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Thread: Questions for the vintage machine experts here

  1. #1
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    Questions for the vintage machine experts here

    Hi, Ladies-
    I've been thinking about buying a treadle machine, and have a chance to buy a Singer model 127 (which I recognize from the pic on the sale page as a Sphynx----am I right?). The asking price is very low because there is major damage to the outside top of the cabinet, plus the machine has no thread spool pin or belt. Can you tell me if and where I can buy another thread spool pin and belt? Seller says the machine works, but I can't test that without a belt, right? If I can test the machine with out a belt, please advise. The decals on the machine look very nice, so I doubt it was used extensively. I know next to nothing about treadles. Would I also be able to buy an operations manual for this machine somewhere? My "love" right now is a Babylock Serenade (lots of bells and whistles). I only want a treadle in case something happens that our power is out for some extended time. Don't want to go nuts if I am in the middle of a project and can't sew. Maybe you think there is a better choice of a treadle machine for me? Thanks in advance for any expertise and advice!

  2. #2
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Hello! The sphinx decal was used on a couple of different machines. The easiest way to tell a 127, vs say a model 15, which also had a sphinx decal, is by the two long slide plates to the right of the needle. They will move front to back, whereas a 15 for instance, will have a slide plate to the left of the needle. A 15 will also have the tensioner on the face plate left side, above the slide plate, instead of in front of the operator, like every other machine Singer made (115 not withstanding)

    You can still turn the hand wheel to make sure the machine will form a stitch. Though, if it doesn't, it's a bargaining point, since it's very hard to break one of the black heads permanently. The belt and the spool pin can be had easily. If you're in the US, the favorite is Jenny, at Sew-Classic.com. If you're in Canada, please PM me, I can help you. If you're somewhere else, I know someone here will have a recommendation.

    Most manuals can be had on the ISMACS.net site.
    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, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  3. #3
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    Thank you! This machine has the slide plate on the right of the needle, and the tensioner in front of the operator, so the seller has correctly identified it as a 127. I am in the US, so I am going to check out Sew-Classic.com for those parts and ISMACS.net.site for the manual.

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    I see from the online manual for this machine that it uses a shuttle, not a bobbin. Does a shuttle hold as much thread as a bobbin? What is your opinion of this machine? Ty again.

  5. #5
    Junior Member makitmama's Avatar
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    I have recently gotten a treadle(not my first but I never mastered the other one). The head in the treadle is also a 127. This machine is in great working order, and perfectly usable, but I don't like the shuttle bobbin and will be putting another head into the treadle. There is a reason that shuttle bobbins stopped being made- they are a little more temperamental, IMHO.
    Cil




    I'm a Queen.... at least my pantyhose say I am!


    (proud caretaker of a magenta 221, purple 222, assorted 66's, a 301, a pink Atlas and Monarch, and Granny's 201-2.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makitmama View Post
    There is a reason that shuttle bobbins stopped being made- they are a little more temperamental, IMHO.
    OTOH, they continued to be made for a long time after round bobbins came into vogue. I think Singer made the 128 into the 50s and I wouldn't be surprised if New Home vibrating shuttles weren't being made until then as well.

    Belts and pins are easy to find (sew-classic) and even the shuttles and bobbins are relatively easy to find (someone mentioned that sew-classic carries these as well but if they don't they're easy to find on eBay.)

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    JustAbitCrazy,

    The cabinet can be repaired. It just takes time, effort, ambition, glue, clamps, stain, shellac, and Briwax.
    Here's a thread with some pics of the one I redid just last month:
    Look it what I'm getting for free ...... update

    As for the machine, pinkCastleDH is correct about Sew-Classic having the bobbins, thread spool pin, and belts.
    The shuttle bobbins do carry a lot of thread, but not near as much as say a Class 15 or 66. And the biggest complaint I've heard is they are noisy. I guess I'm an anachronism because I find the mechanical noise far more pleasing to my ears than the plastic type sounds of the newer machines.

    Joe

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    Thanks, Joe. Do you mean a shuttle treadle is noisier than one which uses a round bobbin? I think from what everyone here has advised, that I'd rather look for a treadle which doesn't have a shuttle bobbin...You guys rock! I knew I'd get good advice. TY!

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    No I mean the machine itself is noisier. There are parts in a shuttle that swing back and forth and can set up quite a clatter. Here is a video of my Minnesota Model B being used by my wife. I made a clear plastic slide plate to make a little video of what goes on under the machine as it sews.


    Suffice to say that instead of rotating shafts that connect to short levers or gears to run the bobbin and feed dogs, shuttle machines use a swing arm and with years of use and wear they can be pretty noisy. I've got 8 shuttle machines and they range from quiet to really noisy. The nosiest is my Franklin 1911 that is in a parlor cabinet. The wooden walls act as a megaphone and amplify the noise. I still like them though.

    Joe
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-23-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: posting links to own site

  10. #10
    Muv
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    Senior Member Muv's Avatar
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    Hello JustAbitCrazy

    The reason a long bobbin machine makes a rattle is because with every stitch a loop of thread is made and the shuttle goes through the loop, so each stitch causes the shuttle to make a tiny jump in its carriage.

    There is absolutely no reason why you should give up looking at long bobbin machines thinking they are noisy. It is just that they make a different noise to round bobbin machines.

    If you want to hear what long bobbin machines sound like you can watch my Youtube videos (link below), in particular "How to Treadle"

    And no, I don't find long bobbin machines temperamental.

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