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Thread: I just don't have the patience to wait for a good vintage machine!

  1. #1
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    I just don't have the patience to wait for a good vintage machine!

    I'm so impatient! I have spent HOURS cruising ebay, craigslist, etsy, etc. for a good vintage machine. I'm so discouraged. Everything is so ridiculously priced it is unbelievable! And the things that are cheap are junked out machines that I won't be able to find parts for to fix. I went antiquing today and found nothing. A new machine is starting to look like the best deal. I wish I liked the old cast iron Singers! I do like the Rocketeer and the 301A is okay, but everything is so overpriced! For instance, I saw a totally junky Singer from probably the 1920's ... it was dirty, looked rusted over and it was priced at $135! I mean, REALLY? LOL

    Ughh... what is a girl to do!?

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Shop in different places.

    Monday we brought home a Singer 338K in a nice double lid cabinet for ....... $12.50.
    Tuesday we went back and picked up the 201-2 in the 4 drawer cabinet for $75.00.
    Both machines needed cleaning and lubing and the 338 needed a tension part.
    Both machines LOOK LIKE NEW.

    In another antique shop we found a Singer 5255 (?) with a few accessories for $35.00. Looks good externally, but I have not checked it out. Could be a diamond in the rough.

    On Goodwill on line auctions we've bought a number of machines that are nearly new and only needed a surface cleaning and a good oiling. Most of them cost us less than $50.00.

    They are out there.


    Joe

  3. #3
    Senior Member grayhare's Avatar
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    Don't get discouraged there are nice machines out there. Sometimes a diamond in the rough. For me part of the fun is cleaning up these older machines. I am learning a lot about them. This was my first CL find, she is in a parlor cabinet. She has a lot of history that goes with her; she is a beauty. You will find one, or it will find you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Senior Member diamondee's Avatar
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    Yard-sales will be starting soon! years ago I went to an estate sale with my mother, I said "mom, look at the funny sewing machine" the funny sewing machine was a featherweight with the end folded up. If I only knew then what I know now. geeeesh!

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    greyhare,

    That is disgusting! Neither of my Red Eyes look that good. They both run good though. I guess that's what counts.

    Seriously that is one beautiful machine. A 66-1 I believe.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    "Vintage machines are like buses. Another one will be along at any time." Really, I enjoy the hunt almost as much as the machines. Don't sweat it, you'll find a good one soon.

  7. #7
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovequilts722 View Post
    I'm so impatient! I have spent HOURS cruising ebay, craigslist, etsy, etc. for a good vintage machine. I'm so discouraged. Everything is so ridiculously priced it is unbelievable! And the things that are cheap are junked out machines that I won't be able to find parts for to fix. I went antiquing today and found nothing. A new machine is starting to look like the best deal. I wish I liked the old cast iron Singers! I do like the Rocketeer and the 301A is okay, but everything is so overpriced! For instance, I saw a totally junky Singer from probably the 1920's ... it was dirty, looked rusted over and it was priced at $135! I mean, REALLY? LOL

    Ughh... what is a girl to do!?
    Too bad, you don't live closer, I seen 3 nice machines in the cabinets for $100-125 asking price in my area (central Il). One or two was a 301. They are worth the price, but I only paid $30-$60 for mine.
    They can be had here for around that. They are really worth waiting for.

  8. #8
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Legwork. While I've found four of my machines on Craig's list, two of my machines have come to me "by way of mouth", (I make it well known that I want old machines...not necessarily that I COLLECT old machines, that tends to raise the price!) and the others have all come by hitting the thrift stores and antique stores.

    Try putting an ad on Craig's List that you're looking for a machine, leave out the words "vintage" and/or "antique", and be specific. Example:

    "Wanted: Older sewing machine for personal use. Prefer older Viking, Singer, White, New Home. Willing to pay up to $75 (or however much your budget is). "
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Don't give up good things come to those who wait!!!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Yes, good things do come. Like Charlee, let it be known what you are looking for. I started looking over a year ago. Now I seem to find something (or be found by a machine) nearly every week. Not that I can get them all. But there are some gems out there. (This from an area where people tend to keep and use their family machines...)
    Quilt Mom

    Going through life one stitch at a time

  11. #11
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    You do not have to have a 301 or a FW to have a good machine. Try a Japanese 15 - fantastic machine and usually pretty inexpensive. Too bad you don't live around here... Look at the link: http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...p-t164361.html that way you will have some idea what to look for. Then if you find one we have info how to clean one up and we can answer questions, help find manuals and cheer for you.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  12. #12
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    I just never get enough of reading the posts on vintage machines....I have now sold 2 of my 4 treadles. The white is the next on the cleaning block! Of course since DH took it upon himself to "help" clean that while I was away, it now has to have a part replaced/made! HUMPF!!!!

