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Thread: Elna Supermatic - a keeper?

  1. #1
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    Elna Supermatic - a keeper?

    Today I found an Elna Supermatic 722010 offered by an elderly fellow who likes to casually tinker with sewing machines and clocks. He told me that he got it from an estate sale and never worked on one before but it runs and all parts are moving - has the green case (missing the handle), a bobbin, a regular foot, the knee bar and has 1 cam in place -cord looks good - no manual - it doesn't look like anything is missing. Sorry but I can't post a pic right now since DS has my camera - will try to do so tomorrow.

    He asked $30 and said that I can bring it back this week if I am unhappy and think it will be too much for me to clean up and use.

    I am not familiar with these and definitely feel out of my element here but I did get it and thought that I would investigate further. I like the green colour and it's industrial look. The machine finish is good with very few chips. The case has some rust but is in fair shape overall.

    It does need a good general cleaning and is very loud when it runs. Are they really noisey?

    From what I read, I guess it probably needs a new friction pulley. The cam is held tightly in place and I can not unscrew it to remove it - did set all dials to "0" but the screw won't budge and I didn't want to force it too much - read it is made of bakelite and I don't want to break it.

    Comments?? Is this a keeper?? Good price? I checked online prices and there is a big range from $25 - $300.
    I have read some good comments about them but I'm not sure if I'm over my head with this one so any info is appreciated as I couldn't find much online other than machines for sale.

    Are the parts expensive? Is it hard to get accessories, manual and cams? - would like to find a replacement handle for sure if I keep it.

    I'm really undecided on this one and wondering if it's a project that I want to undertake. I know that if I was looking for one and if it was on my "wanted" list I would be thrilled with the find but I really don't know much about them. Thanks for your help
    Last edited by costumegirl; 08-20-2013 at 08:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member mlmack's Avatar
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    I'd keep it if it were me.
    Mark

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Your Green Girl!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mlmack View Post
    I'd keep it if it were me.
    KEEP IT, KEEP IT!!!!!

    The rumbling noise it the friction pulley. I have two Green Girls, and I have recently become Self-Declared Master of Replacing Friction Pulleys.

    I am going to PM you. I can help you with all of it. YAY!!!! Cecilia knows how do do something besides ask questions!!! LOL. ;-)

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I have to admit they're just not my favorite vintage machine. Cute, but a lot of effort to get back to running correctly. Pulleys are not cheap and can cost as much as the machine. You have to store it with the pulley disengaged or it will get a flat spot again. And IMO they vibrate a lot. Plus, I'm not a big fan of the knee lever/control for the speed. They just don't seem to suit my sewing needs. I've had three and have sold one, am planning on selling one and just keeping one for the cuteness and kind-of-cool factor. I much prefer other Elnas like the 62C or Carina air electronics, and Lotus machines for actual sewing and projects. They also are very specific and picky about bobbins. They won't take the generic bobbins available now so only the German made ones or vintage bobbins. Eh, just not a machine I love. For $30 it's a keeper, but you may just not use it as much as you had planned. Replacing the pulley will cost you as much as the machine. Just for the part and if you do it yourself.
    Last edited by Candace; 08-20-2013 at 10:04 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info! I had a good day yesterday searching around and 2 other machines almost followed me home but my space is really limited. I like to use my machines but was really unsure about this one especially after I read a bit more online and it does seem more finicky.
    Cecilia - I would love to learn more about it from you - thank you!

  6. #6
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    Again, any info or sources that you have to offer is greatly appreciated

  7. #7
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    If you want to know the cost of parts, then just Google the machine make and model number!

  8. #8
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    I just saw a couple on E-bay, one for $39. and 2 for $200 and $250 I would go for it after checking prices for parts would be a consideration but you've got the machine and that would be a large shipping cost. I would go for it.

  9. #9
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    Never been able to figure out if my Elna is considered an Elnamatic or not. It is gray, not green, has the free-arm, cover of the metal case is the table that slides around the free-arm . Bought it new in 1964. Sewed on it only for about 40 yrs. Never was in a shop, never gave me one bit of trouble. I have always cleaned and oiled it myself. It has about 10 cams. When I need a workhorse that I know won't get discombobulated with a heavy load, out she comes and is ready for anything. Anyone know what model this machine of mine really is? Instruction book was minimal and there never was any model mentioned.
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yooper32 View Post
    Never been able to figure out if my Elna is considered an Elnamatic or not. It is gray, not green, has the free-arm, cover of the metal case is the table that slides around the free-arm . Bought it new in 1964. Sewed on it only for about 40 yrs. Never was in a shop, never gave me one bit of trouble. I have always cleaned and oiled it myself. It has about 10 cams. When I need a workhorse that I know won't get discombobulated with a heavy load, out she comes and is ready for anything. Anyone know what model this machine of mine really is? Instruction book was minimal and there never was any model mentioned.
    Yooper, can you post a photo? Particularly the side, the motor; the writing on the motor may say. If it says 722010, then that's the stuff! :-) Pictures, pictures, make us drool...

  11. #11
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I agree with Candace. I found it a fairly finicky machine. Other people really like them though.

