Adaptation of Standard Top to Accomodate 20U Industrial

I recentlya acquired a Singer 20U industrial, thanks to Jaqui in Canada and Cindy's help with a pony express. This machine has been virtually the standard of the light industrial industry (tailors, alteration shops, etc) for nearly 40 years and I had never gotten my hands on one.

It's a pretty machine, and very capable. It can be either a straight stitcher or a zig zag, but to go back and forth properly, you need to change out the feed dogs and throat plate. I went and bought the zz parts and some needles (135X5 to 135X9). The ZZ stitch is variable and, in a nice feature, there is a needle bar lock when you go back to straight, so there can be no vibration of the needle. Some models (newer ones than mine) also have separate stitch length control for reverse and bobbin winders. There is a long arm version as well.

My biggest problem was establishing a table base for this machine. It is 1" longer than the standard Singer home base machine, and 1" shorter than the base for the old 31-20. Probably is the same base length as the 31-15, but I didn't have one here to check. In my shed, I found an old Singer light industrial coffin top top that wasn't in real good shape, so I brought it in and "re-inlet" it to accomodate the 20U. In the process it occurred to me that there was an opportunity here for a multiple machine table top. The width of the bed on the old 31's is still 7", same as the home machine and as the 20U. So, length is the only difference. I re-inlet the top I had for the 20U, but then made a little adapter plate so that a home machine could still be used in the same top and on the same treadle. Here are some pictures:

 

 

Here's the 20U in it's "new" table top

 

 

and here it is with the same top (extension flip up) mounted on my industrial Singer treadle. This treadle is really too wide for this top, and I had to scrap the drawer for the moment. The top could be put on a standard home size treadle and would, in fact, treadle more easilly due to the smaller diameter drives wheel. Not pictured here, but I had to mount an industrial bobbin winder on the right side of the table, since this particular machine had no bobbin winder. Newer models (this one is approx. 1960) do have a winder.

 

 

And here is a home machine in the same modified top, but with a wooden adpater to fill the open space. A mome machine could be mounted in either a 31-15 or 31-20 top using the same technique.