  13. #13
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    I bought my two 301A's on CL. Love them. Then my son's girlfriend found a trapizod cabinet, tan, 301, sitting on a curb waiting for trash pickup. GASP!!! She told my son, "Your mom likes old sewing machines, lets take to her." I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened it up. Moral of story...Your machine is out there. I would say just keep looking, but sometimes they find their way to you.
    You can get older, but you never have to grow up! Tomorrow's just a future yesterday!-Greg Fergerson

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i spent 3 years looking at old machines before the perfect one in my eyes appeared---and it was all of $20! in beautiful shape (it's owner had taken wonderful care of it) the belt was not even cracked- cord like new- clean- sews like a dream! so many times over the 3 years i (almost) spent $100+ but then i would walk away- thinking---that's not the machine i want & i don't want to spend that much---i am so happy i waited---it is the best $20 i ever spent- and i use it almost every day! i did not have to put any money into it- did not have to do any more than oiled it- threaded a bobbin, threaded it & was sewing
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  15. #15
    Member jrrotunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenda m View Post
    I bought my two 301A's on CL. Love them. Then my son's girlfriend found a trapizod cabinet, tan, 301, sitting on a curb waiting for trash pickup. GASP!!! She told my son, "Your mom likes old sewing machines, lets take to her." I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened it up. Moral of story...Your machine is out there. I would say just keep looking, but sometimes they find their way to you.
    Wow! And that's all I can say

  16. #16
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I found most of my vintage machines at auctions. A great place to get one and they all included the attatchments and manuels. For some reason, people don't want the old ones. The most I have paid at an auction was $15.00.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenda m View Post
    I bought my two 301A's on CL. Love them. Then my son's girlfriend found a trapizod cabinet, tan, 301, sitting on a curb waiting for trash pickup. GASP!!! She told my son, "Your mom likes old sewing machines, lets take to her." I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened it up. Moral of story...Your machine is out there. I would say just keep looking, but sometimes they find their way to you.
    thanks for making me Nauseous! Just the thought...BUT at least the kids had enough foresight to think of you...YAY

  18. #18
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    Well... I spoke too soon!!! I got a message from the people that were selling the vintage Viking I wanted to buy but waited too long. They had a 1975 Kenmore machine that was in perfect operating and cosmetic condition! I just bought it! I just hope it gets here undamaged. I'm going to start a new thread about it with pics!!

  19. #19
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    I've been looking for an old machine for several years. Then, about 6 months ago someone on Freecycle had a "sewing machine" free - I took it and it was a 1950's Morse. Then a couple of weeks ago I went to an estate sale and found a 301a with 3 buttonhole attachments, a zigzag attachment and a LOT of attachments for $25.

    I'm also in the "If you wait it will come" school.

  20. #20
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the Singer 15-91. It is an old cast iron one but a wonderful work horse and supposed to be great for free motion and quilting too. I think $50-$100 for one in cabinet is not unreasonable. Definitely look at Craigslist.
    Anna Quilts

  21. #21
    Super Member Delta's Avatar
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    QUIT LOOKING LOL You know when you look you will not find. put the energy out there you are not looking anymore and just look for other stuff and you will find one.
    SMILE- it will make everyone wonder what you are up to.
    Stay strong and keep looking up.

  22. #22
    Super Member jillnjo's Avatar
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    They are certainly out there!! I had a nice little 1970's Kenmore given to me and she runs like a top and goes through anything! I love to have a machine to take along on trips that is small and portable. I have a Singer 99 that I found at a re-run shop for 35.00 in a lovely cabinet. I know they are at garage sales, ect. Good luck searching, it's more than half the fun!!
    jillnjo

  23. #23
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    My husband picked one up at a garage sale for $35. It's a beautiful Singer, much like the one pictured above, with a beautiful cabinet. It needed a clean-up, but it's a beautiful piece!

  24. #24
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Don't give up. My latest find was a 1934 Singer 15-91, cost under $55, including shipping. It runs great, stitches great.I do happen to like the old black cast iron machines, the older the better. I recently missed out on a beautiful Singer 301, in cabinet with matching bench seat, including attachments and button holer, priced at $25. Still kicking myself for not grabbing that one.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  25. #25
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    dont give up...it took almost three years worth of looking through the junk stores, antique stores and flea markets to fine my "free". finally, i found what i was looking for and all was in excellent working order, for $65.00. she just needed a new belt and some cleaning up along with a good oiling. personally, if a treadle sewing machine is over $100.00 and in bad or poor working shape i would pass it by. the current economy though could be on your side as more and more people are desparate to make money.

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