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Thread: what model of machine is this, are they a good machine?

  1. #1
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    what model of machine is this, are they a good machine?


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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i'd ask the poster what numbers are on the back of the motor, probably the model number
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
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    The Kenmore is a good machine sold by Sears. I have one that is probably 50-60 years old and the only thing wrong with it is the power cord. It was my Mom's and I learned to sew on it. It is very heavy and in a cabinet, so hard to transport. Some day I will get it fixed. It looks like that door on top is for cams (just a guess). I would date it to the 1960's (just a guess).
    Sue

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    Always be careful when buying a used machine. The ad says it runs, but it doesn't say it sews. If you are going to pick it up, take some fabric and thread. Since it doesn't say there's a manual, you want to see if you can thread it. Also, does the $25 include the cabinet. If it does sew and includes the cabinet, you should snatch it up. Even if you take it in to a shop and have it completely cleaned, oiled and lubed, the price will be worth it.

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    It is an early Kenmore, and they are very good machines. I know it dates prior to the 1980's because that's when I bought my first one (the model number on mine starts with 158.xxxx.) This one will have a model number less than that---maybe in the 140's ? I agree that the door at the top is probably for inserting cams to make stitches other than a straight stitch. The Kenmores in the 158. series have the knobs for fancy stitches right on the front of the machine. If you post your question on the "antique/vintage machines" forum, I'm sure you'll find experts who know much more about this machine. I say definitely go and see/ try it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    This is a Kenmore from the 60s or 70s. The model number would begin either 148.xxx which is made by White, or 158.xxxx which is made by Jaguar/Maruzen. My Mom has a 148 series and I have a 158 series, both from the 70s. They are both good machines and still going strong. They are easy to clean/service yourself. For that price, if you need a machine, that is a great choice. Hopefully, the seller has the manual and attachments. If not, it will use low shank attachments and reprint manuals can be found online.

  7. #7
    Super Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beauford View Post
    The model # will prob be on the rim below the base, tilt the machine back to see it. SkyAngel gave you other good info about it. The # on the motor will not be the model #.

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    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    It looks to be of similar vintage to the Singer I got in the mid 60s.

    Mine worked great for many years through many air force moves. Finally damaged it myself by accidentally shoving it against a wall with the buttonhole attachment on and bent the bar that holds the needle.

    Just be sure to check out the machine thoroughly before you purchase to be sure it stitches well and sounds like it has been kept well oiled.

    This should be a very good machine.

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    I have that same machine which I purchased new in October of 1969. It still runs great and has been used constantly over the years. I even purchased another like it from craigslist to use for parts if ever needed and that one runs just as good so now I have two of them to use. The machine is a workhorse. I would test it before you buy it. If it runs you will have a great machine. It did come with cams for decorative stitching.

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Ok, other people know the answer to the question that you asked. But the craiglist ad is for Peoria, and the ad says the sewing machine is in Wyoming. I was so confused! I was trying to find a Peoria in Wyoming, only to find that there's a Wyoming in Illinois! Why, oh why do I spend time trying to figure these things out?

  11. #11
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    That machine has been wet and was wet for a while. Keep looking.

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    Senior Member mjmachin's Avatar
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    I had one of these and liked the machine, but always had trouble with the tension not staying where I set it. It would sew good for awhile and then all of a sudden change.

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    The number on the motor is just the motor model # and they are most all the same. The machine is on the front just below the bed. It's on a metal plate and probably begins with a 158.XXXX They are usually wonderful machines. A few are left homing, and i would avail those because it is very hard to find feet to fit it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member csharp's Avatar
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    I had one like this, uses cams for fancy stitches. I had two small boys at the time and didn't like the way it sewed denim, and I know now that I didn't take as good care of it as I should have and didn't know enough to change the needles when I should have so my dissatisfaction was probably user error. Mine was in a cabinet and the legs came off very easy if you took the time to flip the cabinet and slide them off, so it wasn't a problem to move it if we moved. I gave it to my daughter-in-law, thought I was done with sewing...lol...and till I figured out quilting was a whole different experience, that was true. Sounds like a bargain to me if it works.
    with a passion for quilting and vintage machines..Singers: 99, 4 featherweights, Redeye 66, Lotus 66, Phoenix 27, 15-91, 301A
    Colleen S.

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    I had one just exactly like it, even to the color. I loved it, but had the opportunity to pass it along to a mission group helping native women start businesses, so I reluctantly let it go. It was and I hope still is, a Doozie. froggyintexas

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    It is an early Kenmore, and they are very good machines. I know it dates prior to the 1980's because that's when I bought my first one (the model number on mine starts with 158.xxxx.) This one will have a model number less than that---maybe in the 140's ? I agree that the door at the top is probably for inserting cams to make stitches other than a straight stitch. The Kenmores in the 158. series have the knobs for fancy stitches right on the front of the machine. If you post your question on the "antique/vintage machines" forum, I'm sure you'll find experts who know much more about this machine. I say definitely go and see/ try it!
    As I understand it, the best of the Kenmores are the 158.xxx series. The machine under discussion here is plain, no special features and probably earlier. If you buy it, make sure it has all the cams and that you can change them and that they work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom View Post
    That machine has been wet and was wet for a while. Keep looking.
    Aren't you observant! I went back to look at the picture and saw that the pattern of dirt that bothered me on the back, plus the cabinet, both did look like water damage.

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    It is a Kenmore 158.1654. I just got one free from a woman at church moving into a nursing home. I bought a new belt from Sew-Classic, 20 cams for $10 on eBay, and am putting it in a case out of the cabinet. It is a sturdy workhorse. You have to see if it runs. If it runs, it is a solid machine. You can find the manual online for free.

  19. #19
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    It is an older Kenmore and an excellant machine. Grab it and run

  20. #20
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    I have the same machine. It is a Kenmore. My son got it for a $. To bring it home I was on a plane, and had to pay $30 since it weighed over 50 lbs. (This was about 10 years ago). I use the machine to put bindings on quilts, it is really good for that. There are cams that will give you different designes too and I picked them up off ebay for $5. Great machine. It was made in Japan about 65 and heavy duty for the Kenmore line. I did get a users manual from Sears for the machine too.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Maggieloe's Avatar
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    I have a 40 year old Kenmore. Not the same model, but if my experience means anything, I would go for it. Solid metal machine, reliable, you can easily clean and oil yourself (no expensive servicing needed). Often wonder why I spent 2K on a fancy computerized machine.

  22. #22
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket_iscute View Post
    Aren't you observant! I went back to look at the picture and saw that the pattern of dirt that bothered me on the back, plus the cabinet, both did look like water damage.
    Sorry, but I studied it closely and can't see how anyone could be sure without seeing it in person. The cabinet looks dusty. It seems unlikely that the motor would run if it's been wet. In any case, if it's been wet, you will be able to see rust and mold when you look at it in person, and at that price I would go have a look!
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

  23. #23
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    How can you tell that?? I studied it closely and see no evidence of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom View Post
    That machine has been wet and was wet for a while. Keep looking.

  24. #24
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    I had a Kenmore machine that was a workhorse for over 15 years until I finally burned the motor out - too much quilting, but boy did that machine love to quilt and sew heavier fabric. I upgraded because I thought I would get a better machine -nope, I bought a Singer from my sewing machine dealer that barely lasted 2 -3 years, then I just traded up to my Janome 4000, which I love.

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