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Thread: Newcomer, have a German 1955 Phoenix 429 Machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Newcomer, have a German 1955 Phoenix 429 Machine

    Hi All,

    I have just joined, and I posted this in the "Introduce Yourself" area; someone suggested I post it here. Thanks in advance!

    --------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks for all the wonderful information that is already on your group.

    I just acquired a very solid old German sewing machine, a Phoenix 429. The handwriting on the paperwork says it was purchased in January 1955.

    It has the manual but... it is in German.

    I would really like to see an English manual, particularly the portions pertaining to tension, threading, and bobbins. Or just learn from any of you who have this machine, regarding its unusual-to-me threading and bobbin.

    I hope someone here has the same machine :-)

    Thank you so much in advance,

    -Cecilia.

  2. #2
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board and the vintage blog. I don't have a machine like yours and don't read or speak German but I'm sure someone will have some information that you can use. Did you look on the ismacs.com site to see if there is a manual somewhat like your machine?

  3. #3
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
    I would really like to see an English manual, particularly the portions pertaining to tension, threading, and bobbins. Or just learn from any of you who have this machine, regarding its unusual-to-me threading and bobbin.

    I hope someone here has the same machine :-)
    Hi Cecilia

    Welcome to my world!! I have a Phoenix 250. No manual to be found anywhere in English - but it looks like I might finally be getting one from Germany. It will be in German but I will ask a friend to translate.

    Not sure about a 429 but unless there's someone here who has one, I would definitely recommend finding someone to translate it for you as I think it would be quicker than finding an English manual. Otherwise you can try using a manual from a different model and see if there's enough crossover to get it working well.. Try this link

    Once I've got my manual and spent a bit more time with my machine, I'll be very happy to share any information I learn. Best of luck to you too!

    Cheers,
    Amelia

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Thanks all so far for the responses!

    The manual is a compact booklet, 63 pages long, lots of text. Mostly I can intuit what I need to about the machine, but the bobbin is weird; the bobbin case is not the funky one as on the 282; rather, the 429 bobbin case looks more typical, but with a funny hook on it. (But no vault-like housing as on the more modern Phoenix machines. This machine, by the way, does only straight and zig zag.)

    The link in Amelia's post to the 282 manual is largely helpful, for the machines are similar; however the bobbin and such still has me stumped.

    The threading is also bizarre, with a funky tension spring on the upper tension dial that I can not intuit how to thread properly. I think the upper threading is similar to the other Phoenix machines; is anyone willing to send a close up photo of how to thread around the funky tension spring at the upper tension dial?

    The machine is in great order, but I threaded it to the best of my intuition, and based on the diagrams in the German namual, but no doubt missing some all-important details in the text, and I caused a thread jam in the bobbin assembly (race?) which will require full disassembly. So I know I am doing something wrong.

    Needle direction? Threading direction? Bobbin thread direction? Who knows...

    -C.

    p.s. My machine looks very similar to this one: http://rudolfcouture.com/wardrobe/in...d=47&Itemid=39

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    how do i post photo of my phoenix 429?

    By the way, how do I post a photo here to show you the machine? Do I click 'attachment' or 'insert image'?

    -C.

  6. #6
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
    By the way, how do I post a photo here to show you the machine? Do I click 'attachment' or 'insert image'?

    -C.
    insert image. Welcome to the board! I like German machines.

  7. #7
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    There are on-line translators that you can use to translate some (or all) of the manual yourself. I have translated text for work this way, and in general have gotten good results. With 63 pages, you might want to be selective, but you can translate the section or chapter headings first, then go straight to the sections you want to see first.

