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Thread: Meister sewing machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member heart of Dixie's Avatar
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    Meister sewing machine

    I just purchased the Meister (viking ) sewing machine. I was wondering if anyone out there know anything about them. I tried to fine information on the internet but there really isn't any. I do know that this is a Meister befor Viking bought them out. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks Dixie
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    dlprecisionquilting.com

  2. #2
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Sorry I have no info but sure do like the machine!!!!

  3. #3
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mighty View Post
    Sorry I have no info but sure do like the machine!!!!
    Ditto! Lucky you.

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I don't know a thing about it but it would sure be fun to get my hot little hands on it. It is shaped like a lot of old German machines. Have you threaded it? It looks like you thread it about like any other machine. It looks like it has zig zag. Are there any cams/disks? What is the bobbin area like? I have a Phoenix with a really odd bobbin area. It has a plate the bobbin case goes into and an extra loop on there somewhere for the thread to go through - if you don't do it just so it won't sew.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member heart of Dixie's Avatar
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    The lady I purchased it from showed me how to thread it. Its pretty much like any other machine with just a little difference. Yes it does have a zig zag and stitch length. No cams Nice bobbin area with extra bobbins. I haven't tried it on heavy fabric but she says it sews heavy fabric easily
    dlprecisionquilting.com

  6. #6
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Kind of looks like a Necchi BU - the very early ones. It also looks heavy but also like it will sew through almost anything.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  7. #7
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    Late to the party, but….

    In case anyone is still interested, your machine is a later version of the Meister Klasse 101 sewing machine which was manufactured in Germany starting in 1948. There are several pictures of the Klasse 101 in the NeedleBar Picture Library Archive. The Meister Klasse 101s did not have the light built in behind the face plate, as yours does. The light was attached to the back. Meister also produced the same machine for an Australian department store. It was marketed under the name "Sewmaster" and was identical to the German machine with a few slight variations in decal placement.

    These machines are dependable, heavy-duty domestic, all-metal workhorses with a high shank and 1 amp motors. They are comparable to the Japanese class 15 machines, with a forward-reverse mechanism and they sew both straight and zigzag stitches. The Klasse 101s often come with a tin accessory box that contains a zig-zag foot, a straight stitch presser foot and needle plate, a button attacher, a zipper foot, a quilting foot with guide, a rolled hem foot, a seam guide and what appears to be a felling foot. They take a #7 vintage Greist buttonhole attachment.

    I own three of these machines, all circa 1952. I got the first one over 20 years ago and it is terrific. I am currently restoring the second one, and another (a white one) is on its way from eBay. Looks to be in rough shape but if it's anything like my others, is probably mechanically sound even if the paint needs to be restored.

    These machines, although unusual, are not rare. I found two on eBay within the last three months. I have also seen a handful of listings on local Craigslists, Worthpoint and on the German eBay site within the last few years, so they surface from time to time. They are well worth the money if you stumble across one.

    Hope this helps. The original post in this thread was very helpful to me when I went looking for info a couple of months ago and I hope someone can use what I found out.

  8. #8
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    One more thing: It says Meister-Werke (name of factory? company?) underneath the "Made in Germany" decal. Viking took over Meister-Werke around 1980 and rebranded the Meister machines from that period. These machines aren't considered that good (if what I see in various quilting/sewing forums is any indication). However, there were several all-metal models like yours that came after the Klasse 101s that I would like to look at (if I can find them).

  9. #9
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    wow that is an awesome looking machine.I have never seen that one before.does it work?
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  10. #10
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    Thats a handsome machine.

  11. #11
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    Cool looking machine. I have never seen one.

  12. #12
    Super Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
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    Love the look of that machine! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Creativity needs focus and application...
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  13. #13
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    That is a gorgeous machine. Here's mine, the Klasse 101 which is an earlier version.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Hi Fauxquilter; I just saw your post with your photo, and am curious because I just noticed one of there for sale. It may not have a motor, and has no accessories. Can you tell me, will other feet fit it, or is it the kind of thing where it is not very compatible with other models? I ask because my German-made Anker/Phoenix does not accept other feet, and I wondered if this one is that way...

