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

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

Old 05-25-16, 08:31 AM
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Wow. Is that the cool pale green one from the 50's? Awfully tempting.
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Old 05-25-16, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
My little sewing obsession has turned into a side business here and although I am still collecting machines I have also been servicing and selling quite a few and booking house calls to take care of machines like treadles that are hard to move around.

Recently picked up what is considered to be the best machine Singer ever made, which is the model 201 and this is the belt driven version which made upgrading the motor to a later sealed unit pretty simple.

It is also running with a little more power than it originally came with.



A real workhorse right there 65'er. I love mine, with the potted motor. And it was a pleasure to overhaul such a fine, well-made machine.
I'd love to find one of those all metal foot controllers for mine if should happen to run across a spare.
The new plastic ones just don't cut it.
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Old 05-25-16, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
A real workhorse right there 65'er. I love mine, with the potted motor. And it was a pleasure to overhaul such a fine, well-made machine.
I'd love to find one of those all metal foot controllers for mine if should happen to run across a spare.
The new plastic ones just don't cut it.
The metal pedal replaced the old style Bakelite with the button controller... they have a nice feel.

The pedal and .8 amp motor came off the machine that now lives in the treadle (a 1952), the 201 is a 1948 machine.

Newer electronic pedals are also very nice, they offer some pretty excellent control and a nice feel.
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Old 05-25-16, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Wow. Is that the cool pale green one from the 50's? Awfully tempting.
Yes, it's "pale green". Is that "cool"? The top of the case is in very good condition. The base is a bit wonky.
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Old 05-25-16, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by slowtostart
Yes, it's "pale green". Is that "cool"? The top of the case is in very good condition. The base is a bit wonky.
The foot control is metal in that same "cool pale green".
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Old 05-25-16, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
My little sewing obsession has turned into a side business here and although I am still collecting machines I have also been servicing and selling quite a few and booking house calls to take care of machines like treadles that are hard to move around.

Recently picked up what is considered to be the best machine Singer ever made, which is the model 201 and this is the belt driven version which made upgrading the motor to a later sealed unit pretty simple.

It is also running with a little more power than it originally came with.



Thanks for the information! I've never seen a 201 illuminated from the rear of the head and missing the white "dot" toggle light switch at the lower right front of the machine. I'm sure there were many iterations of the "201". Which 201-? model is this?

All of mine, since 1941, left the factory with pot motors, light on the front of the machine, and that telltale white toggle light switch at the lower right where the power cord connects to the machine.

Might this be a regional variation?

STS
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Old 05-25-16, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by slowtostart
Thanks for the information! I've never seen a 201 illuminated from the rear of the head and missing the white "dot" toggle light switch at the lower right front of the machine. I'm sure there were many iterations of the "201". Which 201-? model is this?

All of mine, since 1941, left the factory with pot motors, light on the front of the machine, and that telltale white toggle light switch at the lower right where the power cord connects to the machine.

Might this be a regional variation?

STS
This is a 201-3 which came with a belt driven motor and was also treadle-able... the version with the potted motor and white power switch is a 201-2.

The 201k is the hand crank model with a spoked handwheel.
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Old 05-26-16, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver
This is a 201-3 which came with a belt driven motor and was also treadle-able... the version with the potted motor and white power switch is a 201-2.

The 201k is the hand crank model with a spoked handwheel.
Would a 201-3 fit in a standard treadle base? I'm thinking it could be very pleasant to sew outside.
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Old 05-26-16, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by slowtostart
Would a 201-3 fit in a standard treadle base? I'm thinking it could be very pleasant to sew outside.
Yep... it is one of the plusses of the machine in that it can be treadled.

For sewing outside a 201k can be fitted with a hand crank or may come equipped with one.
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Old 05-26-16, 08:58 AM
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Some nice machines in this thread! I started collecting sewing machines quite by accident, my late wife developed an interest in them and suddenly I had about a dozen of them. Since her passing, I've gotten rid of most of them, but still have my Singer 66, 503 and 403 machines. Had four or five of the 600 series, as well as a 15, don't remember the others.

A few people try to sell these old machines for big bucks on Craigslist, but in reality it's hard to get much money for most of them. Singer made a bazillion of them, and they were made well so they last forever, meaning there's a ton of them available--just visit any thrift store and there's likely an old Singer sitting in the corner for $30 or so. A simple cleaning (especially the thread tension dial which is always gummed up) and they are easily brought back to life to sew for another 50 years.
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Old 05-28-16, 11:37 AM
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Wow! This is the most interesting non-bicycle thread on this forum: )
So many similarities with a bike interest, surely?

My particular interest is the pre-plastic era, (Pre 1963ish) when steel was really the best.
I restrict myself to Singers, particularly the 400 Slant series, but there are many other makers....
I got a couple of 401s, a 404 straight stitch & a 411 just now.
This is the 404.

A simple straight stitch machine that must be the most reliable of its type. Capable of heavy duty use, with nothing much to go wrong!!

