Sunday, January 1, 2012

Viking 64 40

Viking 64 40:

In Fredericksburg, Virginia for a business meeting a few weeks ago, I noticed a Goodwill Store across the street from the hotel where the meeting was being held. Never one to pass up a chance to paw through junk, I headed across the street at the first opportunity. There was only one sewing machine, from a distance, I thought it was a modern plastic Singer and nothing I would be interested in. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a Husqvarna Viking 6440, manufactured in the '75 - '77 timeframe, in good cosmetic condition but frozen solid. Vikings are not common in my area, this was only the third one I have ever seen but it was complete, in good condition, with foot control and some extras and the price was right so it came home with me.

A few years back, I owned a 5000 series and a 6000 series ex-school Vikings and they were pure junk. I couldn’t see why anyone would ever buy a Viking, much less rave about it.

What I did like, however, was their foot controls.

Instead of a wiper arm sliding across a rheostat, the Vikings of that era use a wheel rolling across a rheostat. This makes for much smoother operation and less chance of the foot control sticking.

They also have a safety feature that completely disconnects power when there is no pressure on the pedal. I still have one of my original foot controls but have been hoarding it until I could find a machine worthy of it.

When I saw that this Viking had the foot control, I figured that alone was worth the $12.95 sticker price, so I picked it up.

When I got this one home and opened up, I found that even though the exterior was spic & span, the spider webs inside indicated it hadn't been used in some time and had been stored in less than ideal conditions. It took lots of exercising to free up the mechanisms but in about an hour, it started sewing and gets continually better.

It has the slide-on accessory tray that probably wasn’t meant to sew on, but I do anyway, since the table extension was not included. In the tray were some bobbins and a couple of accessories, but by no means a full bag.

I wasn’t expecting much, considering my history with Vikings, but when I started sewing a small project, I was in for a shock! The machine is smooth, quiet, and produces an excellent stitch. Now, I can see why Viking owners are proud of their machines, they probably bought them new and performed all the required maintenance, unlike the school system that produced my first two Vikings.

It only has the “A” cam, so I only have four stitches in addition to straight stitch and zig zag but 99% of my sewing is straight stitch, 0.9% zig zag, and only 0.1% decorative stitch, so I can live without all the fancy stitches. Guess I’ll keep it until it needs some kind of repair, and then I’ll put the foot control on a Necchi Supernova and sell the Viking for parts.


  1. I own this machine. I bought it new and have kept all these years. I have all the cams and some of the feet and the table. the only thing wrong with mine is the timing is off. I can't find anyone who works on "old" machines. They only want to work on the newer ones and they are the ones that screwed up the timing.

    1. I picked this one up at a yard sale and it is complete but without a manual. It is a very heavy duty machine and we are looking forward to much use. If you have a manual, maybe I can get you in touch with my repair connection (old school sewing shop).

  2. "It took lots of exercising to free up the mechanisms" ----- my cams are stiff and even the straight stitch is very slow moving. So exercising by running the straight stitch will not tax the motor and do more damage? Thanks, Susan

    1. The motor is designed to work hard and continually. If it strains against the machine that is running stiffly it could cause damage to your motor. Feel on your hand wheel if it i very stiff. The Husqvarna motors are well made and is unlikely to get damaged. Some of these Husqvarna machines are two speed. You can achieve a fast and slow speed by pushing the bobbin winder in or pulling it out. It has a small gear system.

      If you turn the machine by the hand wheel it should move freely and with out to much strain. Sometimes cotton gets stuck behind your flywheel and can cause it to run tightly.

      A bit of oil behind your hook could help.

      Have a look at the slide show.

      Hope that helps

  3. Thanks so much for this information. No cotton caught. Straight stitching like normal, now..... must have self-lubricated from the other days activity. The turn knob for the cams is very very stiff, but can remove the cam. I am thinking of having it tuned and cleaned.

    Thanks again,
    River Forest, IL, USA

  4. It can do with some more cleaning probably. I've spend hours sometimes getting sticky parts running smoothly again. Warming up problem parts with your hair dryer will give you a good indication if it needs more cleaning. When it cools down it stiffs up again. Just be careful and try not to get direct heat on your plastic parts. I can cause damage. Make sure your pattern cam is not cracked. It is not to difficult to replace.

  5. Thanks very much for this post. I also have this machine. It was my mother's and it sat in the garage for 20 years. I had it tuned up 6 months ago and it seems to work well. My question is: how do I find out which Viking accessories work with the machine? I want to buy a walking foot. I've seen some from Viking on eBay, but I don't know if any of them are compatible with the 64 40. Do you know of any resources that provide this information?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi There

      I just posted a post that shows using a generic walking foot that fits most sewing machines. The part number is P60444. You can just search the part number.

      Have a look at the photos, and see if it suits your needs. I did not test it with material, but all align well.

      Hope that helps.