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Thread: Newcomer, have a German 1955 Phoenix 429 Machine

  1. #51
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I also have a pic of the brochure - I don't know if you will be able to see much though.
    Name:  phoenix sewing machine 032.JPG
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  2. #52
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I'm hoping this shows up. Here is the other side - it is pictures of the cabinets they made.
    Name:  phoenix sewing machine 036.JPG
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  3. #53
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Tension success! Miriam! Ameila! Everyone! Hooray! :-)

    I took apart my 429's tension assembly, and Miriam, that Singer general-purpose refurbishing manual was simply invaluable!

    Things appeared to be in the correct order, etc; however, I suspect that because there was quite a bit of gunk in there, parts were not moving independently as they ought to. For example, I would rotate the numbered dial, and everything else would rotate with it. As well, the spring, though it appeared to be in the correct place, was not 'springing' and 'returning', as you described, M.

    Amelia, I am going to post photo/s to show you exactly the order in which things came off. I went a little further than you did and I also removed the long screw called the 'tension stud'. Be careful when you do this and note -exactly- which order the spring, washer, tension stud, and tension release pin come off in.

    Amelia, by your photos, you have the notchy-edged dish facing the wrong way. See my photos and see also the Singer page here which Miriam sent:

    http://www.tfsr.org/pub/technical_in...echanism_2.pdf

    Although perhaps somehow I am incorrect on this? Miriam, do you have a comment as to which of our photos are correct; Amelia's notchy-edged washer dish facing dish out, dome in, or mine, facing dome out, dish in?

    Photos to follow.

    -C.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Name:  IMG_5924.JPG
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    These are the first five pieces which came off my tension assembly, in the orientation "up" meaning "what was facing me". Notice piece #4 is the notchy-edged washer, and the dome is facing me, while the dishy side is inwards? This also corresponds with the Singer Repair site, which Miriam sent, which says, "Next refit the two discs facing each other thus: )(, the domed pressure plate dome towards you - and lastly the conical spring and thumbnut."

    So I am pretty sure I have it correct - but I am no expert! This is all brand new to me.

    Opinions welcome!

  5. #55
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    More tension assembly photo/observations on 429

    Amelia, to get the spring off and cleaned, you need to unscrew this tension stud. I did so by hand, with a piece of cloth between my fingers and the screw. Using pliers or a screwdriver is risky, for it is easy to damage the tension stud.
    Name:  IMG_5932.JPG
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    Take it off --slowly--, noting exactly the order of things. The spring fits over the end of the tension stud, and inside, between the spring and the tension stud, is a small washer. This photo shows that washer:
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    Finally, be aware that there is a pin inside this tension stud which is free to fall out. The next picture shows that pin as well:

    Name:  IMG_5936.JPG
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    Good luck re-re-doing yours! Let me know how it goes :-)

    -C.

  6. #56
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Some observations on the Tension Assembly:

    -Firstly, the pieces in the photos I put up are dirty and grimy; I took them as I was disassembling the bits, to document which order/orientation they were in. Don't worry, I cleaned everything nicely before re-assembling!

    -Now that the spring springs, there is no need whatsoever to thread through the tiny puzzling loop at the end of the tension spring. However, I remain puzzled by the photos in the manual (which I posted earlier today), which do appear to show it threaded through that little loop. Any comments?

    -The only uncertainty I have about the orientation of the components is the pin inside the tension stud. It fell out before I could notice, one end of it is slightly rounded and the other is flush flat. I could not reason out which end should face into the machine and which end should face out. Does anyone have a suggestion?

    (Amelia, when you disassemble yours, kindly note which orientation this pin is/was in, just for reference? Thanks!)

    This was quite fun, and I am now going to go do the same thing on my old White 755!



    -C.

