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I swore off buying more, but...

I swore off buying more, but...

Old 03-25-2018, 06:57 PM
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Default I swore off buying more, but...

Today our local Craigslist had this for $20, and it sews. Came with 20 cams, 6 presser feet, 4 screwdrivers, 5 mismatched bobbins, and a bent seam ripper. It's runs smoothly and makes stitches and zigzags. It's from Taiwan and has the tag from 1973, with English and Chinese. Threading was intuitive and easy, and so was the presser foot pressure adjustment and the drop feed. I haven't tried the cams yet, but even that looks pretty straightforward. Only fly in the ointment is the lack of an owner's manual. Does anyone know where I can get one? And maybe some liniment for my back? The thing weighs a ton, with I'm guessing maybe 15 pounds or more being in the extremely sturdy carrying case. The red sticker is in front under the bed. http://www.singersewinginfo.co.uk/taichung/ has the information that the factory in Taichung, Taiwan started making Singers in 1963, and that's about all I found out. With all the nice features, you'd just expect it to have a light, but it does not. Not a problem, really, but how odd!
Attached Thumbnails 1973_taiwan_singer_e.jpg   singer_tags_taichung.jpg   reverse_tags_taichung.jpg   taichung_singer_sn.jpg  

Last edited by Rose_P; 03-25-2018 at 07:07 PM. Reason: correct error
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:58 PM
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what type of shank is it? maybe the model number of the cams or other parts could narrow down the machine too
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:06 AM
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Having been a collector for years, I have never seen a Singer machine like this. I think you have a great find on your hands. You can check with ISMACS dot net as another collector might know more about this machine. Great find!
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Old 03-26-2018, 04:00 AM
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Love the wood base with the little side extension. Does it have a cover ?
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:16 AM
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It looks like it was for the Asian market. It looks like Asian characters between the stitch width and handwheel. Those look like flat cams. http://www.singersewinginfo.co.uk/pattern_cam_list/ has a list of Simanco numbers for cams. I looked at most of the machines that are listed for using them and didn't find a machine that matches yours.

http://www.singerco.com/support/machine-model-numbers shows where to find model numbers. Your machine looks like it is more like 1960-1970 machines and the model number would be near or on the stitch length indicator. Also it looks like the serial number would be more likely at the beginning years maybe mid to late 1960s. If there is a model number there maybe at the bottom or side of stitch length than you can try http://www.singerco.com/support/instruction-manuals for a manual. Otherwise you might have to find someone to translate as http://www.singer.com/ is the global site, and evidently has a choice for Asian sites.

I'm thinking that the cover for the cams is under the spool pin on the front of the arm?

Originally Posted by tranum View Post
Love the wood base with the little side extension. Does it have a cover ?
Me, too.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:24 AM
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Does the front plate hinge open? There may be a light in there.
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:50 AM
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Looks like a rare find.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:28 AM
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After a few turns of oiling you have to let us know how it runs and stitches. I don't know about the Taiwan production in general, but I once came a cross a 1970s simple zigzag-straight machine. It had no option of other stitches, but it was smooth running, all metal and unusualy solid for a domestic machine. Surpisingly solid quality for a 70s model. It wasn't a Singer, can't remember the name. I like the pale wood cases with the expention table on yours, I have seen a few late 99s and 185s with this type of case.
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:02 AM
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Thanks for all the responses! I am quite sure the 1973 date is accurate because the factory tags with the information in both Chinese and English were still attached to the handle of the carrying case. Here's a picture of the case, which is wood covered in the suitcase like material you see. I'm not sure what that is, but it's in great shape except for some rubbery piping that came loose at one edge. It's very strong and latches onto the bottom wood box very securely, for which I'm thankful because I wouldn't want that to fall on any toes.

The case had an airline tag on it indicating that it was in Okinawa at some point, but I think that is evidence that the husband of the Taiwanese woman who owned it was probably US Army. I don't think this machine would be rare near where it was made, but most people would opt to buy a new machine rather than pay to ship one this heavy. If the army takes care of the shipping, it's another matter. They must be rare in the US because I'm not having any luck finding information, but perhaps if I knew what they called it, I'd do better. The name is in Chinese characters on the front.

I looked up what kind of current and plugs they use in Taiwan and learned that it's the same as ours in the US, so that's why the foot pedal and wires look to be original, and another reason it was worth the long move. I think the woman whose machine this was probably would have been a little girl in 1973, judging by the age of her son who sold it to me. Most likely she got it from her mother.

I will take a picture of the cams compartment on the front of the machine and show you that, too. BRB.
Attached Thumbnails singer_taichung_c.jpg  
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:48 PM
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Okay, here's the picture of the cam area, which is on the front to the left of the stitch width dial. A plastic housing flips up to give access. I finally tried the cams just now, and have to say I'm blown away by the elegant simplicity of this machine. I truthfully don't need the manual except for the things you rarely do, such as, does the motor need to be lubricated, and how do I go about that? I have to have a closer look at it. The flat cams can go on the shaft either way. Am I correct in assuming that if I switch them I will get a mirror image of the stitch? The first one I tried is a serpentine, and it's great.

Also, as Janey said, the model number is under the stitch length, where I had not noticed it. It's 238, but a quick look at ISMACS didn't show that model to have cams (I have barely begun looking.). Also, the letters on the front of the machine are Chinese characters, which the young man told me when I bought it, but like a dope I failed to ask him for a translation. When I first saw the pictures on Craigslist I thought that it said t-15, and assumed it would be a clone, but then I noticed the tension disk on the front. There is a knob on the left side also, but that's the foot pressure adjustment. One other neat thing is that it shows the stitch length in mm as well as the number of stitches per inch, which a lot of machines don't show. You feel like the person who designed this one actually had some experience sewing, which is frequently not the case with almost any sewing machine, or for that matter, other appliance I've ever had.

It has a low shank. The bobbin winder works and seems to have a new tire. It it exceptionally quiet, and I believe they kept it well oiled, but when I ran it with the cam engaged there was a bit of odor, such as from old oil and parts that had not turned in a long time. I will have to give it some more attention before I run it again. There's a certain amount of yellow crud on the body and especially on knobs and in crevices. The little green tag says that it was shipped with a coat of oil and to wipe it off before sewing. I suspect it's that that turned yellow with age and looks nasty now. I'll have to take off some knobs and clean them, and that sort of thing, but overall it seems to have had little wear and tear. Thanks for looking!
Attached Thumbnails 238.jpg   chinese.jpg   cam_shaft_1973_singer_e.jpg  
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