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My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

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My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

Old 11-12-17, 01:21 AM
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Fired up the Singer 328 Style-O-Matic this evening. I was a bit rusty and it was a bit dusty, had not used it for a few years, once I got it dialed in for the task it ran like a champ. It was my Mom's who passed away 7 years ago, besides the memories it is one of the few material things I held on to. Thanks much Mom!

Not mine however looks just like this:

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Old 11-12-17, 02:27 PM
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I'm in the Singer featherweight club too, guys. I may have already posted but I couldn't find it. I inherited my step-fathers, sisters sewing machine. Complete with box, handbook, and the little oil can. It runs but needs love. I live just around the corner from a specialist in these older sewing machines but for the moment it's mostly decorative. Great example of solid craftsmanship, I think some of my bikes weigh less!
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Old 06-17-18, 04:08 PM
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Here is my Necchi Supernova, picked it up at a flea market a few years ago, it works well with canvas, strap webbing, and even thin leather but I need to gear it down a bit. I got it around the same time I was getting into Italian Bikes and campy components so it was fun to have this project going at the same time.
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Old 06-17-18, 11:28 PM
  #254  
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No pictures yet, but a pan! I just finished building up/restoring two Raleigh Sports3-speeds for my daughter and myself. We plan on riding in a classic British Cycle event this September in the Twin Cities. The daughter is pretty pumped up for the ride, so she’s going to break out the old Featherweight and sew up our kit for the ride. We’ll see how it goes.
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Old 06-18-18, 08:12 AM
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We have a LOT of sewing machines, but here's one you don't see every day -
This photo was right after we got it (Much shinier, now)
We bought this 130 a couple years ago, from a woman that was using it as an "antique" display item

SHE got it from an Air Force officer's wife, who bought it when her husband was stationed in Germany.
Originally owned by a tailor, there, I think - In the drawer, I found old repair receipts from a shop in Heidelberg .
I really like the mission-style treadle stand, complete with a little bracket for an oil can.

It was completely stuck, and hadn't sewn in many years, but after completely going though it,
and adjusting everything (including the table), and setting it up with a new leather belt, it sews beautifully.
Now, I just have to re-finish the table ...........
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Old 09-09-19, 11:28 AM
  #256  
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Originally Posted by brandonk


Here is my Necchi Supernova, picked it up at a flea market a few years ago, it works well with canvas, strap webbing, and even thin leather but I need to gear it down a bit. I got it around the same time I was getting into Italian Bikes and campy components so it was fun to have this project going at the same time.
I just got turned on to Necchi machines...and went overboard in the same week:

Left-right: Nora NA, BU Mira, BU Nova.

I got the Nora working 100% (including some wiring work). But BU Mira has issues with L/R needle position and subsequently ZigZag. It seems to have been dropped on its face (bent and broken levers there).

The BU Mira was seized up. Got it working

Also in the collection:

Singer 201 (1947) complete with cabinet, full assortment of accessories, books, etc... rewired myself. 100% working.

Japanese DeLuxe Model 1952 branded "Ambassador". Super clean and smooth. Still need to rewire it. Seems to be like new otherwise.

Japanese DeLuxe Model DOM-B Super ZigZag in working cabinet. Branded "Rocket". 100%.

Japanese White Super Delux 967 in cabinet. Was seized. Working but stitch length knob isn't working. Is plastic.

Modern machines:

Pfaff Passport 3.0 (a really good basic machine)

Sailrite LS-1 (Thompson Mini Walker clone with upgrades).


FYI: If you are looking for a high quality travel case for your vintage machines, the Sailrite case works (you may need to modify it):

https://www.sailrite.com/Ultrafeed-S...-Carrying-Case



It uses the same pin standard that Singer uses. I got my 201 into the case but I had to shave off some of the wood to allow for it. Other machines went in with no issues. It's a truly industrial case. The kind of case that bands might use on tour.
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Old 09-30-19, 08:59 PM
  #257  
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https://thebicycleacademy.org/pages/...ewing-machines

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Old 01-30-20, 06:55 AM
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Was in a thrift the other day and saw this Singer. Looks like it may have been converted from treadle to motor. Every bit of it had wonderful patina. Asking price was $25.










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Old 01-30-20, 11:28 AM
  #259  
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thinktubes , I think this is the first time I've ever seen an industrial machine mistaken for a domestic machine 99.99% of the time it's the other way around.

