Saturday, June 13, 2015

Paint Removal

It's wonderful when I think I'm too late for an ad only to find out I'm the first one! It happened again this week when I answered an ad for a Necchi whose ad was up about two hours when I found it. Add another two hours before she got back to me to ask if I could come before 10 AM the next day because she had an appointment. You bet I could! Due to my own mistakes in writing down the address, I ended up at a wrong address, driving back and forth in the rain, but we finally connected. The sewing machine head was sitting in the garage and looked very clean with no nicks on the edges, very smooth bed, so I was excited to go see the blond wood cabinet that looked very mid-century modern. Here's what the ad showed:
Necchi in Craigslist ad
Take a closer look at the top of the cabinet when it is folded up. It's on the underside in the photo so you can't see it clearly but keep looking and you can see it has been painted. Painted white. Oh boy. This is not good news but you can't have everything. We take the drawers out, and I take them downstairs while the mister and misses each take an end to bring the cabinet downstairs. When it gets to the outside door and discussion about how to get it out, I wave them aside and pick it up by myself to get it out the door. They make some comments about how strong I am (ha!) but without the head or drawers it might be only 20 pounds. The mister and I get it out to my car and he guesses that I am young, maybe only 40? We all have a good laugh as I point to my gray hair and say they need to add a couple of decades onto that. It makes my day.

Once it is home and installed into one of the few places left in the garage, I take the folding leaves off and apply paint stripper to the larger one. Under the white paint is whatever process was used to make the wood look like a blond finish, some kind of thick beige paint or maybe they had painted it beige at one time. Under that is real wood but it is not in very good shape, as I had feared. Rats.
Stripped on left, painted on right (Yea, I know you could tell)
While I'm thinking about how to refinish the top I set up the sewing machine head in the desk part (screws are missing so I scrounge for some) and get it threaded up to sew. This Necchi is a BF Mira, dated 1954 according to the original manual. It's a straight stitch only but has two speeds, a low and high, so that can give it extra power. Right out of the gate it sews very nice, comes with extra bobbins, a few accessories, and a Greist buttonhole attachment. Very nice. I had asked why they were selling, maybe she was no longer going to sew? But, no, they were moving to California to be near family in their retirement and would not be taking some of their things. Lucky me!
Necchi BF Mira at home (lounging?)
I had another straight stitch Necchi that made her final destination to Haiti in a beautiful desk cabinet back when I was desperate to get the cabinets out of the garage so my car could get in before the snow came:
Necchi Leila
Although their shape and color are different, they are essentially the same machine for function. I love a great straight stitcher but there will be times a zigzag stitch comes in handy so I only sell these to serious quilters or someone who just insists this is "the one" for them. To each his own but these old Necchi's are really beautiful. I don't know what's going to happen to the cabinet and I have my work cut out for me on this one, but it's a moment to celebrate Sewing Machine Day 2015 with a classic. Stay tuned: this might be a two post day!


BarbaraShowell said...

she is a beauty! My mom had a necchi she bought as a post war GI wife in Germany in the early 60's, her most prized possession. I'm betting it still sews beautifully at some family member's house but I'm not sure. Is it just this area or have vintage machine prices gone up up up on craig's list? I see untried, filthy, piece missing photos of machines who's owners don't even know the model number being asking hundreds! Very few tempting deals, especially since I know I'll be investing money for parts and lots of time bringing back to life. I keep my eyes open though!

Karen said...

I agree that it's frustrating to see sewing machines in unknown shape trying to be sold for $100 more than mine when mine are all working great. But I trust my buyers have figured out that they take a chance on the others and mine are guaranteed!