The Sewing Place

Problems with Singer 513

MistyRose

Problems with Singer 513
« on: September 08, 2017, 22:21:43 PM »
Machine has been serviced and I've been trying to sew with it but have a problem with tension.   Tried rethreading top and bottom and changed needle.   Was wondering if old machines (late 60's early 70's) don't like Gütermann Thread.
Thanks again for your help.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 01:34:37 AM by MistyRose »

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Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 23:06:48 PM »
Gütermann is about as good as it gets, but there are others just as good though. What type of thread is it? Most machines need to have bobbin tension adjusted for topstitch and extra strength thread, if you have sew-all weight it should be within what it's set up for.

Do you have looping under or on top of the fabric? Make sure you have a suitable size needle for the thread and fabric.

MistyRose

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 23:22:46 PM »
I did have looping underneath.   At the moment it's better but either too tight on top or below.   I've been trying to sew a thinnish polyester double thickness.

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Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 00:51:52 AM »
I was thinking mostly about the thickness of the thread, but I guess you have sew-all weight or thinner on light weight polyester. If you are using a thin, fine thread, you need to tighten upper tension.

Tension should be even and predictable, and not change unless you turn the dial. I'm not quite sure what causes erratic beavior if you haven't. Make sure the thread is in between the disks in the tensioner, some models are easier to thread when the presser foot lever is up to get the thread in place.

I'm just going though the basic really, if you have looping under neeth, you need to tighten the upper tensioner. If you are using very fine thread, you might have to tighten bobbin tension abit, but to begin with I would assume not.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 15:15:22 PM by arrow »

BrendaP

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 11:56:06 AM »
Have you got the bobbin thread correctly into the spool case?   If it's not under the little tensioner spring it will likely cause looping underneath.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

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Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 16:44:52 PM »
How are you doing? I see you haven't had a chance to reply yet. I'm sure it's a minor thing to sort out, and I know Gütermann thread is no problem on the older machines be it, 1920s, 1950s or 1970s. I think the standard was set way before the 1970s, more like 1950s. The problem with thread is mostly uneven spinning, bumps in the fibers, and a couple of times I've had spools of unreasonably weak thread, snapping in two for no reason. Polyester thread tends to be very smooth, and Gütermann is the one with least fuzz and lowest lint production in the feed dog - bobbin area. Lower priced thread tend to have more fuzz along the thread.  If the machine is new to you, or it's a long time since you have used it, it's probably all about finding your way about the settings.

Your avatar pick is fine, is it from your garden?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 16:51:01 PM by arrow »

MistyRose

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 21:28:40 PM »
Thank you both for replying.   Sorry for delay.
Must admit I haven't used it lately.   I hadn't really noticed before there are two grooves on either side of the tension wheel.   Had I got the thread in the right one?   Manual dosen't mention this, anyway I assumed one thread go in the back on both sides and the second in the front.   Can't say I ever really noticed before.   Eventually it started stitching a lot better.
The rose is from our garden it is 'Peace', rose was a bit blurry so I enhanced it.
Thanks again.


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Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 22:14:58 PM »
I had Peace in a pot a few years a go, it didn't take off for some reason. I shall have to try it again and see what happens. Yours looks like it's doing well.

The top tensioner on these have three tension disks, and it doesn't matter which one it goes between. It's usually three shiny steel disks, the one in the middle might be flat and the outer might have a curvy edge. The 513 takes double needle or twin needles at least (depends if you have the double needle type clamp or not, I think it was among the accessories). Either way, it's to neaten up the route and tension of the two threads.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 22:17:50 PM by arrow »

MistyRose

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 23:46:48 PM »
Yes it do take a double needle.   When I used it at my mothers, it was hers, I don't remember having the trouble I've had in those days, she probably dealt with that as it was hers.   I am trying to get back into using it again.
Our Peace came with our house plus a Queen Elizabeth nearly 40 years ago this has been a good year for them with long flowering season.

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Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 00:21:52 AM »
I still lean towards something very basic causing the trouble. Make sure the needle is at least size 70 or 80 (10 or 12) if you are using sew all weight thread. There are gauges for the bobbin case tension if needed, but you can manage with out.

