Friday, December 26, 2014

Going, Going, Gone!

I'm not a huge fan of auctions and have only been to a couple live ones in the distant past. Cautious with Ebay, usually only buying items that I know can't get broken easily in transit, I still don't like the whole highest bid aspect of auctions. Maybe I'm just not a fast enough thinker and hate when purchases become emotional, but I'm just not a big fan of the auction process. Yet there are exceptions...

Enter Goodwill Online Shopping where you can view and bid on items from all over the United States. I've been using this site as a way to bid, and win, on sewing machines from our local site so I won't have the risk or pay for the shipping cost. I have done this for several sewing machines and haven't gotten a lemon yet. Here are a few of my Goodwill Online rehabs:

White redone in a zebra print case
Kenmore 16 complete with cams
This takes us to a recent acquisition, a very cute Singer 99 in a bentwood case. Initially I wanted this machine for the case alone, thinking if I got another request for a hand crank I would be all ready with the case and I have several sewing machines I could put in it.

Singer 99 in a crinkle finish

There was some damage to the locking mechanism but the real disappointment was the lack of finish on the case. It's going to be tricky to figure out how to make it look nice without stripping the what-left-of-the-finish off. I find out the Singer 99, in a crinkle finish, is in very good shape.

See the hole where a plate for the latch belongs?
A crinkle finish is just that: a dull finish that has a texture so it holds up much better to wear and tear. I've never been a big fan of this type of finish but who wants a sewing machine with so much of the bed worn away it no longer looks presentable? This is sometimes called a gorilla finish since it's so tough. With a bit of cleaning and adjusting it's now purring away and I hope to continue to work on it for a nice stitch after tension adjustments.

And now we come to the part that I hope is not a big mistake: a Viking Huskylock 431. This was not a local pick up but from Portland, Oregon so I had to pay $25 S&H but no one else was bidding on this serger so it was mine. No other bids? Okay, what's wrong with it? I have another Huskylock, a 440 that is presently not forming stitches so why another one? I think these are great sergers and hope to find the secret to getting them to work and maybe having another one will show me the way. Besides, you know I have a weakness for Vikings!

It came while I was out of town but a neighbor graciously consented to watch for the UPS truck, especially since it was raining on the day of delivery. It came fairly well packed but the back took a beating and the plastic cover for the motor snapped off. Most of the pieces were there and I could glue it and then screw it into place but the thread holder was snapped at the base (plastic) and now does not support the extension rod. I've been trying various fixes and now have crammed some soft grippy rubber shelf liner into the space and it seems to be working as a support for the thread.
Viking Huskylock 431
How does it work? It forms a stitch but the tension isn't quite right yet so I'm fiddling with the dials to see if I can get it right, or at least better. After a few days of trying to see how I might improve the stitches I put some heavier fabric into it and she took it like a champ: the stitches were perfect. So I tried four layers of velveteen and she was even better. How about denim with an inseam included?  Okay, we are not happy going over all those layers but she did it! Now I go back to 2 layers of cotton and the stitches are fine. 2 layers of cotton knit? No problem, no skipped stitches. Wow, this is a very good serger, despite its age and glued motor shield. The Huskylock 440 still isn't forming loops but now I might just let it go since I have a nice one with the 431.

Check out the Goodwill Online shopping and see the explanations for bidding, especially proxy bidding, to see how the process works. So far, so good, plus there is a bit of a thrill in getting a gem like the Singer 99 and now the Huskylock 431.

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