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Thread: My New Pfaff 130

  1. #1
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    My New Pfaff 130

    Hi Everyone!

    I just bought a 1952 Pfaff 130 from Chicago's CL two days ago. I know very little about sewing, but I've always wanted to learn, and I heard that this is one of the best sewing machines (new or vintage) out there.

    It seems to work and be in pretty good condition in its original box. The box is fine other than the handle. I paid $80 for it. From the research I've done, it seems like my price was somewhere between a sweet deal and getting hosed. It came with little or no accessories, other than its 1.3 amp "made for Pfaff" motor, an extra bobbin, two extra needles, a small knife, and an unknown part.

    Please feel free to recommend an optimal sewing machine oil to get me started. I already got the instructions, but I'll be searching estate sales for accessories and a manual to make my 130 complete. Suggestions on a good Sewing for Dummies guide would be helpful as well and any other thoughts you might have that would help me get my as yet unnamed 130 earning its keep would be greatly appreciated.

    I very much want to remove the smiley face and Christ stickers on her. Is Goo-Gone safe for the finish? There's also some tape on there just to the right of the needle (not sure why - it doesn't seem to have any function).

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    Have a great holiday and thanks for already enlightening me with your posts.

    Mo
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  2. #2
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Congrats! I have heard that is a great machine. The tape was likely used as a seam guide, and the sticky stuff should come off with oil. As for oiling the machine, I use Tri-flow oil. It contains Teflon.

  3. #3
    Junior Member neenee586's Avatar
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    Congrats! I think you got a SWEET DEAL!

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    Thanks for solving the mystery of the tape. I'll remove it too with some oil. Thanks for the tips.

    I think I did get a sweet deal after all. I can't wait to see how it works once it's been lubricated. It looks like it hasn't been oiled in years.

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    My recent post on the 130 http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...a-t208225.html


    Yes, Goo Gone is great.

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    Candace,

    Wow, your machine was lucky to be rescued by you! Did you use sewing machine oil for the finish as well? I don't think mine needs a shellacking.

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo130 View Post
    Candace,

    Wow, your machine was lucky to be rescued by you! Did you use sewing machine oil for the finish as well? I don't think mine needs a shellacking.
    Yes, oiled, cleaned and then waxed.

  8. #8
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    Nice machine! I have one also and love it. It's one of the best machines made, IMHO, and has very precise engineering, especially in the bobbin area. It is good for free motion quilting, among other things. It will handle much heavier fabric than other machines, but don't do leather often! I know people who use this machine to mend the sales on their sailboat.

    I agree with Tri-Flow oil. The manual will show you where to put exactly one drop, but generally, put a drop anywhere metal meets metal, except gears. I also recommend Tri-Flow grease for the gears (no oil on the gears!) and if you can't find that, use Singer grease/lubricant. If you can't find it, use regular sewing machine oil. Do NOT use 3-in-1 or WD40 or any other oil on a sewing machine! Ever.

    You can use sewing machine oil to clean the outside, too. Use a soft cloth like flannel or diapers.

    You will have to keep the bobbin area very clean and be careful what thread you use in the bobbin. The slightest lint, dust, or stray thread will cause this machine to come to a screeching halt. Cover it when not in use. This is not a machine that can be used for bobbin work with thick threads in the bobbin - ask me how I know! If you have kids I would recommend they not use this fine example of German engineering. This is a machine deserving of the greatest respect. In my opinion, it is one of the top five sewing machines of all time. Can you tell how much I like it?

    It uses Pfaff low-shank feet. You can find them on e-bay. You might be able to use generic feet but I haven't tried it and don't really know how they would work. Pfaff feet are also well engineered and precise.

    I think Goo Gone should be safe.

    You got an excellent price. I have a pristine model, a perfect machine - not a scratch - and it cost me almost $400 about 4 years ago. It had been meched by one of the best in the business, and that was included in the price. I maintain it myself, being a sewing machine mechanic.

    There is a yahoo group called OldPfaff forum or something similar. They will have a manual on line and a great deal of information in many posts on the 130.

    You have a machine worth having and keeping nice for decades to come. And if you ever want to get rid of it, let me know.
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 12-21-2012 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Forgot something

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    It's been a bit busy around here, so I haven't invested as much time getting her cleaned up as I would have liked, but I did get the stickers off with Goo Gone. It did a great job without affecting the finish at all. I also used some Brasso on much of her chrome, which beautifully removed much of the pitting. I think if I work at it a bit more, I'll be able to make what little is left disappear.

