Kenmore Electric Rotary Sewing Machine or 120-49 is here.
The UPS guy brought my new toy today just after lunch time. No damage from shipping. All the accessories were there as well as the owners manual.
The original text said the motor ran, the light worked but the needle did not go up and down. They were right, the top shaft was jammed up solid.
I've been told these machines jam up due to the nylon bearings used in them. Well, this machine has bronze bushings on the main shaft, the presser bar shaft and needle rod. Also the underneath shafts are mounted in bronze bushings also. The only nylon parts I've found so far are an idler bushing that puts the tension on the drive chain, yep the main shaft drives the bottom shafts with a steel chain. There is an tubular angled piece that controls the stitch length that's nylon, and a nylon cam in the feed dog areas.
There is also a part in the thread take up lever assembly that's plastic. There may be more, but I found none in critical high load areas.
If the condition of this machine is any indication of it's life, it was used a lot. No closet queen this one. It was full of what looked like wool lint. Lots and lots of it. The feed dogs were totally covered in it. This is a well used machine.
So, I started putting the Tri-Flo oil to it. If it moved, turned, slid, rotated, or even looked like it would do any of the above it got oiled. And oiled, and oiled.
I pulled the hand wheel clutch nob off and there was a big slot in the end of the shaft. So using a screw driver I began to put the pressure on it trying to get it to turn. It took a bit of coaxing but it turned. So, with the top two bronze bushings floating in oil I've been turning and turning till I had to take a break. While I'm typing this I stood the machine on it's end and poured more Tri-Flo on the bushings. Some really icky brown stuff is coming out of the bushings so I'm figuring that poor machine has been use for many years then retired without a single lube job in it's life.
The motor is even covered in the brown wool lint. It's a Delco motor by the way ... with oil holes.
I found many places to lube this machine. It's not really meant to be left to go dry.
I'm pretty sure she'll sew again.
My only worry is needles. The needle I took out of the machine is a full 3/16" shorter than a standard 15x1.
The markings on it are: REE RD . B. 1/2 . The flat shank is longer than a 15x1s but the needle is shorter and it has a real stumpy point with the eye very close to the end.
The owners manual says use a "Kenmore 49" needle and shows a larger than life pic of it. But it gives no other information.
I'm going to try ISMACS to see if I can find a listing for the "Kenmore 49" needle, but I won't hold my breath.
Anybody have any idea on this?
More reports will be coming along with pics.