When you need to test you should start with two layers of light cotton fabric (woven shirt - quilting type fabric). When you have the top tension on medium (usually between 4 and 5 on singers) it should give a balanced stitch.

When you have the machine fully threaded up and presser bar lever in down position you should notice gradual tension when you pull the thread. 0 should have light tension and the thread should relatively easily go through the neelde hole. On 9 it should be very tight. This cab be a bit though on a thin size 70 needle so be a bit careful when pulling.

If this turns out all right, I guess it's all about finding the righ tension for the light weight polyester. It should be fine tuning by turning the top tension knob. Sometimes a machine needs to be run in a bit if it hasn't been used much in a while. Don't hesitate to do a bit of oiling it it has been standing around for a while. I guess it's mainly about developing a feel for the machine and settings, I'm sure it will come back to you quickly.

MistyRose

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2017, 23:07:56 PM »
Thanks for your help.
I've been having a go on the machine and I'm now wondering if it might be something to do with the tension discs. 
To start with the top thread was loose wherever the dial was, I decided to clean the discs with dental floss, when I threaded it again the thread went further into the disc and I got a pretty good stitch at 4 to 5 but I couldn't pull the thread through the needle by hand.   Does this give any clues as to what the problem could be.
Thanks for reminding me to oil it before it was serviced I used 3 in 1.

BrendaP

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 00:43:25 AM »
If the presser foot is up there should be very little resistance.  If the presser foot is down there should be resistance but not so much that you can't pull the thread through the needle.

You are taking the thread between the tension discs with the presser foot up aren't you?
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Barnyard

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 20:12:20 PM »

Thanks for reminding me to oil it before it was serviced I used 3 in 1.

Therin lies the problem. Never ever use 3 in 1 oil on a sewing machine it simply kills them. The reason is that the oil within the 3 in 1 evaporates quickly leaving behind a horrible sticky residue that then hardens between the machine being used so the owner adds more oil and a nasty cycle of adding more and more begins until the machine becomes so gunked up it fails in one area or another. I wouls stop using it and take it for a service straight away and I will bet the 3 in 1 has either been the culprit (between the tension disks) or has at least played a major part in your troubles.
If you feel competent enough, a pack of cocktail sticks, q tips, cotton buds, meths and genuine sewing machine oil combined with copious amounts of time will get it cleaned and running. For a picure reference take a look at my post on the vintage machine page. That residue is incorrect oil being used and took the best part of 20 hours to remove. The machine now runs perfectly whereas when it came to me would barely turn.

Barny

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Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 21:02:55 PM »
I didn't mention anything, but 3-1 oil has the worst reputation that way, even from the more reliable sources it's not recommended. Sewing machine oil needs to be pure, acid free and light, it should not dry to a hard or sticky film. I'm not sure what 3in1 oil contains, but often additives or a less ideal thickness can cause trouble in as short a time as six months. It should free up with the right oil or cleaning with some kind of spray can stuff. Oiling is important but, I don't think lubrication has anything to do with the tension problems described.

Barnyard

Re: Problems with Singer 513
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 01:31:12 AM »
I have had machines whose tension disks are totally gummed up. The oil, whatever it was they used, as it dried made any loose fibres stick to the disks compounding the problem. Tension disks should never be oiled but people do not read manuals nor take advice on servicing regimes.
I will be more thorough in my photographing from here on out as a pictorial guide of what happens when good intensions lead to major issues. Case in point No1 is the Brother I just freed. Wrong oil and lack of maintenance. Interesting that flossing between the disks improved the situation in this particular case which most likely leads to oil being dropped into the disks. I have had motors that have been destroyed through oil being used to lubricate the armature, gears that have been gummed up with machine gear grease and wiring that has been so dangerous that I did fall foul and had 240v racing through my body. If in doubt seek expert advice, my husband is a mechanic on artics and knows what to do is really not what you want to hear. I will always offer advice freely and objectively. Just ask as you could be about to make a very costly mistake.

Barny