Friday, July 14, 2017

More Brotherly Love

I'm just a sucker for the Brother Select-o-Matic sewing machine. I also have a soft spot for the compact cabinets that have a chair that fits into the cabinet so it looks like a large decorative box but hides not only a chair inside but a sewing machine, too. When those two worlds collide we have one very, very happy Sewing Machine Mavin. That's my story for today.

Once again, Goodwill Auction online had a vintage Brother sewing machine that looked a lot like the Select-o-Matic. It does, and it doesn't but it's probably close enough:
My newest Brother: no name
Brother Select-O-Matics
To make it even better, it came in a very cool cabinet so it was local pick-up only and TA DA it was in Minnesota where they know my name at the auction pick-up site. Nichole and I are practically friends I've been there so often. Yes, I won the bid for a disgustingly small price and went to pick it up last week. Beside a bit of cleaning, alright maybe a lot of cleaning, it stitched okay but not great. I had to employ one of my best techniques: walk away and come back later. It's surprising how well that works. Most of the time it just takes time for the oil to sink in and get things moving but it also can keep you from doing something foolish like turning a screw too hard and stripping it. This time overnight worked best as well as letting the machine run continuously for 5-10 minutes.
Brother stitch sample, mostly practice
 Finally ready to put the machine back in the cabinet, I went out to the garage to see what it needed: nothing! It was in great shape so only needed cleaning so I use a cabinet cleaner that gets off the dirt and leaves a nice clean surface with a touch of shine when you buff. Upon closer inspection I could see that the knee control had to have the wiring replaced but I knew I already had several controls with motor blocks that were made for cabinets. Why not just swap them out? That proved to be a good idea even if I did need to replace plugs and mount with new holes inside the cabinet. It looks great, much safer, and used a known product that I was just keeping for future use.
Brother in compact cabinet
Then I looked at the seat and noticed ... it didn't have a seat, just the chair without a top to sit on, cushioned or not. I'm going to have to make a seat myself and that's not easy for me since I'm a wood refinisher, not builder.  Taking a look at other cabinets I find I currently do not have another one to look at so will have to go from memory.
Pull-out chair but no seat (yet)
This isn't going to be cheap, either with a couple pieces of wood, edging, block of foam and then fabric. Okay, so maybe only $20 but that just goes to show you how expensive a bargain can be some times. It also needs a full set of accessories in a box plus a manual. I think I can use the same scanned Brother Select-o-Matic manual but it's not quite the same:
Brother No-Name
Brother Select-o-Matic

The knobs and dials all function the same but are labeled differently. All in all, it's still a very good vintage sewing machine that runs quietly and will be a gem in someone's collection. This is not a model for a newbie because of the whole dial set-up but it is very doable for someone who loves vintage and loves to sew. Be still my heart, I cannot have another one in my collection!

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