    Darren

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Try going to a school and see if someone wants to translate.
    I had a Phoenix machine until a month or so ago... A little gal came looking to buy a machine and the more I talked to her the more I knew she needed the Phoenix. I had so NOT intended to sell that machine. I just loved it. Anyway she bought it. When I sold it to her I figured out the free motion - WOW WOW WOW that one was wonderful - it had something in the back you let down and a neat little foot. I'm wondering if you can shoot a pic of the bobbin case? I'm betting the thread winds through that thing you said sticks up. Once you figure out that machine you will love it.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    I am so excited to have found this group of Old Machine Enthusiasts!!!! I am very new to sewing, and I love old solid things. I could not stomach the idea of going to Sears and buying a plastic machine that sounds like a stitching staple gun. So I am now suddenly the proud owner of:

    1) Single-stitch White brand machine, blue in colour, just gorgeous to see, hear, and feel.
    2) Centennial Featherweight, barely been used, the lady had the needle in backwards and just thought it did not work well; I bought it for a song and had no idea that the blue-rimmed badge meant Centennial, meant Collector's Item!
    3) Bernina Lemon #1: Record 530, the nicest bedside lamp I have ever had. Motor turns out to be burnt out and not replaceable. :-(
    4) Bernina Lemon #2: 730, turns out to have a cracked gear. Someday I will tinker and replace. Otherwise --pristine--.
    5) Green Elna Supermatic. Needs new friction wheel, but otherwise I think maybe it was used six times. So pretty.
    6) Elna SU 62, in great shape but needs ongoing de-gunking and de-nicotine-ing from the heavy smoker who owned it previously.
    7) Phoenix 429. Nicknamed: The Beast, for it looks a bit scary and if I were a child, I'd probably have nightmares about it!

    Am insane? ;-) I guess we may all have a collector's streak in us. Okay, next I will try to send some photos of The Beast! :-)

    -C.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Okay, firstly, I could not resist showing you my Bernina Bedside Lamp in action.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Now, here is The Beast:

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    I took The Beast out of its case because it takes up less space this way, and also changing the bobbin required flipping the machine up on its hinges; you can see from the next photo that the bobbin is a Royal Pain to reach.

    BTW, I gave everything a nice clean, wipe, and oil, being careful to avoid the fabric-and-metal belt. While I think I will replace a wire in the motor (it looks worn), otherwise things are in amazing shape! It stitches very nicely! Only a straight, reverse, and zig-zag.

    So, this next photo shows accessing-the-bobbin.Name:  IMG_5868.JPG
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    The bobbin case itself is not terribly weird, I suppose; but it does have a funny hook on it, which I have figured out (Miriam ,you are right!) how to thread.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Do you want me to send a close up of the bobbin? I am afraid of monopolizing the site.... One more photo only, here, I will show you the unusual (at least, it is unlike any other machine I have seen!) threading around the upper tension. Firstly, as you can see on the large photo of the whole Beast, the thread first passes through a neat steel plate with three thread-pass-holes. Then it passes through this bizarre spring near the tension dial. Does this seem right to you? It was quite finicky, getting it threaded. It stitches well, so I must have done something right - but please, if anyone sees an error in my threading, please do let me know! I will be most appreciative of any pointers at all.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    So, now that you have seen The Beast...

    It stitches really beautifully! Sounds very gentle for such a hulky thing.

    The mechanics, switches, etc are so heavy-duty-industrial-machinery-like. Nothing sleek, smooth, or dainty about it! Yet it sounds ssooooo quiet and behaves so tamely. The stitch width lever, the feed-dog-drop, the needle-position lever... it is all -so- hulky.

    A question; I cannot for the life of me figure how I can disengage the bobbin winder from the large wheel during sewing. It must be possible - it seems so bizarre to me that it would be engineered with this one inefficiency. Has anyone had a machine where the bobbin winder was always in contact with the wheel? What could I be doing wrong?

    -C.

  15. #15
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    Red face

    should be lever that makes it flip down. it shouldn't be in contact all the time. only when winding a bobbin.
    can you post a close up of that area from a couple of different angles. You are not monopolizing the posts --this is how you get help if you need it. from others looking and ooohhing and ahh over the machines. I really wish I could find 1 like this one. she/he is a beaut not a beast. Amy
    Last edited by amyjo; 05-29-2013 at 10:38 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    So, now that you have seen The Beast...

    It stitches really beautifully! Sounds very gentle for such a hulky thing.

    The mechanics, switches, etc are so heavy-duty-industrial-machinery-like. Nothing sleek, smooth, or dainty about it! Yet it sounds ssooooo quiet and behaves so tamely. The stitch width lever, the feed-dog-drop, the needle-position lever... it is all -so- hulky.