    I also had a chance to "play" with her a bit. I'm amazed at the different kinds of stitches you can make (although I'm a total novice, so she'll be able to amaze me easily).

    Tomorrow, I'm heading to Florida for a few days, but as soon as I get back, I'll start working on her finish with the oil that Candace and Cricket recommended. I agree with Candace's approach on "restoring." I never repaint or refinish anything unless its finish is nearly destroyed. I use the least amount of chemicals possible to mostly just clean up that nice patina which vintage items acquire over time. Here are some images after the Brasso treatment and sticker removal. Name:  Pfaff_22Dec12_2.jpg
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    Last edited by mo130; 12-22-2012 at 08:00 AM.

  10. #10
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Looks great. Yes, I use Brasso too. It does a great job. I also have been known to take out my Dremmel with polishing tool to get any stubborn rust off. The Brasso works best, though.

    Enjoy your machine! Mine only does straight and zig zag as I don't have the embroidery attachment. I also need to hunt down the spool pin thing-a-ma-jig for the second spool pin holder.

  11. #11
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I use my spool pin thing-a-ma-jig to hold the extra filled bobbins. My 130 is in a mid-century mod cabinet and has a knee control. I use this machine 90% of the time with the remainder of my time on the 301 and FW. It runs fast, and I like that.

    I recently broke the shank of my generic walking foot and bought another one. The new one does not work as it should on this machine, but works ok on the FW. If anyone has any suggestions for a good walking foot for the Pfaff 130, I am interested in hearing about it.

    Enjoy your machine!!

    Dayle

  12. #12
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Dayle, I have a few generic ones but I've not tried them. I'll have to test them out. Did you try removing the thread cutter? Whichever one you get, make sure it's the proper width. I think the 130 is 4mm? I'll let you know what I find.

  13. #13
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Candace,

    No thread cutter on my machine. Yes, it is the proper width. The one that I had that broke was a Singer that I picked up at a garage sale, and it worked fine. I plan to keep looking at garage sales and buy anything I find in a short shank walking foot until something works better. Right now whenever I need a walking foot, I use my 301 with a Singer walking foot held together with a rubber band -- I think it came with one of the 301's. I know that the 301 has the narrow feed dogs, and this walking foot shouldn't be effective, but works for me.

    I would appreciate any information you find, Candace. Thanks!

    Dayle

  14. #14
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Dayle, I tried both my generic low shank walking feet on my 130 and they both worked fine. One was too wide for the feed dogs, so I won't be using that one-not as effective. But the other one fit perfectly. I think I got one at Joanne's years ago and the other, I don't remember where. I don't see any problem with any generic working properly on the 130 as long as it's not so tall as to hit the pressure foot lever on the back of the machine.

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    Your Favorite Pfaff 130 Parts Source

    Where do you guys buy parts for your machines? I may need the lug belt (I hope I'm using the right term - not the timing belt). Mine looks a bit dry rotted. Someone recommended http://www.yaya-online.com/, but these guys are in the UK. There's got to be something closer to Chicago.

  16. #16
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    Candace,

    I am chuckling about the concept you raise about the walking foot hitting the pressure foot lever. The Singer walking foot that broke had that problem. My solution was to use an extremely large rubber band positioned around the pressure foot lever and the pressure knob on top of the machine. It lifted the lever slightly -- just enough to give clearance to the walking foot, but not enough to actually raise the foot.

    Concerning my current problem -- I am just going to have to try different models until I get a good fit.

    Dayle

  17. #17
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo130 View Post
    Where do you guys buy parts for your machines? I may need the lug belt (I hope I'm using the right term - not the timing belt). Mine looks a bit dry rotted. Someone recommended http://www.yaya-online.com/, but these guys are in the UK. There's got to be something closer to Chicago.
    Many of us here use Sew Classic for parts.

  18. #18
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
    Candace,

    I am chuckling about the concept you raise about the walking foot hitting the pressure foot lever. The Singer walking foot that broke had that problem. My solution was to use an extremely large rubber band positioned around the pressure foot lever and the pressure knob on top of the machine. It lifted the lever slightly -- just enough to give clearance to the walking foot, but not enough to actually raise the foot.

    Concerning my current problem -- I am just going to have to try different models until I get a good fit.

    Dayle
    I'm sure you'll find one that works, eventually. Good luck!

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