Singer 306K C1961

Singer 306K C1961

Hello Dear Friends and Readers,

I just can’t tell you how delighted I was when two of my children texted me to say that my daughter had found  a sewing machine on the side of the road when she had gone to visit number one son!

They had reverted to their childhood in a way and we’re busy “playing” with it.  Cheap entertainment!!! It still had a box of attachments too.

On initial inspection the machine looked to be in quite nice condition.  The duco was still shiny and undamaged.

Singer 306K attatchments
Attachments for Singer 306K

Time has passed now, and my son has said he wants to move it, so we are spending the day looking into the machine.

The Singer 306K is one of 50000 machines made on the 6th of February 1961 (Courtesy ISMACS) 

As you can see, the number is under the machine rather than on the right front as with many of the older Singers.

It is an early Zig Zag machine.

Serial Number 306K Singer
Singer 306K serial number location

In the case of this machine, the belt was missing.  My son ordered a new belt and fitted it.  He also fixed the foot pedal as it was jammed in the on position.

As it turned out, this machine had quite a few problems.

Next I gave it a thorough oiling. Now it was time to see if it would sew.  Well… wouldn’t you know it, it wanted to sew backwards. It would barely go forwards at all.  There seemed to be only reverse. It all appeared rather perplexing. We went over everything.  Eventually my son said it seemed to be related to the stitch length lever.


He very carefully loosened the screws that held it in place. He removed the lever and blow me down it was quite bent. I would not have picked that!  That was not evident from the outside.  I guess someone had become rather frustrated with this machine.  That could have been why it was on the street!!  Either that, or it had had some sort of accident.

Singer 306K stitch length lever

How it became bent is anyone’s guess.  I had begun to think it was unsalvagable. The lever is a heavy steel pin.  My son managed to straighten it. We put it back into the 306K machine and now came the test? Could it sew?

Unfortunately, the problems were not all solved.

Accessing the bobbin is achieved by tilting th machine up.  A bit like lifting the bonnet on a car.  There is a latch to hold it in place.

The bobbin could not be removed from the bobbin case. Now this was frustrating. I suspected that maybe it had been damaged by the needle. Sure enough, on closer inspection, I could see a slight divet in the bobbin case which looked to be from a needle being forced into the wrong place.  I gather that this may have resulted from using the wrong needle for this machine.  Check out this site for further information.

Bobbin Case Singer 306K

Now with some brut leverage, the bobbin was expelled from the case.  The bobbin reminded me of the one from my Singer 31K20,

Singer 31K20 Treadle & Free Motion Quilting

which is a bigger bobbin and very useful for free motion quilting as it takes a lot of thread.  We used some fine sandpaper to rub off the offending burr on the inside of the bobbin case.   Now the bobbin went in and out effortlessly as it should do.

I filled the bobbin with fresh cotton, and threaded the machine.

After some adjustments to the tension assembly with the help of Ray Elkins from the Sew Purty Workshops…..we were on the way!  Thanks Ray!

Just beautiful!  Stitching like a dream!  I think it was worth the trouble.

I got straight into some small sewing projects.😊

A dust cover for headphones.

and a Little Flower Bag  Little Flower Bag and Tutorial

Little Flower Bag
Little Flower Bag Tutorial

It would appear that there are some negative reviews on line about this machine, but after some TLC she is sewing very well!  A rather fine looking machine, don’t you think?

Vintage Singer 306K Sewing Machine

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like

In Memory of Joyce

Or, Vintage Singer 201K and FMQ

Happy sewing!


15 thoughts on “Singer 306K C1961”

  1. I inherited my mother’s Singer 306k (circa 1956) which works wonderfully well. I changed the bobbin case, the power pedal and installed a led light to bring it up to date. I stripped the wooden cabinet and applied oil to bring out the wood grain. A second life! I’m not ready to give it up.

    And, of course, I use it.

  2. I really love my 306k!
    My only issue is that it has quite a bit of play in the needle bar, it can be wiggled left to right which unfortuately can cause a pretty unsteady looking stitch in heavy fabric, the needle will wander back and forth 1 mm or so, even when the fabric is fed through really evenly. Do others have this issue with their machines?
    But I have also been able to use a standard 15×1 needle in my machine which is a really nice feature! The bobbin case has been replaced with a slightly different model that has a small cut out on the top which prevents the slightly longer needle from striking the case

    1. Thank you for your interesting comment. The bobbin case is a great solution. Just wondering two things. Would the original needle be any different with less wriggle or has the needle bar suffered some damage in the past? Perhaps you could replace the needle bar…..

      1. I looked and the bobbin case on mine has not got a part number on it, but it looks very similar to simanco part 105032
        I had that same thought about the needle bar aswell. I tried to dissasemble the zig zag mechanism, and it actually seems that it is the mechanism which moves the needle bar left to right which is causing the play. In the middle of the long arm that runs left to right on the back of the machine there is a little square block that runs back and forth in a housing that is rotated when the zig zag width dial is turned. This square block seems to have been worn down over time which has caused it to fit quite loosely in its slot. Unfortunately I cant find this as a spare part so I am not sure if I can replace it.. Perhaps there is some kind of incredibly thin shim which could fit into the slot with the square block.

  3. Hi there! I have a Singer 306k and it works a dream and sews beautifully. However, recently the machine runs without pressing on the pedal when you plug it in . Do you by any chance know how to stop it from doing so?

    1. Hi Nicci, I’m not sure, however, I could suggest that there is a problem with your foot pedal. They can become jammed or sticky so I think it would be wise to get it serviced or get a new foot pedal. In the first instance, if you took it to your local service Centre they can diagnose it pretty quickly before you commit to any expense. Best of luck!

  4. Would you have any advice on why the Singer 306K stitch lever is sticking? It is stuck in the reverse position. Is there a way to remove the lever?
    Thank you

    1. You will need to remove the front plate of the stitch length lever. From there you will be able to access and remove the stitch length lever. Taking photos as you go is a good way to remember what you are doing. It may well be bent. That will not be obvious from the outside. It will need to be straightened then replaced.

  5. Hi ladies, I have my grandmother’s 306K and am looking into finding it a new home. It is a trundle machine. Do you know any interested parties? I have all the parts, disks, tools, extras that came with the machine.

  6. How do you fix a timing issue…. The needle is hitting the thing the bobbin case sits in … I’m so frustrated.. the needle was working fine before … It’s my grandmother machine and she adored it I haven’t used any needles that she wouldn’t have and it still won’t do it…

  7. I love reading about the treasures that you find Susie. I’ve never had the joy of finding a machine on the side of the road. But I do hear stories about people that do. So glad that this turned into a wonderful save! The finish really is quite perfect, it’s amazing.

  8. I have my mother’s Singer 306W. I learned to sew on this machine. My mother sewed on this machine for over 40 years. I find it to be a workhorse. This is my favorite vintage machine. Enjoy your new machine.

    1. I have just acquired a 306W Singer. It currently is a filthy mess. I tried to find out how old it is but the serial number is not in the singer database. Can you give me any help?

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