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Thread: Don't do what I did - non-working Necchi Supernova

  1. #1
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Don't do what I did - non-working Necchi Supernova

    I originally posted about this on Miriam's thread about taking a sledge hammer to a recalcitrant machine of hers, Sewing Machine MADNESS but since the story would sort of sidetrack that post, I thought I'd let it go this separate direction. To bring you up to date, yesterday I - impulsively and without trying it out - bought a Necchi Supernova. Can't really explain myself. It has a nice, functional cabinet, and the price was right (though DH might tend to raise his eyebrows). Let's just call it a learning experience. I have had quite a few of those, but there's always room for one more.
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    Anyway, when I plugged it in the light came on, but the motor has about as much life in it as last year's Thanksgiving turkey. It could be the foot pedal or the wiring, or it could be the motor really is quite dead. The good news is the seller has offered to refund my money, but I don't really want to part with the machine yet. He says I can see what I can do before I decide. Sweet man, except he said in the ad it "works fine!"

    My experience with servicing motors extends no further than replacing the brushes in an ancient Sunbeam Mixmaster maybe 20 years ago, with, shall we say, mixed results. I have rewired a foot pedal and I may check that out here, since it's a relatively simple thing to try.

    So I was sitting here with the machine on a table nearby, and I glanced over admiring the elegant design of this Italian wonder, when I noticed that the cover plate over the motor area is held on neatly with exactly 2 screws, so of course I had to have a look inside.
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    The kleenex used to wipe the inside of the cover:
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    Oh dear. The poor thing seems to have been spewing a lot of black goo. It was all over everything in there, an eighth of an inch thick. Something tells me this is not a favorable sign. Oddly, the belt is not only intact but seems healthy. I don't think anyone replaced it recently because there were no fingerprints, which most certainly would have shown up in that mess. The hand wheel turns slick as a whistle and the needle goes up and down. I haven't threaded it to see if it will make stitches because first I had to order a manual and don't have it yet. I'd better not mess around with things until I can get some clue. Now it seems I may need to look for a service manual, too.

    I just wanted to share this experience because it's so much fun (sort of like a migraine). But isn't this machine a beauty? It's hard to believe that it dates to the late 1950's. It's so sleek that, except for the slightly clunky switches and knobs, the external design is not much different from the brand new machines of today, though of course it's not plastic. I'm sure that if I can get it working I will like it as much as I do my mom's Elna, which is probably at least 10 years newer, but very similar in concept.

    I would enjoy hearing from others who have had experience with this model.
    We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
    ~ Charles Kingsley

  2. #2
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    Great story. No experience here but i admire your perserverance. Hope u get it working.
    Linda

  3. #3
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    There is a great technician in Missouri City, TX that can probably service that machine for you.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Lew Schiller's Avatar
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    That's a beautiful machine - I'd take it in a heartbeat

  5. #5
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    I'm trying to land one of those - my husband keeps telling me the ones I find are too expensive (he prefers the $25 and under crowd). In my area, I don't think I'll get one for under $75 unless I end up in just the right place at the right time!

    I'm not sure why I want one, but I love the rotating needle plate!
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  6. #6
    Super Member mlmack's Avatar
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    Looks like you are missing the two switches on the right of the machine bed. One of them controls the power/light, and the other controls the speed of the machine. It could be that your machine is in low speed. Though it also looks like the bed has a hole for a treadle belt, so those machines may have a different switch arrangement. My machine doesn't have that.

    Older Necchis had really close tolerances, so they require regular oiling, so it is also possible that your machine just needs a good cleaning and oiling.

    If you didn't pay a lot for the machine, I would keep it and work on it.

    The necchisewingmachineclub yahoo group has a lot of information that might be helpful, though you will have to join it in order to be able to access their files section.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/n...tions/messages
    Mark

  7. #7
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips!

    DeniseM, I'm familiar with Little Stitches in Missouri City. Is that the one you mean? I didn't know they worked on vintage machines. They have done warranty service on a new machine I have, and they are good, but an hour drive away from me. Also, professional repairs would cost a lot more than I paid for the machine, which makes me think I need to figure out how to do whatever it needs before I go that route.

    Mark, the tops of the switches are broken off, but they do work pretty easily with a thumbnail. I've tried the motor in both positions, and there isn't the slightest hum coming from it. From the look of all that black gunk that spewed from it at one time, it seems fairly likely the motor burned out. Thanks for the link to the Yahoo group. I've put in my application to join.
    We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
    ~ Charles Kingsley

  8. #8
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    This machine was designed to convert to treadle and actually was in some of the user manuals! So, if a motor problem, maybe not all lost???? Or if not interested in treadle, can sell as one. . . .

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Rose_P,

    From your picture I'd say your machine was way over oiled. That is what has caused the black crap as well as the gunk I see in the pic. Try cleaning the belt and pulleys with denatured alcohol and a rag, that should help.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Rose_P,

    From your picture I'd say your machine was way over oiled. That is what has caused the black crap as well as the gunk I see in the pic. Try cleaning the belt and pulleys with denatured alcohol and a rag, that should help.

    Joe
    I could believe that could be part of the problem, but the motor would have to have some sign of life to move anything, wouldn't it? When I turn the hand wheel the belt turns just fine, and the pully on the motor rotates easily when the belt goes. Maybe - just maybe - the problem is in the foot pedal after all.

    OK. Now I have opened the pedal, and it does indeed to have a problem, but unfortunately it's not a problem with the wire. It seems that when you push the pedal no contact is made. There's a little device that moves, but it just flops around and doesn't move anything, and the metal piece that looks as if it needs to be pulled in to make contact and complete the circuit has no response to pushing the pedal. It's intriguing, but I have no clue how to fix it. I think my best bet will be to find a replacement power cord/foot pedal. The wires are not wonderfully flexible, though I've seen worse. Replacing that would be a relatively painless thing that would probably be a good idea in any case. Off to see who might have one for sale. The plug is 4-prong, unlike any on my other machines.
    We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
    ~ Charles Kingsley

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