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Thread: Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

  1. #33451
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    I have a real hankering for a Singer 31, too. Must be in the air. Meanwhile I have not made much progress on building my workshop....TWO different contractors have come around, discussed, said they'd send estimates and have never been heard from again.....I keep telling myself that once my garage is a workshop/sewing room, I will get a 31....
    Laura

    And today, I told dh I really would like to see what the 31-15 does. Anyone here have the knowledge to tell me if the motor and all would be safe to use if I share photos? Or be able to point me in the right direction?

    best,
    d[/QUOTE]

  2. #33452
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whigrose View Post
    Gosh, I miss you guys and gals. I'll be back on more after the weekend.

    A big friendly 'Welcome chris-quilts'. You'll love it here. We all acknowledge there IS a 12-step program for people like us. We just don't want to hear about it. :-)

    I'm a bit nervous - tomorrow we are driving an hour away to have dh fitted for his tux.He suggested we go gunkholing on RT 1 where there's tons of antique shops and malls. Even the shop that had the 127 La Vinc... in the bentwood case. If it's still there, I KNOW he won't leave this time without it.

    My name is d and I don't need another machine_ maybe, well, it isssss nice. No. Um... ~giggle~

    Once this wedding is beyond us, I have so much 'Glenn work' to do.

    And today, I told dh I really would like to see what the 31-15 does. Anyone here have the knowledge to tell me if the motor and all would be safe to use if I share photos? Or be able to point me in the right direction?

    best,
    d
    Mizkaki is my "go-to girl"!! Either Cathy or Miriam...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  3. #33453
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It has a motor - bigger than your washing machine motor. It has a belt. The belt goes on a pulley. That is about it - no internal wiring on those machines. The light would be an add on. I would look at the wires - if nothing is frayed, I'd plug it in and turn it on with one hand on a circuit breaker. See if any sparks fly out of it I guess. There are places that overhaul motors. Just un-hook it and haul it in to a place. They can clean it up if nothing else. You can kind of look and see how gunky it looks. There isn't a whole lot to the wiring system on them. Other than that, I don't know how you tell if the motor is ok or not on those big honkers. Maybe Joe knows.
    edit: there might be a switch on the table - wiring run from the motor to the switch - check that.
    Last edited by miriam; 04-11-2012 at 05:57 PM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  4. #33454
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whigrose View Post
    Gosh, I miss you guys and gals. I'll be back on more after the weekend.

    A big friendly 'Welcome chris-quilts'. You'll love it here. We all acknowledge there IS a 12-step program for people like us. We just don't want to hear about it. :-)

    I'm a bit nervous - tomorrow we are driving an hour away to have dh fitted for his tux.He suggested we go gunkholing on RT 1 where there's tons of antique shops and malls. Even the shop that had the 127 La Vinc... in the bentwood case. If it's still there, I KNOW he won't leave this time without it.

    My name is d and I don't need another machine_ maybe, well, it isssss nice. No. Um... ~giggle~

    Once this wedding is beyond us, I have so much 'Glenn work' to do.

    And today, I told dh I really would like to see what the 31-15 does. Anyone here have the knowledge to tell me if the motor and all would be safe to use if I share photos? Or be able to point me in the right direction?

    best,
    d
    Well, I think we are suppose to do the serenity prayer before you say:
    My name is d and I don't need another machine_ maybe, well, it isssss nice. No. Um... ~giggle~
    Oh and btw I fell off the wagon already - won a 306 on GW this evening... I can't remember what color it is or what I paid - I just know I had to have it. I hope it's all there...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  5. #33455
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Sounds like intervention time if you can't even remember the color of the machine or what you paid for it.
    Slowly say: MY name is __________ and I haven't bought a machine today. But it's still early so help me avoid the temptation. Failing that, let the machine be reasonably priced.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  6. #33456
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_quilts View Post
    sounds like intervention time if you can't even remember the color of the machine or what you paid for it.
    Slowly say: My name is __________ and i haven't bought a machine today. But it's still early so help me avoid the temptation. Failing that, let the machine be reasonably priced. :d:d:d
    rotflmao
    Last edited by Charlee; 04-11-2012 at 06:19 PM.

