lawrence is unable to drop by in the afternoon, I should be awake by about 1300 ish, and can come in.

  • Classroom

    @Roland, @Lawrence awesome. I’ll report back once I have an extra key in hand. I love the forum, it is so functional. You never know who you will find lurking there in the middle of the night…

  • @kile yay nighshift! :|

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