ndnchf

Servicing a Singer Clutch Motor

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ndnchf   

A while back I picked up a nice Singer 31-15 dating to September of 1945. I cleaned and oiled it, and it runs well. I have the instruction manual for it, but it's says nothing about the clutch motor. The motor runs well and the clutch works smoothly. There are 2 grease zirks on it that appear to be for the clutch linkage pivots. 

I'm wondering if there is any other service the motor needs? Was there a separate instruction or service manual for the clutch motor?  I know that over the years several different clutch motors were used. Here is mine.

I know servo motors are a popular upgrade. I may go that route eventually, but i'd like to spend some time with the clutch motor first, before making a decision to upgrade.

Thanks Steve

Clutchmtr.jpg

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dikman   

First thing, motors that old can be dangerous once you start moving them around and/or messing with them. The wiring insulation was generally a rubber compound which, over time, becomes hard and brittle, and when it's moved the insulation breaks and falls off. The switch box may have a large capacitor in it (mine has) for starting the motor and these can also dry out and make the motor difficult to start. I recently bought a 111W117, which came with an old Singer motor (different to yours), I didn't hesitate in junking it.

As for servicing, if it's been greased and still spins ok then the only other thing that might be an issue is if the clutch faces need cleaning. If yours is working ok then my advice is don't touch the motor!

The servo is a no-brainer, particularly if you want to do leatherwork.

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brmax   

The motor looks in good condition from the photo. I agree the wiring can age out and i my opinion think much of this is just the makeup of the wire coating not so much heat cycles though a concern on all circuts.  So i would seriously consider what type wires are in the flexible metal conduit. If its can help maybe. I use a hot knife many times at machines. With that and a concrete floor i have installed one of the metal "handy" electrical box on my machine k stands securely. The idea is to benefit using a gfci recepticle and i use the deep double size box as the main input junction. I only mention this as the system there in the photo should have a seperate ground wire added just because that was the next newest update in them days. Im just getting to old for the jolt :o these day i only want that from the coffee. 

Good day there

Floyd

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From the historical aspect - wow - what a nice old motor. I love these old "devices".

Form the technical aspect - get rid of it - I personally would not use a motor of this age. If you want to use it in a business I´d have it checked by someone professional who gives you an "okay" for it - otherwise I would not use it. Better buy a new servo motor. Yes - a modern servo is "ugly" and does not match a vintage sewing machine setup but your security (or security of employees or family members) should be first priority.

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ndnchf   

Thanks for the replies. Very good point about the wiring. I've restored other old machines and understand. I removed the motor wire connection cover and the switch box cover to look at the wiring. The wiring looks to be in original, but still very good condition. No signs of rubber crumbling or significant deterioration. Just dusty and dirty. The main power cord looks very good too, no visible breakdown. 

This machine seems like a real time capsule. The story I got was that it was brought back from Europe after the war and sat in a man's house until last year when he went into a nursing home. I got it from his daughter. It appears to have been used very little and kept in a climate controlled environment. 

It will only be used by me for occasional projects, no serious work. Here are a couple more photos.

Lftmtr.jpg

Mtrwir.jpg

Swwir.jpg

Head.jpg

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mikesc   

What Constabulary said ..lose the current* motor ( you'll live longer that way ) get a servo motor..
*sorry , couldn't resist**..
**sorry again..
When these kind of "original" motors get ready to let the "magic blue smoke" out, they can be dangerous enough to let your own "magic blue smoke out"..
You want to keep the original motor..mount it on a block of wood and use it for a door stop..

ps...cute engine poking it's head up there..:)

Edited by mikesc

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dikman   

Nice puns, Mike :lol:.

ndnchf, it's good that you understand what we're talking about re- the motor. Many people don't realise how potentially dangerous they are. I still have an old Singer clutch motor (first one I got, and mine's bigger than yours ;)). I'm reluctant to get rid of it because, like you and Constabulary, I reckon it's a wonderful old piece of machinery - but I'll never use it and don't really know what I'll do with it. At least yours has the braided covering on the wires so there's a good chance that the wiring is safe - for now - but I notice in the second photo that it has joiners on the ends of the wires that are wrapped in the old cloth "insulation" tape. That stuff is also not good.

Having said that, as long as you don't touch or move the wires it might be ok - for a while.

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Chayse   

Here is my .02.....if you want to keep the old time look, at least do a re-wire...bring it up-to-date. You can still keep the motor, but for safety sake, just update the wiring to what we use today. There is nothing wrong with using the old motor...I have a period-age motor on my 1938 Atlas Drill Press....but I did use new wire for the motor..I was able to keep the 'look' of a vintage machine without losing sleep if you happen to leave it plugged in by mistake.

