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So I bought a 15-91 today, it's my first locked up machine. >

So I bought a 15-91 today, it's my first locked up machine.

So I bought a 15-91 today, it's my first locked up machine.

Old 11-29-2015, 08:57 PM
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Default So I bought a 15-91 today, it's my first locked up machine.

I didn't get it for a steal but I did talk it down from $60 to $35.

It's my first locked up piece and my first 15 series. 1939 by the serial number. It's pretty decent to look at, had a large wasp mud nest in the arm and needs oiling. It's actually in surprisingly good condition, the potted motor will turn freely if you unlock the wheel. It does have a light with a separate switch, it has the three pin block and it has to my knowledge no missing pieces.

But the dern thing is just locked up. I have oiled all of the moving parts, I have the presser bar moving yet I cannot get anything else to move. There is a little give and the needle bar will move up and down just very slightly. I cannot seem to see much movement anywhere else. It truly looks as though the machine has been dry for a very very long time.






The pictures are out of order, I have removed pieces in certain pictures and since replaced them. Also the wasp nest is gone, judging by the color its been there quite a while.

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Last edited by Beautiful_Sound; 11-29-2015 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:58 AM
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First thing is to get the wasp next out. That could be the problem right there. That mud can be like concrete.

Then just float the machine in Tri-Flow and gently work the parts till they free up.

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Old 11-30-2015, 03:00 AM
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I agree with Joe, poke out the wasp nest (seriously?) and oil. Two drops of oil every where twice a day, let it seep in, Wiggle the hand wheel know and then, let it stand over night, and they usually start to turn. I have to admit I oil plenty on very dry or grimy machines that doesn't turn. Exiting find, keep us updated :- )
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:44 AM
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Broken record here - kerosene before oil. It's a more effective solvent and you can stab it into the mechanism with a chopped-off brush. If it's still stubborn after a couple of days, warming up the mechanism with a blow-dryer can be effective.

The earlier 15-91s with the chrome handwheel are nice. I'd say you got it for a steal.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:09 AM
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I love locked up machines. On that one I would pull the motor off the machine. Then I would clean out all the dried up oil. I would take the old grease out of the motor and grease wicks. I would replace them with new wicks. I had a Singer 15 and the motor was frozen as much as the machine. Since it some what turns you don't want to ever force it. I would put it on my lap with an old towel or sweatshirt to keep my clothes clean. Then I would oil and hand jiggle the machine. Use the jiggling to see where to oil. If it is a joint between two moving parts, oil it. Once you have it oiled, turn it on its other side or back again, oil jiggling as you go. I put it on my lap when I do that so I can feel if something is going to hit my legs. If it is on a table you could break something. (Just make sure you don't have to go to the doctor - the medical people wig out when they see a million bruises on your legs - ask me how I know?) you should be able to free that machine in a while but it won't be instant. You could flood it with kerosene if you like. It might flush it out some. I tend to use a mild solvent until necessary to use something strong and smelly. You need to be sure to oil every thing well if you do use a strong solvent. It is a lack of oil that will rust the machine. Dried up funky oil is your friend - look at the dried up oil as a good preservative but you have to get it off so you can use the machine. Well you don't have to get it off anything but the joints but I like to. Naphtha, alcohol, or some times a solution of oxiclean and Dawn will clean things. Oxiclean does have water so you would have to be very careful with finish and to be sure things are dry but it is cheap and doesn't gas. Hand cleaner with out gritty stuff some times cleans things, if not use it on your hands. Tooth picks and cotton swabs can get into hard to reach areas. The tooth picks won't scratch things but can dig a little in the cracks. Look up Glenn's info about the finish - you will want to keep the decals nice. It is always good to refresh what you kind of know. I'm always amazed how well those old machines clean up and look when you get them cleaned and the finish restored. Even an ugly one is worth the bother. I've had some that took days and some that took hours. All worth it.
You might get lucky with some chrome cleaner on the chrome pieces.

Last edited by miriam; 11-30-2015 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:21 AM
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I recently obtained a Free Sewing Machine that was locked up. Oiled and messed with it for a week, it wouldn't budge until I finally got out the hair dryer and then it freed right up. Amazing what a bit of heat will do to loosen all that old grease!
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:39 AM
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If you don't get that hard old grease out it might harden right back up
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:12 AM
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:30 AM
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Hi. I have one of this model. Slightly later then yours. When I got mine restored I was told that this model would not run properly if it was just placed on the kitchen table. It needs space under the machine for it to run properly. Try putting it into a sewing table or one of those boxes that allow for space under it. I believe it is the center bar in the picture that is the moving piece that needs to move.
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