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Thread: Mystery Machine - Anyone recognise this Elna?

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Mystery Machine - Anyone recognise this Elna?

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    It's a really weird machine
    • The manual just calls it "Elna"
    • It's got a swing needle, but no dial or slider to control it, so it only straight stitches by design (and according to the manual)
    • It appears to be the same as a "Zig Zag" but without the Zig Zag, but I haven't found anything yet about this model existing.
    • As per usual, I had to tear own the whole 11 pieces of the bobbin case to make it stitch well.
    • Of course it needs a motor pulley. I tried filing this one down, but had to go so far that it slips now. *sigh* The pulley looks identical to the one I changed on the Supermatic, so at least it's just a 5 min job.
    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, 201K HC, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6, Frister and Rossman TS, Gritzner Fiddlebase TS. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Janome MC350E, 2013 APQS Lucey

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It looks like it just does straight stitch. I think I have a green one that just does straight stitch - they called it a transforma or something like that. I've always wondered about it. I wondered if you could buy a cam stack and put it in - not happening...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  3. #3
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    Sorry I don't know anything about the Elna! I just wanted to say that I'm constantly surprised by the machines people locate and I like the machine. Original "no frills" model?

  4. #4
    Super Member Cogito's Avatar
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    Wish I knew anything about Elnas. I like the looks of it. Odd isn't it that it looks like a zigzag but is only a straight stitch?
    The expert's mind has no room to learn while the beginner's mind is free to know everything....

  5. #5
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    That would have to have a disk to do zig zag. They probably used the same body style but left parts off. It takes a knee lever to make it go. It isn't the Elnita stripped down - body looks wrong. Maybe a Plana? See ISMACS.
    Last edited by miriam; 04-13-2014 at 06:28 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Neat. I think that's the first straight stitch Elna that I've seen unless the Grasshopper is straight stitch too. At first glance I thought it was a Supermatic but I do see some differences on a closer look.

    Come to think of it I haven't seen any truly old Elnas. Did they only start in the 1950s?

    I love the variety the sewing machine world offers. So many different designs and ways to do the same thing. It's what keeps me interested.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I believe it's an Elna Plana Automatic.

  8. #8
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Miriam - It does only do a straight stitch Even though it has the swing needle mechanism at the needlebar.

    The transforma looks like it was a Supermatic, or could be converted into it. By the looks of the photos, it had a door for the cams and more than likely more mechanism at the top than this machine. I don't even know what a cam stack would attach to in this machine, it's as simple as a 301 inside! Maybe simpler.

    There's not even a gear for a cam stack to drive from on the main shaft. It just seems like it would be so expensive to incorporate the swing mechanism in there without making use of it. I guess it's possible that it would be more expensive to retool the factory...

    The elnitas I've seen are all newer 1970s ish, so I couldn't say. Plana just means flatbed. There were several Plana's over the years - I had an SU Plana, there is a Plana in this user manual, but it's this machine as a flatbed.

    QuiltMom2 - This machine was given to me by a friend and it's definitely a mystery. I've had it for months, but just now have had a chance to service it and find its mysteries. It could have been a no frills model, but it seems strange that by the 1960ish - that's where the brown machines date to typically - that they would still be trying to sell a straight stitch only machine that didn't even have a stationary needlebar that makes the straight stitch machines so great! It's an interesting machine for sure.

    Cogito - very odd. I've never seen a machine with a swing needle (zig zag mechanism) that wasn't built to zig zag. Maybe the dealer could change that main shaft to one with a gear on it, or add a gear and add a cam stack, change the top plate, etc.... ? I just wish I could find some information about it.

    Rodney - the Grasshopper is indeed straight stitch only. They introduced Zig Zag in 1952ish? At first I thought it was a supermatic too. The lack of a cam door was the first thing that threw me.

    As best I can tell, the Grasshopper dates from the mid30s. They're a relatively "new" sewing machine company, when compared to some of the ones we're used to talking about anyway.

    I agree. The variety is really cool. I like that I'll never know about all models that were out there. There's always more to learn.

    Good guess Candace, but all of the Automatics I've seen have cam doors. Otherwise they look similar. I've only ever seen "Plana" beside the flatbed models, so I don't think it's a plana
    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, 201K HC, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6, Frister and Rossman TS, Gritzner Fiddlebase TS. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Janome MC350E, 2013 APQS Lucey

  9. #9
    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    How much does it weigh?
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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