    The pulley (about $20 - $25) was simple to replace though, it just requires a little more care than some other machines because the motor is on springs and can shift around. You need to brace that before you "drive" the pin out. I braced with some quick grips. Then pushed the pin out with a punch. It took me about 5 - 10 minutes without the special tool you can rent from Ray White. Being in Canada, I didn't want the hassle of sending it back and forth.

    I have another brown / beige Supermatic here, it's not labelled that way, but it says 722010 on the plate. It will likely sit a long time before I put any work into it, because of the pulley and how much work they take to get purring.

    That said, as a machine to use, it seemed quite nice. It was the tuning I didn't like because it seemed temperamental, but the one I had had been stored for 25 years in a basement, so that may have something to do with the grief it gave me.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Archaic and Candace, and everyone,

    I have successfully replaced the pully on my Green Girl and am about to start tinkering to get her stitching. She is Old New Stock. One thing I am about to tackle is the Cam stitch length calibration.

    When you said it took a lot to get it purring, what do you mean? What sort of things did you find tended to need attention? I would appreciate all heads-ups, as I navigate through this.

    Thanks in advance!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Update: I spent the afternoon tinkering. Ah, such fun. I adjusted the Cam stitch length, which was set too long. Then I just ran the Green Girl for a while - sometimes without thread, sometimes with thread, just sewing straight lines on cotton fabric. I figure, after being essentially dormant for decades, she must just benefit from some motion!

    This is neat, bringing a machine back to life.

    Any other tips, please chime in! What to look/listen for?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Grammie Sharon's Avatar
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    I have an Elna SU which I purchased in 1973. It has and still is serving me well. i take it in once a year for a cleaning. I'll post a pic tomorrow. Everytime I think about something new I hate the thought of not using the one I have.
    Sharon

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    Hi all,
    my Elna Supermatic 722010 just had a bit of an interior meltdown. I think it is a 1947-48 model and has been bulletproof since I bought it in 1975.
    I have gotten used to the quirks of this model and love it anyway. Now I am looking for a way to repair or (probably) replace it.
    Any suggestions? I am looking on eBay but wouldn't want to get anything that hasn't been evaluated.
    Any of you have one to sell? Thanks so much.

  16. #16
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    PS
    I had someone open up my 722010 which has had the meltdown. He said that it had come detached from the springs and so certain components had come in contact and had melted. Not having seen into it myself, I am offering that description to any of you for your opinions.
    If I could describe more would you be able to say if it is a goner or fixable?
    many thanks!

  17. #17
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Sewing machine wiring is very simple. A motor, a light and a switch is about it. If it's just the wiring it's fixable. If there are any proprietary connectors that fried you may have to dig to find replacements.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  18. #18
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    You can probably find a new pulley on line, I found one for my New Home for $3.99. As soon as the new pulley was on the noise went away, it is because of the flat spot on the pulley. Get a wooden clothes pin-take it apart and use one of the wooden pieces between the motor and the body of the machine when you are NOT using it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yooper32 View Post
    Never been able to figure out if my Elna is considered an Elnamatic or not. It is gray, not green, has the free-arm, cover of the metal case is the table that slides around the free-arm . Bought it new in 1964. Sewed on it only for about 40 yrs. Never was in a shop, never gave me one bit of trouble. I have always cleaned and oiled it myself. It has about 10 cams. When I need a workhorse that I know won't get discombobulated with a heavy load, out she comes and is ready for anything. Anyone know what model this machine of mine really is? Instruction book was minimal and there never was any model mentioned.
    I probably have the exact same model... also purchased in 1964, in New Zealand. Since moving to Canada I've had to run it through a transformer to convert voltage. Like yours, mine was never in the shop, was professionally cleaned and serviced once, and still sews a straight line and zig-zag better than any machine I've used since. Today when I got it out again after a couple of years, it's not winding the bobbin--and it no longer does buttonholes. Have you found anyone to service yours? I love how smooth this machine is, how quiet, true Swiss-made excellence.

  20. #20
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    Loved finding this thread. I'm looking at the Supermatic, and wonder if anyone has used it to FMQ? On eBay, I found machines with darning plate, and one with the darning foot - but not a machine with both parts. I'm a FW junkie, but this looks like a super little machine.
    TJ in Kingston

  21. #21
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    There are many other vintage machines that are better suited for FMQ. Not only do you have to contend with a super small throat space, the bobbin is drop in and not the best choice for tension during FMQing.

  22. #22
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard T J! Not much to add here except if you're looking for a better machine for FMQ you might consider a Singer 15 or one of it's clones. I like the job my clone does and other people like them as well.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  23. #23
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    Sew-Classic.com now has the replacement pulleys and I have ordered one for a White Rotary.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    My wonderful Elna 62C (1973) can't piece or FMQ. The presser foot is 'automatic' meaning it adjusts the tension to suit what's under it. Just firm enough to shift little quilt pieces slightly and with the ZZ size needle hole it eats corners of triangles. It's okay, the 301 does both those things well and Miss Elna does everything else from silk organza wedding dresses to leather belts. Handles stretchy knits wonderfully.

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