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Thread: Tim the toolman you are not! What were they thinking?

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Tim the toolman you are not! What were they thinking?

    So, I picked up a couple of machines a few weeks ago, and this lead me to think that a few of us have encountered things like this. And I for one would love to see some others.

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    On top of this, the tensioner was assembled wrong, and the timing is bad too, I will have to address that so the needle doesn't push the bobbin case out anymore.

    This was one of 3 machines they were getting rid of, because both mom and grandma had had a go at them, but couldn't get them sewing. It's gonna be a fun couple of days.

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    That electrical wiring is a way to hard wire the system without using a cord block. I've run into that on several very old machines and a couple of newer ones. It works, but there is a way better method that that Rube Goldberg disaster.

    Electrical wires are one thing I won't jury rig.

    As for the timing thing, some folks have no idea what they are doing and should be forever banned from any place that tools might be exist.

    Joe

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    Oh dear, what were they thinking?

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    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    That electrical wiring is a way to hard wire the system without using a cord block. I've run into that on several very old machines and a couple of newer ones. It works, but there is a way better method that that Rube Goldberg disaster.

    Electrical wires are one thing I won't jury rig.

    As for the timing thing, some folks have no idea what they are doing and should be forever banned from any place that tools might be exist.

    Joe
    Electrical is not worth jury rigging.... especially because those blocks are worth about $5. One slip up in the logic and it gets exciting! Luckily I have a donor cord block here.

    Yeah, the biggest problem is if you don't let them use tools, they'll just use forks, knives, teeth and swiss army knives. And that just makes a bigger mess.

  5. #5
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Oh dear, what were they thinking?
    Just makes you shake your head, eh?

  6. #6
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I should mention too, this is one of the other machines they couldn't get working:

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    I was so scared that was going to smell like cat pee like the last one that looked like that did.

    Cleaned up real well though, it might sew better than my "keeper" 301.

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Tammi,

    "Electrical is not worth jury rigging.... especially because those blocks are worth about $5. One slip up in the logic and it gets exciting! Luckily I have a donor cord block here. "

    No way did I even begin to indicate I'd leave that wiring or even do such a botched up job. I just know how to do it the hard wiring way. I'd rip that junk out and put in a new cord block in a heartbeat.

    "Yeah, the biggest problem is if you don't let them use tools, they'll just use forks, knives, teeth and swiss army knives. And that just makes a bigger mess. "

    Yep, seen that too.

    "I should mention too, this is one of the other machines they couldn't get working: "
    Gee, I wonder why. Those that messed it up will have nightmares where that wad of thread attacks them.

    "I was so scared that was going to smell like cat pee like the last one that looked like that did.
    Cleaned up real well though, it might sew better than my "keeper" 301.
    "

    That poor 301. That does look like cat pee don't it. ( I should know, I've lived with the little critters most of my life )

    What amazes me in a not good way is how utterly filthy and crudded up some folks will let their machines get. Oil build up that will turn the machine brown, lint and fuzz that is so packed you have have to dig it out then use compressed air to blow it out of the places you can't get too.
    How can people sew clean fabric on machines that filthy and feel good about the end product, I'll never understand that.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    No way did I even begin to indicate I'd leave that wiring or even do such a botched up job. I just know how to do it the hard wiring way. I'd rip that junk out and put in a new cord block in a heartbeat.
    No no,.. I didn't think you would. It's been fixed now. Only one copper sliver. Lost a screw for a bit, plus the cap for the motor brush. Good grief!! Turns out the timing wasn't wrong, the presser foot bar was adjusted wrong (causing it to sew crooked and creating the "clunk"), and the needle was set way too low in the clamp (causing it to stab and evict the bobbin case). Yay. Now I have to clean it, and rig up some sort of indicator for the stitch length. Found it broken off when I took the stitch length knob apart to find out why it didn't ,.. uh,.. lengthen. Stitches beautifully though.

    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    "I should mention too, this is one of the other machines they couldn't get working: "
    Gee, I wonder why. Those that messed it up will have nightmares where that wad of thread attacks them.
    That would be just, wouldn't it? I think they think it's just a crappy machine though. *sigh*

    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    "I was so scared that was going to smell like cat pee like the last one that looked like that did.
    Cleaned up real well though, it might sew better than my "keeper" 301.
    "

    That poor 301. That does look like cat pee don't it. ( I should know, I've lived with the little critters most of my life )
    Yup, me too, but I've rarely had peeing problems, other than the occasional litter box miss. Only after we started bringing sewing machines into the house did I need to deal with that sort of thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    What amazes me in a not good way is how utterly filthy and crudded up some folks will let their machines get. Oil build up that will turn the machine brown, lint and fuzz that is so packed you have have to dig it out then use compressed air to blow it out of the places you can't get too.
    How can people sew clean fabric on machines that filthy and feel good about the end product, I'll never understand that.

