Just screwing around a bit.

Click here to see all the Adler class 8 posts.

I mentioned in a previous post about my Adler class 8 sewing machine that the screw holding the presser foot was too short and could barely hold the foot in place - it’s been wiggly ever since I cleaned out the ancient, dried oil that had held it glued in place for who knows how many decades.

I’ve finally found a replacement for the presser foot screw. In celebration, I decided to collect what I’ve found about using modern consumables in a hundred year old sewing machine.

First off, the screw.

Should you ever need to replace the presser foot screw on an Adler class 8 (and maybe some of the similar machines like the Phönix class 8,) then you will need a British standard Whitworth (BSW) screw 1/8 inch in diameter at least 1/4 inch long. I ordered a couple of screws 3/8 inch long, and ended up with 7/16 inch screws because the place I ordred from was out of the 1/8in x 3/8in part. It sticks out a little, but it holds the foot tight. It is so nice to not have to worry about the foot falling out.

New presser foot screw
New presser foot screw

The black screw on the left there is the original. The one on the right is a brand new BSW 1/8in x 7/16in screw.

I ground the end of the one I installed in the machine to a slightly rounded point to fit the indentation in the presser foot.

You can probably use a UNC #5-40 screw. That’s also 1/8 inch diameter screw. The BSW 1/8 inch and the #5-40 are both 40 threads per inch. They differ in the thread angle - the BSW is 55 degrees while the UNC is 60 degrees. Either will fit. I expect the BSW to be the correct one since UNC wasn’t defined until the unified thread standard was adopted in 1949. I did mention that my Adler 8 was built in 1926, didn’t I? It was developed much earlier, so it was most likely using a European standard. BSW fits the bill as an inch based system from Europe. I honestly don’t know for certain which standard was used - but I do know the screw I’ve got fits and holds tight.

On the off chance that someone out there wants to put an Adler class 8 back in to operation, here are some modern consumables you can use:

Needles

I bought several packs of needles over the last months. All of the ones in the picture fit.

Needles
Needles

I’ve used all of them except for the thickest (120) needles. The hole in the needle plate of the Adler 8 is rather small - I think if I were to use the thread that goes with such a thick needle that the combined needle and thread would be so thick that the thread would rub on the needle hole and break.

There are several designations that all point to the same size and design needle.

In summary, needles with the following designations should fit an Adler class 8:

Needle designations
287WH
1738
1738A
DBx1
DBx95
16x95
TFx6
TFx16
#16
16x231

I can’t tell you what’s different between the various designations, but the ones in the pictures fit and work (except that the 120 diameter needles are probably too thick for use.)

Bobbin winder tire

The bobbin winder tire on the Adler 8 is very different from the one on most machines. If you order the typical tires from Amazon (or buy them from your local sewing supplies store,) then they won’t fit - they are too small.

You need to buy a generic O-ring with the following dimensions:

Bobbin winder tire
Bobbin winder tire

Bobbins

I haven’t found any modern bobbin that will fit the Adler class 8. The Adler 8 uses “bagel” bobbins. As far as I can tell, that style of bobbin died out in the 1950s or 1960s when Adler quit making the Adler 88 and other descendants of the Adler 8.

All I can tell you is that you will sometimes find bobbins for later Adlers, for some Phönix, and Favta sewing machines on eBay. They’ll usually be used ones. I’ve never seen any “new old stock.”

If you find some and aren’t sure if they’ll fit, you can compare them to these measurements:

Bobbin dimensions for the Adler class 8
Bobbin dimensions for the Adler class 8

The most important features:

  • Bagel shaped
  • Outer diameter 24mm
  • Thickest point 8.7mm

The rest isn’t critical. The bobbins on the Adler 8 “float” in the bobbin case. The hole doesn’t have to fit an axle like it does on most other machines.


If I find other modern parts that you can use on an old Adler class 8, I’ll add them to this page.

Click here to see all the Adler class 8 posts.