Embroidery · Feet · Singer

Hopping with a back-clamping Singer 66K

My Singer 66K has back-clamping foot fitting and I don’t want to convert it to low shank. 🧐 Whaaaat? Why? Ah, that is a topic for another post. 🤬 Yeah, I heard you. 🤭

This 1906 Singer 66K was made within the first half a year of production of this model in Scotland, and it is different from most 66K machines out there. It seems there was a short run of may be a couple of years, if that, of this slightly different variant. This machine has wider feed dogs than later models, and a slightly displaced needle, so that if you convert it to low shank, the foot doesn’t align with the needle. Slightly but sufficiently to persuade me not to convert. And there are other reasons. There – mystery solved – you can stop swearing now. 😉

I’ve collected a lot of back-clamping feet to go with this machine, and I promise to write a post about them as some are quite unique and amazingly weird. But what I haven’t found, is a hopping foot. You know, the one that raises the foot when the needle is up so that you could move the material in free-hand embroidery.

And yet, this special Singer 66K, with its tighter-than-usual hook adjustment, is the perfect machine for free-hand embroidery and quilting. Hmmm… If only there was something that would lift the foot when the needle is up… 🤔

Stoppax! The Stoppax darning attachment does exactly that!

Except that of course it is designed for low shank machines, not back-clamping ones. 😖

But, with a bit of twiddling and a slight bend to the end, it fits the back-clamper too!

I’m using Singer quilting foot here because it offers an open view of the work. I’ve adjusted Stoppax so that it lifts the foot quite high to allow for thicker work underneath to move freely without covering the feed dogs. The whole point of Stoppax is that you should let the dogs move normally, so that with a flick of the top loop, you could disengage the hopping and return to normal sewing.

Genius! 🤩

12 thoughts on “Hopping with a back-clamping Singer 66K

  1. Very interesting details! I have a back clamping machine, made in Scotland, that looks identical to yours but the SN lines up with a 1917 production date, so my feed dogs may be the normal width. I’m fascinated about the Stoppax.

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    1. That Stoppax is so much fun! I’ve used it with other machines before, but recently got a second one as a part of a job lot of bits. So I could dedicate one to the back-clamper. Stoppax can be expensive on its own, but comes up regularly on eBay, at least here. They actually produced several attachments, but this darning one is the most famous.

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  2. Great information as always. I’ve been wondering whether I could use a Stoppax darner on my back clamp 66 and now I know! Just need to find one at a reasonable price now…
    I did get lucky last year and found the single thread embroidery attachment for a back clamper. No box or spool holder but it works.

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    1. So glad the post was useful! I found that the mount of the back-clamper is just a little higher than low shank, so if the foot can be adapted, then there is a way to make it work. The Stoppax darner allows for some variation in height – you can screw the arm into the holder. It was still a little too high though, but with a slight bending of the arm I got the right hight. 🙂

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  3. Well that’s another for the list! Very useful again Elena. Especially as it’s for a 66!
    By the way, you’ll be pleased to know that I didn’t have to resort to the hammer for my 66! Husband decided to try, no spanners or pliers wide enough (I already tried, but you know what men are like – best to leave them to it) so he resorted to our silicone bottle/jar opener in the kitchen and it came undone easily. It looks like one little bit of hardened grease caused the problem – but with the multiple oil baths plus the silicone, it gave up! I know what I’m playing with later on!

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    1. Oh that’s a great idea to use a jar opener! I’ll have to remember that (as well as get one 😉 – also good for jars!). Yes, gunk can be very sticky but gives up eventually. 😊

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