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Thread: Fixing up old machine? Free-Westinghouse c.1920s

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    St. Louis
    Hi! I'm Andi, and I hope this is the right place for this question.

    I was just given an old sewing machine. It's had a bit of history just in the last year - someone curbed it, and someone else picked it up, and kept it in her basement to hold an old coal door shut!

    here's an auction which seems to be the exact same model as what I have. I can't spot any differences, other than the fact mine is in a proper cabinet and has a knee pedal. http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions...e-8001077.html Hopefully you can tell enough from that person's pictures. I can take pictures of mine if it's a dire necessity.

    Anyway, I brought it home but sadly it doesn't have an operation manual. It plugs in to an outlet set on the bottom of the wooden cabinet, which then has a second cord that plugs into the wall. It has an operating light-bulb. The machine responds easily with pressure on the knee pedal, and the mechanisms appear to be operating properly, both above and below the table. Problem is, I can't figure out how to thread it and test it out.

    There's a lever on the front side that controls the stitch length and direction of the feed dogs. There is also a dial in a crescent shaped channel. I thought this might drop the feed dogs, but it doesn't seem to do anything at all? The machine arrived with it firmly screwed in to the highest point on the crescent. The sample picture has it positioned further down.

    While I was playing with it the machine started smoking. !! It was coming up behind the lightbulb, so I don't know if it's the lightbulb or my messing around with unknown dials had something to do with it. I immediately unplugged the machine and looked for damaged wiring, but I didn't find anything that looks like it could have caused the smoke from the underside or exterior.

    So, all that being said -- do you think this is a salvageable machine? Does anyone know where I can learn how to thread it and/or find an instruction manual?

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
    Blog Entries
    welcome. we have a user defined topic for vintage machines. here is the link. i'm sure that someone can help you there. http://www.quiltingboard.com/virtual...jsp?vsnum=1013

  3. #3
    Senior Member luvnquilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Junction City, OR
    Blog Entries
    I'm not an expert, but it kinda reminds me of my "Japanese 15" - basically a clone of a Singer 15. The screw you're referring to on the front seems to lock the stitch length in place - you can still reverse but it keeps it from getting too long. I would recommend giving it a thorough cleaning and oiling. You could remove the light and see if that's the problem... I was able to buy a replacement for the power cord (same setup as you described) and my husband re-wired it to the foot pedal. The old cord was truly old, it was not insulated at all and we didn't feel safe with using it. I'm so happy with this machine, I've been using it every chance I get for the last 2 days. (only had it 3 weeks :)

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