    A question; I cannot for the life of me figure how I can disengage the bobbin winder from the large wheel during sewing. It must be possible - it seems so bizarre to me that it would be engineered with this one inefficiency. Has anyone had a machine where the bobbin winder was always in contact with the wheel? What could I be doing wrong?

    -C.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Sorry I somehow posted that twice! I will try to post photos of the bobbin winding area. It is puzzling. The Beast (The Beauty) is really making my day - I have been tinkering all morning, and it is such fun!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    So, here is a full view of the bobbin-winding area and the handwheel. Turn your head sideways to the left.Name:  IMG_5875.JPG
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    The curvy metal paddle and the squarish lever operate in tandem, to press down on or release pressure from the bobbin, whilst winding. Pressing theName:  IMG_5876.JPG
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Size:  558.6 KBName:  IMG_5876.JPG
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Size:  558.6 KB squarish lever causes the curving metal paddle to snap down onto the bobbin, keeping it in place and causing an even winding of the thread. Then, when finished winding, one touches a finger to the underside of the metal paddle and it releases up. As it does this, the square metal lever also returns to its original position. None of these motions affect the position one way or another of the bobbin winder itself, which has all the time been in contact with the handwheel. Here are two closer photos, which show the bobbin winder paddle in up and down position:Name:  IMG_5877.JPG
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  20. #20
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    I am not a bit of help only to tell you your Beast is really a "Beauty".

  21. #21
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    And finally, this last photo shows that the rubber bobbin wheel -can- be lifted away from the handwheel, by lifting "up" on the bobbin-winding "axel". So it is physically possible to cease contact - but there is not any apparent mechanism by which to keep it latched "up". Any ideas? By the way, sorry that in the previous post, one photo appeared twice.

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    Many thanks in advance! I am hoping that the other Phoenix machines out these are similar enough that someone can help me.

  22. #22
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    Would the part that holds the bobbin in place go UNDER THE BOBBIN? Would a little push take all of it off the wheel?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    Thanks Barny, but unfortunately not. The curvy metal part and the squarish button move in tandem, and the squarish metal button has firmly bolted hardware the dictates its parameters of movement. It is very hard to explain and I am sorry I can't seem to find the right words. As I 'lift' the bobbin rubber wheel away from the handwheel, I could either stick a wooden wedge between some of the hardware, or use a very strong small clamp to keep it up and away - but it just seems really odd to me that there is no built-in way to snap it to 'engaged' or 'disengeaged'.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
    ...[sic]
    6) Elna SU 62, in great shape but needs ongoing de-gunking and de-nicotine-ing from the heavy smoker who owned it previously.
    ...[sic]
    Am insane? ;-) I guess we may all have a collector's streak in us. Okay, next I will try to send some photos of The Beast! :-)

    -C.
    #6 the Elna, have you tried contact cleaner? I've used it on my kenmore and that stuff is like magic on metal. I squirt the can in a continuous mode and quite literally all the gunk melts off. I like having a towel in place to catch run off.

    When I got my first Kenmore she had sticky yellowed gunky oil inside on the main cam and there was bits of black goop in it. I sprayed the cleaner on it, lo and behold, the metal was shiny silver within moments. I tested it on a tiny corner to make sure it wouldn't kill the paint. And i avoided plastic because i was a bit worried but for the most part, magic in a can. if you're working with metal parts. They're like 4 bucks a can at walmart and auto parts store.

    Also welcome! LOL i started with one Kenmore and now have a total of 3 Kenmores and one Singer <-- my newest one, which is in the process of de-gunking and fixing up. I'm about finished with my first quilt using my Kenmore 50 *dances* i'm excited.
    Last edited by foufymaus; 05-29-2013 at 09:11 PM.

  25. #25
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    I don't think the thread is supposed to go through the little circle at the end of your tension wire. That is just a way of ending the wire so it doesn't stick you with a sharp end. Try just dropping the thread directly between the disks.
    Life is made up of bits and pieces. You won't know how it'll turn out till its done.

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