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

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Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

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

Old 12-28-14, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
I have my paternal grandmother's 1959 Bel-Air portable zig zag machine. I am going to have to figure out what is "off", something with the tension. If I recall correctly it was a Japanese copy of a Singer model. MY mom and grandmother bought one each. My Mom traded her's in on a Singer Golden Touch n' Sew in 1970 or so, you could only buy it with a table, and the machine could swing away for storage, it's claim to fame was automatic buttonholes, also had some interchangeable cams for decorative stitching.
She really regretted trading in the Bel-Air.

I have now a Pfaff 545 H3, the big bobbin model, a true workhorse. Straight stitch only though.
The Touch and Sew is often referred to as a Touch and Throw while those old Bel Air machines are really gaining some appreciation... they are 1950's cool and they work really well.

We have many a friend who has ditched their modern machine for one of these classic machines and when people ask I always point at these as great options.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:51 PM
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Sixty Fiver, I think there's an antique gene in some of us, I collect WWII, mostly, Lee-Enfields. To stay on topic, some have small bits made by Singer. My Mom had a portable very similar to the Singer 201 you pictured. I had the chore of moving it from and to the kitchen table. My sister has it now, if you want any info just let me know.

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Old 12-28-14, 11:29 PM
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An expert!! What is a surger as opposed to a sewing machine?
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Old 12-29-14, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
Sixty Fiver, I think there's an antique gene in some of us, I collect WWII, mostly, Lee-Enfields. To stay on topic, some have small bits made by Singer. My Mom had a portable very similar to the Singer 201 you pictured. I had the chore of moving it from and to the kitchen table. My sister has it now, if you want any info just let me know.

Brad
During WW2 Singer converted to wartime manufacture, like many others who had technological expertise and the ability to mass produce goods with an established work force was invaluable.
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Old 12-29-14, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Thumpic
An expert!! What is a serger as opposed to a sewing machine?
A serger is an overlock machine that also cuts as it sews, it can greatly speed production as it combines these steps. If you look inside many clothes at the seams you will see that they do not have ordinary stitches and that a serger has been used to form the seam and cut the material. With some fabrics like fleece it also prevents the edges from fraying.

Overlock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-29-14, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
Sixty Fiver, I think there's an antique gene in some of us, I collect WWII, mostly, Lee-Enfields. To stay on topic, some have small bits made by Singer. My Mom had a portable very similar to the Singer 201 you pictured. I had the chore of moving it from and to the kitchen table. My sister has it now, if you want any info just let me know.

Brad
Most early portables still weighed more than 20 pounds, the Singer Featherweight was introduced in the 1930's and only weighs 16 pounds in it's hard case, with normal accessories while the machine itself only weighs 11 pounds.

I picked this one up last week for a friend...



There are some very nice 3/4 machines out there that also curb out at less than 20 pounds packed.
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Old 12-29-14, 03:23 AM
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I'll play! My other hobby is restoring old woodworking machinery but I restored this White serger a while back. I can't remember why I needed a serger but this one ended up to be free (seller stated it worked, it didn't so he refunded my payment).

White serger:



Old woodworking machine:



An example of what I make with OWWM:

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Old 12-29-14, 07:14 AM
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You sewing machine guys probably already know this, but Singer also made guns in WWII:

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Old 12-29-14, 07:15 AM
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An example of what I make with OWWM:

[/QUOTE]

Damn, that is some fine work. That would make a very nice derailleur display case with some spot lighting installed....
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Old 12-29-14, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by autoteacher
I'll play! My other hobby is restoring old woodworking machinery but I restored this White serger a while back. I can't remember why I needed a serger but this one ended up to be free (seller stated it worked, it didn't so he refunded my payment).

Old woodworking machine:


That's some fine work, indeed.

Can you tell me just a bit more about what appears to be tiny lathes? Are they motor driven? My father was a cabinet maker, and he had a full-sized lathe, but I don't think I've ever seen these small ones before.

Thanks.

Great thread. I inherited several nice machines, but neither wife nor daughter show any interest in using them.
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Old 12-29-14, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by poprad
You sewing machine guys probably already know this, but Singer also made guns in WWII:

OK. I give up. How did "guns" slip through the Central Scrutinizer? Maybe plural is OK?

