[QUOTE=ArchaicArcane;6170004]As noted in the link above, Jon, "The other unique feature that this machine has is the not-often-seen "M.R." decal under the badge and on the rear of the arm. The "M.R." trademark indicates this 221 was being produced for the Mexican/ South American market. It may have been assembled in Canada as it was found in Canada with a St. John's NB " marked motor." http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stor...collection-242
Thanks, Good to know. I'd would have unknowingly tried to remove them if I had come across a Singer so marked.
Thanks, everyone for your input! :)
Sounds like the Necchi is a good machine, but it is more expensive than the Singer and I don't want a machine that is difficult or expensive to maintain. The Margaret is adorable and cheaper but I think I'd rather get a Singer.
As long as everything looks okay with the 15-90, I think I will go for it. She said I can see it tomorrow, but she didn't answer my question about whether I could test it before I buy it or not. What should I do if she says it's not a good idea to test it before it's been cleaned and oiled? Should that be a deal breaker or would she be right and I should just do a visual inspection?
The 301 sounds like a great machine for FMQ, and I would be willing to forego the 15 for it, but there are not a lot of them around. There is one 301a for sale on craigslist, but it is $150, comes in a cabinet, is 2.5 hours away and I don't have a way of picking it up. I figure I'll buy the 15-90 and if I come across a 301 that I can actually get home, I'll snatch it up and if I like it better I can sell the 15-90.
Thanks again, everyone!
I consider any machine I buy without testing, a parts machine or one that will need x amount of parts and labor, and I won't pay much for them. Yes, you need to be able to test it to pay her asking price. If she's unwilling to let you test it out, keep looking. It's not like these machines are rare or hard to get. Another will come along. Probably tomorrow. LOL.
To me, not "Test driving" a sewing machine before you buy it is like not test driving a car (or a motorcycle, but that NEVER happens) I would be stunned if she didn't let you power it up to make sure that things worked.
Turn the handwheel, it should feel smooth. If there are "lumpy" spots then it likely needs servicing (which you can do BTW)
plug the machine in, turn the clutch knob so that it's in bobbin winding mode and see how the motor sounds
put it in sewing mode, turn the hand wheel. If there are no crunchy sounds (needle striking something, etc), see how it sounds
inspect for signs of damage or abuse (bent or cracked parts - yeah, it happens. I had a guy ask me if I wanted a 15 that had fallen off a table and the main shaft was bent) - from what I can see, it looks good, but there are parts I can't see.
Check the wiring as I mentioned above
Check the light
The pedal is identical to the one on the 401, same adjustments if required.
She's selling this as a working machine, she should be willing to let you see that it's working.
The last 3 301s I picked up were all under $45 each. 2 in cabinets and 1 in a case. The thing is, I'm willing to do a complete dismantle and cleaning / servicing / oiling and replacing the parts required. One needed upper tension parts, one was fine, the other one needed bobbin case parts. If you want a machine that doesn't require 3 hours of that sort of work (besides an oiling which is regular - user- maintenance) when you get it, $150 isn't necessarily unreasonable.
Ok, I won't buy it if I can't test it - that seems reasonable. Assuming she lets me test it, how do I check the wiring? I'm completely unfamiliar with these machines. Do I need do tilt it back and check underneath? Can anyone direct me to a link with a photo of how it should look (or shouldn't)?
Originally Posted by lemonswade
It's quite literally as simple as that. The insulation on the wiring (goes from the motor and light to the power connector on the right of the machine) shouldn't be cracked (it will be brittle and dry) or gooey (it's a creepy feeling when the wire does that, think one of those weird gummy candies) and the wire shouldn't be bare - this is a shock hazard, and can cause a lot of problems to you and the machine. That said, it's fairly easy to fix with tutorials online, but that's a hurdle you should jump only if you want to.
Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane
Additionally, check the cords for the wall and the foot for broken insulation. The cord is a 2 minute change and a less than $10 cord (if memory serves) anyone who can operate a blade screwdriver can do it. It's a bargaining chip.
Okay, I'll check those things. I am a bit concerned about the mark on the front of the arm - it is a blemish on an otherwise very nice machine... maybe I can touch it up? I talked to her on the phone and she said I could try it out before I buy. Hopefully all goes well. :)
I consider most marks on a sewing machines to be battle scars. They're often honestly won, and a record of what they've gone through. There are very very few machines out there without marks on them, they were tools, not collectibles when they were new.
It's possible it can be polished out, or touched up, I can't tell what the mark is from here. If you're sure you can make it better than it is, not worse, I'd say go for it, that may not be an easy task though.
I brought it home today. It seemed to run beautifully, just needs cleaning and oiling like she said. Light works, wiring's okay, pedal is really smooth, case is in good condition. The mark I was worried about looks like something on top of the paint, not a gouge or anything. It will probably come off easily. Now hopefully it's just a matter of TLC, getting to know the machine and ordering a darning foot. :)
Alright!! Good girl! And good grab! Low Shank darning feet are the easiest to come by. Now you just have to decide if you want metal or plastic. :)