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Pfaff 330 Sewing Machine – Cleaning and Repair

While picking up an old Singer off Craigslist I was given this Pfaff 330 for free because it was all locked up.  I gladly took it home to see if I could fix it up.

 It reminds me of a fighter jet from WWII.  It has a lot of the original paperwork and accessories but it also needed a bunch of TLC.

The old glue that held the fabric on the inside of the case was useless…

 … but nothing hot glue and leather patches wouldn’t fix!


 The cords were changed once upon a time and looked gnarly so I took them off…

…replaced the old grommet being held together by electrical tape…

…attached new wires to terminals…

… and to pedal.


 The machine was completely locked up and nothing would move including all the knobs on the exterior.  I wouldn’t be surprised if someone oiled it with vegetable oil and let it sit for 20-years.

I exposed all the moving parts and dripped some kerosene on all the metal-to-metal joints and let it soak in.  Then I added machine oil and let it sit over night.  By morning progress was made.  The handwheel would turn a little but was still stiff.  It took hours to get everything running smooth and the knobs functional!

With the inside of the machine exposed I noticed a few things that needed to be replaced.
 I took the handwheel off to replace the lower motor belt that was cracking as well as the disintegrating bobbin winder tire.

The 330 is very rare.. I couldn’t find any information on it or any of the right belt sizes!  I ordered from several different sellers but all the belts were either too small or too big.  I ended up going to my local machine shop where they had stretch belts.. genius!

 There was nasty white residue all over the inside of the machine from the old bobbin tire flaking off… glad that thing is in the garbage!

Old vs. new

I put everything back together and it works like a dream!

I had fun testing out what it would do:
-Free-motion quilting-

 -Narrow hemming-

 -Sewing leather (leather needle and sz 69 nylon thread)-

 -Zigzag stitch-

 The extension table buckles down to expose the free arm…

 … it snaps into place easily…

… and the extra extension table attaches in just a second!  I’ve never seen anything like it before.


Pfaffie and all it’s glory!
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10 Comments

  • Reply BarbaraShowell

    nice! I love how oil can fix so much on these old neglected beauties!

    April 4, 2014 at 12:58 am
  • Reply Tami Timothy

    Looks like an awesome machine- great job on the rehab!

    April 18, 2014 at 6:12 pm
  • Reply Petrushka

    My wife bought a 330 several years ago at an estate sale. the former owner described it as not able to sew in reverse. I put in storage until I hadv completed a few rescue projects. Then I found this page and decided to give it a try.

    After a few misadventures with the hook, I have it sewing nicely. I bought a bobbin tire at Joanns, and after several attempts, got it replaced and working. It's not fun. It's very fussy about positioning while you tighten the screws. Removing and replacing the hand wheel is also an adventure. I removed the motor and cleaned off all the crud. That was easy compared to the bobbin winder.

    As for the previous owner, someone — presumable the service person who said it couldn't be repaired — had replaced the bed cover without positioning the finger that keeps the bobbin from rotating. It wouldn't sew at all. After cleaning everything inside and relubing, it sews forward and backward. It also came with a very effective free motion foot.

    I now have a working 30, 130 and 330. I suppose I need a 230. I'm afraid my personal favorite is the 30. It is amazing. A cross between a purring kitten and an army tank.

    July 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm
  • Reply Anonymous

    I have a very similar 330, blue lines in the white knobs instead of red, and mine didn't have the table extention or the original case – but includes a nice variety of attachments, nice solidly built metal machine.
    I haven't been able to find a manual except at http://www.sewusa.com & they want $10…
    I think your picture with the innards may encourage me.

    I just had to replace the primary & secondary drive belts (had been equipped at some point with o-ring type belts & they were slipping (probably also need a clean & relube) but I found local readily available replacement belts 'wrinkle belly' v-belts (35th Ave Sew & vac in Phoenix AZ) Primary (motor to idler) belt is 11 1/2 inches marked 1112 and the secondary belt (idler to behind hand wheel) is 15 1/2 inches marked 1512.
    hope this may help someone 😉
    DM in Phx AZ

    January 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm
    • Reply Ingrid

      Thanks this was super helpful. The last repair guy replace the belt with a standard 14″ o-ring belt and it worked fine until it broke. I have ordered the wrinkle belly belts and hope they are better. To be on the safe side, I also ordered another one of the 14″ singer belts, as I know that will fit. Either way, I hope I don’t have too much difficulty installing the belt. I can’t wait to get my machine working again!

      April 25, 2020 at 4:23 pm
    • Reply Ingrid

      Thanks for the tip on what kind of belt to order. I just got my lovely wrinkle belly belts, and want to install the larger one, to replace the damaged O-ring one that is there now. But I cannot remove the lower wheel to get the belt on (which does not stretch, as you well know.) There is a large screw in the middle of that wheel that I cannot get to budge. Any suggestions? Much appreciated.

      May 7, 2020 at 1:39 pm
      • Reply danicarby

        My best advice is to squirt some penetrating oil (like PB blaster) on it and let it sit for a few hours or over night and use a flat head that fits the groove of the screw perfectly. Push hard into the screw while you turn slowly. Good luck!

        July 4, 2020 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Anonymous

    Nice rehab! I just found one of these in an old garage. I am gonna be cleaning it out as well. Thanks for the encouragement set by example!
    Lovely, heavy, useful machine!

    July 6, 2015 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply blackenpot

    Would just love to find something like this! You are inspiring.

    February 26, 2018 at 8:55 am
  • Reply Ingrid

    I am repairing my grandmother’s old 330, (the one she brought with her from Germany as a young bride in the 1950s)and need to replace the secondary belt. Currently, there is a 14” o-ring type on there; I’m wondering if that was just what the past technician put on there because it was handy and I should replace it with the 15.5” wrinkle belly belt described above, or just go ahead and order the 14” belt used previously. I love this machine and really want to fix it right. Thanks for the advice.

    April 22, 2020 at 1:38 pm
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