No. 42 cabinet Here is the vintage no. 42 Singer cabinet complete with matching stool. Excellent condition. I had to drive to L.A. to pick it up but it was a bargain at $125. Too bad it didn't have a knee controller like mine does. finish in excellent shape except for a scrape on the top. Still not bad for 50+ years. I just love this cabinet. I doubles as a desk and doesn't look like it holds a sewing machine like so many cabinets do.
machine in cabinet Here is the machine in the cradle inside the cabinet. It fits just fine as it should.
machine in cabinet I've flipped the front hinged wooden section up so you can see the entire machine within the cabinet.
machine doesn't fit

But...when you try to set up the machine to sew, it does not fit flush with the top. The cradle and front piece interfere.

This is my sister's machine (when I get it installed.). I have the same cabinet and a black shortbed 301 and have the exact same problem with my cabinet and cradle. Once I can figure out how to do hers I can do mine as well. As is...neither fit.


Here is a close-up of the cradle. I have two cradles and they are identical. These were sold as 301 cradles. At $25 a pop, I can't keep buying cradles on the off chance one will fit. I'm ready to do one of three things.

1. Cut the front lip down on the front hinged piece of the cabinet.

2. Pound the tabs of the cradle flat with a hammer.

3. Grind down the hinge pins. (see below) I'll probably try this first.


As you can see the top of the cradle tabs interfere with the lip of the front piece. I could cut the front lip. I might even be able to thin it down from the bottom with a router. And I could also flatten the cradle tabs with a hammer.

But first.....


Notice the gap in the back. The reason there is a gap between the machine and the cabinet is that the hinge pins protrude into the cradle area.

Now I checked the picture of the 301 cradle on ISMACS and those pins do NOT protrude into the cradle area. So I suspect that is my first problem.

hingepins Here you can see the length of the hinge pins. The photo of the 301 cradle at ISMACS does NOT show their hinge pins this long. I'm thinking I could take these to my parents' house and have my Dad grind them down. I have three sets of hinges, so I don't' mind sacrificing one set to see if this is a fix.
cradleincabinet As you can see the cradle by itself fits just fine as well.
holding cradle Here I am holding the cradle up in position as if there was a machine in it. The top of the tabs do hit the bottom of the lip of the front piece, but the wood could be trimmed off, the tabs adjusted or even cut off. I don't think the front tabs are needed. I think the machine would fit just fine on the front lip to hold it up. The machine only needs to be held up in the back by the hinges and in the front by the lip of the front piece.
front piece Close up of front lip of front piece.
what it should look like

As you can see, the machine can fit flush in this cabinet. What I've done is taken it out of the cradle and allowed the cradle to drop down. The machine is sitting on the hinges on the back and on the front lip of the front piece in the front.

This is how it *should* fit when the cradle et al is seated properly.


So what do you think? Grind the hinge pins first?

Then what? Trim the wood or hammer the tabs?

Okay. I found a cabinet on eBay that used to house a 301 and has the original cradle and clips. It appears that the front piece is trimmed flush and the clips are attached for the cradle to hang on. I suppose I could find something at Home Depot that could substitute for the clips. But I had to cut the entire lip off in case this doesn't work.

I think the first thing I'll try is to grind the hinge pins down flush. That appears to be a major difference between what I have and what should be.

The second thing I may try is to bend the front cradle tabs down out of the way of the front lip. If the machine can sit in the cradle properly it can rest on the front lip of the front hinged cabinet piece. Then the tabs and clips would not be needed.

If all else fails at this point, I'll go to Home Depot, trim the piece and give that a go.

I'm not driving out to Sun City and paying $125 just to canabalize this cabinet for the cradle clips.

front clips

Okay. I've trimmed the front cabinet piece. What I did was notch out the two side corners so the cabinet clips would clear, leaving the majority of the lip. And then trimmed about a 1/8" off the entire length of the remaining lip. There is still plenty of lip left should this cabinet ever be used for another machine (NOT). So the cradle swings clear now. If the remains of the lip aren't enough, a pair of small flat head wood screws could be screwed into the front piece to replace the clips and hold the cradle tabs.

Does the machine fit? Not yet. The hinge pins are still too long and shifting the machine forward just enough not to fit with the current trimming. I'm not trimming anymore off, so how it's time to grind the hinge pins flush to the cradle. After that everything should work fine.

Not an elegant solution. But not totally Micky Mouse either. I'd like to think I MacGuyver'd it.

I'll post pics of the trimmed front piece once I get the hinge pins ground and it works.