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Thread: Bel-air? What can you tell me......

  1. #1
    Senior Member harrishs's Avatar
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    Bel-air? What can you tell me......

    There was a little ad in today's paper for "antique sewing machine" so I called......she said she thought it was a Singer which is what I collect usually. Well, when I got there, she said she was wrong, it is a Bel Air and really sews good....I thought it was so pretty and appeared to have been so well taken care of----and she only wanted $30--------To me it looks like a clone of my 201----I know it was made in Japan but that is about all....and haven't found much on the net. Any information is really appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Well, actually it's a copy of the Singer 66 and 15. And it's a literal twin to my Sewmor 404. It will take Class 66 bobbins and 15x1 needles and probably sew beautiful stitches.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Senior Member harrishs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Well, actually it's a copy of the Singer 66 and 15. And it's a literal twin to my Sewmor 404. It will take Class 66 bobbins and 15x1 needles and probably sew beautiful stitches.

    Joe
    Thanx, Joe!

  4. #4
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Well, she looks almost new and I love the decals on her! Everyone here says "clones are good"!!

  5. #5
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    If she says "Made in Occupied Japan" on the label on her arm under the Los Angelesd part, then she's a twin to my Bel Air along with another gal's Bel Air. I don't have a manual buit she threads easily and sews through everything including military uniforms seams quite handily. I don't believe the feed dogs drop. I printed off an HA-1 manual from the internet for reference material but can't tell you where I got it. Mine came with mummified bugs and a mouse - hope yours is cleaner. PM me if you want more info.
    Chris
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  6. #6
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    HA-1 manual doesn't have drop in bobbin directions, but everything else fits?

  7. #7
    Super Member manicmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms View Post
    Everyone here says "clones are good"!!
    Not everyone. German versions of Singer machines are much better quality than the Japanese ones. The latter are a bit of a lottery: Some are good, some aren't. Original Singers are cheap and plentiful enough that if I want a 15 or 201, I'll buy an original. The Singers aren't the most sophisticated machines but are very consistent and original model 15s are always tougher than the Japanese copies, in my experience.
    Japanese copies are usually colourful and dripping with chrome and this is why most people like them.
    The only clone I have is a Seidel and Naumann MOP 15 clone.
    Singers: model 12 MOP (1885) Improved Family 29k58 (1939) 44K11 (1921) 201K2, 201K23 206k11 (1950) 222k (1959) 320k2(1959), 15K90, Bernina 530, Pfaff:360 (1959) http://tailororfailure.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Junior Member Freaky_Quilts_Dragon's Avatar
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    I love the zig-zag detailings, I've *never* seem a face plate that looks anything like that.
    I love and respect everything with all my heart and soul, because everything is sacred, and deserving of love and respect.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/BraveNewCraft?ref=listing-shop-header-item-count"

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I didn't know they cloned the 201. Does that one have a drop in bobbin or a class 15 bobbin?
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  10. #10
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    If it's like the other BelAir posted it has a drop in class 66 bobbin. I really want to see the underside. If it's gear driven then it's a 201 clone. It could just as easily be based more on a 66 with a 15 style stitch length selector though.
    Try Singerco.com for either a 66 or 201 manual. They're free downloads. The HA-1 manual will have different instructions for adjusting your tensions.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  11. #11
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I just "rescued" this Bel Air. The seller said if it did not sell it was going to the recycler. Ok, now, who wants a free machine?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member sews's Avatar
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    Rodney, I haven't done much sewing on the Bantam - and once I get back to sewing, I am hoping to get in sync with my 319. The little Bantam was a thrift store find, my first in a series, and was irresistible though I had no particular use for it. I used the ruffler on it and it worked like a charm. Took it to do the job at a friend's house whose "computerized" plastic Brother balked at its ruffler.

    The .9 Amp of the motor is a bonus! Stronger than the FW motor, and also stronger than the 319. It is light weight, but I don't know how much or how little it weighs. It is very cute.

    One drawback: you cannot fasten the stitch length so back stitching is not as easy as with the 201. You have to negotiate it back to your chosen setting....

    The Bel Air Imperial above has a better system, like the 201. It is a full size machine, I believe, while the Bantam is 3/4 size.
    Last edited by sews; 06-15-2015 at 05:04 PM.
    Sabine

  13. #13
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    The Bantams look like a nice machine Singer 99 clone but aluminum not cast iron so there's a significant weight savings.
    One of the machines on my ever growing "want" list though I don't really need one. I have enough 99s to fill my actual needs for smaller machines.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  14. #14
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Too bad shipping is such a killer. Neat 15 clone. I like the rounded corners on the case on that one.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

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