Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sweet Smell of Success

There are far too many projects that don't come to a satisfactory conclusion so it's a breath of fresh air when things finally fit into place. Once such item was the industrial gray Kenmore 158-840:


Kenmore 158-840
I found it in a cabinet at a local thrift shop but the cabinet legs were falling off yet I loved the look of the machine. I've lost tract of the cabinet (did it get tossed? is it the same cabinet the machine is currently in?) but the machine had something weird going on. Straight stitch was fine but the zigzag made a clicking noise that didn't sound like anything I would want to put up with. Looking under the hood (yes, sewing machines can be like automobiles), I could see a screw was loose. At that point I thought it was missing the nut because I could not feel it underneath. Although it sounds like the Kenmore 84 needs psychotherapy, instead it sat for weeks in the garage and I think I was hoping for some kind of healing or inspiration.
Green arrows for stitch width lever and hook, red arrow for screw with loose nut

With the pressure of the garage sale looming, I opened it up again, removed the cam mechanism, exposed the loose screw only to find the specialized nut was there. I got it all tightened up, put everything back...but now the zig zag lever did not engage the mechanism. I had to walk away but managed to intrigue my husband in my plight the next night. I knew he would look at it differently and, sure enough, he could see where the lever should engage. Not only did it come together perfectly, it made a perfect stitch. Cams were ordered (it takes B cams, a bit more scarce than the green C cams that are the norm) and I hope they arrive in time.This is one nice sewing machine with all metal gears, a very quiet and smooth operation, and the shiny dark gray exterior only adds to its handsomeness!

Only last week I reported on a Singer 15-91 that I picked up without a power cord.  I refinished the cabinet, putting the final coat of polyurethane on this morning before I went to work. Only the top needed to be refinished on both sides of the leaves and I was leery of only a partial job. I was also cautious of the large patch that probably had water damage since they don't always turn out as hoped. Well, my fears were put to rest because the cabinet's original finish came right off and did not seem to leave any kind of permanent marks! Wow, this is really nice, especially with a matching bench seat. All in all, it was an excellent find that cleaned up quite well. As I put it back together and started to actually get it to sew there seemed to be a bit of a hitch in its giddy-up. Oiling helped but it still had a spot that was sticking. The hair blower/dryer finally came out and I turned the hand wheel  and blew the heat into the back and bottom openings. It started to loosen up but while I had it turned over I found a tiny hole I hadn't noticed before. Oil was added as well as additional heat: voila! It turned smooth as can be. The electrical was hooked back up and I let it run to disperse the oil and she's happy again. So am I.
Before
After










Where's the damage now?

Singer 15-91 oh so sweet!

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