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Thread: Things I should look for on a Model 66

  1. #1
    Member jrrotunno's Avatar
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    Things I should look for on a Model 66

    Hello, I have only been following this board for two weeks but I am finding you all are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. Not to mention very enabling of my new found love of vintage machines!
    I have found a Singer Model 66 Redeye locally that I want to go look at. Since I did not even know what "redeye" was three weeks ago, I need some help please. Is there a way to determine if the machine was originally electric, or if the motor was added later? And does this impact the value? It seems to me that the machine is not in it's original cabinet so I want to be on the lookout for other potential flags. The fuzzy picture looks pretty good, other than that 70's looking cabinet. But you never know until you see it in person.

    Thanks for your help!

    Janyce
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  2. #2
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I can guarantee you that machine has an "aftermarket" motor. That machine is a fairly early 66-1 or 66-3 (The only difference is that the 66-1 was a treadle, the 66-3 was a handcrank). (You can tell by the tension and the stitch regulator) It wasn't uncommon to add a motor after electricity became more available...my DSIL, Peggy, (candela_59) has a beautiful Redeye in a beautiful parlor cabinet that was electrified and the treadle parts removed.

    You already know to look for the needle to move up and down when you turn the wheel. There's been more than a few yards of material go across that bed, (decal wear, not necessarily a bad thing...depends on if you're looking for a "user" or a display piece) You're also going to need a spool pin...does it come with attachments? They can be pretty spendy for a back clamp.

    I know it doesn't matter to some, but for me, the value of the machine would be less if it was drilled into to add the motor, and I'd be pulling that motor off anyway. I would also pay less for a Redeye that's had the presser bar changed out to take side clamps. And keep the cabinet, you might run across a nice 201-2 that needs a "skirt"!

    All just my opinion, for what it's worth! (not usually very much!! )
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Member jrrotunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    I can guarantee you that machine has an "aftermarket" motor. That machine is a fairly early 66-1 or 66-3 (The only difference is that the 66-1 was a treadle, the 66-3 was a handcrank). (You can tell by the tension and the stitch regulator) It wasn't uncommon to add a motor after electricity became more available...my DSIL, Peggy, (candela_59) has a beautiful Redeye in a beautiful parlor cabinet that was electrified and the treadle parts removed.



    You already know to look for the needle to move up and down when you turn the wheel. There's been more than a few yards of material go across that bed, (decal wear, not necessarily a bad thing...depends on if you're looking for a "user" or a display piece) You're also going to need a spool pin...does it come with attachments? They can be pretty spendy for a back clamp.

    I know it doesn't matter to some, but for me, the value of the machine would be less if it was drilled into to add the motor, and I'd be pulling that motor off anyway. I would also pay less for a Redeye that's had the presser bar changed out to take side clamps. And keep the cabinet, you might run across a nice 201-2 that needs a "skirt"!

    All just my opinion, for what it's worth! (not usually very much!! )
    Thank you so much for that information so quickly Charlee!

    And I just love it when I can show my ignorance -what are side clamps and back clamps?

    I felt like this was an early model but forgot that the stitch regulator told me that - not everything I am learning is not sinking all the way in! I did know that when he said it was from the 50's that he was wrong, lol. And I agree about the aftermarket motor decreasing what it is worth to me. Added to the fact that the machine definitely shows it has been well used.

    I may pass on the trek to look at this one, and just go negotiate that working Pfaff 130 with a coffee grinder that is in its original cool cabinet that I have been eying for about 10 days. That machine supposedly came from the same estate my Wheeler and Wilson 9 came from.

    Thanks again
    Janyce

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Janyce,

    Also before you plunk down your $$. lift up the cloth under the presser foot. Make sure the needle plate and bobbin cover are there. I can't tell from the pics you posted. I do know that some on line auctions have had the bobbin / needle plate covered with cloth and unless you really look close you'd miss the fact the slide plate is missing.
    They can be had, but then the machine won't look original, the plating on the aftermarket plates is different.

    The spoked hand wheel is also a possible sign of a converted machine. Most of the factory electrics I've seen have the smaller solid hand wheel. The larger spoked hand wheel can adversely affect the running of the machine too. On one of my electric 66s when I'd back off the foot controller, instead of stopping the bigger wheel would keep on turning the machine. I swapped in a smaller solid hand wheel and the problem went away.


    PS, love that cabinet.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrrotunno View Post
    what are side clamps and back clamps?
    Where the presser foot attaches to the machine... the old 66-1 or 3 clamp in the back of the presser bar, to my knowledge they are the only machines made that attach that way other than Wheeler & Wilson, and even they are different than the Singer backclamps. Any other Singer has a side clamp presser foot
    HTH!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Janyce,
    Don't let anybody fool you, it takes a long time to learn about sewing machines
    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

  7. #7
    Member jrrotunno's Avatar
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    Thanks so much everyone! I did some more digging around, reading, and picture study last night. I now have a clear picture about back clamps vs side clamps (and could recognize them!), solid and spoked wheels, etc. Your information helped immensely. I am going to pass on the 66 for now. You all saved me a short road trip and who knows what else!

    I feel like I know a lot about modern Berninas, but I am such a newbie on Singers and all the other vintage machines. I am just so fascinated! I learned to sew on my Mom's Japanese made White in the early 60's, received a Nelco for high school graduation but moved to Bernina in 1975. My mom still has the White sitting in my old bedroom closet and I will be picking it up on my next trip home.

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Those old Bernina's and White's are nice machines... Nelco not bad either. You know more than you think you do. Too bad you don't live close - I have a very nice Singer 66 in a bentwood - it even has a back tack lever.
    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

  9. #9
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    All good info for me when I get that "red eye" or sphinx. thanks for sharing.
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

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