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Thread: Karen's Home for Wayward Kenmores

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Karen's Home for Wayward Kenmores

    It started with the Model 71 my neighbor brought me (the VSMS thread, post #28670). I was home for a family funeral this week, and on my way back out of town, stopped by the junk shop where I bought my Pfaff 130 this summer. (And the guy remembered me, and gave me the Pfaff buttonholer he'd found the day after I was there. He kept it on the off chance I ever went back. How cool is that?)

    Apparently that original Kenmore called the others, now I have a bunch. I picked up a 148.12170; grubby, turns, but has no foot controller, so I don't know if it runs or not. I'm assuming 1950's-it's pea soup green. This one will go to my osmg for resale.

    Also a 7057a (Dressmaker Stretch Stitch), which has a mostly metal body-the front and top are plastic. It's printed "Made in Poland" on the back of the pillar. It's grubby, but runs. This one I'll clean up and keep until I run into someone who says, "I'd like to learn how to sew, but I don't have a sewing machine."

    My favorite is a 117.958. I can find *nothing* online about it. It looks like it's related to the Kenmore Imperial Rotary--same body--but model number is 117.591. I had to cut the cord to get it out of the table, but that was no loss. It was a knee bar (which I don't like), and had clearly been snacked on by some member of the family Rodentia, possibly a party of them. It's frozen stiff and missing the bobbin case, but I'm keeping this one-it's too cool looking not to. It's also got a really weird tension plate? disc? that I'm going to have to track down a manual to figure out, I think. It reminds me of a 30's train engine, and it's about that heavy, too. I'd love to know more about this model, if anyone has any info. Anyone know/want to guess when it was made?

    I got a Singer 237 too, which is (gasp!) clean, and works fine. This one will also go to my osmg-they're his favorite.

    The last shot is a pic of my aunt's Viking, that I brought back for a tuneup. She bought it second-hand nearly 30 years ago, and I love it! I've only ever seen green Elna's like this before. It has a cute litte red suitcase that I'll replace the lining in before I send it back.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails greenkenmore01.jpg   kenmore03.jpg   bigkenmore01.jpg   kenmoretension01.jpg   viking705.jpg  

    Last edited by MrsBoats; 12-10-2011 at 10:04 AM.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  2. #2
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    My Sewin buddy has a Kenmore like yours ( My favorite is a 117.958.) the # on hers is 117-959, you all have sister machines, LOL. I only have her # because she wanted me to search for bobbins for her. She don't have the internet.

    What does osmg mean please. All your machines are lovely.
    http://www.skillpages.com/DonnaValleyquiltermo
    Sweet Dreams come from under Cozy Quilts made with love.
    Life is short, take time to enjoy it. Play with your kids and g-kids,
    and do what you can for others.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleyquiltermo View Post
    My Sewin buddy has a Kenmore like yours ( My favorite is a 117.958.) the # on hers is 117-959, you all have sister machines, LOL. I only have her # because she wanted me to search for bobbins for her. She don't have the internet.

    What does osmg mean please. All your machines are lovely.
    OSMG = Old Sewing Machine Guy.

    Did you find bobbins? I'm hoping I can get this thing running!
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

    On the brown Kenmore with the flat tensioner, the above post might be helpful as far as threading. It looks exactly the same as the tensioner on the old White Rotary machines. Not hard to do, just a little different if you are used to a Singer.

    The same kind of happened to me with the White FR machines...not really that interested, but then I ended up with 3 of them all in a row! Have fun with them.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleyquiltermo View Post
    My Sewin buddy has a Kenmore like yours ( My favorite is a 117.958.) the # on hers is 117-959, you all have sister machines, LOL. I only have her # because she wanted me to search for bobbins for her. She don't have the internet.

    What does osmg mean please. All your machines are lovely.
    Try Sew Classic for bobbins, that's where I got mine for my Whites, and it looks like the same ones will fit Kenmores beginning with 117.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

    On the brown Kenmore with the flat tensioner, the above post might be helpful as far as threading. It looks exactly the same as the tensioner on the old White Rotary machines. Not hard to do, just a little different if you are used to a Singer.

    The same kind of happened to me with the White FR machines...not really that interested, but then I ended up with 3 of them all in a row! Have fun with them.
    That actually makes sense-everything I've found about this era of Kenmore has said they were made by White. Thanks for the link!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    Try Sew Classic for bobbins, that's where I got mine for my Whites, and it looks like the same ones will fit Kenmores beginning with 117.
    I was wondering about that...

    And I LOVE your signature!
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    Thanks! I keep thinking I need to do some tutorials on my little trio since they don't have as much info out there as fixing up Singers. Just not enough time for everything. Good luck with yours.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  8. #8
    Junior Member quilter1942's Avatar
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    I laughed about this post,because I am also a machine collector.I have a Bernina 1050 Quilters edition,a Janome 6260 Quilter`s Chice,Babylock Quilter`s Choice that was signed by Eleanor Burns,then a 1950`s Singer in a cabinet (my Son used to tell people his Mama had a black singer and it wasn`t Ray Charles)3 black Featherweights,1 white featherweight.a brown Singer 301,a New Home in a cabinet,dont know much about it.A phaff that my DDH found at a yard sale for $3.00,runs but needs some TLC.Also he bought me an Elna Supramatic at the Rotary club quilt show in Paducah for $100.00,it runs but also neeeds some TLC,then my DB brought found a Necchi at the dump 1 day,sneaked it out and brought to me.It runs and sews great only a straight stich.Also a Bernina serger and embroidery machine.I think that is all.I think I may be a hoarder.Oh forgot the Singer Treadle which we acquired from a lady who was closing her antique buisness for $25.00,I have already told my ODD that it is hers,she can treadle,I can`t.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    In furtherance of the 'a rodent chewed on the wiring' theory, I just removed what I thought was going to be a spider's eggs sac or a wasp nest from inside, above the main shaft, only it was...a peanut. A whole, in-the-shell peanut, with one end chewed into and half that nut missing.

    In other news, the drive shaft is pretty well frozen. Is this something I can un-freeze myself? With what? Preferably something I can get at Ace Hardware, or an auto parts store. I know folks rave about Kroil, but have never found any locally.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    I've heard good things about PB Blaster, and I use the Liquid Wrench I have on hand for stuck parts. Patience and a little heat will help too. I found both PB Blaster and the bottles of Liquid Wrench at Lowe's (try Seasonal or the Tools sections), so you could probably find those at most any hardware store. Is there wiring inside that is messed up? Be careful because some of the cleaners and lubricants can dissolve rubber and plastics.

    On the tension adjustment for the brown Kenmore, it looks like it is the lever on the front of the machine just directly above the needle bar. Be careful if you remove this part to clean it. The flat tension disk mechanism on the side is very likely held in place by the tension adjustment. The first time I took off my adjustment dial on my White to polish up, the whole tensioner fell off. It wasn't difficult to fix once I figured how it was connected, but it was a surprise!

    If you think you'll have to pull it all apart to clean well and de-gunk, see if there aren't a couple of screws towards the inside of the "head" part (the part with the needle bar, presser bar, and tension). These screws would probably be facing the pillar of the machine. If so, these just might detach the whole "head" of the machine, needle bar, presser bar, and tensioner all. Then, you could clean and oil as 1 large piece if you didn't want to take all the individual pieces off. Of course, doing this will also make it easier if you want to take off the tension mechanism and lever part to clean them thoroughly. Kind of depends on how handy you feel! I'll look around and see if I can find a picture of what I'm talking about.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

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