That's an electric industrial machine, not sure how old maybe 1940s(?). Modern industrial machines still use a belt system like that. Example: https://www.sailrite.com/Sailrite-Fa...se-Servo-Motor

Here is some info on the differences between domestic and industrial machines: https://vssmb.blogspot.com/2012/04/d...ndustrial.html

Basically, they are built to withstand "sweatshop" abuse of being run constantly for 12+ hrs at a time. Such would disintegrate domestic sewing machines, modern or vintage. Kinda like the differences between the pans and knives you'd see in a restaurant kitchen vs those used for typical home use.
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Old 01-31-20, 12:17 AM
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Singer made some of the best examples of the M-1 Garand rifle during the Second World War, as well.
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Old 01-31-20, 01:13 AM
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I will call my own B.S.: Turns out Singer did not manufacture Garands. It is an urban myth. They did make highly desireable 1911A1's, as previously stated, and receivers for the M-1 carbine. And a plethora of other parts for the war effort.
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Old 02-08-21, 01:01 PM
  #262  
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Originally Posted by thinktubes
Was in a thrift the other day and saw this Singer. Looks like it may have been converted from treadle to motor. Every bit of it had wonderful patina. Asking price was $25.
That's a Singer 96-10, a great industrial machine. Quite a few of them still in service. For $25, that would have been in the back of my pickup in 3 seconds. That induction motor and massive clutch are beasts.

That connecting rod thing on the back is linked to a knee lever under the table for lifting the shoe.
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Old 02-08-21, 06:48 PM
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My Grandmother was a seamstress that late in her career did piece work. She had the same or similar machine as thinktubes posted. Having the foot lift by using your knee is a great advantage. It allows you to position the work more quickly using both hands. And the big induction motor has no problem going through 8 or more layers of canvas. It also goes fast. I did some canvas work on it It is a workhorse. My grandmother did dresses and garments. It only does straight stiches, but it does them well and that covers about 95% of what you need unless you are doing sails.

At some point in my life, I will inherit that machine. I don't know where it will go, I have 4 domestic machines already. At least those I can put away, my grandmother's industrial machine takes up some space. I want to keep this machine, but we don't have room.

Vintage sewing machines are so undervalued. At least some of them get saved. When I see people in Walmart or JoAnne's buying new machine, I resist the temptation to tell them to get an old machine. Someone that I work with made a disparaging comment about a sewing machine that it was so old that the motor was separate from the body of the machine. That is when I realized that he was onto something. All the machines that I have have the motor mounted separate from the body. While a separate motor is not an indicator of a good machine, it does set a line where it gets my interest.

I don't belong to any sewing forums, however, I do enjoy reading or looking at videos of older sewing machines.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:12 PM
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Used to watch my grandma workout on a Singer treadle. Was fascinated by it. In later years, I was given a beautiful Singer treddle in an Oak cabinet w/ drawers that somehow got lost in a move?
My mom had a White in the 50ís. Being somewhat young & curious about itís mechanics, I started taken it apart & couldnít figure out how to piece it back together. Fortunately, a neighbor was a mechanical engineer & assembled the machine back to working order.
From there, I began doing a bit of sewing & became fairly proficient at it, Taught my wife how to sew on it & she soon used it regularly. This White (forget the model) lasted well until Y2K, when it finally broke down.
I then bought my wife a cheapo Singer that turned out to be total junk & went into the recycle dept when it would not hold a stitch. A couple years afterwards, we got an older Sears Kenmore (model 158.19460) from the late 60ís that has a solid metal casing & has proven to be a workhorse of a machine. Plenty good for our household needs.


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Old 02-08-21, 09:01 PM
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I worked for Singer. Not the sewing machine division but for the Friden Division. Singer bought Friden in the early 1960's Friden was best known for there mechanical calculators. There were the only company to build a working square root mechanical machine. I was one of only 100 guys they trained to repair it. The course was over two months long after you has a vast knowledge on there other machines. I taught in there school in Rochester on and off for several years teaching there electronic equipment. Singer just shut it down with no notice. I hated them for a long time. They also bought another company I did a lot of work for ,Link Aviation. Ed Link was a personal fiend as we lived on the same street. Link built the Luner Lander Trainer and I did a small bit on it. Not a fan of Singer.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:14 PM
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I feel for you EddyR . I worked for a great company that was based in Rochester, New York. The division that I worked for was in New England. I enjoyed coming to work everyday and gave the job all of my best efforts. It didn't hurt that we were making money and were a leader in our industry either. One day they announced that they were laying off 85% of the people in our division. Achievements, relationships that were developed with customers, years of commitment, it all didn't matter. They needed to show a good quarter for investors. I was lucky and was one of the chosen one. It was luck, not ability that allowed me to stay. I left soon after while I could.

