A Singer 306k, with a .9 amp motor upgrade, new bobbin case, running a 15 by 1 needle.
The Singer Swing Needle machines first debuted in 1929 with the model 206D, which was designed and built in Germany. This is what Singer originally called a machine that could do a zig zag stitch.
The earliest 206D model used standard Singer needles and bobbin cases, but in the 1950’s Singer redesigned a few aspects of the machines to force the use of a new proprietary needle, which also used a proprietary bobbin case.
Singer 206k43 – 1950’s
This was my first Swing Needle machine that my sister’s friend was selling and I was immediately intrigued at the very German looking design, and then blown away to see how well this machine stitches. It is every bit as good as my Singer 201, and it also zig zags very precisely.
I removed the electric motor and light, changed the hand wheel and put it in a treadle, and it is a delight to use… after I upgraded the bobbin case to a Singer 20U.
And when the power goes out during some quilt repairs a treadle is a wonderful thing indeed…
The 306 and 319 are also wonderful machines to put into a treadle…
My Singer 319
I fell in love with this machine the moment I came across it, and having upgraded other Swing Needle machines, the first thing I did was upgrade the bobbin case, and then I upgraded the motor.
It sews at close to 2000 stitches a minute now, the rotary design and precise manufacturing tolerances allow this machine to fly with nary a vibration.
The 319 differs from the 306 in that it has built in stitches that are actuated by the typewriter keys up top, it also uses the same cams.
Custom Bobbin Cases – Singer Swing Needle
The Singer “Swing Needle” machines were the first zig zag machines that Singer offered and the later models like the 306 and 319 were designed to use a proprietary bobbin case which forced the use of a proprietary 206 by 13 needle when every other Singer machine used the standard 15 by 1 needle.
The difference between a 206 by 13 needle and a 15 by 1 is that the 206 by 13 is just a little shorter below the eye, and when a 15 by 1 needle is used on one of these machines, it damages the bobbin case.
We customize a Singer 20 U case to fit these machines, some versions of the 306 will accept a 20U straight up, while later versions have a guide pin which warrants the addition of a guide slot in the case.
Once fitted the machine can use any 15 by 1 needle, uses the same L bobbins, and can also use commonly available double needles. these machines make a glorious stitch and very precise zig zag and pattern stitches.
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