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

  1. #14751
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadlep
    I've been looking at all of the vintage machines and have been inspired to clean up and use an old treadle machine I inherited from my great grandmother. I'm interested in any information anyone can provide regarding the manufacturer and age of this machine. It works fine and seems to be in very good condition. The only information on the machine is the name "richmond", but paperwork with it indicates it was sold by the Charles William Store. The needles with the machine are stamped "B Eldredge", but I have no idea whether a currently manufactured needle might work (seems longer than the average needle). It has a metal spring belt that drives the treadle, a shuttle bobbin and came with a box of Griest attachments. I've checked out several pages of this forum and only seen a few machines that seem to be close. Thanks so much!
    Treadlep, that is a absolutely beautiful cabinet and machine! It looks like it came out of a display page on a magazine! Was it just a show piece for your great grandmother's house? Wow, she really took good care of that machine. You are very lucky to have such a beautiful cabinet and machine -- and one that has been in the family is priceless!

    It looks a lot like my New Home pictured here on page 665. It that a small machine? It looks like a 3/4 size machine like my New Home.

    Nancy

  2. #14752
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif
    Here is a picture of my Graybar that I picked up for free. The machine needs new wiring, which I will never get around to doing. It now sits on my shelf looking pretty, but its real job is a parts machine. I swapped out a couple of rusty parts from it to use on my Two Spools. The second photo is the Graybar plate with take up in the same location as Sew Wishful's machine. The bottom photo is my Two Spools.
    The Graybar is nice. I did some research when I was thinking of getting that Graybar. I remember it had the foot pedal that looks like a foot -- like the Wilcox and Gibbs foot pedal, but not as heavy nor big. Anyway, Graybar machines are not real common as Graybar made consumer products, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and yes sewing machines from 1926 until 1934 when the company succumbed to the Depression. That machine is from the actual company and not a badged machine. Graybar started out as Western Electric - then in 1925 split off to become Graybar. After 1934 it became a distribution company and they still exist today.

    Just what I learned, I thought it was interesting! I wish now I'd of gotten that Graybar when I had the chance, but hopefully someone did get it to give it a good home!

    Nancy

  3. #14753
    Junior Member Kitzone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luce321
    Billy, I know this question has nothing to do with your post, but since I don't know how to post a question, I am putting it here.
    I
    I have read the instructions but still don't know how to post a question. Can you help me? Thanks in advance.

    Lucy
    Hi Lucy, I sent you a PM that hopefully will explain how to post messages.

  4. #14754
    Junior Member Kitzone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms
    Good morning, everyone. I have a question...I was given a 15-91 but it does not have the wooden (?) base or case. I don't necessarily want to put it in a cabinet. Is there someone who can make a base for me or where I can buy one? The sweet lady who gave it to me told me that the "coffin top" cases do not work with it.

    Any suggestions?
    I have been looking on eBay and also have been keeping my eye out for different cases that may work for my 15-91 on craigs list. Also, if I remember correctly, someone on VSMS husband made wooden bases but I am not positive.

    When the weather improves I am hopeful to find a decent case at a yard sale that I can swap out the SM heads.

    Maybe someone else can offer better solutions to our caseless cause :)

    Judy

  5. #14755
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_quilts
    I have a question: I have a 301A with a serial # of NA 223654. Now I've been to the Singer dating site and I can find out that she was made in Anderson, SC, and between the years of 1951 and 1959 but cannot even begin to figure out how to get to the allotment date. This is because all I've seen so far stops with the A and another letter or the E and another letter serial number. What am I doing wrong and where do I go for more info? Thanks in advance, Chris
    There is much less info available on the machines made at the Anderson, South Carolina plant. What I've read is that when it was sold the records weren't kept, like they were in New Jersey and at other plants. I guess we are lucky to have the info we do have...

  6. #14756
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltdoctor
    Whis is this little machine worth?? I can't find any info on it. http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/atq/2345186622.html

    Jan in Tx
    That looks like a really nice model 15 clone... I'd pay up to $50 for it. Is is really $1? And you dared to show that to this group, LOL?

  7. #14757
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200
    Am I the world's worst mom or what? I have to keep my 7 year old home today as he's sick.....so I'm trying to figure out which sitter to use so I can go to my sewing machine class today and pick up my new machine! RRRGGG...Looks like we'll be making a field trip with some coloring books and crayons, provided his fever is low. If it won't come down...I'll probably have to reschedule picking her up.

    I really want to get her home!
    I know you are anxious to get your machine, but it's not fair to expose healthy people to a sick child. Keep that baby home, where he needs to be, and reschedule.

  8. #14758
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplefiend
    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200
    I don't know what clamping feet are, but you sure have a pretty machine. Those red eyes are nice. All the ones I've seen are treadles, no electric ones.
    Here's a website that shows pictures of the back clamping feet for the Singer 66-1 model.

    http://www.helenhowes-sewingmachines.co.uk/bcfeet.html
    Funny, but the first photo they show, the "regular sewing foot" is not for the 66-1 at all. It should have the forked attachment at the top, just like all the rest of the attachments shown below it.

