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Topic: Can anyone identify this machine?  (Read 863 times)
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Knotty Kitty
« on: September 01, 2008 05:15:01 PM »

I recently inherited a sewing machine from my grandmother, but I have no information about it, other than the fact that it's old. It says "General" on the side, so it's a GE machine, and it says "Deluxe Zigzag". Unfortunately, web searches of every combination of those words yeilds nothing helpful. It had an instruction manual, but I sat down to read it and realized it's for a different, newer machine. I have a feeling I'm going to need to get it repaired, it's been sitting for quite some time and I haven't been brave enough to turn it on yet. It'll at least need to be oiled, and I'm going to need instructions for that.

So, does anyone know what this dinosaur is?


Ginormous image here...http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/9540/dscn2373bm0.jpg


I can take more pictures if needed. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd hate to have to lug it into my local sewing place, it's shockingly heavy.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2008 05:23:21 PM by Knotty Kitty » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
jennyleigh
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008 04:21:58 AM »

Is there a model number on it anywhere?  It looks -- in style -- very similar to the Dressmaker Deluxe brand of that era.  You may have to look in the "innards" to find it.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2008 04:26:32 AM by jennyleigh » THIS ROCKS   Logged
goldy
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2008 06:16:57 AM »

Very similar to this one. http://www.needlebar.org/cm/displayimage.php?album=search&cat=0&pos=6 I think the body is the same. I think a lot of companys bought the same machine parts and built their own versions.
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008 12:29:03 PM »

Aha! Thanks for the bigger picture Smiley
Right below "zig zag" it says "made in Japan". It's either a precursor to a brand you know now (like Toyota or Juki) or it was a short lived company. This also places it's date to pre- 1968 ish. After WWII Americans weren't very interested in Japanese sounding products, even though they bought plenty of stuff from Japan. Japanese companies obliged by putting American sounding names on their products, your General looks to be one of them. It's probably a very good machine too Smiley give it a whirl!
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Knotty Kitty
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008 04:22:09 PM »

I might just go ahead and drive it down to my local sewing machine repair place. If it needs parts (my dad mentioned it might need a new belt...?) then they might be able to point me in the right direction, or they might even recognize the thing.

Thank you for your responses, now I'm even more determined to learn all I can about my nameless relic. ^_^ I'm still hesitant to fire it up since it's probably been sitting for decades. I'm vaguely aware that sewing machines need to be oiled from time to time, and it seems like it might damage it if I ran it without oiling it first. Which I have absolutely no idea how to do. (Obviously I've been hand-sewing my whole life, this machine thing is completely new to me.)
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
SpottedFrog
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2008 05:12:41 PM »

Before you plug it in & put the pedal to the metal so to speak Wink give everything a few turns manually. No thread, no bobbin, but with the sole plate in place, just turn the wheel, slowly through several full turns. Look at the belt (if it's rubber dad is probably right, s'ok , belts are relatively cheap). Watch the needle & see if it has a good smooth motion (make sure you are on a straight stitch setting). Check the cord, this era machine might have a fabric covered cord or a brittle older plastic. Replacing a cord is pretty painless too.

If it goes through the motions well, plug it in (in a clean clear area if the cord is in questionable condition, one test run won't likely start any fires. Be sure to unplug when you are done). Thread it up & manually run it through some turns a couple more times. All this manual turning will have moved around the existing oil in the machine, which has probably gotten thick & very black from dust acumulation, not to worry. Unless it was stored in the Mojave Desert, there is likely still some semblance of oil in the machine, at least enough to test with. When testing if ugly greasy fluff balls appear on your fabric, it was well oiled in the past Smiley

Thread the machine, preferably with a bright colored thread on the spool & a dark thread on the bobbin. Now, with some light colored non-strechy scrap fabric gently press the pedal & sew a couple inches. This is where an old brittle belt will probably give it's last gasp & disintigrate leaving you unable to test further. Hopefully it will have lasted long enough for you to see what the stitches look like (it's probably too loose or too tight, storage tends to wonkify tension) and maybe even tried reverse and possibly the zig zag function. If you get that furnace on the first cold day smell, don't freak out too much, same as the furnace it's just dust burning off. If you see sparks anywhere but inside the motor casing, make a note of it & let the service guy know.
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Knotty Kitty
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008 06:48:41 PM »

"Unless it was stored in the Mojave Desert, there is likely still some semblance of oil in the machine, at least enough to test with."

Haha. I'm in Tucson, it gets pretty damn hot here. But thanks, I'll try it out carefully. ^_^
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Knotty Kitty
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2008 08:34:23 PM »

Yay, it actually works! ^_^ Seems to work well, too. I don't think I have it threaded properly, but I'll figure that out after I get it oiled.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
SpottedFrog
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2008 08:53:30 PM »

Ha ha!

Oil thickens with exposure to heat more than just evaporating, so it gets sludge-y instead of being a light fluid. The pro you take it to is likely experienced with this & will thoroughly clean out all the old stuff & replace with new Smiley

No oil at all if far worse than sludge.
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Pamcake1323
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2008 05:40:45 PM »

I would check the pics in this link :

http://www.sewusa.com/Sewing_Machine_Manuals/Deluxe_ZigZag_Sewing_Machines.htm


 and see if you can identify it from there. Good luck with your search =)
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