Back in mid-July I stopped at a yard sale. It was one of the yard sales I like – the ones where the people are REALLY trying to move their stuff so their prices are dirt cheap.
I found the Singer Tiny Serger for $4.00.
It didn’t come with the user manual, so naturally I went looking for it online. I was dismayed to find it was being sold for $20! I was tempted to put out the $20 since I’d only paid four, but I just couldn’t believe the company was trying to sell the product manual for so much money!
Then a few days ago, I decided to take another look around and see if I could find the user manual for less than twenty bucks! I ended up on an eBay forum where they were going on and on about how wonderful the Tiny Serger is, and someone there said the manual WAS available free from Singer. The thread was a few years old already and I felt kind of bummed out that Singer had decided to charge such an exorbitant amount for the user manual. But then I searched again, as it turns out, I wasn’t at the official Singer site. The manual I’d found was at a site that mimics Singer and uses a very similar URL.
Here’s how you find the user manual online, where Singer offers it FREE as a PDF download.
- Go to www.singerco.com.
- Look near the bottom and click on the link that says Instruction Manuals
- Type in the letters only – TS
- You will be given the option to buy the instruction manual, or download it for free.
Finally last night I decided I was going to try this little serger and see if it would even work.
I read over the instructions, and like all sewing machines, it said I should oil a few spots before using it for the first time. I got my sewing machine thread out and did that. It looked to be correctly threaded so I plugged it in and tried it out. The little motor tried to work, but it seemed like it was getting stuck. I had to fiddle with the knob that turns the gears and it would work okay, but then get stuck. If I jiggled it and turned it real hard, it would finally go around another time.
I left it alone for a while, and then I decided to check it out further. I found a small Phillips screw driver and removed the rubber feet from the bottom so I could remove the screws. I carefully took the top off, leaving it threaded. I found a series of interlocking plastic gears. Mr. A is really good at this sort of thing, so I asked him if he would come inside and take a look to see if he could see anything that might be causing the problem. I continued to examine it and I found what was wrong myself.
One of the gears is broken. It’s kind of hard to see because what happened is the gear split away from itself and it’s just the tiniest bit out of alignment, which caused the gears to jam when it gets to that point.
Mr. A says I can remove the gear, clean it very good and superglue it. It’s pretty covered with oil, I guess I could try that before I try to buy a replacement gear. I did a bit of searching to see if I could find a place to buy plastic gears, but it is one of those things that are like looking for a needle in a haystack.
I guess I’ll try to clean the gear and superglue it. Mr. A was in a Radio Shack a few days ago and he was surprised that they don’t sell the kinds of things they used to, otherwise he says I could have easily found a gear there. It’s a tiny little gear, much smaller than a nickel. It has 9 teeth and it’s about 1/4″ tall. Through searching for gears, I found it is most likely a hobby motor gear. So maybe a hobby store. I am so discouraged at looking for little weird things like this because most store clerks don’t even know what the store carries. So if you call on the phone, they’ll say they don’t carry it, or if you go to the store in person they’ll say they don’t carry it, and oftentimes, they do carry it! Maybe I’ll try Fry’s Electronics. They seem to have a lot of weird little things like this.