Cleaning · Horizontal oscillating hook · Singer · Tension adjustment

Uneven stitching on Singer 66K – mystery solved

Here is the problem: uneven tension on my 1906 Singer 66K. Why? It goes up and down every 30 stitches or so. Weird. Annoying. Bah! 😀

But never fear – the mystery is finally solved, see updated original post. πŸ˜ƒ

9 thoughts on “Uneven stitching on Singer 66K – mystery solved

  1. Good afternoon Elena,
    I was considering the cause of your tension problem, and while it may be due to the rotating mechanism, I might offer another likely culprit. I don’t know if you have tried to clean the behind bobbin case leaf spring, but I have found that debris or gunk here will cause uneven tension that comes and goes. If you continue to experience this problem look here. I have attached a photo for reference.
    Have a great day! Lee


  2. Pity you live in the UK, I would love to restore it for you! I did a restoration on a 66K and I think the 66 is a marvelous machine.

    I hope your tension problem dissolves itself soon!


  3. They do have their funny little foibles – I think once they know they aren’t going to win, then it’s all plain sailing. Mine is now sewing up a storm! Really happy with her. Trouble is if I go too fast then her back plate rattles – previous owner managed to damage the screw so it only goes in a little way – but not the end of the world, can always put a little washer in there.


  4. Elena,
    I do smile at the not so subtle message in bold block capitals across the top of every page of the Jones’ Spool manual – “no machine will work satisfactoriliy unless kept thoroughly clean and well oiled”. Old Singer manuals talk of submerging whole dirty machines in solvent for days. That option is too smelly and messy for me, but surgical spirit and cotton buds has worked every time so far – with a unique smell that’s a cross between a nursing home and a derelict old car garage! Causes problems if dripped on shellac though. I think this is the only time your technique of lots of oil and lots of use has taken a long time to work?
    Dan H


    1. Yes, Jones was right! πŸ™‚ I cannot get inside a joint with a cotton bud, unfortunately. This time the “lots of use” component was missing. πŸ˜‰ But it is doing a lot better now after several sets of curtains and plenty of free hand embroidery. πŸ˜€


  5. Fair enough, although cotton buds allow a single drop of watery solvent to be dripped onto the top of the joint, where it can creep in and do its magic of disolving that lovely 100 year old whale oil. The bud can then catch the gunk as it runs out of the bottom of the joint. Taking the joint apart is better still, since it allows cleaning of items like oiling holes in the joint that often clog up, but obvisouly takes more time – and for you that’s probably time better spent sewing!


    1. I use syringes to drop cleaning solution or oil into the joints, so I do get very close to them. I prefer not to disassemble old machines because I fear it can do more harm than good. Some joints are pinned at the factory and cannot be disassembled, but it is not always easy to tell which ones are pinned and which ones are just stuck. I prefer not to force anything in case I mistake pinned joints for stuck ones and break the pins.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.