Singer Model 217 - Anyone?

Old 02-23-2021, 06:17 AM
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Default Singer Model 217 - Anyone?

Hi all, i got this model 217 to carry out some service work. Like all machines i get my hands on, i always try to track down as much info as i can. The serial number allocates the machine to be built in Monza, Italy but obviously destined for Canada.
I've come across a few models that have come from Europe and seem to be similar in certain ways.
The portable case style for one, only seen these on models that come from across the water. An economy base made in softwood and hardboard, wrapped in some sort of dark brown vinyl. All the hinges I've seen are stamped "made in Germany" and the tops seem to be all compatible so far (which is a good thing as I needed a replacement lid for the 217).
The other thing I notice, is that I think the light fitting was fitted at the factory where the machines were built and shipped over to whatever destination to have the appropriate motor fitted. The reason i think this, is that light fitting is wired to the motor with a machine colour coded cable and the foot controller and power lead are always the brown you see here in North America. Not important as I always advise on a full rewire on a machine that's coming for it's proper service with an age of +30yrs. Just curious.
Also, how popular are the 217's here. I've never come across or heard much about these machines. Reason I'm asking is sourcing parts for possible future use.
Seems to be a reasonable well built machine (on the economy side.....maybe for sale to Military Personnel?).
The only thing i can fault with the machine really, is the top cover, face plate and the clamp stop motion screw are made from Plastic that will cause the machine to be destined for parts eventually. Luckily, this machine has been very little used and stored away from sun light which means the Plastic is in really nice condition. The usual small cracking around the face plate screw hole on the rear but easily repaired for now.
Anyways, if anyone has any info, has one or has had one then I'd appreciate your thoughts and any links.
From what I've found online, is it was also sold as the Merritt 217 or the Capri 217...other than that...not much.
Seems to be a competent machine but sadly the few plastic parts will be the death of these at some point in the near future i say.
Much thanks as always folks.
Attached Thumbnails singer-model-217.jpg   singer-217-rear-view.jpg   singer-model-217-lead-cord-damaged-light-bracket-bent.jpg  
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:11 AM
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I don't know anything about the 217, but wanted to tell you that's a beautiful machine, looks like it's brand new.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by pocoellie View Post
I don't know anything about the 217, but wanted to tell you that's a beautiful machine, looks like it's brand new.
Agreed, looks good and yes, almost pristine condition...few minor repairs and all good
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:10 AM
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I have never seen one for sale locally, near St Louis. I found these which you probably have seen already:

article on replacing a motor

http://dontai.com/wp/2010/03/27/sing...r-replacement/

Video operating a Capri 217

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QKv-BuBlkc
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeJr View Post
I have never seen one for sale locally, near St Louis. I found these which you probably have seen already:

article on replacing a motor

http://dontai.com/wp/2010/03/27/sing...r-replacement/

Video operating a Capri 217

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QKv-BuBlkc
Yeah, I've never seen one personally before either but had this brought to me for repair/service. Nice to see and get a chance to catalogued it also. Nice looking machine, except the plastic on it (but that's in good shape for now).
Thanks for the links Joe, appreciated. Cheers
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:30 PM
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Just an update to this, now that the machine is good to go. I had to open the motor to rewire the power lead and haven't come across an old machine of around 45+ yrs this clean and unused. The inside of the motor speaks for itself and has to be the best one I've seen in original condition. Think this machine was tried and then put away....very nice example indeed. I'll forgive the plastic components on this machine.
Attached Thumbnails singer-model-217-clean-motor-1.jpg   singer-model-217-clean-motor-2.jpg  
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
Hi all, i got this model 217 to carry out some service work. Like all machines i get my hands on, i always try to track down as much info as i can. The serial number allocates the machine to be built in Monza, Italy but obviously destined for Canada.

I've come across a few models that have come from Europe and seem to be similar in certain ways.

The portable case style for one, only seen these on models that come from across the water. An economy base made in softwood and hardboard, wrapped in some sort of dark brown vinyl. All the hinges I've seen are stamped "made in Germany" and the tops seem to be all compatible so far (which is a good thing as I needed a replacement lid for the 217).

The other thing I notice, is that I think the light fitting was fitted at the factory where the machines were built and shipped over to whatever destination to have the appropriate motor fitted. The reason i think this, is that light fitting is wired to the motor with a machine colour coded cable and the foot controller and power lead are always the brown you see here in North America. Not important as I always advise on a full rewire on a machine that's coming for it's proper service with an age of +30yrs. Just curious.

Also, how popular are the 217's here. I've never come across or heard much about these machines. Reason I'm asking is sourcing parts for possible future use.

Seems to be a reasonable well built machine (on the economy side.....maybe for sale to Military Personnel?).

The only thing i can fault with the machine really, is the top cover, face plate and the clamp stop motion screw are made from Plastic that will cause the machine to be destined for parts eventually. Luckily, this machine has been very little used and stored away from sun light which means the Plastic is in really nice condition. The usual small cracking around the face plate screw hole on the rear but easily repaired for now.

Anyways, if anyone has any info, has one or has had one then I'd appreciate your thoughts and any links.

From what I've found online, is it was also sold as the Merritt 217 or the Capri 217...other than that...not much.

Seems to be a competent machine but sadly the few plastic parts will be the death of these at some point in the near future i say.

Much thanks as always folks.

I was recently given one by my local thrift store. The hand wheel barely moved and the wiring had been cut and a longer (really long) piece of lamp cord was spliced on with lots of electrical tape as "protection". They were going to throw it out. When I serviced it, the motor had been mounted with the belt very tight, I am surprised it didn't damage the motor pulley. I am guessing they gave up when the wheel was hard to turn by hand and didn't run it much.

I was also surprised by the plastic top and end. However, they seem sturdy and unless the machine was dropped, I can't see it getting damaged. The rounded plastic does give it a nice look though in spite of it being plastic. I didn't notice it was plastic until I touched it.
Mine cleaned up well too and looks like new except for the case base. My case has a wooden base with a plastic top. I thought it was just a replacement but I heard of another person who had one and it also came with a wooden base and the same plastic top. Odd coincidence. I was going to sell this but I really like this machine. It just has that nice strong but smooth feel to it and sews like a dream. Tough too. I am working on a project with thick seams and decided to try out my new to me 15-91, another that I just rewired. I actually think this 217 is doing better with its external motor than the 15-91 with its potted motor. I just might be selling a 15-91 instead.

If are needing parts, a model 237 is virtually the same machine. I would think the parts may be interchangeable. I get the impression that the 217 wasn't made long and was replaced by the 237.

Last edited by ellellbee; 04-28-2021 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:58 PM
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@ellellbee on the 217.

As for my 15-91...wouldn't trade it at all
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