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Going cross-eyed - Antique Singer

Going cross-eyed - Antique Singer

Old 04-04-2022, 07:03 PM
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While there are many parts that will be similar or the same between several of the class 15 machines. Yours is different in many respects from the manual for your machine and the one 1.41 referred to.

A manual for your machine would be found at https://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollec...0203/index.htm I'm not sure where I found it, but I have a diagram that shows the needle threading directions for multiple machines. It indicates that the 15-86 (which is what you have) threads from left to right, as does the Smithsonian manual. It also shows the rectangular thread stitch regulator. The one that 1.41 referred to has the round plate stitch regulator and has reverse, which according to the needlebar site, yours does not have. The manual that 1.41 referred to also threads the other direction. Also the bobbin case's finger is going the opposite direction.

Yes, please rewire.

I'm fairly certain that your tension assembly is probably complete. It is like the one in the Smithsonian manual. Many of the older tension assemblies did not have numbers on them.

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Last edited by OurWorkbench; 04-04-2022 at 07:20 PM. Reason: multiple add'l points
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:10 PM
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Agreed. This is the better manual.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:27 PM
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It is also recommended to get a v-belt, rather the round stretchy belts. Probably a new bobbin winder tire would be in order, also.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 1.41 View Post
One last point. It sort of looks like you have the original wiring on this machine. Look very closely at the wiring before you plug it in. The insulation may be deteriorated and the it may need new wiring. DON'T plug it in before checking the wires carefully to make sure that they're in good shape.

I just looked again at your pictures. The insulation on the wiring is deteriorated. It needs to be re-wired. An easy job but a bit fiddly.

The most difficult part is the light because Singer used circlips on the light fixture that are strong enough to tie down an ocean liner in a hurricane. Those are hard to get off and back on without having to use coarse language.

There is a bit of soldering to do on the connectors, but otherwise, it's an easy job to do. 20 feet of 18 gauge wire and you'll never need to use an extension cord. 18 gauge wire can be had at pretty much any hardware store for maybe 39 cents a foot. Use the one with the thinner insulation as the one with the thicker insulation won't fit into the power block. I think it's number SP-1 or something the No. 2 is the thick one that you don't want to use.
One of the first things I looked at was the wiring, I just knew there was going to be exposed wire so I'm glad that you said that, it just reaffirmed that she's not getting plugged in until that's done and out of the way. Thank you for clarifying about the insulation, I actually didn't think about the size of the insulation and probably would have gone with the bigger one. I actually don't see a long cord or a plug-in, so whoever had her before me didn't bring it with them, which bites.

I'm expecting there will be a lot of coarse language being flung around as I work on this, I told my fiancÚ that I want to be the only one to work on her, he's more than willing to let me do it, I think he's scared he'll make a mistake. Actually, I am, too, but this lets me get up close and personal with her and the more time I spend with her, the more I'll learn.

What would be the best way to clean the body? I don't want to use any harsh chemicals on it or mess up the decals. I have the manual downloaded and getting set up to print it off for some bedside reading.

Thank you for all your help, everyone. This is why I love this forum so much. Will post updates and more pictures once I get started working on her.
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Old 04-04-2022, 07:47 PM
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Please re-read my post Going cross-eyed - Antique Singer

As for cleaning - it is generally recommended to just wipe with cotton balls or old t-shirts and sewing machine oil, so that you do not mess up the decals. There is also a sticky thread at How to Clean Up and use a vintage sewing machine - videos by Muv and Fav about cleaning vintage machines.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 04-04-2022, 08:40 PM
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If you need to rewire the lamp, a snap ring pliers makes it much easier to remove and reinstall those hurricane circlips.

I have this model, dates to 1936. Love it. Easily sews through a variety of fabrics, with a beautiful balanced stitch.

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Old 04-04-2022, 08:53 PM
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So do I understand correctly that you don't have a foot pedal or the three pin connector that fits into the three pin socket?
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Old 04-05-2022, 02:31 AM
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OurWorkbench - yes, that's the manual I got. I had to save each page individually, but I have the manual. I found a physical one on Amazon for $25 that I'll get eventually, but for now a digital copy is fine.

1.41 - yes, I do not have the foot pedal or the three pin connector, however, it has the knee lever mechanism under the machine. I will take pictures of the underside and post them, I've actually never seen this kind of setup under a sewing machine and I'm confused as to what is going on with it. I was headed that direction earlier, but when my fiancÚ comes home after being gone for a few days, our two dogs lose their ever loving mind and they're bouncing and running around and it's downright dangerous to get on the floor without an escape plan, lol. Everyone is in bed passed out now, I can get under there without a problem but wanted to get on here first and see if you or OurWorkbench had anymore questions.

WIChix - I can already tell I'm going to love this machine once I get her cleaned, oiled and running properly. I learned on a Singer that's extremely similar to this one and I've always had a tender spot in my heart for Singer since. In my opinion, these Singer models are the Rolls Royce of sewing machines hands down. Now if I can ever get the fiancÚ to find a Featherweight around this timeframe, I'd have the sexy little black dress, LOL.
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Old 04-05-2022, 05:26 AM
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More Pictures....

1.41 - I was wrong - I do have the foot pedal but it has been attached to the cabinet and the knee lever mechanism pushes the button in, see the pictures. I still cannot find the three-pin connector, I talked to the fiancÚ just a bit ago and he was told that the connector was never with the machine when it was dropped off at the place where he got it. I also found out that this lady has only had three previous owners, grandmother, mother and daughter. Daughter suffered a catastrophic stroke about 20 years ago and just passed about six months ago. We know the owner of the shop that he got her from, he's going to get in touch with her this morning to see if we could track down the family, it was his understanding that up until the daughter had the stroke, she was using it, so I'm betting the connector was somehow misplaced, at least I'm hoping. The owner of the shop talked the family into selling the machine to her, they were about to take it for scrap. To think we almost lost this beautiful old lady just made my stomach lurch so hard, I had to sit down. I'm still reeling from that information. Also, if you look at the picture with the foot pedal, you'll see I scored an old cleaning brush, too, lol.

OurWorkbench - I watched a couple of those videos this morning, then stumbled onto another channel, Vintage Sewing Machine Garage - he was working on a model close to the same age as my girl and I subscribed to his channel. I've already got a shopping list of things to get, I've got enough sewing machine oil to at least get the cleaning started and I'm breaking into the dozens of makeup brushes I have to build a kit. I only use natural bristles in my makeup brushes, they'll be super soft and gentle.
Attached Thumbnails img_20220405_065714.jpg   img_20220405_065741.jpg   img_20220405_065916.jpg  
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Old 04-05-2022, 06:51 AM
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It looks like you have a 15-87 since it has the solid hand wheel and a BR motor. It is quite possible that the controller can be removed and used as a foot controller. Sometimes when the button controller was sold with the cabinet that they shortened the cord, so it didn't have excess cord to wrap up and put away. Hopefully, WIChix will be better able to help. Since the controller looks to be connected directly to the plug?? maybe just a cord like https://www.amazon.com/Power-Cord-Si.../dp/B002JKP0X6 would work.

The metal pieces which can be taken off fairly easily and polished with metal polish. The bobbin winder can be kind of fiddly to get back together.

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