A Tutorial – One Very Important Disassembly Tip for Your Sewing Machine Restoration

Wow, I haven’t posted for a while but I just can’t get this topic out of my head. Maybe because I have been getting more interest from folks contemplating a restoration on their sewing machine and I am worried they don’t know this very important fact.

To me, this blog is like putting a message in a bottle and tossing it in the ocean. I just hope somebody finds it in time to help. So, if you got this far and read a little farther, hopefully I can keep you from making a huge and un-recoverable mistake when you are disassembling your sewing machine.

Aside from telling folks to only use quality hollow ground screwdrivers to remove any screws in a sewing machine (an inexpensive gunsmith screwdriver set is perfect), there is one screw in your machine that is different from all of the others.

Here is a picture of it…

How is this screw different? It is different in that it is a right-hand thread screw. A right-hand thread screw is one that has its threads cut in the opposite direction from a left-hand thread screw. Left hand threaded screws are predominant in practically every clamping application on the planet and you would have to look hard to find a right-hand threaded screw in a hardware store.

You already know that to remove a bolt or a screw you turn it counterclockwise (towards the left) to loosen it… they are left hand thread screws. Not this one… you can’t tell by looking at it, but this screw is turned clockwise (to the right) to loosen it.

f you don’t know this when trying to remove this screw when disassembling the needle bar linkage, you will actually be tightening it and either strip the head of the screw or shear it off trying to loosen it by turning the screwdriver counterclockwise.

Is this screw the same in my sewing machine? Yes, it is the same in all sewing machines… Kenmore, Brother, Atlas, Wizard, Universal, Morse, Necchi, Singer, White, Domestic, Davis, New Home, Dress Maker, and the list goes on. Every machine I have ever seen. Regardless of make, model, or vintage… this screw is different from the others.

I hope you got my message in a bottle in time to help!

As always, our tutorials are provided as a free resource to help you learn and maintain your vintage sewing machine. As our site has grown, so has the cost to keep and maintain it. Despite this cost, I will strive to continue posting tutorials and other relevant content for the benefit of the sewing community. If you found the content of this tutorial useful, please consider making a small donation to help me grow the site and help defray my costs… every little bit helps.

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Please let me know if I can answer any questions or if I can be of any assistance by emailing me at pungoliving@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

Lee

P.S.

Why is this a right-hand thread screw? Good question! It’s because the direction of rotation of the assembly would tend to loosen the screw if it had a left-hand thread.

Published by pungoliving

First and foremost, I decided to share some of my experiences with vintage all metal sewing machines. It is a natural progression of my life experience exercising my hands and my mind. My background is a simple story... graduating High school, I wanted a trade. I landed an apprenticeship at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in welding. 5 years later after earning certification and working in many different environments, I decided to enroll in College and earn an Engineering. At the same time, I married a wonderful girl and started a new life. Graduating College with a degree in Structural Engineering, I began a 35 year career in the Federal Government. Along the way, we were blessed with 3 beautiful children. Earning a Masters degree in Engineering and registration as a Professional Engineer I worked for the benefit of my family and my Country. Over the years, I have pursued many different hobbies... woodworking, car mechanics, astronomy, and taking apart and putting together all sorts of things. Pretty much anything I could put my mind and my hands into. So now, many years later, I am retired and finally able to wile away my days at home with the love of my life. Her interests have always been in sync with mine, but spending so much free time with her, I realized how broad her talents are! One interest she is particularly fond of is sewing. It didn't take me long to put 2+2 together and realize that I could do something with this. So, acquiring, adjusting, servicing, and restoring sewing machines was a win-win. I have a hobby that is detailed, involves tinkering with precision engineered high quality manufactured machines, while she has an opportunity to sew on various different makes and models of sewing machines. While there are many that have information on line, and what I have to say more than likely has already been said, I wanted to contribute to that conversation and learning gleaned from my experience and research.

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