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Topic: Antique machine--Pfaff 130 advice and/or info? (HAS IMAGES)  (Read 3888 times)
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thingwraith
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« on: August 12, 2006 07:01:49 PM »

So I bought this machine, complete with built in fold-out table/desk and chair (with little drawer on it ^_^), for 40$ at the local goodwill.



I didn't know anything about it...I didn't even know if it worked.  My brain just screamed "COOL OLD SEWING MACHINE" when I saw it, and I knew I had to have it.  My husband was even enthusiastic about me buying it, which is unusual. Cheesy

So I get it home and plug it in in my garage before carrying the 100989189182982 ton thing up the 4 flights of steps to my room. 



Whaddya know!?  It works, and it purrs like a kitten.  Quieter and smoother sounding than my 2-year-old Singer.  Sounds very powerful as well.  Hm.  We lug it upstairs, and I start looking in the drawers.
In them I find all these things:



That, in case you can't see it well, is a "Certificate of Lifetime Guarantee" + other documents, dated in the early 50's and bearing the purchaser's name "Mrs. Frank Leitz".  Also, a complete instruction book (with an address in New York for "Lassie" in childish handwriting on the back cover!) and a tin just CHOCK FULL of feet.  You guys, I don't even know what all these feet do, but I can tell you I am intrigued!  I didn't know there were so many feet for sewing machines.  Yep, I'm kind of a noob about sewing machines, hehe.

So here are my questions!
Does anyone here use a Pfaff 130 or any antique electric machine?  How do you like it?  I've desperately wanted to try using this but am afraid to.  Is it ok to plug in and use or will it blow my house up? ^^;
What do all the feet do?  Is anyone good at identifying machine feet or is there a guide online somewhere?  I looked in the manual but it wasn't very helpful. =/
Is there anything in general I should know before I try to use it?  I'm just a nervous nellie, probably, but I'm terrified I'll either break this old beauty or it will blow up my house. ^^;
Any advice would be appreciated! XD
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2006 07:19:45 PM »

The only thing I would do is check the cord for fraying.  If the cord appears in good shape, then plug the ole gal into a surge protector, and get after it!  See if you can google pfaff 130 pressure foot, and see if you can maybe find a list of the different kinds made for this particular machine... I just checked ebay, and you got yourself a steal!  cool beans, and good eye!
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irish_chicky
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2006 07:32:38 PM »

hey that looks like a neat machine, I have an antique 1930's singer and she still works llike a dream, I still use her anyways. Though i am getting a new commercial singer in a few weeks.. oh i cant wait!! I say go for er, if you notice anything wierd happening be careful, and if you really want to call your local sewing machine seller and see if they do toon ups for old machines. getting the gears and things is always a good idea!!
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2006 07:43:28 PM »

This is really funny!  About one month after I joined Craftster and swaps, my modern sewing machine blew up...fried engine...in desperation (I had swap deadlines!!), I found a machine very similar to yours in the garage.  It had belonged to my husband's great grandmother.  There was electrical tape on several parts of the cord, and it had this weird round socket thing to plug in...I was very careful (even had the fire extinguisher near by!), and plugged it in...

The old lightbulb holder (just like yours), lit up so I oiled the thing all over (wherever there was any hole or moving part--I winged it).  It works BETTER than my newer machines!!  Perfect straight stitches, goes through tons of fabric (even denim!), quiet, and just so cool....I have been using it for almost 5 months with no worries...

I have a box of feet and parts and have figured out that some of the stuff is for a buttonhole maker, some are spare parts (apparently, back then, a repair person could be called and would walk you through how to repair your own machine!!)--since my machine does not do zig-zag the "normal" way, I think some of those things make a fake zig-zag--not sure, but I really don't care--I am so happy to use the beautiful straight stitch and it forces me to get back to a simpler style of sewing...much more creative, it seems--not sure why....

Anyway, maybe we can learn more about our gorgeous pieces of sewing history together--I'll be watching this post to see if anyone else has more info...

Hell, if you know it works, use it---may it bring you pleasure for years to come!!!
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2006 08:03:15 PM »

Thanks everyone for the fast replies and advice! ^_^
I am going to google pfaff 130 presser feet, that's a good idea.  Most of them did not come with the machine and are not covered in the manual so who knows what they do (some look like torture devices!).

alwaysinmyroom, I'm so excited that you are using an old machine!  Does your cord look like this:



I am a little scared of that tape (although it doesn't seem to be frayed underneath, just a couple "nicks" in the rubber insulation), and the plug is the old fashioned kind where both of the metal prongs are the same size, not one big one small like most things now.

