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Topic: A moment of silence for my old singer. . .  (Read 1628 times)
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EllaRain
« on: July 02, 2014 08:20:56 AM »

This is my sewing machine.  An old metal singer that was made back in the early eighties.  It was my mom's first, but I have had it for about 15 years.  Last week it just stopped sewing.  It was rather strange because it happened midway down a line of quilting and there weren't any tangled threads.  I cleaned out everywhere where dust likes to accumulate, but it was just stuck.  I took it in for repair, but alas it is not able to be fixed. Apparently, over time moisture has gotten into the machine and rusted some of the gears, so they are fusing together.  No one makes the gears anymore so fixing this problem is not really an option.  Cry  I am feeling more sentimental then I was expecting about the loss of my machine.  It is the only one I have every have and it is so tough I guess I just kind of thought it would last forever.

Now comes the arduous task of selecting a replacement machine.   Huh It seems that new machines have lots of fancy features compared to mine, but they also seems much more flimsy that it makes me wonder how long they will last. I would appreciate any thoughts anyone has on the topic.  My impulse is to get another singer.  A friend recommended this one( http://www.amazon.com/9970-600-Stitch-Computerized-Extension-Accessories/dp/B00GG5W9NY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404313678&sr=8-1&keywords=singer+9970) , but she does not actually own the machine.  Do you guys have any experience with it?
I am feeling a little lost and have been trying to think about the characteristics I would like in a new machine.
I want it too last. . . (It does not have to last the 30+ years of my old machine, but I don't want to have to buy a new one for a good while)
I want to be able to quilt through lots of fabric. I use my  machine to quilt, and make purses out of upholstery fabric and sometimes sew denim.
I would like to be able to lower the feed dogs (this is something my old machine could not do but I think it would be fun to learn to free motion quilt).
I am looking to spend less than $500. 
I am sure there are other things but I cannot think right now. . .
       
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014 09:41:39 AM »

I feel your pain...I cried when my first sewing machine had to be put out of her misery...my hubby had to put her out while I was at work...

Good luck getting a replacement...I was lucky to be given two heavy duty METAL, not plastic, replacements...they both are very basic, one has feed dogs that can be lowered (not a problem though, because when I quilt, I just put plastic packing tape over the feed dogs anyway to help the quilt glide...)...no cams, no fancy stitching other than zig zag...so far, I have not had the need for much more...

*sigh* I still miss my first "baby"...but sewing goes on! Grin

Ella--I do have a computerized embroidery/combo sewing machine as well...it is the one I use the least...for some reason, it does not seem to want to sew heavier weight fabric and you can't work the wheel by hand to force the needle through some thick areas (as in a purse)...I would test drive models available locally, if you can...our local repair shop often has really good, refurbished machines from estate sales that are barely used at all!

I keep checking to see if maybe the sister of my baby will be there! Wink Grin
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014 09:46:24 AM by alwaysinmyroom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

choo_choo
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014 06:00:08 PM »

I find the repair shops diagnosis very unreliable.
Unless it was stored underwater those gears are not going to rust up and seize.
There could be other issues, but it isn't rust in the gears.
I would do one of two two things.
Take it to another shop   or send it to me.
I'm not a sewing machine mechanic, but I am a mechanic.
I'm guessing it is a gear drive motor and not a belt drive since you talk gears.
Bet it needs thoroughly cleaned and relubed and adjusted.
Possible the motor is shot or just needs new brushes.
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014 06:18:36 PM »

My poor dear's motor finally gave out...I was told by more than one place that the cost of repair was going to be greater than I wanted to spend...but that it was a good hard working machine that I used heavily for over 50 years...there is a lot of be said about spending money for professional maintenance...I think that is what kept her going all those years...*sigh*

Ella...I hope there might be some hope for you from choo choo!!
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choo_choo
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014 07:30:07 PM »

Can't tell from the picture for sure but I think you have a 5525.  correct?
There comes a point when fixing is too pricey  But you might contact Singer    singer.com
Ask them if motors are available. They have been very helpful for me.
They have a list of authorized repair shops on line. Might try that route.

Might also ask them for a model recommendation for what you do. In the old all metal models.

The 401 is a stout machine  got it on ebay $100 So far works like a champ on two layers of 4 oz tooling leather.
Draw back it is not a free arm. the dogs don't drop but the needle plate raises.
Maybe the 221 301 etc
On yours did it ever give off a bad odor like burning electrical?
If not  It could just need brushes.  It's not always a death sentence.

