Singer knee lever – how it fits in the bentwood case lid of a 201K

Standard

Or the domed lid, as some say.  I’ve even seen it referred to as a doomed lid.  But whatever you call it, Polly was confused by hers.  She’d bought a knee-lever 201K in a bentwood case, and wondered what she was supposed to do with the lever when she’d finished sewing and wanted to pack the machine away.  Somebody had told her it clipped into the lid, but Polly couldn’t see how.

To cut a long story short, it turned out that although Polly’s bentwood lid fitted her base properly, it wasn’t actually the right lid for her machine.  It wasn’t a knee-lever lid, so it didn’t have the appropriate hardware.  We got there in the end, but it would have been a heck of a lot easier if I could have found these pictures that I took ages ago.  But I couldn’t.

However, a minor miracle has occurred and I have now, so just in case it helps anybody else to know, here’s a concise guide to what should be in the bentwood lid of your knee-lever 201K …

In the picture above, we see the lever held in place inside a kosher lid.  The machine end of it’s in the bracket on the case end, and the knee end of it’s clipped to the top of the case.

That’s a clearer picture of the fitting, and it also shows the wire clip for the box of attachments.  And by the way, a Godzilla box does not fit in that clip – it’s meant for the green cardboard box which measures about 6 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches.

Hopefully you can now see clearly how that clip works, and also that it’s held in place by one of the nuts which secure the handle to the lid.

And while we’re at it we might as well do the extension table fittings, because it’s not exactly obvious how they work.  That grey thingy towards back left in the picture above is part of the answer, but the curly black wire at bottom right is nothing to do with it.  That’s the clip for the oil can.

That’s how the extension table fits in one of these cases.  It goes in with the bit of wood with the two screws facing inwards, and the metal tongue thingy which is on that end of it engaged in the grey metal doo-dah on the end of the lid.  With a bit of jiffling and a modest amount of luck, the extension table will then sit close enough to the side of the case for you to be able to swing the metal catch over the corner of it, which should keep it safely in place.

Having said that, bearing in mind all the gubbins in one of these case lids, I often wonder how long some of these machines had been out of the shop before they got a dink or two in the finish – particularly if it hadn’t yet occurred to the proud new owner which way round the lid needed to be before they lowered it down to the base …

About these ads

One response

  1. Thank you for clearing that up. I have a crinkle finish 99 from the late 30s that I converted to hand crank. Someone explained to me that the hole in the base was for a knee lever, but it was long gone by the time I got the machine. I didn’t understand the hardware in the top of the domed lid was for the knee lever.
    Sadly, I think sometimes these domed cover *are* doomed. They may be strong from the outside, but a sudden stop while they are in the trunk can, indeed, doom them.
    Thanks for posting this.