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I have a question about my sewing machine.
I have been very happy with a Singer Touch and Sew 626. The machine was built around 1966. I have not had any problems with it until just recently. The bobbin thread was all gnarled. I took it in for service and was told I would need a new ‘bobbin winder drive’ . The part would have to be ordered and it would cost $65. Labor would cost $150.
I could buy a new machine for around $100 – but should I? I’m not inclined – but am I being impractical? I do household sewing – I want something practical and durable. I really want to keep my old machine, but is that practical?
I would really like your opinion.


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  • Missing

    Jun 29, 2014, 03.58 PMby cascabelthepyrate

    Most likely simply a tension issue. Many things can effect tension. Top and bottom tension must be balanced. Tangled bobbin thread indicates more tension on the bobbin than the top tension. I will assume that you have not messed with the bobbin tension, and discuss top tension issues. First thing to look at is threading errors. Has the thread slipped out from between the tension discs ? Try pulling on the top thread by hand, and then the bobbin thread. They should feel about the same. If there is much difference in resistance to pull, you have found the problem. In your case, you will probably find more resistance in pulling the bobbin thread. Note: this test must be done with the foot DOWN, as the lever also releases the top tension when raising the foot to enable you to pull the work out of the machine. The top tension will ALWAYS be loose when the foot is raised. This is normal !! Another thing to consider, is that if the foot is raised up high by sewing very thick material, or by climbing over a very thick seam, such as when working on a heavy coat, this will also release the upper tension just like when using the lever to raise the foot. This will ALWAYS cause a problem similar to yours. This is what limits the thickness that can be sewn on most machines. There are a few industrial machines that don’t have this tension release feature, but most do. It is also possible that there is something wrong in the bobbin winder assembly as stated by the shop. I am not at all familiar with those automatic winder gadgets.
  • Missing

    Jun 29, 2014, 11.52 PMby tzyg0nka

    Keep your old machine and get it repaired. You cannot buy as good a new machine for the money you want to spend. Check out the repair shop before they fix your machine to make sure they are reliable and are charging a reasonable price.

  • Purplefan_large

    Jun 30, 2014, 12.49 PMby purplefan

    If you have the manual for your machine and are a DIY person, maybe just commit to buying the part and attempting the replacement yourself. However, for a 48-yer old machine, give it the attention it needs to keep on sewing for you. Yes, labour charges must involve quite a bit of disassembly to get to the part in question and your machine is metal, right?

    I use a metal machine at home because it’s great for buttonholes, sturdy wovens and pant hem repairs. Fine silks-would not use that machine except for buttonholes as there are more layers in that part of the garment by the time I’m ready to finish it. The newer machine is quite fiddly with its buttonhole attachment.

  • Image_large

    Jun 30, 2014, 03.24 PMby CarmenW

    I would be more inclined to repair the 626. Being metal I would be adventurous and try and fix it myself. I have a 10 year old Bernina. Everything is plastic. Every time I have changed the light bulb I worry about breaking a plastic piece. Then it’s done for. :(

    My logic to trying to fix the 626 myself is; 1. No plastic I can break 2. Best case scenario- it cost me 50 bucks to fix myself. 3. Worst case- I can’t fix it myself but the repair bill is less because I already bought the part and I pulled it apart myself. Expert gets paid to put back together.

    If you decide to buy a new machine but don’t want to spend a ton of money I would recommend Brother. I have a serger and an embroidery machine and have been very happy with both. If I were to replace my Bernina it would be a Husqvarna Viking. But I better start saving up for that one.

  • Me1_large

    Jun 30, 2014, 06.25 PMby mbuchanan1

    I would fix the old machine. The inexpensive new machine would be so cheap, it wouldn’t last long.

  • Missing

    Jul 1, 2014, 12.00 AMby mmmmason2

    UPDATE: Thank you all. I decided to wait on my decision and gather more info about possibly repairing the machine myself. I went to pick up my machine – and they had misplaced the power supply/presser foot cord. I am surprised at how upset I am about this – but I really am! Hope they find it SOON!! Then I’m never going back there again! I will look around to find a more reasonably priced repair shop if I can’t figure out how to repair it myself. Thank you all for the feed back!!! Sew on!!

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Jul 1, 2014, 01.26 AMby arisaid

      Hope you have found the cords! I took my old Bernina to one place to have repaired and they said they couldn’t do it as parts could not be sourced. Found another repair place and they certainly were able to fix it! It has been running better than ever. Remember in the Service Charge they will probably do a full service as well. Check on that. Good luck.

  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Jul 1, 2014, 09.53 AMby katexxxxxx

    You could get the old one fixed, but they aren’t known as ‘Touch & Swear’ for nothing! ;) A new one for £100 isn’t worth looking at. Your best option for replacement at that budget is a nice older machine with fewer miles on the clock than your Singer.

    1 Reply
    • Purplefan_large

      Jul 2, 2014, 05.17 PMby purplefan

      Kate, I have not heard that phrase before but I do exactly that when the old Kenmore metal monster feed dogs eat my nice blouse fabrics!
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