Monday, November 11, 2013

Singer Slant-o-Matic

I recently attended a crafter's estate sale and was almost overwhelmed by the woman's 16 years of fabric, yarn and craft collecting. The sale stretched out across the front yard and included many large steamer trunks of fabric scraps, tables STACKED with bolts of yardage and many, many tables of books, unfinished projects, magazines and notions. Like something you see? Make an offer. This is what I saw...

It came with all parts; power cord, foot control, bobbins, slide plate, manual and accessories. Wow! I had no idea if it worked, but I wanted to give it a try. I offered her 20 dollars and she said yes!

When I worked in sewing machine repair the technician always said these machines were rock solid, a real gem. Just like a Singer Featherweight, it has all metal parts, the only thing plastic on it are the thread spools.

I wiped it off and plugged it in, the moment of truth. - No lights, no action. I borrowed the bulb from my Featherweight and tried again. Ha, it works! I jiggled the cord where it went into the foot control and pressed the power again. Slow at first, but it did work.

The throat plate lever was jammed tight. I sprayed it with WD-40 and kept working it back and forth. Finally the throat plate lifters popped and I could get into the bobbin area. I cleaned out wadded lint and removed thread clogged around the race, but no rust. It was in good condition.

I checked the serial number on line and it was made in 1959; a year after I was born. I went back to the machine.

The bobbin winder worked.

I love the built-in thread guide, in case I ever forget how to thread a sewing machine.

I worked to degum the gears, cleaning and lubeing, cleaning and lubeing, but it never ran very fast. I'd brought it back from its abandoned state, but it needed a little more than I could give it. I took it to the sewing machine tech and she gave the motor a quick refurbish. There was build up from the carbon brushes, slowing it down. When she was done, it sang.

I've sewn some of the Ocean Wave blocks on it, and it. is. a. dream. It sews through the 6-8 layers of those pinwheels without a hiccup. It sews straight and true, just like the Featherweight; but it's full sized. Love it!


Lindah said...

What a deal! It's good that you had worked in repair so you were familiar with this machine and could get the restoration started. I wouldn't have had clue. The plastic machines are lighter in weight, but an old steel, non-computerized machine has that sense of uncomplicated reliability about it. I guess being a 'nurturer,' I appreciate being able to tinker with and oil and care for my own machine. I don't like that $125 yearly or so visit to the sewing machine shop.
Don't think I will ever buy a plastic machine again. --Of course, the one I have probably will outlast me! :-)

cityquilter grace said...

i am always amazed by these older machines that require very little in the way of maintenance to run mother has a 328k from 1961 and it is a gem also...solid steel parts, keep it oiled and it will never die...wish that worked for 1926 treadle runs super smooth too!

Vic in NH said...

What a great deal! I'm so glad that this machine was saved from going to a dump somewhere because it is a real treasure. You deserve this so much! What did the tech charge you for cleaning the brushes?

Leslie said...

When I took it to the tech, she cleaned the coil of carbon build up from the brushes, used a spray silicon lubricant on some of the harder to reach drive gears and adjusted the bobbin winder. Since we had worked together years ago, I had asked if I could ‘watch and learn’. In the end she gave me a Singer brand lubricant, and some bobbins and said there was No charge. (!) I gave her 40.00 for her time and effort.