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Thread: Vintage Singer sewing machines..What to look for?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee
    ANY old, black Singer that is in working order...but you don't really want to limit to Singer machines. There are some cool Whites out there, along with Davis, National, Eldridge, and others....
    Ha ha! If this is the Charlee I've already "met," on the Davis Group then I do indeed have Whites and a Davis NVF, as well as a "modern" 1978 Viking and a 1996 1090 Quilters Bernina. Love them all! Call me addicted.

  2. #27
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    If you don't have deep pockets and want a good retro machine buy an old all metal White - the older all metal Japanese machines are pretty cool as well. They will have names you have never heard of. There are some awesome old Kenmore and Necchi machines. On the other hand I've seen some old Kenmore machines ain't worth a plugged nickel. One we had back in the 60s was the very bottom of the line and just didn't get used much - nobody loved it - it only did straight stitch. Montgomery Ward made some nice high end type machines too.Look them over and see if you see ANY plastic gears or moving parts. They get brittle or what ever after time. Bottom line - look for metal parts.
    Another thing to consider. Sit down at the machine and make sure you can 'see' the needle without craning your neck. Is the tension in the line of vision? Listen to the machine. Does the motor sound good? Does the machine clank and sound funny? Some times it will sound funny because there is lint gunking up the bobbin area. Or is it someplace else??? Has it been oiled? Do you see dried up thick gummy oil? Does the tension work? I recently got one cheap because it had a tension wire spinning around. Does the zig zag work? How much wear and tear has it had? Check to see if the thread comes up from the bobbin. My sister got a 301 very cheap because they had the bobbin cover messed up. You can learn a lot by reading up on the trouble shooting stuff on this board.

  3. #28
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    Annaquilts and Kazoogirl- I have that same sewing desk, and I've seen 2 more on Craigslist over the past few years. Mine came with a Necchi in it that I've never tried. Wished I'd been able to afford at least 1 more as I like the desk and it just fits next to my fireplace. Someday I'll put a different machine in it and actually sew.

  4. #29
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monroe
    Annaquilts and Kazoogirl- I have that same sewing desk, and I've seen 2 more on Craigslist over the past few years. Mine came with a Necchi in it that I've never tried. Wished I'd been able to afford at least 1 more as I like the desk and it just fits next to my fireplace. Someday I'll put a different machine in it and actually sew.
    What is wrong with that Necchi? I love some of those old Necchi machines - the engineering is a real treat!!! You can get manuals on line. Other machines may not fit a Necchi desk.

  5. #30
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazoogirl
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee
    ANY old, black Singer that is in working order...but you don't really want to limit to Singer machines. There are some cool Whites out there, along with Davis, National, Eldridge, and others....
    Ha ha! If this is the Charlee I've already "met," on the Davis Group then I do indeed have Whites and a Davis NVF, as well as a "modern" 1978 Viking and a 1996 1090 Quilters Bernina. Love them all! Call me addicted.
    :lol: ~taking a bow~ That would be me! ;)

    I love the variety that's available in the vintage sewing machine world! Each machine I have has something unique about it that makes it special....

  6. #31
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiffie2413
    Well, I have my great grandma's 66-16, its a treadle, in original cabinet, and at some point she added a motor...I love it, but it was my Ma's, too...I hear a lot of people love the "red eyes"...I think some of them are model 66's, too...but not sure which model 66, or year...I know there are a lot of knowledgeable vintage lovers on here, and they will be along soon...good luck!
    ALL Singer Red Eyes are model 66's... made during the 1920's. Great machines!

    I have an older 66-1 (see my avatar) and two 201's, a 15-91, a Japanese 15-90 clone, a 221, and a 403. All I am still looking for is a nice hand-cranked Singer portable. I have a treadle, and several belt-driven and gear-driven machines, but no handcrank... :(

  7. #32
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts
    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I would pass up any Singers that went to plastic housings and more plastic gears etc. Stick to the more collectable, all metal beasts:> They last forever and are in higher demand.
    Yes, this! :thumbup:
    Yes, I agree.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janis
    I'd appreciate knowing what Singer machines are good to look for in yard sales, etc. I have a Featherweight, and also a 99-13. What others are too good to pass up at yard sales? Which machines would you buy again, or not? Thanks.
    Honestly what ever trips your trigger and what you like. Just because I love treadle only machines does not mean that you do to. But like some have said stay away from the plastic ones if you can (although I love the Gennie from the 70's because of the styling) and you should be okay.

    It is what you like and not what we like! :D

    Billy

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam
    If you don't have deep pockets and want a good retro machine buy an old all metal White - the older all metal Japanese machines are pretty cool as well. They will have names you have never heard of. There are some awesome old Kenmore and Necchi machines. On the other hand I've seen some old Kenmore machines ain't worth a plugged nickel. One we had back in the 60s was the very bottom of the line and just didn't get used much - nobody loved it - it only did straight stitch. Montgomery Ward made some nice high end type machines too.Look them over and see if you see ANY plastic gears or moving parts. They get brittle or what ever after time. Bottom line - look for metal parts. Another thing to consider. Sit down at the machine and make sure you can 'see' the needle without craning your neck. Is the tension in the line of vision? Listen to the machine. Does the motor sound good? Does the machine clank and sound funny? Some times it will sound funny because there is lint gunking up the bobbin area. Or is it someplace else??? Has it been oiled? Do you see dried up thick gummy oil? Does the tension work? I recently got one cheap because it had a tension wire spinning around. Does the zig zag work? How much wear and tear has it had? Check to see if the thread comes up from the bobbin. My sister got a 301 very cheap because they had the bobbin cover messed up. You can learn a lot by reading up on the trouble shooting stuff on this board.
    Yes I have a couple all-metal Whites in Treadles--love them! Grew up with a late 1940's era Kenmore, wish mother hadn't traded it in in the late 1960's. I sure agree on the plastic parts, which I have in my Bernina. To date, that machine works well though, it is getting quite a rest since I've gotten into the older machines. Can't beat that knee presser foot lift on the Bernina though. I agree on the Necchi--heard nothing but raves on their excellence.

  10. #35
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    ALL Singer Red Eyes are model 66's... made during the 1920's. Great machines!

    The earliest Redeye on record is 1910. :)

  11. #36
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Dad bought my mom a brand new Singer. She called up the other day wanting to know how to thread her FW. She's 85. I was able to talk her through it and she went back to the FW. I went over later to see what was going on and she had an extra thread in the tension of the new one.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  12. #37
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    Hello all,
    I am newly registered but not new to the board and now can be a part of the conversations and am looking forward to it. The old Singers are just wonderful! I too love the Singer machines but not just for their quality! I just love the way the old black models look. I have several but mostly use the Union and Singer commercial models I have as I find myself doing more than quilting, curtains and awnings for my husbands teardrop trailer and dogs toys for our herd. I have been fortunate enough to find most for extremely reasonable pricing. My cousin and this board have helped repair and get them not only working like a dream but also looking great too. Thanks to everyone for the assistance.

  13. #38
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    66s - 301s 401s 500s 501s even have 18 or is it a 185....I forget. I think I'd pick up ANY Singer if it were in good to great shape and, of course, the price was right! You never know who 'might need one'

    I keep saying I'm going to start a notebook for all the machines. A notebook to list the machine, model number, serial number and manual info. ahhhhh someday when I have nothing to do.....
    https://napquilting.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/NAPQuilting/

    My GOAL is to ALWAYS ENJOY EVERY STEP of the quilting process....

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