singer

Having a random day today.  First let’s start with progress on the Well Blankie quilt:

Well Blankie

 

This is coming out so cool.  I decided to ask my cousin’s family if they wanted to see pix of the progress, or be surprised when it’s finished.  They haven’t decided yet, so I’m keeping these pics off facebook for the time being.  The circles are using HandiQuilter’s Half-Circle rulers.  The rest is getting a loose stipple.

Next on the agenda, I went a little crazy at Walmart.  First, their clearance section had One of these (which obviously came home with me):

Rotary Cutting machineSo far it’s pretty crap-tastic.  I’ve wanted one forever, now I wonder why.  Maybe it’s just me.  Not sure I’ve mastered it, yet.  We’ll see.  Not giving up, yet.

Next at Wallie world…I got a wild hair and decided to kit-out my sewing machine repair Hobby(?) by buying all new tools!!!

toolsThe set was under $10, and the bag was like $6.  I added to the bag my bottle of TriFlow lubricant, tube of TriFlow grease, a lint brush, a 100 count of fresh machine needles, and the universal timing tool…wait.  Where is my universal timing tool? It’s MISSING!  The baggie is there, but the box holding it is missing!!! I don’t know where it is! I searched my sewing room, with no luck.  I searched the living room sewing area (yeah I’ve kind of taken over the living room now, too).  No luck.

After a couple hours of searching, I gave up.  Went to WhiteSewingCenter.com and printed out the order form.  They are $59.00 when not purchased during class.  Guess I should buy two to have a spare one?  Watch the old one surface just as soon as I order the replacements. Grrrr. (and also, mailing in an order form? What year is this???)

 

And lastly, I’ve added FOUR new machines to my sewing machine collection!  Three were purchased off Craigslist for $40.  Two work fine, but one is missing parts (bobbin shuttle, bobbin gears and shaft).  The one that isn’t working is a Singer Touch & Sew,

Parts Machine

which just so happens to be the same model as is in the cabinet out in the living room.  It came with a crate of gears (for different stitches).  I’m going to try to see if they can be used on the functioning machine.  One has a really nice full cabinet:

cabinet

Which looks really nice in the living room!

And the third machine (also in a cabinet, but nothing outstanding), is in REALLY good condition:

Singer This is just missing a decent presser foot.  I’ve ordered a new one.  $2.19 off Amazon. Whoo Hoo!

Wait – I lied.  There’s more to this story.

Many many years ago I bought a Kenmore 148, of which I promptly lost the pedal/power cord.  After my sewing machine repair class in 2012, I took it apart and gave it a full service…well as best as I could without having the pedal/power cord.  I periodically would look online for one, but they were all three-prong, where my motor was only two-prong.  Long story just a bit longer, I finally started looking for WHOLE machines of the same model, instead of just the power cord.  Ebay was my friend! Finally I found the right model with what looked like a two-prong power cord.  And they wanted only $15.00 for the whole locked-up machine and pedal/power cord. Wow!  Shipping, mind you, was $25.00!  But I was not to be deterred!  After it shipped, hubby and I the happy highest bidders, it dawned on me that if I found the pedal/power cord once it arrived, then I couldn’t return it.

Wouldn’t you know, while moving boxes around in the sewing room THAT VERY NIGHT, I found the stupid power cord.  Plugged it up and listened to that baby purr!

Here’s the pedal of dishonor: pedalStupid pedal.

Anyway, the other machine is still in transit.  We’ll see how bad it is “locked up” and maybe I can salvage it, turn around and sell it for more than we paid for it.  I’m flipping sewing machines!

 

So The very next night, I picked up a Singer FashionMate for $20.00, with case.  Supposedly it works perfectly, though the case is pretty dirty.

That’s 5 new machines, plus the old one, which is now functional again! Ha! What am I going to do with all these machines, you ask?

Well, I’ve been putting some thought into that.  I’ll update the blog when I have more details.

 

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So a couple of years ago I took a week long sewing machine repair course.  I started to blog about it, but never finished the post.  Long story short, it was about 5 hours of talking about Needles.  I did learn a lot. But wow. Needles.  Yeah.

So ffwd to a couple of months ago, I picked up this sewing machine for free from Craigslist.  You see, I was buying one sewing machine, and they threw in this broken one for free.  Yay!  Well, now I’m finally getting around to checking it out.