Also, what about bobbins and stuff?  Mine has one already in the bobbin case with white thread but I don't have any empty ones.  Do you think I could use the plastic ones from my singer?  Also, what about needles?  Have you had to replace the needles or use a specialty one (like jeans needle or ball point)?
Does your machine have a belt on the outside anywhere?  If so, how has that held up to use?
Sorry for all the questions but I'm just glad to find someone who actually using something like this for all their sewing! Smiley
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DIYe_Bitch
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2006 08:06:10 PM »

it happend to me too!!

 Grin

its weird and awesome huh???

god, i was so exited when i saw it

i bought it for 35$

look this is my babei


heheheh
it looks better in person

it came with all that stuff tooo
i didnt take a picture of that

and it came with the instructions and hahahha i laugh when i saw this, a certificate of the machine


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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2006 08:13:22 PM »

i have a couple of older machines, from the 50s and 60s, and they're fabulous. i wouldn't worry about plugging them in, but if you are worried, just don't leave them unattended.

fabulous score though! i bought a $40 ruffler attachment in a baggie of sewing supplies for $3 at the thrift store a few months ago, it's renewed my determination to always check that section!  

if you can take some better pictures of the feet seperately, someone here might be able to figure out what they are.

for the bobbins, you can generally tell very quickly when the one you're using isn't right. i'd pick up a few different kinds and test them. i know that more modern pfaff's (i have one from the late 80s) do take a different size of bobbin than everything else, they're flatter and rounder. as for the needles, again, just test them. i find different machines have different quirks. i had one singer (not all my singers, just one of them!) that would only take one brand of needles, but most machines i've used (upwards of 12-15) will just take standard needles.


you'll need a jeans needle or a ballpoint needle if you're sewing jean or stretch, the machine won't make a difference as to that.  



DIYe_bitch, what kind of machine is that? i love the look of it!
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2006 08:26:27 PM »

I took pics of my machine but I am charging my stupid camera to be able to upload them...is that the part that plugs into the machine or the wall?  Mine is round and only has two metal plug things--yes, all over the cord, there is that black sticky tape...

I use the metal bobbins with two holes in them. But, it also works with the metal bobbins with lots of holes in them--I used both.  There is a belt around the back wheel thing--it looked in great shape.

I used a number 14 generic joann's brand sewing machine needle!!  I had to goof around with how to put the needle in because it seemed it fit every way I put it in...finally, it turned our to be opposite of my newer machines!!

I also cleaned the bobbin holder underneath--at first,the thread was blobbing in the back of everything I sewed!!

crafty_dame--I think one of the things looks like it is a ruffler--thanks--I recognize it now that you mentioned it--the book says it will make ruffles so that must be it!! Looks kinda like something from the Terminator or something!! HA HA

WOW--hope we learn more and I will post pics of mine when I can!!

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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2006 08:51:57 PM »

yeah, i thought it looked like a ruffler too, that's why i mentioned it!
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2006 09:07:05 PM »

DIYe_Bitch, your machine looks awesome!  Does it say "New home" on the side?  I have a vague memory of a commercial for some place like "necchi new home sewing" when I was a kid. ^^

crafty_dame:  I think I have a ruffler in that pile of feet!  Does it look like this:



I have no idea how to use it, but it sounds amazing (I imagine it makes gathered fabric instead of you doing it manually...?).
I *love* the craft section at my local thrift store.  I have gotten such great stuff there for like 10 cents.  Lots of vintage yarn scores, too. Smiley
That's a great idea about the feet...I think I will make a separate with pics.
Oh, I know I have to change the needles based on the fabric...I just wondered if it was hard to find specialty needles to fit in these older machines. ^_^;

alwaysinmyroom:
That is the end that plugs onto my machine.  On the machine is a port with 3 metal prongs that match up into that thing.  I think I will try some of the needles I have laying around here.  I found a top part of a broken needle in the tin with all the feet and it looks pretty much exactly the same so maybe I'm in luck.
About the bobbins I'm not sure sure.  Have to look around and see what I have here.

Thanks so much for all the great info everyone, and I'm glad that so many people are rockin' the older machines. XD
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