Monday, December 11, 2017

Singer 328k

Here's something a little different from the usual parade of Slant-o-Matics I've reviewed lately, and it goes to show that looks can be deceiving.  At first glance, this doesn't look a whole lot different than one of the 400 machines, and you even might be tempted to think that it is somehow related to a 301 because of the number.  But this is a different machine entirely.

 This is from the early-mid 1960s, and I'm assuming was a budget model.  It actually weighs more than the Slant-o-Matics of the same era, but is not the same quality.  That is not to say this isn't a good machine - it is - but once you've sewn with one of Singer's contemporary TOL models you can really tell the difference.

Singer 328k takes flat cams 

 Rather than built in stitches, zigzag and other decorative stitches are made with cams.  These are flat cams instead of the familiar top hat cams that go in the 403 and 503.

 Another low-budget feature is the power cord that is hard-wired into the machine rather than plugged into a receptacle.  There is also no on/off switch for the light.  So there is no way around it, you must crawl down on the floor to plug/unplug this machine every time you use it.

feed dog disengagement system
*The strangest thing I found was that flat black plate shown above. When I first tried to sew with this machine, the feed dogs weren't engaged.  I couldn't figure it out, because I couldn't see where they could be lowered manually, and there isn't an elevated throat plate system either.  The manual didn't offer a clue.

Well I removed the throat plate and saw this black piece situated beneath it.  This raises up the throat plate just enough to bypass the feed dogs.  Since it wasn't shown in the manual, it must have been an optional accessory added later.

The typical accessories

This machine has an oscillating hook, and also has a belt (running off an enclosed motor) rather than a direct gear drive.  But while that means the 328k doesn't run as smoothly and as fast its TOL cousins, that doesn't detract from the stitch quality which is as good as any I've seen.

This isn't going to be your "fun" machine - it won't make your vintage loving heart sing. It's not a collector's item.  But it is utilitarian, it is solid, and it works perfectly.

And of course, I always supply my little clip of the machine in action.  It sews nicely, and it is in great condition - ready to give a new owner years of good, reliable service.