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Thread: Necchi 544 Excited then Upset!

  1. #21
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    What year was this machine made in? Ballpark guess is OK.
    I personally think $170.00 for a piece of plastic with a rod through it is certifiably INSANE. The manufacturers have to be doing this with full intention that they fail and so that people will not pay the outrageous prices for the replacement parts.

    Which is why I have told my wife NO MORE MACHINES WITH PLASTIC GEARS. Not even another Bernina.

    And some might last 35 years, but others don't. The feed dog gears died on my wife's Singer 538 in less than 10 years of use. Since then they've been replaced twice more. PLASTIC = JUNK.

    Joe

  2. #22
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    What year was this machine made in? Ballpark guess is OK.
    I personally think $170.00 for a piece of plastic with a rod through it is certifiably INSANE. The manufacturers have to be doing this with full intention that they fail and so that people will not pay the outrageous prices for the replacement parts.

    Which is why I have told my wife NO MORE MACHINES WITH PLASTIC GEARS. Not even another Bernina.

    And some might last 35 years, but others don't. The feed dog gears died on my wife's Singer 538 in less than 10 years of use. Since then they've been replaced twice more. PLASTIC = JUNK.

    Joe
    I think it's estimated to be 50 years old give or take. And I agree, I think I want an all metal machine. There's something to be said that my W&G is a 116 and still working perfectly.

  3. #23
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I've got an Alden ZZ machine with 30 + patterns on the dial. Really neat machine with lots of great patterns. By the time you alter the needle position and other settings you can do about 90 + variations on it. I was thrilled with it until I found the cam stack was plastic. Since then I've hardly touched it. When it finally breaks the machine is junk. I can't even find a mention of the brand name ALDEN or an owners manual even. So parts would be a practical impossibility.

    Joe

  4. #24
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Plastic does not equal nylon, Joe. And a new Singer does not equal a vintage Bernina in quality. Nylon gears give a bit and the engineering of the machine may need that slight give whereas metal doesn't have that capability. I don't think it's about saving money on these vintage machines, it's all in the engineering of the machine. If all the internals of the machine are metal except for one gear or nylon cam, there's a reason that goes beyond saving a dollar. Now, the new machines are a different story....

  5. #25
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Candace,

    In this instance, I've got to disagree with you. I've seen way too many things over the years that transitioned from having metal parts to plastic, and yes nylon is a form of plastic, and always the quality and longevity goes down the crapper.

    I will not argue that Berninas are far far better than the machines Singer sells. But the reason for casting plastic parts is cost.
    To machine the cam stack for the Necchi that started this thread from steel would take a major amount of machining, assembly, and fitting. They can create a mold and cast it out of plastic for cheep cheep cheep. Then charge outrageous prices for it. I'll bet that $169.99 cam stack didn't cost any more than $5.00 to make and I'd include the designing and making of the mold as well.

    There are earlier Singers that share the same design yet some use steel gears whereas the other ones use plastic gears. Same exact designs, just the difference in the gears. The reason, cost. A plastic gear ( nylon if you insist ) can be cast for pennies whereas the steel gears must be machined and fitted. That is the bottom line, cost.

    One more thing. Starting in the early 60s American manufacturing went though a rethinking process that cheapened almost everything. Parts that had been previously forged and machined where now stamped or cast. This occurred across American industry from the sewing machine industry to firearms, cars, electric fans, you name it.

    Look at 50s or earlier sewing machine and you'll find machined parts. Rarely will you see a stamped part. Then in the 60s machines went to stamped metal parts and yes, plastic gears. Just pop the top on a "modern" machine and what do you see?
    Everything except rods or shafts will be stamped or plastic. You can stamp metal cheaply and you can cast plastic really cheap.
    It's all cost related. It doesn't matter if it's a Bernina or a Chinese made Singer. Gears are complicated to machine, so they use plastic cos they are cheap.

    Joe

  6. #26
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    We'll have to agree to disagree Joe. And honestly, I buy what I want to buy without "permission". Just saying, that raises hackles on my flesh....my husband doesn't tell me anything. LOL.

    Yes, nylon is in the grouping of plastic, but it's a heavy duty polymer product. Send any Berninas you don't want my way....
    Last edited by Candace; 10-08-2012 at 10:37 AM.

  7. #27
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Well, we can agree on buying what we want and not asking permission. That's something.

    As for sending you Berninas well, my wife would want first dibs on them.

    Joe

  8. #28
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    The Bernina's have such great value and appeal they'll always find a market and a home, so repairing is a moral imperative.

  9. #29
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Well stated Joe. AND to top that off when my son was learning blacksmithing one of the men told me that one or two colleges are beginning to teach them how to do blacksmithing these days because they don't understand metals any more - not even after 4 years of college.
    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

  10. #30
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanofNJ View Post
    The Bernina's have such great value and appeal they'll always find a market and a home, so repairing is a moral imperative.
    Yes and getting 35-45 years out of a machine and then replacing one part is not something I worry or lose sleep over. Especially since the parts are readily available. No biggie... I bet in 35-45 years I have more parts replaced than my Berninas and Elnas:>

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