    Thanks in advance, and anything else you want to tell me to look out for if I go see it :-)
    -Cecilia. Tinkering more than stitching, really.

  15. #15
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    Hi, Cecilia--

    That's a good question. I've never tried a generic part with mine, although a high-shank generic roller foot showed up in a box of vintage attachments I bought several months ago. For what it's worth, my Meister came with a Greist #7 Buttonholer attachment which works just fine. That attachment is for a high bar (shank) - left needle position zigzag machine. I don't know how compatible it is with other machines since Meister 101s are rather uncommon.

    As far as buying them, I bought two off eBay last year. Both were fixer-uppers. The first one cost me about $100 and I got the second one, which was in really rough shape, for under $80 total. I would see if it is at all possible to test-drive the machine. If it doesn't have a motor or light, both should be pretty easy to replace with generics. I would also look at the condition of the paint. If the paint feels rough and is cracked/crazed, the top coat is probably gone and you'd have to repaint it. If the nickel-plated parts are pitted, they should probably be re-plated. Take a good look at the needle plate to see if the needle opening is "bitten" which would indicate that the needle has come in contact with it and potentially damaged the bobbin case (which is a fairly generic part). Evaluate what you might have to put into it to get it running again: cleaning, servicing, new cords, new motor (1 amp), plus any parts which might be missing (bobbin case, etc.), new light. My experience is that it's tough to destroy these old war horses, but it sometimes takes time and more money to bring them back. The first one I bought off eBay had been sitting in a damp Florida basement for years, but my repair guy got it up and running without much trouble.

    If you can get this machine for about $50 or less, it could be worth it. They are great machines. Let me know how it goes and if you want any more info about the Meister machines (history, etc.) let me know.

    good luck!

  16. #16
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    PS: regarding the high shank roller foot, I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. The Meisters are direct descendants of Vesta machines and may be comparable to the earlier Adler-Phoenix models but I don't know that for sure.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Thanks, Faux-Quilter.

    I need another machine like I need a hole in the head, but this one in my area is on GREAT shape, just no pedal (and poss. no motor, hard to tell from photo in its ad). It is about $20, so the price does not bother me one way or another - it just looks so cool, and so solid, and besides, wouldn't it be simply amazing to have it, and affix a Singer decal just below its own label? MeisterSinger!!!!! Ha haaaa!

    Here it is: It actually looks as though it were taken from a treadle base, no?

    -Cecilia. Tinkering more than stitching, really.

  18. #18
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    Hahaha! If you're willing to spring for a sheet of Singer decals, that would be very funny!

    These are solid machines. I love mine and it's still the standard by which all others are measured (a Pfaff 259, a Pfaff 130 and a 3/4-sized Riccar). I'm not including the two other Meisters I'm cleaning up and the little antique with a shuttle bobbin in my storage unit. Too many machines? No way.

    At $20 bucks, you have nothing to lose. These were electric machines from the start but someone might be able to convert it to a treadle. Decals are in great shape. The nickel plating could benefit from a good chrome metal cleaner. Make sure it has all the parts, like the bobbin casing. I always carefully wipe my vintage machines down with a little sewing machine oil to start with, because it removes some dirt and doesn't damage the paint or decals which are fragile. Like I said, a pedal and motor shouldn't be a problem to replace and you have the advantage of getting new cords and plugs. This machine also fits some of the new, plastic carrying cases too (although I'd get one from a sewing machine shop, not Walmart). When this machine is all tuned/cleaned up, you'll be pleased by how beautiful it is.

    Great find!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    You have said some very bad words, faux-quilter. You said Plastic Cases. You said Walmart. Tisk tisk. Go wash your mouth out with TriFlow.

    Look at the metal bit to the right of the machine; it sure looks like a treadle fitting, does it not?

    I will ask about the bobbin case. Is it compatible with others, or funky? If you feel like snapping a photo of yours (ie open up the stitch plate and show me what lurks...) that would be really interesting! Is it a vertical or a horizontal bobbin?

