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Thread: Anybody heard of a Nelco sewing machine? Worth fixing up?

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    Senior Member Sharon - NC's Avatar
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    My parents saw one at a yard sale and bought it for me, since they knew I wanted to get into quilting. It was only $25, and came with the table/stand. The man who sold it told them it was his wife's, and she was a professional seamstress. The instruction book has a lot of her handwritten notes in it. My question is: it works, but the tension is "off" so I need to put some money into it to get it working perfectly. I don't know if this is a good machine and worth fixing or not. I have purchased a refurbished brother so I can use that now, but this "old" one seems real sturdy and probably worth fixing. Since I've never heard of Nelco, I'm not sure if it is worth it ... anybody know of it? Opinions? Thanks in advance for your input.

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    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    My mom bought one 20 years ago from some type of overstock sale. It had tension problems and we could never get it fixed. I don't know that she spent much money trying, but it was a headache from the start. If you can find someone that would try to fix it CHEAP, then it might be worth it, but I wouldn't spend much money on it...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sharon - NC's Avatar
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    Thanks, Rachel. Interesting that it's the same problem. I appreciate the heads-up.

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    Sounds like they've been around for a long time and are still being made.. for commercial use... here's a place to start investigating. http://en.allexperts.com/q/Sewing-32...ing-manual.htm

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sharon - NC's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tippy!

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    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    My first really nice machine was a Nelco, purchased back in 1972, and I loved it. I don't remember why I got rid of it but I believe, because I was moving around so much, that it was just too heavy to continue moving around so I had to give it up. Be sure you check both the bobbin and upper tension. The bobbin tension is easy to fix, upper tension is trickier. Take it in and ask your service technician to give you an estimate and explanation of what's wrong. If it's an easy fix - go for it! The older machines have all metal parts, are heavier and more durable, which is a major plus when quilting. My Nelco did everything a Pfaff could do for about a fifth of the cost. I wish I still had it.

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    Hi lalaland(I love your name!)
    I have a beautiful, well taken care of Nelco Sewing Machine (no.50917). It belonged to my Grandmother and I'm sure that she would be happy to see that it went to someone who truly appreciated it. If you are interested in purchasing it, I also live in California and could try to arrange something for you.

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    I just had to respond. I've had my Nelco serger for around 20 years. I've made numerous bridesmaid dresses in addition to quilts, alterations, baby blankets, tons of mending and too many things to remember. I absolutely love my machine. When it was new - I jotted down some basic tension settings from the manual for standard seams, rolled hems, gathering, etc and those notes still work all these years later. If the tension is messed up - it usually means I haven't gotten the thread snugged down into the tension dials. You have to gently tug it into the groove each time you change thread. Perhaps some models are better than others and I don't honestly know what model mine is, but it still works great and I still love my machine.

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    Nelco Sewing Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon - NC View Post
    My parents saw one at a yard sale and bought it for me, since they knew I wanted to get into quilting. It was only $25, and came with the table/stand. The man who sold it told them it was his wife's, and she was a professional seamstress. The instruction book has a lot of her handwritten notes in it. My question is: it works, but the tension is "off" so I need to put some money into it to get it working perfectly. I don't know if this is a good machine and worth fixing or not. I have purchased a refurbished brother so I can use that now, but this "old" one seems real sturdy and probably worth fixing. Since I've never heard of Nelco, I'm not sure if it is worth it ... anybody know of it? Opinions? Thanks in advance for your input.
    Hi: Just seen your question about a Nelco Sewing Machine. I have one that I have used since 1965. I purchased it in 1965. This machine is a sister to the Necchi Sewing Machine, which is a very expensive sewing machine. I used it so much that about 20 years ago I purchased a new motor for it. They are located in New York. I can't begin to tell you how much I have used this machine. I have made so many pairs of drapes, awnings, boat covers, dresses, costumes for boy scouts you name it this machine has done it. This machine cost more back in 1965 than the cheaper machines cost now. It is well made and whatever it needs fix it. You can't possibly buy a machine made today that will be the work horse that one is. If you need the manual I still have mine, however that machine is so easy to use.
    Good luck. Joyce

  10. #10
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    The New Yorker who imported Italian made Necchi sewing machines in the late 50s decided to make a machine on his own. He had these made in Japan, which normally means a well made machine. Necchi sued as the name he was using was way too close to Necchi and the machines are not in any way Necchis or related to them. I think Nelco was the new name he chose.

    I'd get the tension worked on one time. These old Japanese machines are workhorses, as previous posted have indicated.

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