Converting Back Clamping Feet to Side Clamping Feet

 The Singer Model 66 is one of their most common models. The earlier models, 66-1 to 66-6, had very attractive decals, in red and gold, and are commonly known as "Red Eyes", or sometimes "Redheads". They are great machines. However, many came with odd feet that attached on the back of the presser bar rather than the side. The only other machine to use this system is the Wheeler and Wilson. Speculation is that when Singer took over Wheeler and Wilson (1906) they thought it might be a good idea, but their customers didn't like it. Anyway, nowadays they are a bit of a pain. It's not too hard a job to convert these presser bars to the standard modern short shank foot. The machine can then use all the modern piecing, darning and even feed feet and attachments.

This problem was discussed at some length on Treadle On, and three people sent in instructions on just how they did the conversion. I am a firm believer in the value of multiple sets of instructions from different sources. I always seem to grasp things better when I see several versions of it. Anyway, with the permission of the senders, here are the posts on converting presser bars from back clamping to side clamping. Also included is a discussion of solving a slightly different presser bar problem, which some might find themselves with after doing a conversion. This seemed the most logical place to put it.

Dick Wightman


Good morning everybody,

Since TreadleAnne has requested it, I am posting to the list the set of
instructions I sent to her about the presser bar on a 66. I take no
responsibility for what you do to your machines. =-) On the other hand, I
cut out the part about how many martinis I had had when I decided to try
out, and my redeye is running fine this AM, so if I can do it......

All the best,

Nick in San Clemente

OK, ann, as repayment for some good conversation, I dismembered my 66 for
Here's how to change the presser bar.

Are you ready?

Get a thin headed regular screwdriver ready, and you side mounted bar and a
can of oil.

1) Take off the side plate and turn the machine head on its side just to
things easy.

2) Unscrew the foot pressure knob on top all the way. Take it off.

3) Slide the spring through the same hole in the top plate and remove.

4) You will see a bar running horizontally through which the presser bar
slides. There is a set screw that holds the presser bar in place. Unscrew
this all the way and set in a safe place. It is small and stubby

5) Remove the foot.

You should be able to slide the presser bar all the way out now. Do it.

6) Put a thin coat of oil on your new presser bar, a side clamp, I assume.
Slide it in.

7) Put the foot on the bottom and let this rest against the feed dogs.

8) Put the spring back in and re screw the tension knob. At some point the
bar will just slip into place against the bed.

9) with the foot lever in the down position and the presser foot against
feed dogs, replace the little set screw that holds the presser bar in place.

10) Adjust your foot tension via the knob

11) Replace the side plate.

That should do it.



Captain Dick,

This is what I sent to Debbie and TreadleAnnie. It seems to be the same as Nick's, so I guess I didn't leave anything out. You're welcome to use any part of it alone or to combine with Nick's to put on your pages.

Well...replacing the presser bar...

1. The first thing to do is take the presser foot and presser foot holder
off the old presser bar. That was the hardest part of the job for me. The holder had been on there for a long time and didn't want to come off.

2. Then remove the feed regulating thumb screw (the furled nut) from the top of the bar.

3. Loosen the take-up spring set screw. That screw is just below the
presser bar spring, on the presser bar guide bracket.

4. You should be able to pull the presser bar up and out now.

5. Just reverse the process to put the new one in. Then with the foot on and the presser foot down, adjust the take-up spring set screw. Adjust the feed regulating thumb screw for proper feed pressure.

I don't think I've forgotten any steps. It's been a while, so let me know
if something doesn't seem right and I'll take mine apart to see. BTW, I
don't really know all these parts off the top of my head. I have a good
diagram with the parts numbered and listed. I hoped it would make more sense than if I called every part a thingy or doohicky. It really is
easier than it sounds. I didn't know what I was doing, just took the old
one off and reversed it for the new one. I do confess to having several
generations of mechanical males in my family and I seem to have some of the genes because I enjoy taking things apart to see how they work.




Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 08:44:03 -0500

Hi Barbara,

First thing to do is to is to install a presser foot shaft that works so
that you can lift the foot up and down with out binding and that there
is some pressure when the foot is seated on the feeder teeth.

If your husband reassembled everything and now the TOP stitches are
forming tangles underneath, check these things:

1. The set screw on the take up lever is on the flat part of the stud.

2. The thread is pressurized by the tension disks when the foot is down.

3. The corner of the bobbin case is not broken off.

4. There is clearance for the thread as the top thread makes its loop
around the bobbin
case.(thread is not pinching at the position bracket)

5. No burr on the hook point and that the hook point is not broken.

6. The hook timing is set so that the hook point is meeting the center
of the needle scarf at the time when the needle is on its way back
up about 3/16ths from its lowest point of decent.

7. After checking all these things, thread the machine, put a piece of
fabric under the foot and make a couple of stitches by hand. Have the
slide plate open and notice the way the thread is casting off the
hook on its way around. See that the thread is not being aloud to
hang up 3/4s or so way around the bobbin case. If you see this is
happening, adjust the hook a little so it will let go of the thread and
allow the take up lever to pull it up smoothly.

There are other thing that can cause the problem you described, but
these are the most likely.

Good luck, let me know what it was.

Bob (Singer trained technician)