    Joe
    Maybe they only sew "Earth tones"? They were pretty "in" there for a while....

    I personally can't stand even touching them when they're that much of a mess. They immediately get stripped and cleaned. This Coronado is the first machine I've ever serviced before I cleaned it, but I thought it would be nice to save the time for once in case I couldn't save it. I do however have the cleanest parts machines you'll ever see.

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    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Usually, I clean them first then test. But sometimes I have to test first to make sure it's worth the effort. There have been some machines I've wondered if I needed a haz-mat suit on when I worked on them.

    Joe

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    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    That's the thing,.. some are so gross you think, why bother,... but at the same time, I thought a 401 was a write off, and it was fully resurrected. Sometimes cleaning alone will make you see if it's worth it or not. The nasty film and stuff that seems to coat -me- after cleaning makes me wonder sometimes what I'm voluntarily putting my body through too.

  11. #11
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Well I don't have one that was "fixed" poorly ... but I do have one that the guy claimed "worked well". Take a look at the electric and tell me if you would DARE to plug it in to find out if was working.
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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I would have to agree, there are some people who should not work on sewing machines. You all know who you are. Find someone who is a bit more handy and pay them - save a machine in the process. Then again I have seen machines that were worked over by Authorized service technicians...

    Some of the worst machines I have cleaned up have turned out to be real keepers. It is hard to tell what is what though until you get into them.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
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    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    Well I don't have one that was "fixed" poorly ... but I do have one that the guy claimed "worked well". Take a look at the electric and tell me if you would DARE to plug it in to find out if was working.
    Oh MAN! The scary part is -he- may have plugged that in to test to see if it worked. I certainly wouldn't. I sparkled (as mizkaki calls it) once recently, I'm not that interested in doing it again anytime soon.
    I've gone to see machines that had wiring maybe not that bad, but still quite bad, and when they offer to plug it in, I say "No,... no that's OK, thanks, I don't want to set your house on fire." That usually makes them think.

    I'd definitely call that a "what were they thinking", to think there's a good chance someone was using it with the wiring like that. I wonder if they had any tingling sensations...


    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I would have to agree, there are some people who should not work on sewing machines. You all know who you are. Find someone who is a bit more handy and pay them - save a machine in the process. Then again I have seen machines that were worked over by Authorized service technicians...

    Some of the worst machines I have cleaned up have turned out to be real keepers. It is hard to tell what is what though until you get into them.
    Those machines that get worked over by authorized techs really get me. One of the local shops is hiring right now, "they'll train". Possibly one of the worst shops that I've dealt with, and who's crap I've had to clean up a bunch of times. They're the ones who "serviced" that Bernina that I'm still fighting with, in fact.

    I agree, sometimes it's the diamonds in the rough (or grunge in this case) that shine the best. The 301 above is a great machine, and the 401 cleaned up really nicely (after the cat pee removal of course.)

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    301s are going to be the next hot thing like the FWs. They have already gone up in price. I haul mine to quilting classes rather than wear on the FW. I like sewing on it better anyway. Don't have to worry about it. Mine was nasty too when it arrived. I have become quite attached to it. They are still quite affordable, but going up every day.

