I begin my reassembly in the opposite order that I take things apart. And I often refer back to my 'before' photos, to double check myself as I go along. I also refer back to any notes I took during the tear down - the position of concentric screws or nuts; position of the hook in relation to the needle, etc. These things give me a good starting point when it comes to properly timing the machine.
In the case of this Singer 99, I begin the reassembly by replacing the Feed Forked Connection and Stitch Regulator assembly in the pillar of the machine. As I mentioned in Part 2, the working space inside the pillar is very small on a 3/4-sized machine. Patience here is a must; it is very easy to become frustrated when parts don't stay in place while you are trying to secure them down. Magnetic tools help in this aspect, thought they can also be a hindrance if the magnet is too strong, such as sticking to the machine head instead of the part you are working on.
|Feed Forked Connection, Stitch Regulator Screw and assembly.|
The Connection Roller is already back in place here on the
Next comes the bottom-end of the machine. It is straight forward if you follow your 'before' photographs. Having so few parts, and being simplistic in their operation are the just a few of the reasons that I like these vintage machines. Less moving parts equal less parts to wear out and break. When replacing the Rocker Cones on the Feed Rock Shaft, I like to tighten them snugly, and then back off about 1/8th a turn so the mechanism moves freely. I snug fit the lock nuts, and make final adjustments once all the pieces to the machine are back in place.
|Replace with "After" photo; show adjusting screw for feed dog forward/back.|
I put the hook back into position, and try to place it as close to the proper position as possible. At this point, it is merely guesswork, as I have not yet re-installed the needle-bar which is needed to gauge proper placement of the hook. For a much more detailed look and instructions as to how the lower hook area goes back together, I would recommend you visit the Tools for Self Reliance website (TFSR). They are an incredible resource for refurbishing vintage machines.
With the lower bobbin area parts back in the proper place (but not yet properly timed), I begin the reassembly of the needle-bar area. Just like the other parts, I backtrack and replace in the reverse order that I removed the parts.
|The bare needle-bar area. Here, I've already|
replaced the Tension Disc Lever and its
When all the parts are back in place, it should look like this:
|Everything is clean, back in its proper place,|
and ready to set the timing.
|The bobbin area cleaned, in place, and almost ready to sew.|
|The leading edge of the feed dogs should rise just inside|
their needle plate opening.
Now that the feed dogs are in their proper position, and the machine is properly timed, all that is left to do is reattach the faceplate, bobbin winder mechanism and the handwheel. Sit the machine either in its stand or case and make a few test stitches. You may need to adjust either the top, bobbin, or both tensions. I like to test the bobbin tension by gently tugging on the thread, so that if flows freely with just minor resistance. This allows me to have a greater flexibility in tension adjustment should I need it down the road. On this Singer 99, there is no numbered dial for the upper tension, so I start out very loose, and adjust until the stitch looks correct to me. After some adjustments to both tensions, time to stitch away!
Once the tensions are set, the rebuild or refurbishment of the mechanics is complete! All we have left to do now is tackle the electrics. The electrics include the motor, the motor controller and the light. On this particular machine, the motor controller is actually operated by a knee bar, and not a foot controller, but their operation is very much the same (provided you are using an original Singer controller for your machine). I'll cover the electrics in the final post on this Singer 99.
*Edit - this machine has since been sold while this post was sitting in my 'draft' folder. BUT, I have acquired another Singer 99 which is in need of rewiring. It's kneebar controller is missing, so I will convert it to a traditional foot controller and I will cover the wiring aspect with the refurbishment of that machine.