  7. #57
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    If you get them in wrong don't worry - they won't work... LOL That little #4 part will not work right if it is in backwards. It is good that you figured it out. The tension disks do not spoon - they go curved sides together so the thread has somewhere to go (I have seen some tensions are kind of flat and have a raised part in the center - I'm thinking Singer 401 and others - they are the same on both sides)

    Not all of the posts just screw out. Some have a set screw - you may see another set screw that holds the tension holder thingy in the machine. The set screw can be on either side or on top. I have learned to take a bit of time looking it over. Springs can vary, too. They all have to spring back. They can not bind or dangle. That manual is the only place I've seen that tells how to do it. The pin inside the tension stud needs to have the flat end outward. Some tension pins are straight with out a little nail head or a flat spot

    My sister is here from Arizona - she's been wanting to learn something about tensions. We did tension 101 this evening. I have a really filthy old Singer 66. We took it apart - she did the clean up on the tension parts. It was coated in dried up oil and lint. Some oil cleans off with rubbing alcohol and some needs nail polish remover - we are girls..... we use what we have... besides it smells better than lacquer thinner... get the kind that is 100%. This one needed lacquer thinner. We got outside parts cleaned and decided to pull the rest out and clean it. It was a good thing we did. That pin was all gooey. The Singer 66 had a set pin on the right so we took that off - full of goo and lint. Then there was a set screw on the back of the piece. That released the pin - we also cleaned the tension hole. The shellac flaked off the machine. We will have to look up Glenn's fix it for the finish tomorrow if we have time. While she was cleaning that I was cleaning other parts - everything was gross. The bobbin winder mechanism is covered in rust - everything else had a very protective coating of goo - dried on oil. Then we got to the bobbin area. It was so full of lint it barely moved. We dug out lint for a long time. I had trouble getting the bobbin race out - we dug out lots of lint and then got the bobbin race out - more lint under it. I think this was the most lint I have ever seen. Then I oiled and oiled and oiled. There is either a wee bit of gummed up oil somewhere or some rust somewhere.

    I showed my sister how to set the tension. She did a good job and we only had to re do it once when we found a part we missed. Since the wiring is cracked and missing, I'm thinking I want to put a hand crank on that machine and run it and oil it until it goes smooth - also give the tension a road test. We haven't tried it with thread in it yet. That bobbin area may still need a little more clean up. It looks like it needs a new oil wick. It seems like the tension and the bobbin areas are usually the most difficult to get right. I also cleaned up the balance wheel - it had a LOT of dried goo in that area. My sister's comment was you don't want to be in any kind of a hurry... I wonder where she learned that.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  8. #58
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Your pin appears to be straight - maybe rounded on one end and flat on the other - trial and error will tell you which works best. I'm thinking your notchy thingy 'dome in' will work better - you will know when you try to release the tension by raising the presser foot. The machine will not sew if it is wrong. If nothing happens when you lower or raise the presser foot something is wrong. That center pin has to push against that notchy domed thing - if it doesn't reach nothing will happen if it is too short nothing will happen - they are precision built. I've never seen a tension that needed you to thread through the loop in the spring - I can't imagine why you would need to. Do what works.
    Last edited by miriam; 06-09-2013 at 06:26 PM.
    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. #59
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    I've concluded that you all are right, there is no need to thread through that tiny loop. I remain puzzled by the diagrams in the manual, but oh well. Now that the tension spring is set well, it works perfectly.

    If anyone (Amelia?) wants a photo of Ziggy threaded, I'd be happy to post a photo, just let me know.

    The dishy notchy thing; I think I had it correct, for I just tried reversing is as Miriam suggested and the result was zero tension. It does look counter-intuitave, shape-wise, but it meshes with the Singer instructions and it works as well.

    Also Miriam, yes, you are correct for certain, the two tension discs do not spoon or nest each other; they are dome-side-facing-each-other, with the thread between them.

    I have two more curiousities about Ziggy; one to do with feed dogs and one to do with a presser foot gadget on the back. I'll keep you in suspense and post later, as I must go work now.

