If you're like me, you just cannot pass on a free sewing machine. If you ever are told that "my old machine just doesn't work anymore", or "they wouldn't give me anything on trade in", or "I found this in moms basement"; if the machine is offered - TAKE IT!
This model 4552 SINGER was offered to our class at the senior center. The owner said it didn't work, and if we couldn't get to sew, just throw it away. I took it and tried it out. Well it sewed, but the stitch was so bad, I could see why it was offered. But I remembered somewhere reading that the first thing to do when attempting to "fix" a sewing machine was to clean it. After that, return all settings to as near to zero as practical. Put a proper new needle in and be sure it is correctly set. Thread the machine with new thread, according to the instruction manual. Instruction manuals are available on the Internet. Begin to sew a test piece of folded fabric. Inspect the stitches, and adjust the tensions as necessary.
Through experience I have found out that the above actions will return most old sewing machines to service.
This older SINGER model 4552 now lays down a near perfect stitch.......and it was free.