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Singer 78-1

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A full size industrial that fits a Standard Singer Industrial and knee control of a Singer 31-15.

It makes use of a kind of walking foot popularized on the Davis Vertical Feed Machines. It works very well and keeps stacks of material feeding together.

There are no feed dogs.. the needle does all of the work. Stitch length goes from tiny to 3 stitches per inch!

Common Singer 31-15 bobbin case and bobbins work just fine.
The Silver wishbone mechanism sets the stitch length. It adjusts easily and does not slip from position. Upper tension control is very similar to Singer 31-15 machine.

Simple gif showing the foot action.

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The Singer 78-1 is an industrial needle feed machine , somewhat similar in operation to that of Davis "A" Manufacturing Machine.

(photo from the Singer 78-1 link below)

It is probably rated best for light - medium work as the needle plate opening is fairly wide. It works very nicely for quilting and bag assembly. I suspect that it has modest leather handling capabilities like a Singer 31-15. The walking foot has small ridges in the common configuration.

The Machine is described fully in the attached clipping

Singer 78-1 link  <====click here for the full document
Complete 78-1 Manual <==Click Here

The  machine is easy spinning and the rather heavy handwheel helps with piercing power and smooth operation.

The machine originally used 16x99 needles, but I retimed my machine to accept the common 29x3 needle (which I also use on the Singer 42-5). It accepts  the same bobbin case and bobbins as the common Singer 31-15 machine which makes it very handy in my loft.  The bobbin is located on the left end making it easy to access. Of course the bobbin cover is really only good for peaking through at the bits underneath.

My testing shows it will handle 16 layers of #10 cotton duck under hand operation (as a gauge of maximum thickness), or 8 layers under treadle power (I run a slightly loose drive belt). I tested successfully up to V138 thread, but perhaps V92 is a better practical limit due to small bobbin size. This is a little confusing since my singer 31-15 doesnt like V92 much and V138 not at all.

This machine is one of my favorites as the needle feed works very well for multiple layers as well as slippery and sticky material.

These machines seem to be fairly rare but you can find needle plates and spool pin covers on ebay. There are some of the alternative feet available, but they tend to be expensive and limited to piping feet.

The 1958 copyright on one manual seems to indicate that the machine was built from the early 1900s (industrial foot treadle powered, utilizing a metal pitman rod) through the 1950 under modern clutch motor power.

This machine is an obvious inspiration for  the Consew 28 Machine. Mr Dyer put up a very nice video on Youtube which illustrates the functional on this machine.
Consew 28 Video Link.  <====Click Here

It also came in 2 other variants with the 78-3 being rated for heavier work.