Saturday, February 21, 2015

Trading Post

In my love for sewing machines, there are times when I'm willing to make a trade for a sewing machine. There's a deal in the making that started before Christmas but we are finally getting down to the actual exchange. Last weekend Cheri came over with several sewing machines and we tried to sort it all out. I hope I can make it clear for you, too:

1. Montgomery Ward Precision Round Bobbin: This is a Singer 15 clone, looks just like them but was made in Japan.  It's in very good cosmetic shape and was in a portable case that needed some work. Upon further inspection, after I had given it a once over and plugged it in and ran it for awhile, I gave the electrical cords a better inspection. Oh oh, the cords were stiff and brittle with the protective covering chipping off. When the head was taken out of the portable case I could see the motor would need rewiring and the light fixture was toast. Cheri said she wanted this one back for herself. Are you sure?

2. White with blue top sewing machine was in a small cabinet and in need of cleaning. It is amazingly lightweight for a vintage sewing machine but they were smart and made the "lid" plastic, something that probably doesn't need to be metal. It stitched nice and came with accessories; Cheri wanted this one back for a sewing group she works with. The cabinet is just okay but might clean up nice.

3. Also in a cabinet is a Singer 15 that we think is in good shape but is so dirty that it's hard to tell. It has probably been stored in a garage, judging by the thick layer of greasy dirt. It remains in the cabinet because it's wired up to a knee control so Cheri brought a friend along to help her haul this baby around.

4. Finally up is the boat anchor, just the head but heavy enough to require both arms to pick up. It's a Signature UHT J276B and in rough shape with paint bubbling up, pretty dirty, and not moving too well. Cheri doesn't want it back; it's mine.

Over the course of the weekend I get to look at the first three and this past week found me working with the boat anchor a bit every night to get it loosened up. Sometimes the sewing machines that look the most hopeless are those that turn out well. That's what happened with this group:

1. MW Round Bobbin ended up on the floor of my repair room, waiting for rewiring. The light needs to be replaced and I have one with a silver metal cover that will work but it's nothing special. I hope to put it in a wood base but at $45 per new base I'm not sure I can recoup the price. The blue portable case is now free to be used elsewhere.

MW Round Bobbin
2. The White machine cleaned up well and runs good, having straight stitch and zigzag so pretty well equipped to be used in a sewing group. That blue portable case? It got cleaned up, glued and clamped, and now houses this blue sewing machine. Looking good! Cheri will take this one and use it for the group sewing circle.
White with accessories, manual, and a box of bobbins
3. Singer 15 did clean up nicely and runs well but it doesn't fit into the cabinet like it should. That will take some doing to shave off a bit of the front edge but it's worth the work. Cheri considered this a "bribe" since she didn't want it but knew I would and I'm happy to be bribed! It's a good solid machine and should sell if I price it right.
Singer 15-91 is gear driven
4. The Signature, even with the bubbling paint, cleaned up fairly well and is running better. The motor was giving off a burnt smell but that has stopped so I hope it was just from storage. The motor doesn't look exceptionally dirty and I don't want to pull it apart unless I have to! I checked the brushes and they are good with no sparks or smoke from the motor  It went into the cabinet the White sewing machine came in, a decent fit and appropriate for such a heavy sewing machine.
Signature with accessory box in cabinet

Selection of stitches and fold-out bobbin winder
In summary, I'm keeping the MW Round Bobbin, Singer 15, and Signature, Cheri is taking back the blue sewing machine in the portable case. Now that is not working out too even is it? So I'm going to give Cheri two sewing machines that she can take back to her group, two that are basic but have zigzag and in portable cases or with handles. This works for me since I get two that are good (after rewiring the MW) and one that is fine and works but not a great find. That one will need to be priced very low yet it does have an very nice accessory box (but no manual). Here are the sewing machines I picked out for Cheri and her sewing group:

Kenmore 158-12111

Montgomery Wards
Both are free arm, include accessories, with the Kenmore in a portable carrying case and the Montgomery Wards has a handle plus a heavy vinyl cover. They are good machines but not gorgeous. Well, we all can't be rock stars; some of us are just dependable. I never wanted to be a rock star and maybe that's true of these two dependable sewing machines. Sometimes it just okay to be good at what you do without all of the flourish. But I say quietly to each one of the plain Jane sewing machines: rock-on, baby.


Cheri Dawn said...

It's so fun to see how you've shaped up these machines - they're looking great! And so are the "plain Janes". They will be a welcome addition to our sewing group. Thanks for being our trading post. It looks like a win/win all around!

Karen said...

Always happy to do business with you, Cheri! Looking forward to Saturday and the big exchange. No wait: we already did the exchange, this will be sealing the deal!