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Thread: Singer 501A? Should I go back?

  1. #1
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    Singer 501A? Should I go back?

    I saw a very rough looking 501A In a junk shop up the street. It was filthy in and out and had broken hinges on the doors. No attachments were with it. I was so surprised to find pristine white thread in the bobbin amid all that dust and dirt. My question is should I go back? It was marked 55 dollars. What exactly do the drop in cams do. are they hard to find? I want a machine I can use not one that there is no hope for.

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    You can keep looking for a machine in better condition and a better price.

  3. #3
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    That is kind of what I was leaning toward but I wanted to make sure I wasnt passing up something spectacular. I am going to look at a white(maybe they werent for sure) this week that is gonna be free. I am told it weighs about 60 lbs. But knowing the people it is coming from I expect it to be in alot better shape.

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Only if you desperately need a parts machine... but then again you might be able to make it functional.
    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

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I have taken a 500A Rocketeer from just about that state to an excellent functional machine. But it was a PITA, cost extra money, although not that much as my LSMG had all the parts I needed, and a lot of work.

    I'd agree with Candice and Miriam, keep looking.

    The cams allow the machine to produce decorative stitches. Most ZZ machines will do ZZ and SS with perhaps a hem stitch. Then there are those that have a ton of built in decorative and functional stitches. Patterns, stretch stitches, hem stitches and others.
    And then there are those like the 501 that need removable cams to make these patterns. Generally the machines that depend on the removable cams are simpler mechanically than those with built in cam stacks. That is a good thing but not a necessity.

    Joe

  6. #6
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    Do you mean a 401??? I have never heard of a 501....500 and 503 are very close to the 401 and 403s.

  7. #7
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    The broken hinges are difficult to fix, at best. You can do better. That's too much to pay for a machine in that shape. The cams are not hard to find on e-bay and similar places.

  8. #8
    Super Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    The "I gotta make a lot of money today" fairy has bitten a whole bunch of sellers lately. And Goodwill is the leader of that pack. That machine should have been priced at $5 OBO to move it out, not $55. I was in Goodwill today, still trying to find a good FW in one where the sorters don't know what they are sorting through....and found a Singer Touch and Sew in dirty and terrible condition in a desk that was even worse for $39.99. I just looked at it and tch tched my aggravation and left. I had glanced at a couple of pretty decent sheets that would have done for a lining someday, but passed them by on my way out.

    Back to the original subject; yes, $55 for a machine like that in bad condition is too high. Wait, you'll find what you're looking for and your joy will be what you are wanting to feel.
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  9. #9
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    Shoot, I am of the 'make an offer' school. I would point out all that is wrong with it, and offer what you'd like to pay. Worst they'll say is no. I got my dirty guy for ten. I wanted it so much I would have gone fifteen!

    And Joe, my goodwill had three machines today. a (med old) Singer - the one with brown on the face, and little pics of the stitches . . . kind of square. An old japanese zig zagger, I don't remember the badge. It looked terrible. the finish was discolored, it was filthy. It had a box of attachments in that little slot on the left, but that was it. The light came on, and tried hard to stay on. the motor came on, whirred, no movement. turning the wheel moved nothing either. It smelled bad as it tried to work, and the case was banged, dented, and ground-in dirty. $14.99. Not EVER.

    Didn't price the newer one.

    Then, there was a smallish white in a cabinet - looked to be in nice shape. $9.99. Of course, it was sold. The drawers were empty - If Margaret was smart, she took that with her! (her receipt was taped on it, with her name!!)

    the difference in those prices is just crazy!!

  10. #10
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    meant to mention - I was going to take pictures for the Board, realized I'd left my phone at home!! =//

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