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Thread: New Home needle test and a swap

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    New Home needle test and a swap

    I was down in the basement testing needles in my New Home AB, Minnie. I had been running it with a shallow seated 15x1 but had a strange needle that might have been a 135x17. It's a round shank needle the same length as the 20x1s so I thought I'd give it a test.
    The needle fit in the needle clamp. It passed through the needle plate without any interference problems and then it picked up the bobbin thread just fine.
    That's where all the good things ended. It would sew about an inch then break the thread. Upon close inspection with a magnifying hood I found this needle had no scarf or thread grove. It only had what might have been called a slight scallop around the eye on both sides. So this needle went back in my box as an unknown.
    After that I put in a genuine 20x1 needle and boy oh boy did Minnie come to life. That needle made a whale of a difference. So, I've got to buy some for her and the Greyhound.

    About then I heard someone knock on the door. Wife answered it. Lots of happy talking and not long after I was called upstairs.
    The visitors were a couple my wife knew from her last job. The guy lost his job the same day my wife did April 2nd when the company closed the doors and let them all go. His girl friend was an X-GF of a former juvenile delinquent neighbor boy. She ditched him when she caught him making kissy face with another girl.
    She was holding a white plastic bodied Singer sewing machine and wanted to know if we could tell her what to ask for it. It was a model 3210 with the 150th Anniversary decal on it. We were interested but no funds to buy. (We {I} figured we needed a modern machine to show just how good the older ones were.)
    I found out the reason they were trying to raise money was to get their gas turned back on. Gal starts a new job next Monday, but for now they are hurting with no way to cook meals. The guy asked me if I had a grill they might borrow and we didn't. Then an idea hit me.
    I have three Coleman camp stoves. One has an adapter for propane and I don't really use that one, so I offered them a trade for the machine. I was a bit startled when they jumped at the offer. The gal said she had the part that turns the free arm to a flat bed and the accessories but had forgotten them. Would bring them tomorrow. My wife trusts them so the deal was struck.

    After they left I sat down and studied the strange white plastic blob that was supposed to be a sewing machine.
    Quite a few built in stitches. Satin stitches, stretch stitches, two button hole stitches, and a feed dog drop control. Hmmmm ... says I. They said the machine works so I wanted to try it.
    Got it plugged in and was trying to figure out how to thread it when I realized the plastic thread peg is broken off. Oh well, go get the thread stand we use for the serger cones and use that. That done I followed the map drawn on the machine to thread it. Then ran into some trouble with the stitch selection knob. Figured out that the button hole stitch balance adjustment knob can be turned too far and that locks up the stitch selector. Turned it back a bit and that problem was solved.
    Then I put a new single needle in it, a Singer 90-14. There was a double needle in it, but I don't test with those at first. I found out right quick there is NO room under that harp to work. I had fits getting that needle into the clamp. Once the needle was in I threaded it and pulled up the bobbin thread.

    Then the test stitches. Oh dear, here's a problem. No tension. None. Wife said see if you can fine a manual on line. I did. Sat here and studied the 62 page manual and it didn't tell me anything I hadn't already figured out.
    We checked the bobbin carrier, it's plastic but it came with metal Class 15 bobbins in it. Hmmmm? In the bottom of the carrier is a magnet. Metal must be OK if there's a magnet. The manual does not specify what class bobbin or plastic or metal. We'll probably use plastic bobbins in it in the future. Unless we find out otherwise. We also pulled the bobbin carrier and found one of the corners has a broken place. Oh drat, two things to replace now. But thankfully it still works OK.

    This machine has all the upper tensions hidden under the plastic body. Can't see a thing. So I pulled the nose off and looked, still couldn't see anything. There was one more small part to the top thread path covering the tension so I took that off too. Ah HaW! Now I can see something. I wasn't getting the thread down between the tension disks. Dummy me. Put it all back together, re-threaded it, and this time it worked. Whooo Hoooo!

    I ran it through all the stitches and every one of the worked perfectly. Not one dropped stitch or boo boo.
    The machine is extremely simple to use. No computers either. Thankfully. Had there been I'd not been interested. I hate the sound of it though. It sounds like ... like ... ewww ..... plastic. Barf ....

    So we have a new machine to tinker with. The couple we got it from has something to cook their food on and hopefully all will be well.

    Naw, we couldn't be that lucky.

    Tomorrow I'm going to wash the machine till it shines, then when they bring the accessories I'll do an inventory to see what we need. After that there's a really good chance this machine will be sent to my step son in Arizona. We promised him one some time back but each and ever one we've got for him ...... well we can't seem to turn loose of it. Maybe this one will be different.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Senior Member coloradosky's Avatar
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    Love your story. I do know what you mean when it comes time to let go. Whenever I get another "bargain" machine I justify the purchase by telling myself that I am going to give it to someone on my list. When I get it cleaned and ready to go I justify my keeping it by telling myself that the receipient probably won't keep it anyway so it may as well stay with me. In the meantime I just keep cleaning and refurbing each new purchase and never get a chance to sew. I am additcted!

  3. #3
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Great story! I hope things work out with your friends. That's a bad situation to be in and I'm glad you were able to help them out.

    I've purchased several sewing machines at pawn shops (although they don't carry them as much as they did) and I figure I'm indirectly helping someone who was in a similar situation as your friends.

    My mother has her mother's old Singer and I got a really great deal on a decent new Singer. That's actually 2 separate stories. The new Singer wasn't a bad *sewing* machine at all, but didn't quite take to quilting. I used her a bit, but decided I didn't have much use for her. I had mentioned to my mom (who is one of those "I'd like to start sewing but _______" fill in the blank with any excuse) that I had it and didn't need it. I had a whole $50 tied up in her. "I don't want it! I want a machine that does straight stitch and zig zag only! I don't know anything about those other stitches and I'm too old to start learning now!"

    There are 2 kinds of people that buy sewing machines: Those who use (or at least collect them - like us) and those who think they are going to use them. The ones who think they are going to use them will get them from Walmart for $80 and think all sewing machines are the same. This particular model was about $300 new, so I wasn't going to sell her to someone who thinks they are going to use them (because they should be able to get one for $20 if they cost $80 new, right?!). And people like us don't want it either, unless we can get it for a song (or a grill)!

    So poor girl, just couldn't find her a home. My mother's old Singer, on the other hand, just sat in the cabinet where she's sat for 20 years, collecting more dust because my mom is scared of her.

    Where am I going with this? I gave the new one to her for Mother's Day. On Monday, I got a text, "I need your help, you need to fix it". So Monday afternoon, I threaded it and showed her how and how to thread the bobbin. Sewed like a dream. On Wednesday, she showed me a pile of hot pot holders (gifts) she's made! I said, "Isn't it easy to sew on a machine that you just step on the pedal and go?" and she admitted it was. In my haste, I forgot to pack all the extras that go with the machine, and I never had a manual for it. I told her I'd print one out but haven't yet.

    Moral of my early-morning babbling- have fun with your plastic kid! I couldn't a Singer 3210 online.

  4. #4
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Yes, we will all do some strange things to get those machines...... and then spend hours getting everything working right. Good trade.....

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    The 32xx series is still in Singers line. Their "Very Basic" and "Basic" models. According to Singer they run around $150.00 ish.
    I would not have bought one, but under the circumstances it seems like a good trade.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    CORRECTION

    Although the 32xx series is still in their product line, I posted the wrong model number.
    The model # of the machine we got in trade is 3810. All we can find on the Singer site is the owners manual, parts listing, and some feet and accessories. According to them it's discontinued.

    I'll have to do more searching later.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Great trade!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

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