    I wonder it the base is the same size as a Singer, and thus would a singer box be compatible? It also looks as though it balances just fine without a base; am I wrong?

    I am NEVER going to get to be a good sewist if I keep collecting and tinkering... ;-)

    Oh, also curious; when you mention comparing it to a Pfaff; does it, too have a double (flax/linen?) timing belt in it?

    The machine is a good distance away on public transit, so I would want ot be fairly sure before making the schlep.
    Last edited by Cecilia S.; 06-16-2014 at 09:05 AM.
    -Cecilia. Tinkering more than stitching, really.

  20. #20
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    Yep, I'm a bad monkey (although I haven't been in a WalMart in years). Here's the bobbin case. It's horizontal in that the bobbin lever is horizontal while the metal arm which is at right angles to it points straight up when it's properly loaded (apologies for the sideways photo. I'm having one heckuva time loading this photo for some reason.) As you can see, it's pretty generic and I have seen these advertised on the web as being for Meisters (among others).

    The plate to the right of the machine does indeed look as though the machine might have been run as a treadle. The Meister does not have the burly timing belt that is installed inside the Pfaff 130 (Yay! One less vintage part to check/locate!).

    The base is approx. 14.5 inches long (wide) and 7 inches high. Mine fits into a vintage Singer sewing cabinet but there is one problem. The little "feet" beneath the base curve outward and interfere with the machine swinging down into the cabinet when not in use so I will have to locate or make longer hinge pins in order to make it fit. I have not encountered any problems with the more standard plastic (eek!) cases. Fortunately, the machine is stable and well-balanced. I think you could sew on it without a base.

    Finally, this is an all-metal machine and weighs about 35 lbs. which might make it a wee bit difficult to transport if it doesn't have a case.

    I know about getting sidetracked by tinkering and restoring, which is all I was doing until we found out that a grandbaby is on the way. Oiling, buffing and polishing quickly gave way to ditzy cotton knits and Dr. Seuss. If you get the machine let me know and I'll be happy to send you the operating manual I compiled from my own experience with my Meister.

    Off to the fabric store. Good luck!
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    Just read your post again. The bobbin is a vertical bobbin (duh). It is not one of the top loading horizontal bobbins you see on some Singers. I was multi-tasking when I read your question. Not a good idea. :-/

  22. #22
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Fauxquilter, you are terrible.

    And I love it.

    Thank you for all your amazing input. Dang it, Ireally do not need this machine... but I am sooooooooooooooo tempted. I will pop back in a day or two and let you know.......

    and p.s. Congrats on your grand-bebe!
    -Cecilia. Tinkering more than stitching, really.

  23. #23
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    That's what my partner (Grandpa) says all the time. ;-) if you're really torn, consider what you'll probably have to put into it: cleaning/servicing plus parts--motor, light, light bulb, foot pedal, probably a new belt plus the rubber donut that goes on the bobbin assembly--possibly a case, which is a really good idea because these weigh a ton. There may be worn parts inside the head too but I've never encountered that and given Meister quality, it's unlikely unless it's been through a flood or something.

    On the other hand, by the time you clean it up and get it working, you may have a really good machine for about as much or less than you'd pay for a comparable machine from the same era. I recently read a blog by a guy who rescued a Pfaff 130 from the trash (literally), fixed it up and now has a good, sturdy sewing machine. I'd take a flyer on it but I'm the one with two Klasse 101s on my work bench and I have a passion for this particular make and model. As I said in an earlier post, these machines aren't rare but sometimes it takes a little while for one to surface and chances are good that you'd pay more than $20 when one does.

    Keep me posted!

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    This looks like my Mom's Meister that my sisters and I all learned on. We're not sure where she got it. She was in Spokane in 1940, but was in high school (and thereafter) in Vancouver, Wa. Shows some wear, but very very beautiful to me. Name:  IMG_3459.JPG
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  25. #25
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    These early zigzaggers always get my attention. They don't turn up that often. Pfaff 130 and Bernina 117 were introduced in the 1930s. The Meister looks like it could be of the same age, but could equally well have been made in the 1950s. Is it still running fine?

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