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Topic: Help a total ignorant with her vintage singer please (Pics inside)  (Read 1800 times)
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artcat81
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« on: October 02, 2008 06:35:18 AM »

Hey there, I have a bad track record with sewing machines, and little experience with them either.   I have a brain filled with garment ideas, and fabric sculptures etc, so I have been keeping my eyes out for a machine and doing research.  Metal parts were a definate must for me, and my budget was tight. I'm prefacing this whole thing with this because I'm a complete ignorant about sewing machines.

I recently bought a sewing machine off of ebay, its a vintage singer the serial number dates it to between 1913 and 1915, and its patent dates are 1910 and 1911, the Gold decal work has the egyptian Sphinx motif (which makes me geek out even further).   It was a bit of an impulse buy, I paid under $60 for it including shipping, and the auction had very little on it, it said
Quote
"Vintage Singer sewing machine" - Vintage portable sewing machine, singer-number g40861, is complete, and runs fine, comes with foot pedal, and carrying case, machine is old, it and the case show signs of wear. Thanks for looking.

Well, it arrived yesterday and I am soo excited, but the case it sits in and that covers it broke in shipping, it looks like the machine rocked and broke the case.  I think I can glue the case back together.  If the case ends up being nonrepairable, do I need to make it a new box? or can i sit it on my work table and plow into a project?

But my next questions are, what model did I get? Where can I get a manual on it (because I have no clue how to thread it, or maintain it)?  and what kind of needles can I use in it?

Here is the auction if that helps http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=300260068209&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=020
 It came with thread comically, old thread, and the machine smells very musty so it was obviously been stored for a long time. There is almost no rust, top or bottom on it, and all parts move smoothly if a bit stiffly, it feels like it needs lubricating- but thats the opinion of someone who knows very little about sewing machines.

 I am beyond excited about this, the machine is  a work of art, and my mechanical side is geeking out being able to see how the parts all interact.

I know yall are probably cringing that its ended up in the hands of a machine killer, but I in my defense, the machines I have killed were plastic filled things, including that serger, and that older brother had issues when I picked it up on the side of the road.

Thank you ever so much for your help, I am soo excited at the prospect of being able to do more than handsew, and to work on such an amazing machine.
Thank you thank you thank you!

P.S. I can post more pictures tonight when I get home if that helps Smiley


« Last Edit: October 12, 2008 09:15:27 AM by artcat81 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down"   - Malcolm Reynolds- Firefly
"Normal is a failure of Potential" - Eli Stone
SpottedFrog
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008 09:17:46 AM »

Hmmmm  Smiley
The real Sphinx model is highly collectible and valuble, like $700- 900 range. Unfortunately it was a model that reproductions were made of as well, at that price either a) you got incredibly lucky, or b) the seller knew it was a reproduction.

Now, the reproduction machines were done in the 50's (IIRC, I could be way off) and are perfectly good machines in their own right, so don't be terribly disapointed if it turns out to be a repro. k?

Carrying cases are easy to get, hard plastic, fabric, or fancy ones with wheels & handles, or you can get patterns to make cases too Smiley If it turns out yours is original, find someone who really knows woodworking to help you repair the original case.

Any machine that reports as your does is worth a trip to a repair shop for a thorough going over by a pro, if possible get them to go over it's functions & care with you.
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artcat81
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008 10:30:51 AM »

well,  I looked up the serial number and it dates from between 1913 and 1915 if I'm looking at it right.  and the little plate that covers the bobbin area (sorry I'm sure it has a name that I dont know), has two patent dates one is 1910 and the other is 1911

If you are curious, here is its serial number g40861

The pedal that you cant see in the picture is also metal and not a modern look.  And the electrical cord while whole, looks like it could use replacement (aka it looks old).

and Eeek! if it really is an original Sphinx Singer and worth what you think it is... maybe I shouldnt let my sewing machine murderess fingers attempt to sew anything on it.

Is there a model # or something for it, aka what do I need to put into a search engine for my "GoogleFu" to track down a manual?
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"Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down"   - Malcolm Reynolds- Firefly
"Normal is a failure of Potential" - Eli Stone
SpottedFrog
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008 04:50:41 AM »

I'm trying to remember who picked up one of these this summer- Craftydeb maybe? No time to search it out right now. anyway, she wound up having a reproduction but kept it because it was lovely & sewed nicely Smiley

Yes, the serial number is what you need to search due to the fact that the repros were very accurate, down to model numbers, they basicly refrence the originals.
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artcat81
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008 12:38:00 PM »

update!

I figured out how to get the bobbin in and out, and I adore this long bullet shaped bobbin, its too cool visually. ok ok I have since learned proper terms include "boat" not bullet (see I can be taught).

I believe I have my hands on a either a 127, 128 or 15, I downloaded the manual for the 127/ 128 and it looks just like my machine, except mine is electric, the more i learn the more I think the motor was added later..

I plan on really looking at it tonight with the manual to see if I can figure out what to do next Smiley aka. servicing it myself, or taking it to a shop.. and the all important, do I try to glue its case back together or, replace it..

I never knew how cool and gadgety sewing machines were until i got my hands on this one.  I'm really excited about being able to see just how it works, unlike the new machines!

Also, I promise pictures in the none too distant future, because its just too pretty not to Smiley

And eventually I hope to actually start sewing something with it!

Thank you Penlowe for your response earlier

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"Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down"   - Malcolm Reynolds- Firefly
"Normal is a failure of Potential" - Eli Stone
Michellegio_sew
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008 07:05:17 PM »

That is a nice one!  According to your serial number is was made in 1924 in Elizabethport.  http://ismacs.net/singer/singerdates.html

You will want to clean it and oil it.  tips & tricks here: http://ismacs.net/articles/restoration.html

You should be able to download a manual from Singer's website or Ismacs.net may have some leads.
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2008 07:08:25 AM »

Found the post, is this one like yours? (with pics)
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=224145.0
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artcat81
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2008 09:13:22 AM »

Nope, mine is setup a bit differently from that one, adn thank you everyone for the help!

Please forgive all the pictures I went a bit camera happy because its just soo pretty, pretty sure its a model 127, but again any info is most welcome












and if it helps, yall can go to my flickr http://flickr.com/photos/24145253@N07/sets/72157607957146188/ to see bigger pics
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"Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down"   - Malcolm Reynolds- Firefly
"Normal is a failure of Potential" - Eli Stone
goldy
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2008 11:36:04 AM »

This site is mainly about Treadle machines but you might find some good info on it. http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/index.html

You may find your machine listed here. http://www.needlebar.org/cm/index.php?cat=59
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Laura22
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2008 12:29:31 PM »

There's a yahoo group for vintage singer machines at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vintagesingers/

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Blog :  http://photographybylaurapearce.blogspot.com/

Flickr:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/lpphotography/

Twitter:  laurapearce22

I'm always up for trades and swaps, check out my trade page on Ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/people/LauraPearce/stash/trade
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