Singer 29K Patcher Sewing Machine

Singer 29k71 Patcher is a very versatile machine. The treadle stand is missing.

Singer 29k71 Patcher is a very versatile machine. The treadle stand is missing.

If you know this machine then you know how versatile it is, helping you out of tight spots. Old they may be, but they certainly do a great job at fixing up modern day clothing. While the design of these machines has varied little from the ~1910s the machines can be purchased new today with near identical designs.

It is not easy to use, nor is it easy to set up. The bobbin is small and has a very limited capacity. Threading of the bobbin requires some learning, as this is unlike other machines. What is the purpose of the long wire?

Yet it has its charm. You need no electricity. It is slow and meticulous. With the treadle going it can also be rhythmic. Harking back to a different era, sewing can, for an instance, be beautiful.


Singer 29k73 Patcher on a treadle stand, with optional sewing base

Singer 29k73 Patcher on a treadle stand, with optional sewing base

Singer 29K in black and white

Singer 29K in black and white

Addendum April 20 2013: Jim wrote in asking what type of thread to use. I always use upholstery thread. The only one I can find is the Gutermann brand, and it is pricy but very good. Being 100% polyester it should last a good long while, resist mould, not break down with water and be extremely durable. I cannot break it with only my hands, and it will cut your hand if you use sufficient effort. There are not so many colours available but any colour I have wanted was available. I buy it from my local sewing store.

While you can use near any thread with a regular flatbed sewing machine, the patcher seems to require a robust thread or it will shred and break. Use upholstery thread.

60 thoughts on “Singer 29K Patcher Sewing Machine

  1. Ablast

    For those asking about threads.
    I notice a comment on Gutterman nylon thread. I have a 29k13 and use shade cloth type thread for most applications. Brand is Coats dabond and 3000 metres as apposed to 100 metres . I buy it on eBay from The Shade Centre. It is the same size as the Gutterman M782 and much stronger. It is smoother and glides through just about anything.

  2. Brenda Putthoff

    I have a 29K51 that works beautifully. I made an entire boat cover using it. My current project is recovering our boat cushions. I have 4 layers in total. The middle 2 layers are cording wrapped in the same seat cover material. I don’t know if you have ever used a 29K for this application, but I am looking for a solution to get the stitch close enough to the cording. In a regular machine I would use a zipper foot.
    2nd question is something I read above. Someone mentioned a Bell Crank Lever to extend the stitch length. Is this something that extends the length beyond what the machine was built to do, or is that just a replacement part for the original stitch length?

    [Don: Hi Brenda, and congrats on the boat cover. I’ve never had to sew cording on the 29k. The foot is a thick, heavy duty thing that does not sew close to something like a zipper, and I cannot think of any solution. The presser foot of the 29k is not interchangeable, and I’ve not seen any options other than the standard large one.

    I’ve also never heard of using hte bell crank lever to extend stitch length.

    Happy sewing, Don]

  3. Tommie

    Hi I’ve just got myself a 29k71 on the balance wheel there is a knob that you can pull out and it disengages the balance wheel but when you turn the wheel one turn it engages again what’s it for thanks for your help.

    [Don: Hi Tommie, and thanks for stopping by. The knob on the wheel of my machine does not pull out and is used as an alternative handle when moving the wheel. Your machine is more up to date.

    Apparently you use this ‘plunger” to disengage the wheel, allowing you to hand wind your bobbin without the stitching mechanism going up and down. That would be useful as you do not need the stitching mechanism to be going while you wind your bobbin, possibly messing up your stitching thread. This is a useful feature. I use a second spool of thread to wind my bobbin so I do not need to rethread the machine.

    from the Singer 29K62 manual:

    This device allows the balance wheel to run free so that bobbins may be wound by hand without operating the stitching mechanism. To loosen the wheel draw out the plunger and turn its knurled head slightly left or right. The wheel will then turn in either direction without operating the machine

    Good to know. And I’m a bit jealous that you have this feature and I do not!

    Happy Sewing!]

  4. Sonda Quade

    I have a 29k71 that still sews beautifully. One question is why are there two sets of tension discs? I have the manual and it says that the lower one is for darning? Darning what? With regular sewing you drop the feed dogs for darning. How does the tension in the front change the sewing?

    My second question is thread. I’ve had luck with upholstery thread and have been using guttermans with no problems. Someone tried to use very heavy thread and I just could not see how it would work in that bobbin. I’ve seen references to large and small bobbin covers and thought – actually hoped that they make a larger bobbin assembly that would work. Can you use heavy duty thread?

