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Thread: Is this machine worth fixing?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Is this machine worth fixing?

    This is the best place I've ever been to get the answers I need for a problem I have.. hope you can all help me with this one.

    My DH was given a Bernina 810 mini-matic machine after she lost her home and belongings in the Joplin tornado. She sent the machine over to me because I'm pretty good at fixing sewing machines. The machine needs a new gear in the top of the machine, (it's plastic and split, but the part is available) that I think I can replace myself without a lot of trouble.

    The problem is this. The machine came with only one of the feet, and it's not suitable for straight stitch/zig-zag sewing. I've been looking on the net and I can find the old style feet for sale, but they are about $20 +/- each. Does anyone have extra old style feet, or know where they can be bought without spending a lot? Just to get the basic feet would be a good deal of money for her at this time. Is it worth the trouble to fix this old Bernina, or should we just pass it on and wait until she can find something else?

    She needs a good machine but doesn't have money right now to invest. Why do people donate something that has to be fixed to people who have lost everything? good grief.

    Thanks, Judie
    http://signatures.mylivesignature.co...AC3300A534.png Life is good when you're busy with babies.

  2. #2
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    Oops.. I said my DH.. I hope you figured out that what I meant was my DD!! We call that sort of goofy slip "tornado brain" around here.. all of us who lost our homes have also lost a lot of our brain power it seems. I even proof read my post and missed that.

    Judie
    http://signatures.mylivesignature.co...AC3300A534.png Life is good when you're busy with babies.

  3. #3
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    I'd forget about fixing it, and put the money you would spend buying parts and feet for it, towards a machine that works - even if it is a reconditioned one from a dealer. To me, you are just throwing money away trying to fix it, and who knows what else you will find is wrong when you start pulling it apart.

    Helen.

  4. #4
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    I'd let it go. If Goodwill is still in town, they will repair it and resale it. You also might be able to find a good machine that
    works at Goodwill for about $50 or less.

  5. #5
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    I don't know whether you should try to fix it, but I wanted to let you know that I have not seen the old style feet for less than $20.00 anywhere. That's the cheapest. I have a Bernina 1530 that uses the old style feet and my local dealer charges almost double that for feet I buy there.

  6. #6
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    If you can fix the broken gear, that would be great. Berninas are really incredible machines, and the older models like yours are known for their excellent stitches.

    Have you considered buying an adapter so that it can use generic feet? They are available at lots of places, eBay being one of them, and then you could see how the machine works before investing in specific Bernina feet. I would bet that after you try out the machine, you will want to invest in feet for her.

    By the way, you can go to the Bernina website, and look up the number of the foot that came with the machine, to see what the purpose was.

    Good luck--I love my Bernina.

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't throw it away. Keep it, things may show up later along the way.

  8. #8
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    Berninas are great machines. That said, I do repair vintage sewing machines, and if someone gave it to me, I would replace the gear, give it a good general service, and buy the feet as they became available. Yes, feet are around $20 each used, but that's normal. Once repaired, this will give many years of service long past what you would get from a cheap plastic $150 machine from a department store. Put the money you'd spend on that cheap machine into the repair & rehab of this machine; it will be money well spent.
    Stephanie in Mena

  9. #9
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    Would try other brands of feet. They may work for you. My grandmother White treadle machine feet work on my Kenmore machine. I would go that route if possible. Old machine stitches are just great.

  10. #10
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    An Adaptor!! That's a great idea! I knew that someone here would have a good idea. Thank you.

    I'm one of those that just hates to throw away something that can be fixed. I've had the machine apart and everything else is good... even the belts seem to be in find shape. I'm thinking this one gear that's split may just have gotten dried out, everything was dry as a desert, and dirty. I tried turning the wheel by hand when I first got it home, everything was stiff as could be.. Once it was cleaned and the moving parts oiled it moves smoothly and runs fine, just needs that one gear fixed.

    I'm thinking I'll fix that gear, get an adaptor for it and a few generic feet, after all, it's a Bernina.. has it's pretty cherry red case and my DH was able to print off the book for it... Sounds like it may be worth the trouble after all.

    (our Good Will was blown into a million pieces.. very sad)
    http://signatures.mylivesignature.co...AC3300A534.png Life is good when you're busy with babies.

