If you have an old Singer, please look at the electric cords before you plug it in! Old cords can be very dangerous and you should never operate a machine when the cords have been compromised in any way. I've had a bad experience myself when exposed wires sparked at the base of the machine and started an electric fire all the way down the cord to the wall outlet like it was a stick of dynamite.
This picture shows you how bad they can get. The casing is so old and brittle it falls off with the slightest movement.
This poor Singer 201 had the cords melted onto it and the casing on the cords got so hot at one point I could see how it actually dripped down and made a petrified puddle on the base of the machine.
After I managed to get the motor off this is what the cords looked like.
After a re-wire this is what it ended up looking like. Much better!
Doing a re-wire is easy if you can solder two wires together (or find someone who can). A total re-wire of the motor takes me about 2 hours and that includes cleaning all the housing and adding new lubricants.
Here's what the process of a motor re-wire looks like:
Doing my first re-wire I spent about $50 getting all the necessary pieces and it took about 7 days to find everything and in some cases, get it shipped to me. Because it was so much work and so expensive I decided to put little kits together to make it easier for anyone else.
HERE'S WHAT YOU GET:
WHAT YOU NEED:
Wire strippers, soldering iron and *Singer machine grease
(*up until this year Singer had a nice red-brown grease for the grease pots but now it's a clear grease and I've read that it's not very good to put in your machine. Some people say petroleum jelly is about the best thing you can use now.)
Of course I can't take credit for figuring out how to re-wire a sewing machine motor. Thanks to the Vintage Sewing Machine Blog with step-by-step instructions I was able to learn how to solder and re-wire up to a dozen machines in just a few years!