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Singer 31 Gingerbread - opinion needed

Singer 31 Gingerbread - opinion needed

Old 04-06-2023, 12:49 PM
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Default Singer 31 Gingerbread - opinion needed

Hi everyone,
I am looking for some advice on a 1904 Singer 31 treadle gingerbread and it's potential value and potential to be restored. I absolutely love this machine but also don't want to pay more than is fair. The owner is unsure if it works or when it last did and since they didn't know the actual date so I doubt they'd know much else. Before I take the trip to see it I'm hoping you could impart me with some wisdom since I am a newbie in the world of VSMs. I attached some pics and am wondering what is a good price to pay or if I should back away. I hope it's ok to ask this. All input is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Ang5612; 04-06-2023 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 04-06-2023, 01:07 PM
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I can't figure out how to add the pictures.
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Old 04-06-2023, 01:15 PM
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I hope the pics show up now!
Attached Thumbnails 0860e6a6-d93a-4360-8af1-a433e6fcc5fe.jpeg   fedd8015-cc01-43ca-971b-179afeacb784.jpeg   982734d2-5b03-456e-93d5-60e945600ae5.jpeg   303f89c6-8369-4fd8-b38e-770fcd57a0d1.jpeg   7049c00a-cd3d-450f-af81-5eaf7ad10512.jpeg  

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Old 04-06-2023, 02:34 PM
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The serial number says it's a class 27 machine from 1905. It can almost certainly be made to work and the cabinet seems to be in good condition. Here in far rural, northern Maine, people would offer it in classifieds for up to a couple hundred dollars or more. They'd sit until the ad expired and be lucky to eventually get $50 for it.

I have a pair of very nice Red Eye 66's in nice cabinets for which I paid 80 or a hundred dollars for the pair.

Unless there's something unusual or valuable about that decal set, I'd be in that range.

Good luck with it!
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Old 04-06-2023, 03:02 PM
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Oh my goodness, thank you for pointing that out. I think i was far too excited when I looked up the serial number and forgot to include all the digits. Thank you so much for the input! I also love the red eyes! Lucky you!
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Old 04-06-2023, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ang5612 View Post
I hope the pics show up now!
They did.
My opinion is:
It will cost you lots more to have it refurbished than it's worth in the real world.
Generally speaking, most only require a good cleaning and oiling. I've never worked on a machine of that age, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I'm not sure if you can polish the metal parts, and get them to shine. But if the refurbisher can make it shine, you can, too. You can clean the black parts with sewing machine oil. (Do not use water, it will ruin the finish.) There are some tutorials on the top part of this old sewing machine forum on cleaning and oiling, also on cleaning, etc. Some people here are really good at working on machines. There are also some at victoriansheatshop.com who are very experienced as well.
If you are going to go down this collecting rabbit hole, you'll need to learn to do your own work. There is lots of support around the net.

bkay
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Old 04-06-2023, 03:36 PM
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Thank you for your help! I think it may be too late for me to back track out of the rabbit hole. I've had a vintage National for some time and was afraid to touch it, still am with so little information on them. But I'm nearing the finishing touches of restoring a 15-90 and a 15-91 which I picked up for upholstering but also want looking great. Everything has gone fairly well so far and they are both are running good but I still have the cabinets to do. I did tons of research before even touching them and I remain very cautious. I'm pretty good with figuring out most mechanical things but I have a long way to go when it comes to pricing and costs. Even if cost wasn't a concern, I just don't know who I'd even trust to bring them too so I'd have to do the work myself. Thanks again and have a wonderful evening!
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Old 04-06-2023, 04:57 PM
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Welcome to the QuiltingBoard. The wood looks in pretty good shape to me already, although there's no picture of the top when the machine is down. As far as value, it's worth what someone will pay, and in East Central Missouri, that'd be about $50. Cleaning up wood can be done for a lot less than sending it to someone to strip and refinish.
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Old 04-07-2023, 03:48 AM
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What a beautiful machine! In central Mississippi (where I was living) folks would ask about $200 for it but would likely get $100 for it. Since the owner doesn't know if it still works, offer the price you think is fair and plan on fixing it yourself. It is a gorgeous machine and cabinet! If the top of the cabinent is scuffed up, that might cause you to want to lower your offering price but it all depends on how much you want a machine with those beautiful decals in place. The case can be stripped and revamped much easier than finding a machine with gorgeous decals.

Try looking in facebook marketplace for your part of the world to find out the going prices for machines. Bottom line, what is the machine worth to you? I would buy it for $100 :-).
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