If you are careful you can get some good deals at Ebay.  got three older ones there, that I have since traded off or resold as I needed different more capabilities.

And not to be picky but 1980 til now is only  30+ years not 50.
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014 09:27:37 PM »

choo choo...my machine was over 50 years; Ella's was 15 years old...Grin


You do know there are two of us posting here.... Wink 
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choo_choo
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2014 08:02:23 AM »

choo choo...my machine was over 50 years; Ella's was 15 years old...Grin


You do know there are two of us posting here.... Wink 


yeah I went back and re-read   I got condused.....  I'm old don't take much.

But on hers, I don't believe it is rust in the gears.
I think the shop just wants to sell her a new one.
John Deere just did that to me.
My mower motor failed.   I had them put a new one in and give me old one back $1200
Then they tried  to tell me my battery was shot. 1 yr old with 2 yr warranty from NAPA
I told them BULL!! then a hour later they changed the story.
Ohhh it finally took a charge.
Have had it at home now over a month. it starts every time.
A lot of shops hope you are gullible and will fall for their story.

So again, I make the offer with no guarantees.
Ship it to me if you want. Unless her motor is burned up and I doubt it. It is not rusted gears.
Also fif you check to make sure you had not released the handwheel?
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014 11:52:25 AM »

It is very generous of you to offer your mechanical advice!  ahem, over 50 years of sewing makes me prone to confusion as well...ha ha ha


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choo_choo
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2014 08:53:33 AM »

It is very generous of you to offer your mechanical advice!  ahem, over 50 years of sewing makes me prone to confusion as well...ha ha ha


My first post here I was asking as a newbie to the forum, for help is finding an old model that would fit certain specific needs.  I preferred a convertible table. One that was a flat bed but could be removed to open arm.  All metal and at least basic zig zag. A few others.
Not one person responded with even any suggestions. Which was a little upsetting.
As we know over the years there have been hundreds if not thousands of brands  / models produced.
And no real place on the net to go to see and read them and figure out which would meet the needs best or come closest.
I don't know where most of you live but I'm in Wyoming. Not a lot of sewing machine shops here. So I turn to the net and forums.
Well I knew I preferred American made and older all metal. So went to the brand we all know Singer.
They gave me a list of 3 machines from the 1930's thru 1960's with the 401 being #1.
With that I found one at a good price.
Now I don't do all the fancy sewing some of you all do,  don't know the terminology. And certainly don't know all the newer machines and technology.  But I do know mechanics and how most things work.
And I definitely know how shops will try to deceive you if they can. Seen it many times.
So when they said her gears were rusting up and seizing I highly doubt that.
I bought one machine looked like it was steam cleaned, absolutely spotless.... but absolutely no lube either.
Lube it up and worked great.
As to motors  yea they can be hard to come by and if no longer made.....pricey. But they are usually out there if you look hard enough.   And in some cases you can find a motor shop that can rebuild them.
Other option  Ebay  look for a motor or machine like yours. Nothing else you got spare parts.
I look at it like car repairs. Id it better to repair or buy new (er).
If the over all car is in excellent shape and let's say the tranny went out. Average cost today $6000.
Ok a new car is $25 to $40000.    divide the new car price by 60 months and you have your monthly bill for 5 yr
divide the $6000 by 60 months and you have the monthly bill for 5 yr.  which can you afford best?
Same with your machine  a new replacement will likely be twice if not three times the cost of the motor.
And the new machine may not be as well built even though it had more features, many of which you may never use.
So is it really more economical than repairing the old one?

And I notice Ella hasn't been back, so don't know if she read suggestions or not.

Hope ya all have a nice day
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014 11:35:23 AM »

I know EllaRain from the quilting forums, which is why I responded...the forum is so huge that often, posts are not responded to, which makes me sad...plus, it is mostly a crafting forum with people posting pictures of projects, so a lot of the "discussions" get overlooked...I am sorry...

I agree that fixing things is often the best way to go...I hate the plastic, cheaply made sewing machines...my two replacements are heavy duty metal Singers that don't do much other than sew straight and zig zag...

I hope Ella sees your post before she give up on her machine...the motor on mine was unavailable and even if one could be found, it would be more than I could pay...what type of sewing do you do?

lol...your comment on the newer machines...mine is so fancy that I don't have the time to sew by the time I figure out all the gizmos and computer stuff!  I use it for special projects when I have time to read the manual as I go and then I use it for about a week, then go back to my simple machines! ha ha ha
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