Elbow Grease

Singer 404 Restoration

I started working on the first 404 machine Jim and I picked up last week. The 2nd one we bought was much cleaner and didn’t require much work before it was ready for my sewing room, but this one was pretty nasty. Even the presser foot was stuck firmly to the presser foot bar, and had to be soaked in oil for sometime to come free.

The worst area was at the base below the stitch length selector. The oil and crud was like concrete. I saturated it first with sewing machine oil and let it sit for a bit, then with the help of go-jo (the pumice free variety), a handful of toothpicks (wood doesn’t scratch) and some q-tips, I slowly scraped the crud away.

Around the bobbin winder and hand wheel was pretty nasty too, so I asked Jim to remove the hand wheel for easier access.

It’s labor intensive, but oh so worth it! This machine will look new when Jim and I finish. He does the inside, I do the outside.

We sew on them until the inside has been completely cleaned, with all the sixty year old hardened oil and grease removed and replaced. It’s quite exciting anticipating how they will run!

The 404 in my sewing room gave me a little scare when we first powered it on after this process, as it was sluggish, but in under three minutes the fresh grease and oil worked their way into the machine and it took off like greased lightening!

I’ve read that the 301’s are faster, however there isn’t a 301 in our collection (we have six) that is as fast as this one, it flat flies! Faster than I care to sew!

I can’t wait to try this one, but the 421g is ahead of it in the priority line. I just felt like getting a jump start on the exterior of this one while Jim is working on the insides of the 421g.

CJ Tinkle

Your feedback is always welcome! If you have a question, I will respond to it here.