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Thread: Heresy? I'm beginning to dislike one feature of the 15 clones and others

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Heresy? I'm beginning to dislike one feature of the 15 clones and others

    The Singer Model 15s and other Singer models, the Japanese 15 clones and others, all have one design feature that causes me no ends of trouble.
    The bobbin loads vertically from the left end. Quilters that do FMQ love the vertical bobbin because the thread path is said to be straighter and less problematic. I don't know about this as I haven't learned to FMQ yet.

    The problem is, the bobbin cover or slide plate covers an opening too small for me to get my hand in and R&R the bobbin case easily.
    These machines were designed back in the 1800s when the only people that sewed were women. And for the most part women had and still do have smaller hands than men. So since my hands are bigger it's difficult for me to stick my fingers all the way down to the bobbin case, open the latch with two fingers and without dropping it, withdraw it from it's pocket.
    Some machines are harder than others too. The slide open cases are just a wee bit better than those with hinged bobbin covers, but not much.
    The only machines that are harder for me to change bobbin in than the Singers are the old White made machines with the little lever at the bottom of the bobbin case latch. It, like the hand wheel moves opposite the intuitive way you'd think it should.

    I like to use the machines to make at least one project after I clean, oil, and adjust them. But it's getting to the point that I'm avoiding the clones and other machines with vertical end loading bobbins when I go to sew something. I'd much rather use machines with the drop in bobbins like the Singer 66, 99, and others, and my favorite Japanese clone the Sewmor 404. It's basically a clone of the Singer 201-3.

    So, heresy or not?

    Joe

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Certainly not Heresy, just the wrong machine for you.

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I used the word heresy because so many seem to dote on the Singer 15s and clones. I like them, but they are a pain to use.

    Joe

  4. #4
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    Well, you've got big hands that can open pickle jars even if they don't work easily with front loading bobbins. Nothing wrong with preferring what's best for you. Since I have small hands, I don't care where the bobbin is located but I honestly believe the front bobbin machines are more trouble free and easier to use. I get fewer thread 'nests' with them.

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Patty55,

    You know you're right. Of all the different types of bobbins I've had more snarls and birds nests with the end and front loading vertical bobbin machines. Hmmmmmm, that's interesting.

    Joe

  6. #6
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    I put mine in an open bottom cabinet. I change the bobbins from the underside. My hands swell so much sometimes I can't get at it from the top either.
    don't stop!just keep trying and something usable will turn out!!

  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Joe, I understand your problem with the 15, though I don't share it. Get a 301 - the whole end raises up.

    I cannot agree with the bird's nest on vertical bobbins. No machine jams more easily IF YOU DON'T HOLD THE THREADS WHEN YOU START than my vintage Elna which has a horizontal bobbin. The 301 (vertical) doesn't know how to snarl - my 15 clone a little more so, but not like the Elna.

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    That's not a bad idea. I could just tilt the machine back on it's hinges, but that's a pain in the neck too.

    Perhaps I'll modify or make a base for one of my 15 types to see how it would work.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Hey Joe, I don't use the slide plate at all. I have "large" hands for a female, but I also find that my hand is rarely in the right position to grab the bobbin through there. I either tilt the machine if it's in a case / cabinet, or burrow under the fabric if it's hanging loose. You're right, on many of the 15 like machines, the bobbin is a bit of a pain. The best are the open arm front mounted 15 cases, as long as you're not using the "deck" over top. I think that's the best of both worlds. FMQ friendly, lots of thread on a bobbin, good access.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Joe, I understand your problem with the 15, though I don't share it. Get a 301 - the whole end raises up.

    I cannot agree with the bird's nest on vertical bobbins. No machine jams more easily IF YOU DON'T HOLD THE THREADS WHEN YOU START than my vintage Elna which has a horizontal bobbin. The 301 (vertical) doesn't know how to snarl - my 15 clone a little more so, but not like the Elna.
    irishrose,

    LOL, I'll put the computer screen close to my machine and make sure it knows this.

    The 301 has the same bobbin system as the Featherweight's and ours came to us totally locked up with thread behind the hook.

    I have found that if I remember to start each stitching run with the thread take up lever at it's highest position I rarely have a birds nest. But I forget more often than I remember.

    Joe

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