The first thing I did was to Unwind the bobbin (it was a shoddy wind job).  I thought maybe that was the only issue.  Recalling the words of our repair class instructor, I also replaced the needle.  I oiled the bobbin hook, and various other exposed parts.  I adjusted the bobbin tension. Then I tried running the machine.  The settings were all wacky.  I set everything back to basic, and tried again.  It was running OK, but there was a grinding noise.

 

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Clearly I needed to investigate.  I completely took off all the shell.  Here I have removed the back piece.IMG_4261

Here I’ve removed the bottom plate:IMG_4262

 

Not sure if you can see it, but there is a silver screw on the back wall…this was holding the front cover on.  I tried everything to reach this through the top, then I realized there was an access hole through the back of the machine. Doh!IMG_4263

And voila! here is the machine with all the cover pieces removed.  I can definitely feel the tightness as I manually turn the handwheel.  Still not 100% sure where it is.  It got to be pretty late, so I called it a night once I got it naked.  Kinda reminds me of the robot at the end of Terminator, after all the flesh is gone.  Interesting thing to note, It looks like most of these gears are metal.  I thought they would be plastic, but apparently not.  The discs that determine stitch pattern (zigzag, etc)…those might be plastic.  But all the other ones appear to be metal of some kind.

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Ok, this is cool – before and after of the machine running.

Before

After

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Ok, so I have a new hobby!  Fixing sewing machines.

This all started by my obsessively stalking craigslist looking for sewing machines.  All that ever comes up are “vintage” or “broken” machines.  At the same time I was blowing about $125 at the sewing machine repair shop for a tune up. Just the regular yearly tune up that we are supposed to have for these machines.  I’m a woman who changes the oil in the car herself. I’ve replaced brake pads. I’ve replaced a radiator, fuel pump, and much much more.  All to avoid taking the car to the service station where I’m certain they will rip me off because I’m a woman and they think I’ve got “Gullible” written across my ovaries.

Dad Fixing Pfaff

You could easily look to my dad to see where I get my desire to take things apart:

 

 

 

 

I started looking around the internet and found dozens of videos on how to repair your own sewing machine.  I started picking up sewing machines cheap on craigslist with the intention of “learning” to fix them up by troubleshooting the issue and (hopefully) implementing the repair.  Well. You know. Six months later I hadn’t touched the machine I bought. It sat and sat and sat.  It was a steal for what? 10 bucks?  A Singer Stylist 514, circa 1960s or 70s.  That’s it on the right.  Feed dogs don’t move consistently. But it has all the parts and accessories and otherwise runs fine (or so I was told).

Well, finally I got off my behind and took the bottom off to have a look. It was blatantly obvious what the problem was:

So I began hunting for the parts to replace the disintegrating gear, which I quickly found (and ordered) off ebay (ETA: They arrived today!). But in my googling, I found all kinds of resources on learning to service your own sewing machines.  I decided to buy another machine simply for the purposes of (once again) learning to tune and repair my sewing machine, but something I could work on right away since my learner was out of commission until the new gears arrived.  $35 later, I had a Kenmore 158 sitting in my living room.  Armed with canned air, tweezers, a screwdriver set, and sewing machine oil, I started following the YouTube videos.  When I was done, I ran a couple practice seams, prepared for it to still not work, and wouldn’t you know, it ran like a beauty.  Purred like a kitten! 

I’m not sure if there was anything wrong with the tension to begin with, or if it just needed a cleaning.  I probably should have tried it out before cleaning it, but the instructional videos said that if it’s been in storage for awhile, clean it first, then sew.  The cabinet needs a bit of stain and poly, and it’ll be a nice machine for someone.

I have another Kenmore, this one is a 148. I’m searching for the foot control for it (on ebay – where else).  Let me know if you find a two prong foot control!  I can’t seem to find one :(.  BTW it also purrs like a kitten, even without the foot control:


I’ve already asked my friends if I can “borrow” their machines to test on.  Cleaning a machine and checking the timing takes less than an hour.  I figure with my 9 machines I’ll save enough to pay for the couple books I bought on the subject as well.  And if one day I open a shop, well…you’ll be able to say “You knew me back when I was just starting out!” 😀

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