 

V/r,

 

Chayse

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dikman   

Be careful, it doesn't always work like that. I had a blower for my forge that was a beautiful old Italian unit (was used for circulating air in old radio communication cabinets) and one day i turned it on and saw a couple of sparks come from it, but it still worked. Later I opened up the connection box to have a look and the lacquered covering on the winding wires had deteriorated but because they disappeared into the body of the motor it was impossible to repair.

This is the other real danger with old motors, if the wiring that actually goes to the coils is moved it has a tendency to flake off the lacquer coating as this becomes extremely brittle with age and heat from the motor.

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ndnchf   

Well, I suppose you guys are right. As much as I like the old school motor, trusting the old wiring, both external and internal to the motor is just tempting fate. 

I've had been looking at servo motors a while back and reading about them here. It seems that the currently available models are constantly changing. Time to start looking again.

Thanks Steve

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suzelle   

Nice looking machine there! The table appears to be in nice condition too!

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I love the smell of burnt windings in the morning...

Actually, I have several vintage Singer 220 3 phase motors still in service. Best sewing machine motors ever built. I keep track of their condition with an amp probe. They all however have new wire from the motor leads through the fuse box and up to the feed rail drops.

I trust the windings in the new Chinese motors much less than the older Singer and Amco motors.

Regards, Eric

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dikman   
7 hours ago, gottaknow said:

I love the smell of burnt windings in the morning...

:lol::lol::lol:

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ndnchf   

I only have a limited supply of this stuff.  In order to conserve it, I suppose I should get a servo motor ;-)

harness smoke.jpg

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47 minutes ago, ndnchf said:

I only have a limited supply of this stuff.  In order to conserve it, I suppose I should get a servo motor ;-)

harness smoke.jpg

:rofl:  ... And of course, it's by Lucas.   One of my favorite bumper stickers of all time was on an MG  .. A picture of a light switch, and read "Electrics by Lucas".. Switch marked OFF .  Barely Visible . Dim.

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On 3/27/2017 at 10:01 AM, gottaknow said:

I love the smell of burnt windings in the morning...

Nice.  My dad started when he was sixteen working at Ace Sewing Machine Co. on N 3rd street, working for Danny Burg.  His job started out by rebuilding these types of motors, a lot of 58 and 59 class, pressing new bearings, sending the motors out to be rewound.  All that stuff, now history.

Today, and for a long while now, these motors are like clock radios; there is no real practical reason to fix them. Time labor and parts will put you in the range of a new motor, and you'll still be stuck with an old motor.  

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Evo160K   

G-d said, "let there be light", and Lucas said, "No".

Steve, love that replacement part.

 

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ndnchf   

And of course there is the classic "why do the English drink warm beer? Because their refrigerators are made by Lucas!"

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MADMAX22   
4 hours ago, Gregg From Keystone Sewing said:

Nice.  My dad started when he was sixteen working at Ace Sewing Machine Co. on N 3rd street, working for Danny Burg.  His job started out by rebuilding these types of motors, a lot of 58 and 59 class, pressing new bearings, sending the motors out to be rewound.  All that stuff, now history.

Today, and for a long while now, these motors are like clock radios; there is no real practical reason to fix them. Time labor and parts will put you in the range of a new motor, and you'll still be stuck with an old motor.  

Sucks the days of getting a motor rewound for a decent price are gone. This damn throw away society and cheap crap. 

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My dad has a Jaguar SJ6 4 door, 1984 model.  Stunning appearance, wire spoke rims, classy all the way.

Lucas components on this vehicle, as stated are through the friggin' roof on price, and the old adage is if you want to keep it on the road, you need one for the road and one for the shop.

My dad, not satisfied with the status quo, decided to put a Chevy 350 small block in to replace the original engine with a kit that he purchased.  Currently, this car is a total mess, with no end in sight.  Glad I'm not much of a car guy, and anything beyond this is beyond me.

MadMax22, yes, for sure, we are living in a disposable society now.  There is a difference, in that the Singer motors were built to last for the long haul, and this new stuff...not so much after it breaks and stops working, not in the $200 price range.  Higher end motors like Efka, Ho Hsing, Mitsubishi, and Juki do not fall into this category.  

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mikesc   

Jag..shift or auto..? depending on the answer he could fit an engine from a V12 (Jag or Sov )..But trying to fit a Chevy 350 small block..."mess" is being kind..
re.."disposable society"
I posted a link to these lyrics before.."I Used to Work for Harvester"..sings a good song does Don..

