I found this Singer 401A at an estate sale last weekend. They wanted $55 for it. I plugged it in and it didn’t run. But I could see that the wiring was jerry-rigged. The machine is filthy, but will be cosmetically great once cleaned. The cabinet is in bad shape and I probably won’t be keeping it. Therefore, I need to buy a foot feed and a power cord to make it usable. I decided I would take a chance on it for $20. Not knowing if it works, I wasn’t willing to gamble anymore.
I got it home and used the cord and foot feed from another machine and found that it does work. It came with the instruction manual and some attachments. There were no cams with it, but I have extra sets because I pick them up anytime I find them at a reasonable price. I got a surprise bonus with the attachments. There is a rare Singer darning foot # 86294 in the attachment box. It doesn’t fit a slant machine, but I have many low shank Singer machines. This must be a very early darning foot. To use it, you take off the needle clamp and replace it with this attachment. It requires a feed dog cover. I have it installed on a Singer 99 and will be testing it soon.
The cabinet doesn’t look too bad on the outside, but the inside is a mess. Someone altered it to allow the 401 to fit in. The veneer is a mess and the bracket that front the front drawer from falling down is gone. I can and have done a lot of veneer work, but I have too many other projects waiting in line.
Taped to the inside of the arm was an old Hints from Heloise article. I can see just fine to thread needles (with my glasses), but it is a great hint.