A Tutorial – Cleaning the Bobbin Shuttle from a Singer Vibrating Shuttle Machine

If you have a Singer vibrating shuttle machine such as the model 27/127 or 28/128, this is some preventative maintenance that you probably need. Because the steps are the same, this applies to all vibrating shuttle machine for any manufacture. It’s really easy to do and it will assure that the bobbin tension is smooth and consistent.

This is a shuttle from an antique Singer model 28. From the outside, it looks pretty good.

The small screw at the nose of the shuttle adjusts the bobbin thread tension and attaches the flat spring to the body of the shuttle. Simply remove this screw and detach the flat spring from the body of the shuttle.

Very often, you will find some crud under the spring and inside of the shuttle. Maybe not this much, but remember, anything that obstructs the smooth passage of the bobbin thread will cause tension problems.

Remove all of the debris and if you can, polish the shuttle. Just be sure the surface is as smooth as it can be. Once clean, reassemble it, insert a bobbin and pull the thread up under the flat spring. Adjust the tension screw until the thread has a slight resistance pulling it from the bobbin. This will get you in the ballpark tension wise, and for a good balanced stitch, the final tension adjustment can easily be made while in the machine.

You will find the bobbin tension is more consistent and it is much easier to adjust for a balanced stitch.

Thats it!

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 maintain the site and help defray my costs… every little bit helps.

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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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