  7. #33457
    Senior Member Whigrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_quilts View Post
    Sounds like intervention time if you can't even remember the color of the machine or what you paid for it.
    Slowly say: MY name is __________ and I haven't bought a machine today. But it's still early so help me avoid the temptation. Failing that, let the machine be reasonably priced.
    Ok folks, I vote chris_quilts in. You?

    Too flipping funny.

    best,
    d
    My best is the least I can do.

  8. #33458
    Senior Member Whigrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    It has a motor - bigger than your washing machine motor. It has a belt...
    miriam,
    Thanks. got all that.
    When the machine was given to me by the theater folks, they said it was in the building and they never used it. I have no idea how long it has sat or what it looks like inside the machine itself. Outside, looks good but that doesn't always tell the whole story, as we well know.

    After this weekend, the gloves are off.

    best,
    d
    My best is the least I can do.

  9. #33459
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    This Sigma should take a standard 15x1 needle with the flat to the right. It threads left to right.
    The picture looks like everything is there. The needle clamp surrounds the needle bar and applies pressure
    to the needle to hold it against the inside of the groove that it sits in. Make sure that the needle's flat side
    is to the right so that it presses against the inside of the groove.

    If you are still having a problem, please post a closeup picture of the needle clamp.

    Cathy


    Quote Originally Posted by rosie99 View Post
    Thanks for the welcome. A little more explanation on the problem with Sigma needle. First of, I'm not sure what needle goes with it as I can find very little info on Sigma machines. But 15's were with it. It seems like the slot for the needle is quite deep and the needle clamp screw and collar to hold the needle does nothing to holdhe needle t in place. Maybe the wrong needle clamp? I would really like to get this operational as everything else "seems" to be fine. It vertical bobbin and you can drop the feed dogs. Any suggestions on the machine would be appreciated.

    Jackie
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  10. #33460
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    D,

    The clutch motors that came on the 31-15 and -20 machines are pretty sturdy motors.

    Since it has been sitting for years you can expect a lot of dust in the inner workings. This will
    smell and maybe even smoke lightly when first run.

    Personally the first thing I'd do is to very carefully check the wiring from the wall plug to the off-on switch and from the switch to the motor.
    The motor is probably very dry so will need oil. A drop or two on each end of the main shaft to start. Look for an oil reservoir with wicks, it it has one this needs to be filled and the wicks primed by dripping oiling along their length.
    Then I'd take a paint brush and dust off every part of the motor that I could reach.

    Cathy


    Quote Originally Posted by Whigrose View Post

    And today, I told dh I really would like to see what the 31-15 does. Anyone here have the knowledge to tell me if the motor and all would be safe to use if I share photos? Or be able to point me in the right direction?

    best,
    d
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  11. #33461
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whigrose View Post
    Ok folks, I vote chris_quilts in. You?
    Too flipping funny.
    best,
    d
    Vote me into what???? The funny farm with those nice padded rooms and the one size fits all jacket that lets you hug yourself all day long????
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  12. #33462
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_quilts View Post
    sounds like intervention time if you can't even remember the color of the machine or what you paid for it.
    Slowly say: My name is __________ and i haven't bought a machine today. But it's still early so help me avoid the temptation. Failing that, let the machine be reasonably priced. :d:d:d
    roflmao!!!! I have a tee shirt with a Wilcox & Gibbs chain stitch machine and the caption says:

    "There's no cure for my addiction, nobody wants to be cured!!"

    Sharon W.

  13. #33463
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    Sharon,

    No way will I sit still for any cure.

    Cathy


    Quote Originally Posted by purplefiend View Post
    roflmao!!!! I have a tee shirt with a Wilcox & Gibbs chain stitch machine and the caption says:

    "There's no cure for my addiction, nobody wants to be cured!!"

