Thursday, March 9, 2017

Making Up For Lost Time

While away from home, my business continued of buying, restoring, and reselling vintage sewing machines. Through an auction I managed to buy an Elna Air Electronic model 62 and even though it was a local buy and I usually pick up my  winnings, this time I had it mailed for a mere $10. It arrived and I got to take a look at it yesterday while resting up:
Elna 68 cleaned up
It came without a power cord or foot control but I was pretty sure I had them at home. It was dirty, taking several steps to get the layers of dirt off but it does run. This sewing machine is a real classic and desirable: Ray White says Elna really got it right when they designed this model.

Emails and text continued while I was gone and I promised to get back to each one. That meant I ended up with three appointments on my first day home while recovering from a midnight flight arrival. Remember that I average selling one sewing machine per week so I had some catching up to do. First on the list was the Free Westinghouse Rotary, such a nice sewing machine but one of the downfalls is the specially sized needles it requires.
Free Westinghouse in custom wood base
Linda arrives and, wouldn't you know it, pulls out a lightweight leather collar that she needs to sew multiple layers. Oh oh, this is not the machine she needs. We try several adjustments and it skips stitches when going over the tough spots. I'm not surprised so we have an honest talk about what she needs this sewing machine to actually accomplish and what other sewing machines she has at home. Linda really does have great experience in sewing, even has a Singer 15-91, but she's thinking she's going to send it to her sister. She agrees to take a trial run with a Singer 201, one of my all-time favorites. Of course, it sails right through the layers, the stitches are even and beautiful, with top and bottom stitches. Success! She's sure this is the one but has to run more errands and will be back later this evening. No problem. I go take a nap.
Singer 201: decals gone from the bed (a little too much cleaning?)
Next up is Mickie who loves Kenmore sewing machines and has spied the Kenmore 385-1960, a lovely electronic model that preforms well. In less than 5 minutes she knows it's the one she wants so this is one of the quickest sales and the fastest one today. She teaches 4H sewing and despises the plastic wonders the students try to use, knowing a Kenmore is going to perform much better and is sturdier to boot.  As she goes out the door with my business card she promises to tell her friends about my little business and I hope she does!
Kenmore 385-1960
Hillary is up next, looking at one of the higher end sewing machines of my small group of modern sewing machines. A long-time fan of the Viking Husqvarna 6000 series, hers is sorta underwater. It's a long story, but an upstairs bathroom leak found its way into her sewing machine that has now rusted inside. Although she is sick about it she is moving on and the Viking Husqvarna Platinum 730 is just the sewing machine to easily forget your past troubles. It's a real beauty that performs well for a computerized model and she is a bit dazzled by it, asking why anyone would give it up. There's usually only a couple of choices: bought a newer model or giving up on sewing.  It was the first choice with the Platinum 730, nothing wrong with the seller or the model. Hillary went home very happy.
Viking Husqvqarna Platinum 730
The day wasn't over because Linda was coming back for the Singer 201. She thought a table might be nice since she was used to a knee control so I found one in the garage from my fall sale and got it all set up minus the bracket that holds the foot control up into the cabinet. That's right, it's the same foot control that slides into a large metal bracket. Once in place, all you have to do in push the knee control to engage the button on the new-mounted foot control. It's not magic but it is pretty slick! We end up waiting all evening for Linda and when she comes she's distraught because her phone isn't working and she got sorta lost in our neighborhood. That's alright, she is finally here, pays for the Singer 201, but needs to think about the table: she will be back.

At the end of the day I get to continue to work on the Elna 68, freeing up the stuck places until I can get it to sew as I know an Elna's can. I finally practice stitch with built in stitches and some cams from another model:
Elna 68 stitch sample: cam stitches on left, built in stitches on right
I can see it's going to be a whirlwind month with much catching up to do but you know how I love this hobby-turned-business: it's almost never any work and fun to play!


Andrea said...

Hello Karen,
First of all, I'm very sorry for the loss of your Mom.

If you have time, I'd really appreciate if you could offer me some advice.
This week I was lucky enough to buy a Berniba 730 Record at our lical auction house. She needs a new belt fitting, but we just cannot get the hand wheel off. I bought a copy of the service manual, but it doesn't cover this. Can you think of anything we can try, please? I've tried various serach criteria in hoogle, but had no joy.
Many thanks.
Best wishes,

Karen said...

I think I'm going to need a photo of your hand wheel because there are different versions within the model #730. Some have a c-clip that needs to be removed, others just have screws.