Sunday, November 16, 2014

Vintage Revival: Model 66 - The Bobbin Race Wick

What the heck is a race wick?
I'll admit that I didn't know until I read about it.  There is a little piece of red felt that sits in a spring on the side of the ejector mechanism on the Singer 66/99 machines.  This little piece of felt is oiled and keeps the bobbin race lubricated.  I think it is a really ingenious set up.  The down-side is that many people remove this little bit of fluff thinking it is just more lint built up in the bobbin area of the machine.
Removing the bobbin slide plate and the needle plate is easy.  The next step is to get the bobbin case out of the machine.  This seems really straightforward.  Just lift that little finger on the left and rotate the ejector mechanism to allow you to get the bobbin case out.  You don't have to remove the feed dog to do this but you may need to move the machine to get the hook to rotate to a better position so you can get it out.
I did have to remove the feed dogs to get the ejector mechanism out.  On the underside of the machine is the screw that holds the feed dog.  This will have to be adjusted when you put it back in.  I couldn't get the ejector mechanism out without removing the feed dog.
There is a set screw (not shown) on the underside of the machine that holds this mechanism in place.  You will have to loosen it to get this out and then back in again.  Here you can see the spool pin felt that I'm going to sacrifice for the race wick.
This machine has some surface rust and some gunky old oil.  I pulled loads of chunky bits of old fluff out of here as I worked.  I don't think any of the rust I did find will affect the machine for decades.  These machines were over-engineered to a point of beauty.
Removing the spring-screw thingy (I made that up) that holds the wick is easy.  Just unscrew it by hand.  It is much longer than you think when you first start to loosen it.
I cut the wick using the photos on this very helpful blog post from Color My World With Warmth. I made sure it was almost to the base of the spring/screw so I knew it wouldn't come out.
In this picture the wick is actually a little too long.  I trimmed it once I got it into the machine and saw how much too long it really was.
There it is back in the machine.  And the wick is just touching the race!  I may have to adjust (trim) it, but for right now I'm pleased.
It took some more maneuvering to get the bobbin case back in there, but I got it.  I really did surprise myself with how easy it was to get it out.  I'm glad I got some more of the gunky out of the hook assembly and the bobbin case.  Now all it needs is some test stitching to make sure I didn't break something.  I also need to make sure the feed dogs are properly set.  That will take some test sewing, too.

Do you have any great blogs you refer to when working on your machine?  Vintage or otherwise I'd love to know.

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