    Sharon W.
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  14. #33464
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_quilts View Post
    Sounds like intervention time if you can't even remember the color of the machine or what you paid for it.
    Slowly say: MY name is __________ and I haven't bought a machine today. But it's still early so help me avoid the temptation. Failing that, let the machine be reasonably priced.
    Can I put that on a t-shirt? Love it:>

  15. #33465
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Rosie, my Universal which is about the same age as the 328 was very sluggish. First I discovered the belt was too tight and then I had to take the foot pedal apart (with a hammer) and clean the contacts. It worked.

    I love the LaV decals on the 128. It's a very pretty machine.

  16. #33466
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    What if the one rescued last week doesn't float my boat - too modern looking, but it sews decorative stitches very nicely - and has some cams the Elna doesn't have? Do I sell it and get back my $12 + $2 for a belt and ? for grinding off a metal part so the belt could work. It's the late 70s MWards machine - still pretty much a metal machine.

    Yeah, I need an intervention - I'm up to 10 in a little over a year and I'm too old to live long enough to use them all. I think some of my children are getting worried. 8 'new' - I had two. But I'd buy another 301 in a heartbeat. And a decorated e-machine - no more room for treadles. Oh, oh, my name is Judy and I am compulsive overbuyer of sewing machines. The first step is admitting I have a problem. Nah, I don't want to be cured, either.
    Last edited by irishrose; 04-11-2012 at 09:33 PM.

  17. #33467
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    Judy- I call it catch and release, when i get one fix it, and move it along. I have found they sell better when pictured with sewing on them. You will make someone very happy when selling it, and make room for the next prize! the last few serviceable but not interesting machines I sold were to an older lady who couldn't afford a machine, but wanted to start sewing again, and a young lady who was getting married and wanted to learn to sew so she could make her own curtains and things! it was a blast, seeing how happy they were. Laura

    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    What if the one rescued last week doesn't float my boat - too modern looking, but it sews decorative stitches very nicely - and has some cams the Elna doesn't have? Do I sell it and get back my $12 + $2 for a belt and ? for grinding off a metal part so the belt could work. It's the late 70s MWards machine - still pretty much a metal machine.

    Yeah, I need an intervention - I'm up to 10 in a little over a year and I'm too old to live long enough to use them all. I think some of my children are getting worried. 8 'new' - I had two. But I'd buy another 301 in a heartbeat. And a decorated e-machine - no more room for treadles. Oh, oh, my name is Judy and I am compulsive overbuyer of sewing machines. The first step is admitting I have a problem. Nah, I don't want to be cured, either.

  18. #33468
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whigrose View Post
    miriam,
    Thanks. got all that.
    When the machine was given to me by the theater folks, they said it was in the building and they never used it. I have no idea how long it has sat or what it looks like inside the machine itself. Outside, looks good but that doesn't always tell the whole story, as we well know.

    After this weekend, the gloves are off.

    best,
    d
    Before you do ANYTHING take the needle out. Then go find needles to match it. It should be a longer needle than household. Not sure but the sewing machine store will know how to match it. Once you figure out what size needle you have you can order them cheaper on line. I have an old 241 industrial - that motor runs like it is new. It's a hot rod for sure.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  19. #33469
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_quilts View Post
    Sounds like intervention time if you can't even remember the color of the machine or what you paid for it.
    Slowly say: MY name is __________ and I haven't bought a machine today. But it's still early so help me avoid the temptation. Failing that, let the machine be reasonably priced.
    too late I won the 401 too.....
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  20. #33470
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nurseknitsLaura View Post
    Judy- I call it catch and release, when i get one fix it, and move it along. I have found they sell better when pictured with sewing on them. You will make someone very happy when selling it, and make room for the next prize! the last few serviceable but not interesting machines I sold were to an older lady who couldn't afford a machine, but wanted to start sewing again, and a young lady who was getting married and wanted to learn to sew so she could make her own curtains and things! it was a blast, seeing how happy they were. Laura
    I'm with that Catch and Release Program or CARP... The last one I sold was to a young mom who sat for 3 hours working to make sure she knew how to thread it up and make it stitch. Did I make any money? Nope. But she got a good one. The ones from WM aren't going to sew her jeans skirts. She loves the look of it - posted pics all over the place - she already tried a plastic machine and it didn't hold up. Her 'new' Japanese 15 sure will.

