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Thread: "Machine works and is in good condition" ,... really? Inspection List

  1. #26
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Yeah! I know all about things turning up missing! I was working with my FW Saturday night. All of a sudden, it came to a screeching halt. Now, this thing hardly had any use on it at all, but I yelled for my son. He worked on sewing machines for 14 years (including commercials/quilting, etc.). He replaced the needle because we were concerned that it might have been damaged. It still would work, so he took the bottom off of it. When he did that, I saw something fall to the floor. Well the screw that holds the feed dogs in the mechanism had loosened and fell out of position. A little bit of a scare, but thank God, my son was able to re-insert the screw. She sews like a champ now! Love my FW!

    Jeanette Frantz

  2. #27
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Is that ever bizarre! I wonder how long it's been loosening itself to do that!

    I've bought machines I knew were not working, in fact, I spent the most I've ever paid for a machine on a machine that wasn't working - my 222. I was thinking about that when I saw the response to this thread. Even if the machine "fails" a bunch of the things on the checklist, it may still be worth it to you, if you know someone who will fix it, or if you have the patience to do it yourself. Just make sure that the price reflects the condition.

    My 222 was not working when I bought it. It ran the whole gamut of problems: The "finger" was misplaced, the machine turned hard, the timing was off (someone had been in loosening things without knowing what they were doing). I still brought her home. The price tag made it easy to look past all of her little flaws.

  3. #28
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    I'm a newcomer to vintage/antique machines. I do love Singer. What machine do you find to be quality "keeper" machines. I appreciate your wisdom.

  4. #29
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carol40965 View Post
    I'm a newcomer to vintage/antique machines. I do love Singer. What machine do you find to be quality "keeper" machines. I appreciate your wisdom.
    AAAAAAAAAAA LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of them...... he he he
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  5. #30
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Hey Carol,

    This is pretty much all personal preference.
    My preferred keepers:
    For Singer: Almost anything that ended in a 1 or a 3: 201, 301, 401, 403 (And Miriam may call me out publicly if I don't mention the 404. ) and the 500, which should have been a 501, and 503. I really like the German variants 411G, 431G, etc. 221 and 222s are fun little machines and great light machines for piecing with a perfect straight stitch and quite collectible, so a -possible- investment if you can buy them at a good price. The 15s are work horses. The 201 is a work horse too, and quieter than the 15s, but some people have a harder time with free motion on them. Lots of people like the 66s / 99s, 127 /128s. I find them less desirable -to me- because the variable shuttle (127/128) is noisier and the 66s/99s, I guess it's just because they've given me the most grief for service, and they're less friendly due to the horizontal bobbin for what I do. (yes, I'm aware that they account for almost 1/3 of my collection, but 2 - 3 of them are also on the chopping block. Part of the herd that's getting thinned) That said, all of them make a great straight stitch, because they have a fixed needle bar.

    For Pfaff - The 30/130/230, The 362-261(?) I have here would likely be robust if it hadn't been flagrantly abused before I got it, and I really like even the "still made in Germany" early 90s machines, even with the plastic in them. I haven't met a Pfaff yet that was in good running order that hasn't pleased me.

    I'll take almost any German made machine in fact, regardless of the brand. I was in love with my Winselmann hand crank, My cousin has her now. Their bobbin winders, their look, and the ones with the big open hand wheel? ummm ummmm ummmm

    Now this will make me unpopular: Bernina and Elna. Both of these brands but 1 of the Elnas I've had here (an SU) did not impress me once I got the panels off and started working on them. They were just so "fiddly" I've serviced about 7 between the 2 brands so far, one serger, and all left me feeling the same. Perhaps the service tech at one of the shops here said it best. " Something about the Swiss, It's like they get the machine working perfectly, and then go "OK, we need another... 6, maybe 12 more parts in here, with no change of functionality." That said, almost everyone I talk to who owns either brand loves them. So if you're using them, they're great. Servicing, which you'll likely end up doing when you get enough of the vintage machines, I think not so great.

    I love love love servicing and using the Kenmores, especially the 158 series made by Jaguar / Maruzen. They're solid machines. Quieter on the whole than a 15, and nothing seems to really go wrong with them. The C877 series- I've never figured out who made them - often have that lovely retro look to them and are work horses as well.

    Brother made some really cool looking retro type machines, but it seems they went early into plastic gears, especially that cam gear which is almost always cracked on the machines I've seen, and so I won't even take a post early 1950s brother anymore.