    Thank you all again! M, your tinkering session with your sister sounds soothing! I love a nice slow tinker with no time pressure, and it is so satisfying to de-gunk something, isn't it?

    -C.

  10. #60
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    We were back at it today we must have messed with 6 tensions or more.
    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. #61
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    Hi All, I'm new to this board. I have the opportunity to buy a Bell Sewing machine which seems to be a badged Phoenix 429 as it is identical to Cecilia's. Bell made sewing machines in the US, most notably a collectible portable, but it appears that they decided to have Baer & Rempel badge this machine for them. I have picture of the machine, should I post it? The seller says it doesn't run. The cords look taped so maybe it's just that, but there could be other stuff wrong with it too. I'm wondering how hard it will be to get parts for. What kind of needle and bobbin does it take? Thanks in advance. -- Sheila

  12. #62
    Super Member girliegirl's Avatar
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    that is one nice piece! very nice indeed.... love it... I envy you .

    Quote Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
    Now, here is The Beast:

    Attachment 416046
    Squirrelly Shirley

  13. #63
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    Here's the Bell sewing machine that looks identical to Cecilia's Phoenix.
    Name:  bell sewing machine.jpeg
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  14. #64
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
    Now, here is The Beast:

    Attachment 416046
    it does look just like the Bell!
    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. #65
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    I noticed some small differences -- like Cecilia's has two little buttons on the bed in front of a little lever near the pillar. The Bell has the lever but not those little buttons. I wonder what they are for. The Bell has something engraved on the bed slide but I can't read it. I looked around the internet and found a very similar machine where I could read it. It is an engraving of a needle and underneath the needle it says "Syst. 1738". I looked that up, and they are industrial needles that are widely available. That machine was in a completed auction on ebay. The seller described it as a "Pfaff 130 on steroids". It sold for a "best offer"of around $500! (I estimated the price by sorting the list by "highest first", and then I could see the prices of the machines before and after it in the list. Ebay doesn't disclose the amount of a "best offer".) I wonder if that was a fluke, because I couldn't find another machine like it on ebay. I think I might buy this broken Bell and see if I can get it working.

  16. #66
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Sheila,

    Those two 'buttons' are just magnets. I have some wonderful small magnets which I keep on all my sewing machines, for pins, mini scissors.

    Our machines appear identical.

    How much are they asking for it?

    Please do not use $500 as your comparison though... It is hard to believe that one sold for that amount!

    Keep us posted!

  17. #67
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    p.s. Sheila, if you want any info again in the next short while, Private Message me as opposed to/in addition to posting, because I will not be logging onto my fun-sew-time-sucking sites because I am on a deadline with work and am rationing my fun geek-time... Thanks! (Or if you want to talk about price; I don't want ot make anyone feel badly if they paid a great deal for a machine, so I don't want to say some things on the forum. But honestly $500 is high, very high.)

  18. #68
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    I replied privately to Sheila, but here is some of my reply minus the money-part. I am posting here in case it is useful to others:

    ----------------------------
    Mine came with 12 extra bobbins, a manual (in German), and a tin of many extra accessories. (feet etc)

    It is a -really- good machine! But there are things to look for in particular - the timing belt is cloth fibre, and if it has gotten oil on it or otherwise been compromised, it is a real stinker to find a replacement, if even possible at all.

    The bobbins are unusual - flat, and thinner than normal, but not as thin as a Featherweight. I do not know whether/where one can buy replacement bobbins. Perhaps someone else on this list knows?

    Please do keep us posted!

