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Thread: I've been learning to use a 15-91 and I think I like it more than the 201

  1. #1
    Member Beautiful_Sound's Avatar
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    I've been learning to use a 15-91 and I think I like it more than the 201

    I'm a little shocked to say this, but I've had some one-on-one time with the 15-91 and I really am beginning to like it. The side mounted bobbin is GREAT. I can't believe how different embroidery is on this machine, the 201 has too much wobble to make lasting runs. I don't know if that properly describes the difference, I'm sure some of you know what I mean.

    Anyway. The 201 is in storage and 15-91 is in a great portable case. Also, I've been learning how to top stich using the SINGER zigzagger. That's been challengingly fun as well. On the whole, in the last 4 days my sewing has improved about 400%. I can more or less reason out bobbin and top thread tension, adjust to zig zaggin, rewired the SINGER lite etc., it's been fun. Working on a pillow as a birthday gift.

    I think I've over greased the handwheel. The motor is not running as fast.+


    When I found her, for $30, she was locked up tighter than a drum.
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    Last edited by Beautiful_Sound; 03-09-2016 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Congratulations on your 15-91. I don't think people realize what a fine (and forgiving) piece of machinery it is, or maybe it's because, even 60 years later, supply so exceeds demand that its price remains low. The 15-91 was the first machine I bought and taught myself to sew on. I consider it the best all-around straight stitch machine Singer made. (The 401 is my go-to and I like the elegance of the 201, but recognize the superiority of the no-nonsense 15.) The minor inconvenience of a bobbin case (I immediately file complaints about this under "Whining") is far outweighed by its thread capacity and versatility with just about every thread and fabric under the sun.

    If you feel you've really over-greased it, a good wipe-down should be enough; I don't see how that would make the motor run slower, however. At the risk of stating the obvious, are you sure the bobbin winder is disengaged?
    Last edited by Manalto; 03-09-2016 at 10:58 AM.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Gray fox's Avatar
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    Yes on the 15-91! I've had one here in a cabinet for several years, but not used it. The plug wiring was frightful, and DH rewired it some time ago, fitting in a new light. But with my Elna SU Air Electronic in the shop, it was next in line.

    After straightening out issues with the presser bar and feet, it is absolutely delightful to sew with. Mine has a knee controller, a lovely thing for slow work, and the big bobbin is appreciated. No-nonsense is a good way to describe this machine, Montalto! My Elna might just sit for a while. Rather amusing to replace a 1980 machine with one from 1952.

    Dianne in Colorado
    Needle down......foot down......sew!

  4. #4
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    The 15 is a great machine. I placed one of mine with my friend and periodically service it for her. She was having problems with slow running that I didn't have. We dumped a pile of sand and dirt out of the controller. Oops! I forgot to service that. I recommend everyone ditch their old rheostat controllers and go to the new solid state controllers. It has speeded up my vintage machines and now I am getting a new one for all my old black Singers. They cost $17 or under from Sew-Classic.com. Best money I ever spent. Dirt can't get inside them and if you need new wires too, they can wire them for you for a very nominal price. My 15, 201 301, 221s, 305 all have one now. The 15 is a very forgiving machine, as previously stated. The vertical bobbin can be a challenge for arthritic hands, but great for free motion quilting. Be sure to invest in an LED light bulb, also at Sew-Classic.com, so you won't burn your hands when sewing/quilting. That is also worthy because it will give 3-4 times the clear, white light. You should see the difference. My old eyes are very grateful. Happy sewing.
    Donna

  5. #5
    KLO
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    I have a 15-91 in the art deco cabinet and have only run it to make sure it works mostly because someone has put stuff on top of it but I want to get it so I can use it since I hear so many good things about them. Cannot thank you enough for all this great information, DonnaMiller! I think I will take your advice and buy the controller and light bulb you recommend. I have been a bit nervous about sewing on the machine until I get all the wiring checked out so this info is a big help to me. Did not realize that Sew-Classic had these items in their shop. I do know everyone raves about their products and service so I will feel comfortable buying from them. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Member Beautiful_Sound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaMiller View Post
    I recommend everyone ditch their old rheostat controllers and go to the new solid state controllers.
    .
    .
    . Be sure to invest in an LED light bulb, also at Sew-Classic.com, so you won't burn your hands when sewing/quilting. That is also worthy because it will give 3-4 times the clear, white light. You should see the difference. My old eyes are very grateful. Happy sewing.
    Donna


    I bought a new pedal off of eBay. But it has ceramic and points inside I think, that's not solid state I believe.

    Also, I'll look into the lamp issue. I'm only 31 so I don't mind yellow, hot light! The incandescence adds to the sewing experience for me. ;-)

  7. #7
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I don't really understand what the difference is in the rheostats. IF you buy one does it come wired up to fit your machine? So you just plug it in and go?

    I have heard the 15-91 is a fabulous machine, especially for free form quilting, I have two but have never used them for that. Now I need to dig one out and give it a try
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  8. #8
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    Now I'm feeling guilty for not having used my 15-91 enough to really know her yet. I'm curious if you're thinking of parting with your 201?
    Mavis

  9. #9
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    I'm not a Singer gal but I'll never part with my 201-2. There's nothing like that smooth quiet hum. I don't have a 15-91 to compare, and I don't want one simply because I don't want another Singer. Otherwise I know myself, I'd have 3 or 4 of them, lol.

    Cari

  10. #10
    Member Beautiful_Sound's Avatar
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    There is a beautiful, soft and confident sound that the 201 has that the 15-91, by virtue of the rotary hook and thread take up lever cannot have. The 201-2 is so smooth, almost meditatively calm.

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