That's enough for me, but I am watching a classy 201 currently.
Too many bikes, & soon too many sewing machines.
Probably; )
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Old 05-28-16, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dim
my wife has a Singer Featherweight 222k which I bought at a carboot sale for 15 and in immaculate condition .... she hardly uses it but prices are pretty high for these and they are becoming very sought after ...
The Featherweights are very cool, but quite expensive now!
Next is the 401/404/411 Slant o'matic series I predict/believe: )
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Old 05-28-16, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bicyclz
Wow! This is the most interesting non-bicycle thread on this forum: )
So many similarities with a bike interest, surely?

My particular interest is the pre-plastic era, (Pre 1963ish) when steel was really the best.
I restrict myself to Singers, particularly the 400 Slant series, but there are many other makers....
I got a couple of 401s, a 404 straight stitch & a 411 just now.
This is the 404.

A simple straight stitch machine that must be the most reliable of its type. Capable of heavy duty use, with nothing much to go wrong!!
That is a 404G, made in Germany... just sold one to a friend in Washington state.

One of my favourite machines is my 403A, it has no built in stitches but has enough cams to do anything you want and without the built in stitches it is less fussy.
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Old 05-28-16, 01:27 PM
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One of my favourite machines is this early 50's Husqvarna 21 Automatic, built when they started to move away from copying other companies and became very innovative.

It is fast, smooth, powerful and has a really nice free arm, it also has a set of cams that allows for 20 patterned stitches.

In really nice condition these tend to sell for a lot more than your average vintage machine.

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Old 05-28-16, 01:38 PM
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Singer machines are a bit like Raleighs I reckon.
Lots of insignificant models, but certain ones shine.

It's all about choosing.
As with bikes: )
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Old 05-28-16, 04:09 PM
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My 185 J is still seeking a home. I'm near the intersection of RT 81 and the PA Turnpike. Please PM me if interested.

Sixty Fiver, I'd love to find a vintage free arm machine! Time to look for one of those.
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Old 06-07-16, 03:42 AM
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Singer 99K anybody?

Just got two very nice 99Ks. (In UK obviously...) The K relates to Kilbowie, Scotland.
They were in production from 1911 to 1962ish here, so quite common. (Every household had a sewing machine back in the day.)
But quite rare now in pristine condition.

These two are 1946 & 1918 & in pretty nice condition. Minimal usage chips & decals 99%. Working as they should now!

The cases need a little tidying/polishing, but very cool I think: )

Both have working locks & keys.
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Old 06-09-16, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Bicyclz
Just got two very nice 99Ks. (In UK obviously...) The K relates to Kilbowie, Scotland.
They were in production from 1911 to 1962ish here, so quite common. (Every household had a sewing machine back in the day.)
But quite rare now in pristine condition.

These two are 1946 & 1918 & in pretty nice condition. Minimal usage chips & decals 99%. Working as they should now!
The cases need a little tidying/polishing, but very cool I think: )

Both have working locks & keys.
The 99 is one of my favourite machines, hand crank models are harder to find on this side of the pond but conversion kits are available and electric models can be retrofitted... my 1948 Singer 99 is now a hand crank.

It is such a smooth running machine and lays down a very nice stitch.


Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 06-17-16 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 06-10-16, 09:00 AM
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When my wife, Claudia, graduated from college in '81, her mom bought her a new Bernina 801, a machine that Claudia treasured for almost thirty years. Then, she loaned it to her sister, who somehow managed to lose it. Yes, that sounds like BS to me, too.

I would like to buy another 801 for Claudia in as close to perfect condition as possible. If you have one or can send me a lead, please PM me.

Thanks.

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Old 06-17-16, 11:19 AM
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Picked this early 1950's Husqvarna Rotary up yesterday morning, the damage to the hook assembly probably means this machine was not used for a very long time but I had a spare from a machine I picked up some weeks ago.

These Swedish machines are so well made, they can easily match and even rival the Singers of the day for speed and stitch quality and tend to have much more powerful motors. This machine has a motor under the bed but can also take a rear mounted motor in the event you wanted to run one with even more power.



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Old 06-17-16, 12:20 PM
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Are these Italian Necchi machines any good?

Vintage Italian Necchi Esperia Sewing machine & table

Italian Sewing Machine
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Old 06-17-16, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote
I had a Necchi for many years that appeared to be of similar vintage: I repaired a lot of backpacks, tents, and clothing with it and never had a problem.
But I have almost zero expertise in sewing machines, so can't tell you if my experience was exceptional or the norm.
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Old 06-17-16, 10:27 PM
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My Mom swears by her Necchi Super Nova Ultra (and who can top that model name?)
I can attest to it being a workhorse for DECADES!

I just saw an East German machine at the local Goodwill, I presume it's 110V but the ONE thing it's missing is the power cord/rheostat so no way to test it...looks built like an Eastern Block brickhouse!
Anybody want me to act as purchasing agent? Be the first on your block to own one! I'm sure the price will be good (good for SF, that is!)
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Old 06-18-16, 05:06 AM
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If I was close to that greenish-gray Necchi...I'd go get it.
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Old 06-18-16, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
If I was close to that greenish-gray Necchi...I'd go get it.
It does look cool, but I have an old White that works OK for the minimal sewing that gets done around here. Also I would have to find a place to put it and there are too many bikes in the way.
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