    Some of the Japanese "clones" are so great! Again, nothing really goes wrong with them, and they'll sew forever. Some are also quieter than the 15.

    Like Miriam said, all of them

  6. #31
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    In addition to what Tammi said, I've liked White machines - I don't think I've seen a bad vintage one yet.

    I betcha my favorite are the 15 clones. I don't know why. I guess because they are all alike but all different and they all work eventually. I haven't got a parts machine yet. fun place to visit & leave a pic if you find a clone... http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...p-t164361.html

    Tammi, I think Elna, Viking, Bernina and Pfaff are nice machines - they are harder to work on.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  7. #32
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    One of my first machines was a White. I found it in the basement of my first house. It was pre-sewing days for me. I was so frustrated with the machine, but my neighbor ( in the army) took it to the base one day and gave it to the seamster (??) there, and he tuned it up. Pronounced it a wonderful machine. I tried it out, decided it hated me, stuck it back in the basement and donated it when I sold that house. You're right though. I haven't had a bad White here, but for some reason, of all the machines I get, they're the hardest to adopt out.

    For some reason, the Pfaffs don't bother me, but the Bernina and Elna machines just seem to fight me like crazy. It's like I have to scrap with the machine just to get the oil to where it needs to be and such. That said, the ladies with the serger and the latest Bernina are tickled pink with their machines, so I do manage to get the job done. It's possible that I just feel they're over hyped too.

    I have one Elna in "time out" under the bench right now. In fairness, it IS beside a Pfaff (the one I started this thread over) also in Solitary. I just can't bring myself to disassemble the upper tensioner to change that Upper tension spring.

  8. #33
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff in time out - I get it out and oil it once in a while then put it back in time out because it is stuck... LOL
    I haven't fought with one single White. I sort of feel the same way you do about the FW - probably because it was what I learned on. Fought with it mostly. I know what I was doing wrong now... I don't get all the hype about them though...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  9. #34
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    LOL! the 130 spent some time like that. It was almost seized when I got it, it now has just the tiniest lumpy spot. Sews fine though.

    I fought with the White for the same reason I fought with the 290C I got when I was 10. I had no idea what I was doing. Tension is important. This I did not know.

    I just find the Featherweights adorable. And like I said the first time I saw one... "It sews too!?!?!" I can't justify the price for the most part, but since I do use them (periodically) they're not just decoration at least. They're great on a bad disk day. I can still carry one of those and set it out to sew.

  10. #35
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The stupid Pfaff needle doesn't want to zig and zag. It wants to zig and zzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggggggg in slow motion. I can't seem to find the gooed spot.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  11. #36
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    My first guess would be right at the needle bar,... maybe it's just a relaxed sort of machine?

  12. #37
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    it's relaxed all right - sleeping on the floor under a pile of stuff. I dig it out once in awhile and turn it over so the oil can go a different direction.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  13. #38
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    it's relaxed all right - sleeping on the floor under a pile of stuff. I dig it out once in awhile and turn it over so the oil can go a different direction.
    Aw!! Tucked in and warm while it snoozes!! You're so good to it

  14. #39
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I'd really like to scrap the thing. I don't have a cord or maybe the foot controller or something to it either. I have a suspicion it would start to work if someone ran the bejeebers out of it. I'm not all that excited about Pfaff machines. I had a commercial one gave me fits. I think I bent the shaft on it.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  15. #40
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Which Pfaff is it? Perhaps you can trade with someone for something you do want?

  16. #41
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I don't know which model - looks like something out of the 80s - it is pretty basic. I would have to do some digging at this point. It's been lurking around for months. It has a really cool table. I suppose if it ever does work it will be a fine machine.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  17. #42
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Some of those are still pretty good machines. Like I said earlier in this thread, my favorite workhorse of the moment is a Pfaff from the 90s... "basic" in that it's all mechanical...

  18. #43
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Everything else is ok - it just zags in slow motion.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  19. #44
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    eh,.. run the beans out of it (since everything else is OK) ... I bet it smartens up.

  20. #45
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    eh,.. run the beans out of it (since everything else is OK) ... I bet it smartens up.
    I would if it had a cord
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  21. #46
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Technically, you could just wire directly to the motor if it's external.... for testing purposes. Then if it works, it's worth getting the cord...

  22. #47
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I should dig it out some time - at least roll it on a different side.....
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  23. #48
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Yeah,.. don't want it to develop a flat spot,... or bed head.

  24. #49
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It already seems to have a bed head or something. I can't get excited about it...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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