The company that I worked for before this one seemed to be in chaos. Mismanaged and the leaders did not understand the new division that they just acquired that I worked for. Their stock price kept going up. I asked my manager why that was and he said "it was based on perception not reality". Investors don't know what is really going on. I got out of there too.

It is not just Singer, all companies that have investors are focused on maintaining stock prices and having a good quarterly statement.

We a little tangent to the main topic now. To pull it back just a little, Singer seems to make the least desirable sewing machines nowadays. Almost any brand is better. Some people get a Singer, realize that they like sewing and that their machine is built like a Huffy (intended only for a few hours of operation). Then spend a large amount of money to get a high end machine that they may not actually need trying to avoid the Singer mistake.
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Old 02-09-21, 09:59 PM
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The Necchi "Supernova" looks just like the machine my Mom has used since I was a child and STILL sews with today. She used it to make cloth facemasks for the family, as stocking stuffers, this Xmas. Hers is the "Supernova Ultra" model, so obviously it has that little extra "ultra"!
I recently picked up a Singer slant needle 301, black finish and after a little clean/oil the thing runs like a champ! Never seen one before but am impressed. I picked it up off the sidewalk, a Covid cast-off, walked the machine home and then drove back to pick up the cabinet but by then the furniture was gone. Oh well.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
It seems that I am not the only one here who takes great pleasure in tracking down and acquiring vintage sewing machines (and derailing other threads)
Now thatís Classic lol! 🤣
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Old 04-07-21, 02:38 AM
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And before I knew it I read all of this thread.

I recently got a Husqvarna Combina 19E, a Swedish made machine from the 60's I believe. A neighbour of mine got a new machine and this one needed some work so I got it for free.
There are some issues with cable tension and I have never used one of these before but I do have use for it in the future as I plan to make a new fabric chain case for a 1977 Gazelle Tandem.

In the meantime I have oiled the machine and replaced the original incandescent bulb with an LED model because those things get burning hot!

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Old 04-08-21, 08:50 PM
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So, ummm...anyone got a Cornely?

Singer 114W103?

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Old 04-21-21, 05:09 PM
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Anybody know anyone that deals in old sewing machines in the Pacific NW? I find myself in possession of a 1965 Singer 7-33 that I will never use. My dad used it make "Old West" stuff like the tops for covered wagons and canvas tool bags. Seems to be in good condition but I know nothing about sewing machines. Pics or it didn't happen:

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Old 01-27-22, 12:52 PM
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One phone call, my mom was down. She had decided to part with her grandmother's treadle Singer sewing machine and cabinet. I said, "I'll take it and restore it!" She was ecstatic.

So, many hours restoring the wood cabinet, tearing down the machine itself, lots of cleaning and 10s of coats of lacquer resulted in this:




I got it sewing again, but I prefer to use electric machines over the pedal-powered treadle, so it sits.
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Old 01-30-22, 10:25 PM
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Seamstress

My mom also was a professional seamstress. The machine she brought with her from Italy was a Necchi . You could use it buy manually moving a paddle on the bottom, or electric motor. She sewed all my sisters clothes and worked in Chicago factory called Hart Shafner and Marx. They made fine quality men's suites.
Very talented women they were, knit, crotched , sewed , she could make her own patterns and custom fit, excellent cook, baker, canning and making homemade sauce , etc, etc, etc...

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Old 01-30-22, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rossiny
My mom also was a professional seamstress. The machine she brought with her from Italy was a Necchi . You could use it buy manually moving a paddle on the bottom, or electric motor. She sewed all my sisters clothes and worked in Chicago factory called Hart Shafner and Marx. They made fine quality men's suites.
Very talented women they were, knit, crotched , sewed , she could make her own patterns and custom fit, excellent cook, baker, canning and making homemade sauce , etc, etc, etc...
Your mom sounds like she was a very interesting person. I wish there was a way to capture peoplesí talents before they leave our world.
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Old 01-31-22, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by theofam
One phone call, my mom was down. She had decided to part with her grandmother's treadle Singer sewing machine and cabinet. I said, "I'll take it and restore it!" She was ecstatic.

So, many hours restoring the wood cabinet, tearing down the machine itself, lots of cleaning and 10s of coats of lacquer resulted in this:




I got it sewing again, but I prefer to use electric machines over the pedal-powered treadle, so it sits.

But wasn't your mom thrilled to see this end result?!?

Gawd, how I love this thread! Keep 'em coming.
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