  9. #14759
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadlep
    The only information on the machine is the name "richmond", but paperwork with it indicates it was sold by the Charles William Store. The needles with the machine are stamped "B Eldredge", but I have no idea whether a currently manufactured needle might work (seems longer than the average needle).
    That is a beautiful machine. It appears to me to be a baged Davis or National made machine. I would start my search there. Good Luck!

    See someone already answered.

  10. #14760
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    [quote=Weedwoman]
    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200
    Here's another newbie question. What are cams? How do they make decorative stitches? Would you use them on a straight stitch machine or does it have to zig zag to make them work. I'm real curious.
    temid=48

    They explain cam as "an irregular wheel with one or two bands of indentations which allows a mechanical sewing machine to sew multi step and decorative stitches."

    Nancy
    Are all cams machine specific, or are they interchangeable from one cam using machine to another?

  11. #14761
    Member treadlep's Avatar
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    Gorgeous machine and cabinet. Lucky you! You have a piece of your family; I bet your great grandmother would be extremely happy to see that her machine was still in the family. Get some sewing oil, give it a good oiling, and start sewing with this beauty. Do you have the manual? Sorry I can't tell you anything else, but someone else here should be able to help you.[/quote]

    Thanks. I do have a manual, missing the front and back cover. The manual doesn't specify a type of needle, but vaguely instructs you to use only the correct good quality needles!

  12. #14762
    Senior Member MarieM's Avatar
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    Ok, so I've been snooping on the Singer site www.singerco.com/support/serial to try to figure out the "birthdate" for my FW. The SN is FA104163, I see it was made in Scotland but other than that I'm not able to establish a date or even a year. Did I go to the wrong site or did I do something wrong? I appreicate any help.

  13. #14763
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by purplefiend
    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200
    I don't know what clamping feet are, but you sure have a pretty machine. Those red eyes are nice. All the ones I've seen are treadles, no electric ones.
    Here's a website that shows pictures of the back clamping feet for the Singer 66-1 model.

    http://www.helenhowes-sewingmachines.co.uk/bcfeet.html
    Funny, but the first photo they show, the "regular sewing foot" is not for the 66-1 at all. It should have the forked attachment at the top, just like all the rest of the attachments shown below it.
    Here's what I mean. The basic sewing foot for a 66-1 should look like this:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14764
    Senior Member Weedwoman's Avatar
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    [quote=luv2learn]
    Quote Originally Posted by Weedwoman
    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    Quote Originally Posted by mpeters1200
    Here's another newbie question. What are cams? How do they make decorative stitches? Would you use them on a straight stitch machine or does it have to zig zag to make them work. I'm real curious.
    temid=48

    They explain cam as "an irregular wheel with one or two bands of indentations which allows a mechanical sewing machine to sew multi step and decorative stitches."

    Nancy
    Are all cams machine specific, or are they interchangeable from one cam using machine to another?
    I think they are machine specific but some models may use the same cams I'm not sure on that one. Billy would know. My 306k has to have the zz cam in even if I just want to do a straight stitch, don't know why.

  15. #14765
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weedwoman
    Quote Originally Posted by luv2learn
    Are all cams machine specific, or are they interchangeable from one cam using machine to another?
    I think they are machine specific but some models may use the same cams I'm not sure on that one. Billy would know. My 306k has to have the zz cam in even if I just want to do a straight stitch, don't know why.
    In the Singer line, they are somewhat interchangable. There are several machines that use the black cams, and then the later, 60's-70's model machines used white cams. You can use any black cam in a black cam machine, and any white cam in a white cam machine, but you can't use white in black, or vice versa.

    Some of the models were made with some basic built-in stitches, and then took cams for extra sts beyond that. Other models were made with NO built in sts, and it took cams to create all the sts. That would be why you need the basic ZZ cam in place to sew a straight st.

    This is the basic difference between the 401 and the 403. The machines are identical except that the 401 has some built in sts (hence the big dial button, front and center) and also takes cams, and the 403 has no built in sts, and uses cams for all sts. I believe the 500a and the 503 Rocketeers are the same way-- one has some built-ins and the other has none.

  16. #14766
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    Weedwoman, thanx so much for the response.

    Sewbizgirl, thanx for the thorough explanation. . you were very helpful. . .I think I have some black and some white and this will help me sort out where to try them.

    I certainly am enjoying the sewing machine parade. . . .looks like there are still some beautiful machines being saved!! Thanx to all for sharing.

  17. #14767
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    There is much less info available on the machines made at the Anderson, South Carolina plant. What I've read is that when it was sold the records weren't kept, like they were in New Jersey and at other plants. I guess we are lucky to have the info we do have...[/quote]

    Sewbizgirl; Thank you for this information. I appreciate it but will still try to contact Singer to see if they have any more info than what is available at the dating site.