  19. #69
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    Magnets! That's brilliant! I also like how the oil holes are lined in red. Cloth timing belt -- that sounds terrible. I don't even know what a timing belt is. Where should I look for it -- above the needle area? Yes, $500 is really high. He had serviced it, though. But I didn't see any extras like a manual or accessories. And he had a somewhat defensive rap about it, and no details like what kind of needle or bobbin it takes. The seller of this machine is asking $20, but that was before he plugged it in and found it didn't work. Maybe he's lowered it to $10. The main problem with getting the machine is that I have to schlep a suitcase on the subway, and then carry it up and down a lot of stairs on the way home and I'm sure it's heavy. (I live in a city -- no car.) Plus, I have too many machines already and not enough room. Right now I don't even have a place to spread out and work on it. But I really wanna play with it! But that timing belt is scary, I must admit.

  20. #70
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    $20, get the machine.

    It weighs 44 pounds. That is less than fifty cents a pound. ;-) Fits my criteria!

    Bring an old lady cart. You live in a city, you have an old lady cart. ;-) You can do it. People on the subway always chip in and help if you need.

    He is pulling your leg about having it serviced. He appears to know nothing. But for $20, we'll get it working.

    The needles are round shank.

    The timing belt is seen as you look under the machine; it is the main drive belt, and it is cloth with metal ladder-like ridges. It is just that it can be destroyed if it gets oil on it.

    Really, get it. You will -not- regret it. If it is not working, it is probably a simple thread jam or re-wiring. Even if you need a whole new motor, that is easy, and this will be a great machine. If you go to see it and the handwheel does not turn, get it anyhow - though you could use that to bargain him down further if you wish... you can un-jam it and everything. I will help you, as well there are so many clever folk here.

    Get it get it get it, now, y'hear? ;-) Go Girl.

    -C

  21. #71
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cecilia s. View Post
    $20, get the machine.

    It weighs 44 pounds. That is less than fifty cents a pound. ;-) fits my criteria!

    Bring an old lady cart. You live in a city, you have an old lady cart. ;-) you can do it. People on the subway always chip in and help if you need.

    He is pulling your leg about having it serviced. He appears to know nothing. But for $20, we'll get it working.

    The needles are round shank.

    The timing belt is seen as you look under the machine; it is the main drive belt, and it is cloth with metal ladder-like ridges. It is just that it can be destroyed if it gets oil on it.

    Really, get it. You will -not- regret it. If it is not working, it is probably a simple thread jam or re-wiring. Even if you need a whole new motor, that is easy, and this will be a great machine. If you go to see it and the handwheel does not turn, get it anyhow - though you could use that to bargain him down further if you wish... You can un-jam it and everything. I will help you, as well there are so many clever folk here.

    Get it get it get it, now, y'hear? ;-) go girl.

    -c

    ditto!!!!!
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  22. #72
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    50 cents a pound. you're hilarious. I do need an old lady cart as I am getting to that age. I think my rolling suitcase might be easier with this, though. I have to confess another reservation is that my husband might kill me. He's going out of town Thursday. I could sneak it in then.

    Cecilia, It was the ebay seller of the $500 machine that said he serviced it. (I PM'd her about that). Can I post a link to a completed ebay auction here so people can see the "$500 Bell"?

  23. #73
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheluma View Post
    50 cents a pound. you're hilarious. I do need an old lady cart as I am getting to that age. I think my rolling suitcase might be easier with this, though. I have to confess another reservation is that my husband might kill me. He's going out of town Thursday. I could sneak it in then.

    Cecilia, It was the ebay seller of the $500 machine that said he serviced it. (I PM'd her about that). Can I post a link to a completed ebay auction here so people can see the "$500 Bell"?
    YES please do!
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  24. #74
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    50 cents a pound - what a bargain!!! The Tri-Flow oil costs more than that! Try $5 for 2 ounces for the oil.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  25. #75
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    " I have to confess another reservation is that my husband might kill me. He's going out of town Thursday. I could sneak it in then."

    Oh Sheila, so sorry. It was nice knowing you! Do be sure to will your new stitcher to Miriam here. She sold her Phoenix and has missed it sorely. She will be a great home for your Bell after your hubby homicides you in.

    ;-)

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