Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: My Grandma's Sewing Machine (Free Westinghouse Model 803?)

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    113

    My Grandma's Sewing Machine (Free Westinghouse Model 803?)

    Hello all!
    My mom took me to see my grandma's sewing machine and I know nothing about it! It still has the manual and the sewing machine attachments box. It has these weird knob things that I found out from the manual are different zigzag settings. I had never seen/heard of that! I don't know if it works yet, but my mom said she would pay to get it working if I wanted it to. Granted, I probably won't have it in my possession till I get a place of my own (I graduate college in May!)
    It is a Free Westinghouse Model 803 and I can't find anything about it online...All of the pictures that come up don't look like the this one. It has the knee control thing, if any of you know anything I would love to know! Here are pictures. 1 is of the machine in the table, and the other is a close up of the plate on the lower left.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Port Charlotte, Fl
    Posts
    2,572
    Looks like it was made in Japan. How about that place in Illinois I can't make out what the town/city is. Looks very old good luck with it. Sue

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    113
    It's Rockford Illinois.

  4. #4
    Member oreoflurrie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    41
    It may be a Riccar. I can't find any pictures either. My mother had a Riccar in the 1970's, and it's still in good working order.
    No outfit is complete without cat hairs

  5. #5
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Mars
    Posts
    2,027
    The Free Company (named after a person, IIRC) made wonderful machines - I love the looks of it - early 60's, I'm thinking? Is there any date in the manual?

    Getting it running again will probably be easy enough that you could do most or all of it by yourself, depending upon how good the wiring is - that's the only thing that requires some technical skill.

    Inspect the wiring from one end to the other and inside the machine. If there are any places where the insulation is crumbling or sticky or torn, decide whether it's minor enough to repair with tape or if it warrants being completely rewired. If the wiring looks good, remove the needle and bobbin, raise the presser foot and turn it on. Make sure that the handwheel is engaged and not turned back for winding bobbins and that the bobbin winder is not touching the handwheel, then step on the gas. It may be very sluggish or it may not start at all. If the motor runs and the presser foot is driven up and down, you're probably good to go.

    Turn it off, unplug it and start cleaning the insides and underneath - all the metal parts - not the wiring or any plastic or painted parts - with acetone on q-tips. You will get dried brown oil on the q-tips and shiny metal will emerge from underneath it. After it's clean, oil it thoroughly and run it for a minute.

    There may be a little (tiny bit!) of smoke or a slight smell of smoke or rubber. If there is any more than that, stop and unplug it.

    If it ran all right with just a little smell, let it sit for a couple of hours, then oil it again and run it as fast as it will go. You will be able to hear it speeding up as hidden bits of dried oil soften up and are rubbed away and replaced with fresh oil. Run the machine for five minutes at full speed.

    If everything goes well with that, then you can put a needle in it, check by hand-cranking it to make sure that the needle isn't hitting the needle plate or bobbin case, then thread it up and try sewing something, following the manual.

    If it's still sluggish, repeat the oiling and running for five minutes at full speed and letting it sit for a few hours until everything breaks free and the machine is running fast.

    Working on these old machines is a lot of fun - you do get your hands dirty, but you might enjoy this kind of work - and in the case of fixing your grandma's machine, it's especially worth it. Good luck and have fun!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    113
    Thanks for that info! I'll look back when I actually get the machine.
    I should've taken the manual home with me to look at more. I just glanced through it and put it back in the drawer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sewnbug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mid MIchigan
    Posts
    565
    Nice old machine. My grandmother had one like it. She sure made a lot of grandkids clothes on it.

  8. #8
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Round Rock,Texas
    Posts
    5,470
    Kiesh,
    The old machines like yours are usually wonderful to sew with. They'll still be sewing long after the modern plastic machines have failed. Its worth getting it sewing again.

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Martinsville, Indiana
    Posts
    1,444
    Good luck with the machine. It should be fun having your grandmother's machine and making it 'sing' again. Write up the story of it to keep with the machine, along with pictures if you can. That will give your machine a 'voice'. And these old machines do talk to us. They even know if they want to be named and what name they want to have. Or at least mine have told me theirs. I'm happy for you in getting the chance to get your grandmother's machine. That's wonderful!

  10. #10
    Super Member anniesews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Middle of Michigan
    Posts
    1,359
    A treasure for sure as it was grandma's. Hope you can get information on it.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.