  18. #14768
    Super Member Miz Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadlep
    I've been looking at all of the vintage machines and have been inspired to clean up and use an old treadle machine I inherited from my great grandmother. I'm interested in any information anyone can provide regarding the manufacturer and age of this machine. It works fine and seems to be in very good condition. The only information on the machine is the name "richmond", but paperwork with it indicates it was sold by the Charles William Store. The needles with the machine are stamped "B Eldredge", but I have no idea whether a currently manufactured needle might work (seems longer than the average needle). It has a metal spring belt that drives the treadle, a shuttle bobbin and came with a box of Griest attachments. I've checked out several pages of this forum and only seen a few machines that seem to be close. Thanks so much!
    Definitely a badged National, and in absolutely wonderful shape. The Nationals generally take Boye size 14 needles, but DamascusAnnie, the Queen of National machines, says she just uses a regular 15 x 1 needle and "cheats" it down a bit. Let me know if that works for you, and if not, we will hunt for needles that work!!

  19. #14769
    Super Member Miz Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadlep
    Thanks. I do have a manual, missing the front and back cover. The manual doesn't specify a type of needle, but vaguely instructs you to use only the correct good quality needles!
    OK--I consulted the ISMACS list and the NB book, and they both say 20 x 1 needles for the Vindex B type of machine. Here's a link. I have never bought from this site, so no nothing about it--you can keep looking, I just opened the first likely site:

    http://www.sewshop.com/Singer_Indust...4189-2182.html

    Let us know what works!!

  20. #14770
    Super Member Miz Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms
    Good morning, everyone. I have a question...I was given a 15-91 but it does not have the wooden (?) base or case. I don't necessarily want to put it in a cabinet. Is there someone who can make a base for me or where I can buy one? The sweet lady who gave it to me told me that the "coffin top" cases do not work with it.

    Any suggestions?
    I have a person who sells beautiful wooden bases for my odd-sized machines. She also sells 3/4 and full-sized bases that hold a Singer. They're not cheap, but well-made.

    Sometimes bases come up on Ebay. BTW, I have had 15-91s in bentwood cases; they do fit.
    The paper-covered cases from the 50s will usually work as well as the modern plastic ones. You have lots of choices!!

  21. #14771
    Super Member Miz Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    Goodmorning from the storm torn south!!! We are still having the severe weather but at least I have power,
    From the looks of things, you folks in TN are really in the thick of it. It's been bad here, too, but we can't hold a candle to our neighbor to the south.

    We had our students crouched in the hallways today for an hour and a half. That was a long time to have 600 kids on their knees! I was very proud of them, but we had some scared young ones.

    I'm hoping this weather pattern ends soon, and that we have something pleasant to replace it. Also hoping everyone out there in the cyber-shop is safe and has electricity!!

  22. #14772
    Super Member Miz Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by Weedwoman
    Quote Originally Posted by luv2learn
    Are all cams machine specific, or are they interchangeable from one cam using machine to another?
    I think they are machine specific but some models may use the same cams I'm not sure on that one. Billy would know. My 306k has to have the zz cam in even if I just want to do a straight stitch, don't know why.
    In the Singer line, they are somewhat interchangable. There are several machines that use the black cams, and then the later, 60's-70's model machines used white cams. You can use any black cam in a black cam machine, and any white cam in a white cam machine, but you can't use white in black, or vice versa.

    Some of the models were made with some basic built-in stitches, and then took cams for extra sts beyond that. Other models were made with NO built in sts, and it took cams to create all the sts. That would be why you need the basic ZZ cam in place to sew a straight st.

    This is the basic difference between the 401 and the 403. The machines are identical except that the 401 has some built in sts (hence the big dial button, front and center) and also takes cams, and the 403 has no built in sts, and uses cams for all sts. I believe the 500a and the 503 Rocketeers are the same way-- one has some built-ins and the other has none.
    The 306, 319, 328 (and machines in that particular line) and even some of today's modern Singers take a flat cam. The 400 and 500 series machines take the "top hat" cam; and later machines were built to use the "flexi stitch" white cams.
    In general, cams are not usable from one brand of machines to another: Elnas have their own type cam, Necchis have theirs, etc.

  23. #14773
    Senior Member quiltdoctor's Avatar
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    It was priced that because he didn't know what it was worth and wanted someone to make an offer. He insisted it was a real antique.

  24. #14774
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Well guys I will busy this week, we got the storm in Huntsville,AL from Billy's area. Tornados all day today. My home is 200 yrs old and lucky for us no damage. We did loose two other trees. Glenn

    Tree 150 yr pecan in front porch
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  25. #14775
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    I will try to check in ever so often today since we are having bad storms still. Hopefully I will have electricity...... But I have 30 something PM's to weed through and I have to get some limbs out of my yard when it stops raining.

    Billy
    Wow Billy, so glad you aren't dealing with a power outage nor a tree in your house! Geeze, these storms have to end soon! Hang in there!

    Nancy

    Billy, our thoughts and prayers are with you guys!! Hang in there...we are with you in spirit!! We'll hang out in the shop till you get back. :-)
    :thumbup: :thumbup:

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