I did not know Singer made model 1911 clones during the War.
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Old 12-29-14, 08:29 AM
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I have a one hundred year anniversary Singer Featherweight that my Wife uses to piece her quilts with, it is great.
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Old 12-29-14, 08:31 AM
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Singer did not make clones, they made the real thing. They made them under contract with theUS Govt and only made like 500 and they are the most sought after, nicest, and most expensive 1911A1's made.
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Old 12-29-14, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
This is a 400 series machine, he may have had the earlier 300 series and they came in a few colours... people consider these to be among the best machines Singer ever made and were the last really good Singer machines as their quality dropped in the late 60's and they could not compete with the Japanese, who made a better machine for less money.

Any of these will last a lifetime, they are nearly commercial quality although they are not designed to handle really heavy materials.
Any interest in a (probably 1930s) Free-Westinghouse? Looks a lot like that black classic Singer in the picture but it's a bronze color. It was my mother's. AFAIK it still works but it would need a little TLC, at least oiling of the bearings.
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Old 12-29-14, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by autoteacher
I'll play! My other hobby is restoring old woodworking machinery
Extremely nice cabinet, Ed. Excellent.
I used to love to restore old woodworking, and metal working machines too. But my days of moving the big cast iron American made machines is over. Nice collection of old wood lathes there. As well as that cute little Craftsman/Dunlap metal lathe. Model 109, if I remember right. I started off with one of those but sold it on as I found better and better machines. Ending up with this minty, fully tooled Atlas/Craftsman model 101. 6 inch metal lathe. And my 10 inch Logan.


Last edited by rootboy; 12-29-14 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 12-29-14, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
Beautiful work there, as always.

Elias Howe invented the modern sewing machine, Isaac Singer improved on that design and after some lawsuits from Howe were settled they became partners and pretty much took over the sewing world, there production was so integrated they also raised the trees that they made their cabinets and cases from so employed many carpenters and labourers. Like Schwinn and Raleigh they controlled pretty much every aspect of their business and sold the production rights to other companies before their patents expired.

There are some hand built machines out there that are like hand built bicycles, they are exceedingly rare and much sought after and a small works of functional art... now I see a good number of people customizing old machines with new paint and powder too.

I just finished servicing a later model Kenmore for a young friend who wishes to sew, this is a Janome built machine which runs and stitches well and is very easy to use... this came with the same 25 year warranty as my 1976 Kenmore and this was probably a good idea as it is not nearly as robust, there is a lot of plastic where just about all of my machines have nicely machined gears and there were a lot of small springs which can cause issues when they fatigue.
Wow, vertical integration, like Henry Ford!
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Old 12-29-14, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
OK. I give up. How did "guns" slip through the Central Scrutinizer? Maybe plural is OK?

I did not know Singer made model 1911 clones during the War.
Yep, also lots of other businesses tooled up for the war, including Remington Rand and Union Switch and Signal:

https://www.american*****man.org/arti...n-world-war-ii

As to "GUNS" vs. "***" I'm not sure how that got through the censor correct-thoughtspeak filter. This begs an experiment:

****** P*I*S*T*O*L
***** R*I*F*L*E
********** M*A*C*H*I*N*E*G*U*N
revolver
carbine
*** G*A*T
heater
glock

interesting...results added post-censorship. Seems the forum prefers the conversations herein to be very rainbow unicorn, but they didn't put much effort into the filter. This could get fun.

WMD

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Old 12-29-14, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88
Singer did not make clones, they made the real thing. They made them under contract with theUS Govt and only made like 500 and they are the most sought after, nicest, and most expensive 1911A1's made.
True enough. I suppose "clone" was the wrong term. Even Colt's famous 1911 was just one of John Browning's splendidly designed pistola.
But I'll always think of the Colt as the "original", for some reason. Perhaps because the Army OB originally approached Colt, whom Browning was working for at the time, to produce a large caliber auto-loading pistola. BTW, my dad was issued one during the war, of course. But he preferred to carry his Colt model 1917 .45 revolver. Which I still have.

