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Vintage buttonholer on Vintage Singer

Vintage buttonholer on Vintage Singer

Old 06-14-2019, 01:06 PM
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Default Vintage buttonholer on Vintage Singer

Hello!

Another one of my silly questions:

I have recently got a buttonholer (simanco 160506, the one with the cams) and I wanted to try it on my Singer Starlet / Genie. Do you think it will work? I'm asking because these moving attachments put a fair bit of strain on the needlebar and since my Starlet / Genie works with bakelite gears, I'm afraid it may damage them.
For the record, I have tried the buttonholer on my singer 15K88 and it works wonders.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:04 PM
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The gears are nylon (polyester) on your machine, and the buttonholer will not damage them. The strain is as you mention mostly on the needle clamp and you will notice of the machine works too hard. Singer made buttonholers most of the 70s for the new models too, if not longer. The later buttonholers were a bit different than your 160506, but generally worked much in the same way. Make sure it's oiled (take the black cover off) and that all parts are moving nicely, it should be fine. Some have reported the buttonholers works better on the old straight stitchers, but the later version are very similar. You might prefer to use your 15, especially for layers of heavier fabric.

Last edited by Mickey2; 06-14-2019 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:31 PM
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Thanks Mickey! You have me reassured. I will try the buttonholer on my Starlet. Yet, I suspect I might use it more often on my 15 but it's always fun to experiment
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:29 AM
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There are a couple of later buttonholers with larger cams than the 1950s versions. The later have plastic cams in various colors, green, beige, brown,... Some hunt down one of these for either the cam selection or because they look right with their 60 or 70s Singer model. There are a set of addional cams or templates for the 160506, and some have managed to track down the elusive eyelet template. The most important thing is to make sure the clamp fitting is low shank. The burgundy box is slant shank (I think), you can sometimes get lucky with Greist and various other brand attachments. I have the same buttonholer as you have, as well as the earlier camless type. They work very well. I think there were various monogramers and special attachments for zigzag models like your Starlet. Some fine use for them, not all new machines do letters, at least not the simpler ones.

Last edited by Mickey2; 06-15-2019 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:00 AM
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I also have the camless buttonholer which is a lot heavier than the 160506; this I keep for use with the older cast iron black Singers. I have seen additional cams for sale on ebay (even the eylet cam at a very very high price) but even these are out of my price range, consdering postage...
What you're saying about buttonholers and monogrammers made for zigzag machines piqued my interest... All the one I have seen were made for slant shank machines and I would be interested to know if the same were made for low shank machines like my Starlet...
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:48 PM
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You are right about the slant shank monogrammers, I tired to search up a singer low shank version and couldn't find any. Maybe there is a possibility some of the kenmore low shank monogramers can work with a Starlet. I think the clamp will fit, but there is always some testing and trying to know if it really would work.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:12 PM
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Indeed! Kenmore accessories are pretty rare around here but fingers crossed I may come accross one to try and test.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:22 PM
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The difference between the older and newer button hole makers is whether or not the machine zigzags. The old ones in the green box plastic box or older do not need a built in zig zag. It moves back and forth. It will work on machines with built in zig zag anyway. The newer ones in cardboard boxes only work on machines with built in zigzag. The box should have a stamped notation for what it works with. The old green box machines to not have markings except by the clamp that goes on the needle bar. It will say straight or slant. Or it will say slant for slant-Matic machines.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:35 PM
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I really wish the low shank buttonholers for zigzag machines were more common, they are great for zigzag machines that takes top stitch thread well. I have used up to date modern one touch built in buttonholers, they can be the best, but still, not all are. I have come across late 70s buttonholers, working in the same way as the old, moving the fabric left to right, not just along the seam line of the buttonhole. I guess there were various kinds made. I have too many machines to add a slant shank at this point :- |
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