  11. #11
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    I have an old 830.. This 810 is like a little sister.. A bit smaller machine, but nearly the same machine without quite as many stitch options and such. My old Bernina has sewn a million miles and is still going strong, I love a Bernina. That's probably why I think it's worth the effort. I saw that I can order the service manual for $12..

    I agree with K9dancer that the money would be better spent on a terrific old machine's repair than on a new plastic junk machine.
    http://signatures.mylivesignature.co...AC3300A534.png Life is good when you're busy with babies.

  12. #12
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    Judie, I think I would try to repair it and find other feet. I don't have a Bernina, but have heard that the older Berninas are great machines, but the newer ones are like crap. As I have said I don't have any experience, only what my former dealer (he has retired) told me about them. I do have a Bernette Serger and it is a little workhorse. The power sources aren't worth a crap, so finally found that a Janome one will fit it and bought that since Bernina has discontinued the old power source. Machine runs fine and the new power unit was only twenty dollars more than what they wanted for a used Bernette power source, and I have already been thru two of them, so hope this new one lasts longer. Just my two cents worth for the day. Wish I had some old feet to help out, but don't. Maybe you will find someone of this list that has some they don't use or will come across some for you. themachinelady

  13. #13
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    You might try this link and see if they will fit. I don't know what type feet your Bernina uses. It's on Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Low-Shank-Piec...2323318&sr=8-2

    If these don't work just type in presser feet in the search and it will bring up more.
    Margaret

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  14. #14
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    DO NOT give a Bernina Minimatic to the Goodwill!!! These are valuable and sought after machines. They go for a LOT of money on Ebay. It would be so much more worth it to get the machine fixed and use it, even if you have to pay $20 for a foot. Nothing compares to the Bernina machines made during that time period (just before everything went computerized...)
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  15. #15
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    Worth fixing? Oh yeah! Those old Berninas are real work horses -- all metal, not computerized, beautiful stitches. There is a thriving market for those old Berninas, and the portable ones are especially in demand.

    Oh wait. No, no, I think you should just pack it up and send it to me. I've been looking for one of those to take to my Quilts of Valor group. So, yeah, just send it directly to me and I will give it a nice home with no need to put any further effort into it.
    Dorothy in PA

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=Judie;4721566]... Sounds like it may be worth the trouble after all.

    Oh, I am so glad! I was feeling kind of sick thinking that you have that beauty in your hands and might pass on keeping it! I have 2 vintage Bernina's and bought a third one for my DD. She LOVES it. There is a Yahoo Group called BerninaThirtySomethings that has a great group of people interested in these mechanical machines. I know those original gears in the 730 and 830 crack so I am thinking that your machine has that same problem gear. Yes, the gear can be replaced and the replaced gear will last forever! Your daughter will be so happy to have that machine! -Judy

  17. #17
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    http://www.allbrands.com has a lot of sewing machine parts -- I found an adaptor for Singer slant needle ($4.99) to use the snap on-feet (4.99 too). Perhaps you can find what you're lookinig for there.

  18. #18
    Super Member KimS's Avatar
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    Don't know enough about this subject to comment about the machine but would like to say that with living in Southeast Missouri (20 miles north of the Arkansas State Line) my heart goes out to you and your family after having gone through that horrible tornado! It will take years and years to recover but it sounds like you're off to a good start. Sending huge hugs!!
    Kim

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    Try craigslist.org and freecycle.org!

    If you can do the work cheaply yourself, I think you will have a much better machine than you would have with a 'reasonably' priced newer machine made in China! Try posting your needs on www.craigslist.org or www.freecycle.org I have picked up wonderful older machines for next to nothing! Best wishes!

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    Thank you everyone for your input.. I think I will hang on to this lovely little 810 and fix it one way or another. The feet will come as we need to have them.. I'll start out with the one she'll need the most.. the all purpose straight/zig-zag foot. Then get more later.

    Most of you confirmed my original feelings about the machine.. yes, it is worth fixing.. I'll do that in time... Great input, thank you everyone.

    Judie
    http://signatures.mylivesignature.co...AC3300A534.png Life is good when you're busy with babies.

  21. #21
    kso
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    Once you get the adapter, any low shank foot will work with it.
    "God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses" -- Robert Bontine Cunninghame-Graham, letter to Theodore Roosevelt, 1890

  22. #22
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    berninas are really great machines.
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