    And last did all the machines come with oil cups? Mine does not have one and it does not look like there was ever one there. It would cover the decal.

    If you know any of this thanks so much.

    [Don: Hey Sonda, and welcome to my site.

    I, too, am a little puzzled. I did not think that the 29k could darn, but I suppose you could lower the feed dogs below the top surface and have at it. I’ve never used the lower tension disc and have never used my 29k for darning. I fear the machine would rip up the material.

    As for thread, I, too use Guttermans upholstery thread, but have bought other 100 polyester thread as well. Space is limited in the cast iron bobbin area, so I doubt there is a larger bobbin assembly. If you did use thicker heavy duty thread you would need to refill the bobbin often as you would run out quickly. Why would you use heavy duty thread, because upholstery thread is so strong it will cut your hand before it breaks, and does not degrade due to water.

    As for the oil cups, all the patchers I have seen come with oil cups, including mine, but there are photos on Google for the 29k71 with and without oil cups. I’ve also never used my oil cup. You could look up the serial number of your 29k on the Singer site, who has records, at least for my model 29k, going back to 1910. Top that for proper record keeping!

    I do love your interest in the 29k. I love mine to bits.

    Happy Sewing and Patching, Don]

  5. Fiona

    Hi, I have a ‘new’ Patcher 29K53, 1920’s model. On arrival needed oiling and cleaning. It was picking up the bobbin thread, but since we hade made a missing needle plate catch spring, from the original ‘plate’ drawings. It is now refusing to comply.
    WE have checked that the spring is NOT in the way, but using two people, over and under the machine. The spring does not de-pass the slot it sits in, so impossible to stop the bobbin rotation. which I have seen on the net as doing a full turn. The top thread is catching the bobbin ‘hook’ as it turns and then the thread disappears under the bobbin. WHY? I can not find a solution on the web and cannot work out how to down load my video clip either. (not youtube expert.) can anyone help. I desperately need the machine to work for launching my new projet.

  6. Chris

    I found a 29k2 from 1906 in a barn. I took it apart cleaned it and put it back together. I have sold it for 250.00 was that a good price. need parts for a. VILH.PEDERSEN MODEL 308 outsole sticher

    [Don: Hi Chris, I think you did quite well. Old patchers generally go for $300. They are built very ruggedly and will last generations.]

  7. Sonnia

    Recently bought a 29K58 and I can’t get the threading rod all the way through to the needle. It appears to go about 90% down the hole and then stops as if there’s a blockage…..could there be thread balled up in the hole? Anyone else had this issue? Did you have to take the machine apart to fix it? Thanks.

    [Don: Hi Sonnia. I’ve never had this problem. Is your threaded rod long enough to go all the way to the needle? My threading rod is 13.5″ long. I have never taken this area of my machine apart. It is pretty solid with riveted parts, so no easy disassembly. If the rod goes down 90% of the way, maybe try going from the needle end up. Also sometimes I need to rotate my threading rod to get it down the hole. Happy sewing, Don]

  8. Norman

    I am redoing a Singer 29-4 shoe patch machine and need a thumb screw and slider for the stitch regulator.

    Any ideas where to find something like this?

    Thanks. Enjoy the discussion.

    [Don: Hi Norman, I cannot date your 29K4 but the manual copy write is 1914 and 1923, so your machine is well seasoned.

    Apart from the links I have on the page I have not needed to buy any Patcher parts. My patcher is solid!

    Happy sewing, Don]

  9. cd martin Post author

    Hi don
    my name is cd and I have been trying to find the factory setting for a singer
    29-4. I purchased one and having trouble getting it to pick up the lower
    thread. Every thing I read says to start with factory setting. You don’t
    happen to have or know where I can find them.

    [Don: Hi CD. The Singer K29 manuals I have seen do not include any factory settings. These are over 100 year old machines, and possibly made in the Singer Ireland factory, long gone. You might consider contacting Singer directly. Don]

  10. Bilal

    Is the Singer 29K Patcher Sewing Machine suitable for sewing rubber trim onto fabric around a canvas sneaker shoe?

    [Don: Hi Bial, yes, the patcher is made to sew shoes and does it very well. It can sew rubber trim onto fabric on a canvas or leather shoe. Good luck and happy sewing, Don]

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