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16 hours ago, mikesc said:

Jag..shift or auto..? depending on the answer he could fit an engine from a V12 (Jag or Sov )..But trying to fit a Chevy 350 small block..."mess" is being kind..
re.."disposable society"
I posted a link to these lyrics before.."I Used to Work for Harvester"..sings a good song does Don..

It was a kit he purchased out of Texas, and it included all kinds of harnesses, and stuff for gauges and things like that.  Again, I'm not really into it, thankfully.  I remember when the horn broke, it cost hundreds of dollars to get if fixed, and they were very hesitant to get involved, for good reason, after the engine was installed.  The engine was never mounted correctly.  I don't know all the details, other that, to this day, it's stuck up on the auto lifter for many years now.  I remember connecting a line to the two tank gas tank thing as well, minor in the grand scheme of this.  I don't even know if the car will ever even be safe to drive anymore.  But boy does it look great, and I can remember the precise suspension and steering.  

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mikesc   

You can ( last time I looked ) buy the complete cars for not much in the UK ( due to their fuel consumption..especially the 6..it was always the underpowered one for the car's weight ) ..I have a red Sov Double Six ( V12 ) ( the nice one with the 4 round headlights and the "pepper pot" wheels ) in storage at St Trop..When I eventually bring it up here it will be via a detour into Italy to be converted to run on GPL or petrol ( gas on the left side of the pond )..without which at French gasoline prices I'd need to be followed by a fuel truck..Beige leather and burr walnut wood interior..immaculate..and in good running order..and cost me ( I actually got it in a straight traded ..I did some old style signwriting..asked around $700.00 for it..was offered the car in payment :)..nothing..
Indeed the handling and ride are great for a largish, heavy luxury saloon car ( compared to most cars in the UK or Europe ) ..and compared to some of the Caddys and other wallowers etc that I have driven in the US they appear quite small and sporty ;)

I have a friend here who visits the US two or three times a year to buy, both old and new Corvettes and Mustangs to drive and sell here..he likes Jags..but prefers 'vettes..has kept a half dozen or so for himself..If ever I buy a sewing machine from the US, I'll have him swing by and collect it for me, bring it back here in the trunk :)

My engine hoist* lives right next to my 29K.

Every one has to have a treadle 29K and some sort of walking foot machine(s)..and an engine hoist ( for working on engines, and handy for working on sewing machines, and manoeuvring heavy metal and blocks of wood etc for sculpting )..Have yet to convince my wife that I need a milling machine / lathe..

ps..love the Lucas "smoke" : ) you think Lucas made dodgy electrics..you should see Renault..vehicle electrics from the twilight zone..

Edited by mikesc

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ndnchf   

Back to servo motors....

 

Is there any real difference in the various brands of 550, 3/4hp servo motors? - Consew, Family Sew and many others that all look the same? Most come with a 3" pulley, some vendors offer a 2" pulley.  Is there any other real difference other than name ?

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mikesc   

Theory would say.. No..because they are obviously not each running their own factory in China where the servo motors are made ( and the Chinese that I have been in touch with are quite happy to "rebadge" if one orders smallish quantities ) ..There are however differences in where the controls are sited, what type of controls they are ( dial or digital display ) and what the lowest settable speed is ) ..the Jack motors ( which is what we Europeans seem to have..and which are what appear to be shipped to OZ under various names ) all have a digital display and speed control which is in a separate box that one can site away from the actual motor..so as to be where the "on/off" switch would be in a classical industrial machine set up .right hand side under front of table..

The motors in the US mostly appear to have a laser speed control box on the motor where the motor speed is governed by the interference with laser beam of a tongue on a pivoting arm actioned y the foot pedal...this type can be "modded" for smoother "ramping up"..some very good threads he re "how to mod" this type..
the other sort available in the US are the "dial on the body" type..these ( AFAIK ) cannot be modded..but may have a lower initial speed setting possible ..about 100 rpm .

The Jacks ( and skyrits and most other ones that you'll see on alibaba or ebay out of China ) have a digital display control box that you can fix where your old switch would have been ..and the control at the motor is another box which is actioned by the foot pedal..the box at the motor end is not actioning a laser, it uses a magnetic system..and cannot be tweaked or modded..the lowest initial speed possible is 100rpm..and some models are set to 200rpm.

Of course if you use a speed reducer pulley set up between any of the servo motors and your machine, you can get much slower again, and have more torque..

Price is not really a good indicator of quality..all the servo motors can be bought in smallish quantities from China for under $50.00 per unit.( with or without shipping ) before taxes dependent upon specs and quantity ordered

Edited by mikesc

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