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Old 12-29-14, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LeicaLad
Can you tell me just a bit more about what appears to be tiny lathes? Are they motor driven? My father was a cabinet maker, and he had a full-sized lathe, but I don't think I've ever seen these small ones before.
Though your query was directed at Ed, LL…I'll chime in, since I'm sitting here. Those are all belt driven wood lathes, I believe, , with the exception of the one right center, which is a tiny metal lathe. Also belt driven. Several shown with the flat pulleys were driven by flat leather belts. Motor off the back with a similar flat, stepped pulley, or driven from a flat belt attached to a drive system running overhead. But that was usually used in large production shops. A couple of those machines used "V" belts, as indicated by the V step pulleys on the head stock. Like the blue machine.
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Old 12-29-14, 11:05 AM
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Every farmhouse in America must have had one of those foot powered Singers.
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Old 12-29-14, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Though your query was directed at Ed, LLÖI'll chime in, since I'm sitting here. Those are all belt driven wood lathes, I believe, , with the exception of the one right center, which is a tiny metal lathe. Also belt driven. Several shown with the flat pulleys were driven by flat leather belts. Motor off the back with a similar flat, stepped pulley, or driven from a flat belt attached to a drive system running overhead. But that was usually used in large production shops. A couple of those machines used "V" belts, as indicated by the V step pulleys on the head stock. Like the blue machine.
Rootboy,

You remain a rock star of this forum. It merely begins with your taste in bikes, but runs across an amazing spectrum of interests. Even better, you share those interests in such fun and informative ways. This has been a consistent trait over the years Iíve been here. My continued thanks.

This was the momís final machine. It dates from the mid-2000s, but I donít know the model nor its rank among models.



The women of my extended clan have owned all the major Singer specimens shown throughout this thread. I wish I knew where some of those machines were now. These machines bring back such great memories! What a great thread.

Somewhere, I have a Japan-market, all-metal Brother. A requested gift to the wife in the mid-90s. It was shipped into Burma, where we were at the time. Next to zero use in the years since. Oh, well. She does other things. . .

Those small lathes are fascinating to me, because they seem so small. Looking closer, they are not really THAT small. I guess I only remember my dadís quite large lathe. So utterly cool to see these.
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Old 12-29-14, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
OK. I give up. How did "guns" slip through the Central Scrutinizer? Maybe plural is OK?

I did not know Singer made model 1911 clones during the War.

And currently as rare as hens teeth. Only 500 made and all went to the Army Air corps.
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Old 12-29-14, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LeicaLad
That's some fine work, indeed.

Can you tell me just a bit more about what appears to be tiny lathes? Are they motor driven? My father was a cabinet maker, and he had a full-sized lathe, but I don't think I've ever seen these small ones before.

Thanks.

Great thread. I inherited several nice machines, but neither wife nor daughter show any interest in using them.


Top row left is a wood lathe made in New Hampshire by an unknown manufacturer "In Nashua" according to PO. Top right: Goodell Pratt #125 wood lathe and #29 polishin lathe. I also just completed a #125 metal cutting lathe.

Center row: Left, 1936 Craftsman wood lathe now being used by a guy in Kentucky Right is an AA "109" Craftsman screw cutting lathe. IIRC AA stands for Ann Arbor.

Bottom left: No name wood lathe, just sold as a "table piece" Right is a Walker Turner "Driver Line" wood lathe. Behind it is a WT polishing stand.

In my basement is a WF & John Barnes treadle powered screw cutting lathe. (I only mention it because it's foot powered like, well you know.)

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Old 12-29-14, 05:08 PM
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Model 29-4 I picked up from a guy who said it belonged to his grandma, who partied with Hitler in Poland. Serial # dates it back to 1900.



I also picked up a model 201-2 with the original manual dated 1941 by someone with a Japanese name. Hopefully he/she was able to keep their new Singer in whatever camp he/she ended up in.



My late father was a tailor, so I've been around sewing machines all my life.

The 29-4 patcher does everything from glove/shoe repairs to sewing armor and patches on motorcycle jackets.
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Old 12-29-14, 05:50 PM
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[h=1]My 1902 Egyptian motif Singer treadle machine. picked off the curb on town recycle day[/h]
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