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    Super Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    Yeah, you're right about the 301s. I bought two last year, and am just now getting around to using one of them, and I love it. Such a pretty, even stitch; and I didn't have to do anything to the machine to get it running. I am like you, I think I'll start carrying it instead of a FW; the ladies treat you like a show-off when you bring in your little FW that you're so proud of. I'm going to give them a chance to see how many recognize a 301. Can you tell I have a mean streak.....
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    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaMiller View Post
    301s are going to be the next hot thing like the FWs. They have already gone up in price. I haul mine to quilting classes rather than wear on the FW. I like sewing on it better anyway. Don't have to worry about it. Mine was nasty too when it arrived. I have become quite attached to it. They are still quite affordable, but going up every day.
    I think that big thing is more than taking its time to reach here. I can't sell them for anything, and these are spotless and tuned up.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldtnquiltinglady View Post
    Yeah, you're right about the 301s. I bought two last year, and am just now getting around to using one of them, and I love it. Such a pretty, even stitch; and I didn't have to do anything to the machine to get it running. I am like you, I think I'll start carrying it instead of a FW; the ladies treat you like a show-off when you bring in your little FW that you're so proud of. I'm going to give them a chance to see how many recognize a 301. Can you tell I have a mean streak.....
    Ha! I joined a quilt guild about 2 months ago. I don't know that more than 1 or 2 of them recognised my 222 as being a featherweight, when I took it in at the last meeting... never mind a "Rare" Open arm one. They all talk about their Pfaffs and Long arms. It's not a mean streak, it's important education.

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    I agree it is important education. I was very surprised one time when I took a Featherweight to a class of experienced quilters (a prerequisite for the class) and people asked me what that machine was. They weren't all that impressed until they discovered that the Featherweight could sew the precise seams needed and their new, computerized machines couldn't, even after lots of fiddling and resetting. When I need to do precision piecing, I pull out the Singer 221 Featherweight.

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    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    That's the part that makes me laugh. In this guild I've just joined, I've had ladies say "my new <insert name of high zoot machine here> doesn't do X well." I usually think, "funny, my 60 year old machine doesn't have a bit of problem with that. " Not to mention my machines may be heavier (FW not withstanding of course) but they travel better. I have heard of more than one "new" machine that misbehaves when it goes for car rides.

    I think I'm going to keep taking vintage machines there til they drum me out.

  19. #19
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Here's another "wiring wizardry" entry. I'm certainly not about to test it out to see if it runs!
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    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

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    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6 View Post
    Here's another "wiring wizardry" entry. I'm certainly not about to test it out to see if it runs!
    Holy Cow! I love it when they start adding all sorts of colors! And Marettes too! Good grief, back when you could buy that lamp cord, I bet the replacement wires weren't more than $10.

    I've noticed though, there seems to be some group of people who like to fix first, then see if the proper replacements are available, or maybe not. They're usually the ones with the huge stock of used lamp wire and like marettes too.

    I'm fine with marettes for things that don't move, like connecting a ceiling light fixture. I'm not so good with them, unwrapped yet, on a cord that will be wrapped and unwrapped on a presumably regular basis (otherwise why not wait til you can get a new cord?)

    Good add mom-6

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    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Oh and the insulation on the cord actually on the motor that all this is supposed to attach to crumbled when I touched it. SCARY !!!

  22. #22
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I've had a couple like that. They crack all the way inside the motor too, all the way to the coils. I'm glad you didn't plug it in!

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaMiller View Post
    301s are going to be the next hot thing like the FWs. They have already gone up in price. I haul mine to quilting classes rather than wear on the FW. I like sewing on it better anyway. Don't have to worry about it. Mine was nasty too when it arrived. I have become quite attached to it. They are still quite affordable, but going up every day.
    I'm selling machines other than FW and 301 here, too. Nothing is 'hot' unless people know about the vintage machines. I'm finding young people are the ones that are buying the vintage machines. Many of them have heard that the vintage machines are going to hold up better than the plastic wonders. Some have had plastic wonders and they didn't hold up. Some have searched on line to find if a machine is any good or not. Some have found out from their grandma's. Then I have had a lot of men buy vintage machines. Motor cycle people seems to go for vintage. People who work on machinery know. Some of the men have tried to use their wife's machine and gotten the word - buy your own - I don't know how the men end up with a vintage machine but their wife uses a plastic wonder... Then I have seen women with the expensive computerized machines come after some machine like one they learned on - regret that they didn't keep it - but some find it is cheaper to buy some old vintage machine to do straight stitch than to have their expensive machine serviced. What ever reason vintage machines ARE coming back... slowly but they are coming back. I think it all boils down to how well you get to know a machine and make it work for your needs.
    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. #24
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    I've had a couple like that. They crack all the way inside the motor too, all the way to the coils. I'm glad you didn't plug it in!
    I've seen it a lot here, too. Keeping an old machine in a shed, garage or basement = FAIL.
    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. #25
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    "Sewing machines" are by nature maintenance intensive. Very much like the old steam locomotives. They need oil, care, proper storage, cleaning and use if they are to remain in good condition.
    Ignore them and they deteriorate.

    Joe

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