I've always liked taking things apart. Putting them back together - well, necessary evil? I think I've had every machine I've ever owned and a few I didn't own apart and back together at one time or another or one part or another... The real addiction started with a machine I pulled out of the trash. It was a Singer 401G. Yeah I had worked on machines over the years but nothing that seriously messed up and mostly newer. Take apart a tension or a bobbin area. Tweak out things a bit here and there - fix the timing on my industrial machine after the latest thread jam. That Singer 401G machine I pulled out of the trash was covered in brown stuff, dried leaves and maybe doggie doo - lots of smelly brown... My sister dared me to fix it up. It took a while but I got brown stuff cleaned up. Then I got a power cord from my mom's FW. The machine sewed but the stitch selector knobs were stuck - not enough brown stuff off... Not all that surprising now... Well, I put 3 in 1 oil on everything. Wow it worked! Then the 3 in 1 oil set up and NOTHING moved - rock solid stuck - the whole machine was set up like a concrete statute. Back to SQUARE ONE. YIKES! I think I tried about everything to get that thing freed back up. I did it. Then I needed some attachments. HM I had a Necchi long shank with plenty of attachments - looked pretty close... BAD horrid idea. Some how the needlebar moved and the machine went out of timing. So I had to re-time it. I think I must have worked on that machine off and on for a year before everything worked right. It helped when I found a manual. LOL. (In between times I found other old machines - it is easy to find them in Indianapolis for some reason.) I found myself wanting to do another machine and another machine. We had a house with a back porch with windows all the way around. Unfortunately the windows held up the walls and roof. The door did not really shut so you could lock it. One day someone got in there, threw an old Godzilla MW machine through the patio door and ransacked our house. Strike one. Then I had a couple Singer Touch and Sew machines I was trying to figure out how to use on a bench out there. (A manual is NECESSARY for using a T&S - do not try it with out a manual) I didn't realize the roof was leaking. And boy did it leak. The machines rusted solid inside. I had other machines out there but they were in cases so did not do more damage. The rust was not something you could see at a passing glance. Strike two. Then we bought an ugly little cottage mostly for garden space and garage space. Ok it was very cheap - cheaper than renting a storage unit for DHs junk. Then came winter. It was cold out on that porch. Yes it had windows but it wasn't enough. I had maybe 10 machines I got free on CL to see what I could do.... It was just too cold. Strike 3. So I moved the 'shop' to the attached garage behind the ugly little cottage we bought for the garage and yard... the house had some issues. Then I kept getting machines - I don't know why but they do find their way to my little shop. This fall Glenn and his wife Pat helped us move the machines into the new shop in the formerly ugly little cottage. DH lovingly fixed up a lot of the yucky stuff about the place. There is more to do... The place is packed full of old vintage sewing machines. Anyway. Usually I try to restore the machines I get to working condition. There have been a few learning experiences along the way. Not all got fixed. Some machine were bought as donors to repair other machines - some just to take apart and learn. I have bought out a few dealers, etc. The walls are lined with old machines. There are 3 plastic wonders in there somewhere I think. I think they even work. Lately the DGKs have been invading and learning to clean and oil old derelict machines. When they come over and I am not here and they don't get to work on machines they get grouchy. Who would have guessed that working on old machines is better than toys or videos or making mud pies or going to the zoo or what ever. Working on old machines is their favorite thing. I am afraid they got sewing machine oil on their skin and it went into their blood - now they want to work on old sewing machines. Scary isn't it? Happens to the best of us. Oh and the old porch was pulled out and a new roof put on and the patio doors filled in - regular door there now - more work to get in. Back to the subject, well sort of... I started a thread about crushing a rusted out Touch and Sew - then others have chimed in and had a ton of fun with it, too.
Links: Sewing Machine MADNESS - don't look if you are easily offended - I went crazy
I was having a VERY frustrating day that day. I needed that so bad. DH helped - he says he needed it, too.
So send in the clowns:
Hey Mirriam - I see you sold that machine!
So far I think there are 4 or 5 'new' avatars with Crush and Sow pictures... LOL I love it. Way too funny.
I've been debating do I turn Wilbur loose with a magnet and let him sort out aluminum and iron or do I keep that T&S a dirty little secret until he is much much older? I sure don't want him thinking he can fix things with a hammer... He might wonder why we didn't fix that one. I have to admit for years I did not like T&S machines. BUT I have now come to appreciate some of the Touch and Sew machines. When they work they are pretty nice machines. Usually, they are pretty inexpensive. Some are all metal. They do the same things the 401 and 500 machines do PLUS they can be set up to do chain stitch! I think what turned me off on the Touch & Sew machines was home ec in school. We got one in the middle of the semester. We went from 201s and 404s to T&S we were given very little information - no manual. For me it was an ordeal. I spent most of my time digging out thread nests in the bobbin area and trying once again to fill a bobbin, then going home and having to sew my wool dress on Mom's FW. I got the A but no thanks to the T&S. That was the last I took home ec and the last I used a newer Singer - especially a T&S until I needed parts for a 401... Just recently I got a couple that work great. Then I decided with good instructions and a bit of patience they are a good machine after all. They really are more than just parts machines. The other awakening I had was the long bobbin machines. I've never really known much about them. Yes I learned on an old long bobbin hand crank - used it until I ran the needle through my finger. After that the machine disappeared never to be seen again. I really don't remember how it worked or if I ever knew how to thread it or if I knew how to thread the bobbin... I bought out an old sewing machine shop. In the stash was a couple old long bobbin machines. I watched Muv's videos. I just didn't mess with the machines. They set on the shelf - derelict. Then this fall I decided to take some of the derelict machines camping and let kids hand crank holes in bags. After that I watched Muv's videos and read her whole blog. Glenn nudged me a bit toward using the long bobbin machines when he was here a year ago. I messed with them some. Now I'm liking them... I kind of feel like the green eggs and ham story... Try it before I decide I like or don't like it. Maybe there is hope that one day I will like sergers and plastic wonders... nah I've tried them...