    I have kept a few interesting machines around - I have a 401G that looks like it went through a war.... I can't seem to let go of it. I keep my Consew walking foot around. I'm thinking others may go - my kids might have to have one big auction when I croak. Oh well at least they will inherit useful junk.
    Last edited by miriam; 04-12-2012 at 01:44 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  21. #33471
    Senior Member Whigrose's Avatar
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    Thanks Mizkaki,
    This is all great info. Both dh & I tend to be very cautious with all things electric.

    Never looks good when a fireman has to put in a call on his own structure :-)[

    best,
    d
    QUOTE=Mizkaki;5134319]D,

    The clutch motors that came on the 31-15 and -20 machines are pretty sturdy motors.

    Since it has been sitting for years you can expect a lot of dust in the inner workings. This will
    smell and maybe even smoke lightly when first run.

    Personally the first thing I'd do is to very carefully check the wiring from the wall plug to the off-on switch and from the switch to the motor.
    The motor is probably very dry so will need oil. A drop or two on each end of the main shaft to start. Look for an oil reservoir with wicks, it it has one this needs to be filled and the wicks primed by dripping oiling along their length.
    Then I'd take a paint brush and dust off every part of the motor that I could reach.

    Cathy[/QUOTE]
    My best is the least I can do.

  22. #33472
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whigrose View Post
    Thanks Mizkaki,
    This is all great info. Both dh & I tend to be very cautious with all things electric.

    Never looks good when a fireman has to put in a call on his own structure :-)[

    best,
    d
    QUOTE=Mizkaki;5134319]D,

    The clutch motors that came on the 31-15 and -20 machines are pretty sturdy motors.

    Since it has been sitting for years you can expect a lot of dust in the inner workings. This will
    smell and maybe even smoke lightly when first run.

    Personally the first thing I'd do is to very carefully check the wiring from the wall plug to the off-on switch and from the switch to the motor.
    The motor is probably very dry so will need oil. A drop or two on each end of the main shaft to start. Look for an oil reservoir with wicks, it it has one this needs to be filled and the wicks primed by dripping oiling along their length.
    Then I'd take a paint brush and dust off every part of the motor that I could reach.

    Cathy
    [/QUOTE]

    there are shops that specialize in motors - take it in and have it cleaned and check the wiring. Might not cost too much.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  23. #33473
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    Can I put that on a t-shirt? Love it:>
    Candace, go ahead. Have a tshirt made and have fun with it.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  24. #33474
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    What if the one rescued last week doesn't float my boat - too modern looking, but it sews decorative stitches very nicely - and has some cams the Elna doesn't have? Do I sell it and get back my $12 + $2 for a belt and ? for grinding off a metal part so the belt could work. It's the late 70s MWards machine - still pretty much a metal machine.

    Yeah, I need an intervention - I'm up to 10 in a little over a year and I'm too old to live long enough to use them all. I think some of my children are getting worried. 8 'new' - I had two. But I'd buy another 301 in a heartbeat. And a decorated e-machine - no more room for treadles. Oh, oh, my name is Judy and I am compulsive overbuyer of sewing machines. The first step is admitting I have a problem. Nah, I don't want to be cured, either.
    No need for an intervention or a cure. As I was cleaning out my sewing room to make room for a guest bed, I realized one night that I was sitting with 15 friends in there and they were much nicer, most of the time, than my kids cuz at least they stay home and appreciate all new fabric that comes home with me. They also never say that there isn't anymore for another sewing machine in the house. Gotta love those friends!
    Chris
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  25. #33475
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Chris, you ARE funny!

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