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Topic: Anyone else have an old Kenmore (sewing machine)?  (Read 57234 times)
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« on: September 27, 2006 04:47:33 PM »

I got a Kenmore sewing machine today, similar to this:

(Not the same, but this was the closest thing I could find on Ebay.)

Does anyone else have a Kenmore of the same era?  What bobbins do you use?

I'm using my plastic Singer bobbins, and they work fine IN the machine... they don't work so well when I want to wind the bobbin.  The space in the middle (where it actually winds on) must be slightly too small, so the knob you push over (that should fit into that space), won't lock into place.  Thus, I have to hold that knob over to make the bobbin wind.  This does work remarkably well, but I could tell after I had wound the bobbin that I have shaved off part of the bobbin doing this.

Any suggestions?  (Maybe I should be using the metal bobbins...hmmm.)

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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006 05:57:27 PM »

im pretty sure that most older machines use metal bobbins.

my older one uses metal... my new one only uses plastic... can cause damage to the machine if you use the wrong type.

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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006 07:08:46 PM »

That's my baby that Sears broke!!!!  One of the best machines ever made!  That particular one was TOL in 1974 and was made by a Taiwan (I think) company called Jaguar.  The company was later purchased by another company...name starts with M...and is a major commercial sewing machine even now.  She is a GREAT machine!!!!  I was sick when SEARS broke the take up lever during a routine cleaning. 

That line of machines was sold by Sears for at least 5 years and there were several machines in the line.  The one in the picture took pattern cams and did monograms.  I still have my 4 boxes of attachments and cams...but wouldn't you know it?  The only ones I can't reach are the ones that have the bobbins in them.  I'm almost certain that the bobbin was metal and had several holes..but it has been a long time.  When you are on e-bay, look for under sewing machine, Kenmore.  You will see Gray boxes.  Those go with that vintage machine.  If you don't have the cam door you would not be interested in the cams and monogram(er) and monogram templates... but the button hole, button hole templates and attachments should work.  The needle on that machine was a little longer than the "usual" needle.  I only bought Kenmore needles but suspect that it took the Singer needles.  When I bought my Bernie to replace it (I was NOT a happy camper), the needles that it used made terrible noises in the Bernina...I think they were too long.  I'm sorry I can't get to the bobbins but maybe I gave you enough info that you can find what you need.  Around 1975-78 they phased out these machines and they were replaced by New Home (Janome) machines.  You don't have to be a brain surgeon to know that these two machines were made by two different companies. The Janome machines are very round looking. 

The machine in the picture is one of the last of its kind in that at the time it was made, the entire Sears line was mechanical..after that, to varying degrees, the sears line became electronic and then computerized.  The cams had the designs they would make drawn out in a long line.  The machine had something that moved in the head that "drew" the line by going around the cam.  The button holer was a gear that was on a slide plate.  You replaced the slide plate and the button hole was drawn as the gear traced the design in a plastic template....pretty ingenious!
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2006 09:53:47 PM »

I know it's not necessarily true that all old machines use the metal bobbins--my grandma's 50s Singer will NOT work with the metal bobbins I've tried.  But, it works happily with the plastic ones.  Strange and totally counter intuitive, since the rest of the machine is solid metal, but, whatever works I guess.

I was wondering if it wasn't the metal kind with all the holes going around.  Sadly, I think that when I cleaned my room the other day, I tossed out a package of those (that I had once mistakenly bought), b/c I thought, "Oh, I'm never going to use these!"  I'll pick up a package of those tomorrow.

paroper, did they offer you any kind of remuneration for destroying your machine?  How sad!  I just got mine today ($35!), but I'm totally in love.  This summer, I've been picking up machines at rummage sales (usually between $5-$10) in an effort to find my "dream" machine.  (Honestly, I'm dying to find a Singer Touch and Sew, but no luck so far.)  There's always SOMETHING wrong with them, though (usually, it seems, really f@$%ed up tension)...and since I have 2 machines that function just fine and one that's pretty much fine, I have a hard time rationalizing spending $50+ to fix a machine I spent $5 on.  So the search continued.

In addition to my "dream" Touch and Sew, I've been looking for a Kenmore like I got today.  I used on in a costuming class once, and it was my absolute favorite machine.  There were newer machines in the classroom, but I wanted nothing to do with them (in fact, another girl and I fought over this particular machine Cheesy).  So when I saw this one in a second hand shop, I nearly died.  $35 was a lot to spend on a machine that didn't work, though, so I asked if I could try it out.  They were very helpful and said no problem.  It sewed like a dream from the start (well, I did some minor adj. on the bobbin tension b/c I could tell right off that was a bit too tight).

All the attachments came with it...several feet, the button holer thing (which makes no sense to me right now...I need to sit down and mess with it), screwdriver.  I didn't see any bobbins in the bag, but I'll dump it out to make sure (damn, I'm gonna be pissed if there were some in there the whole time and I was just too stupid to see it).

It comes with several built in stitches, but no cams.  I don't use most of the fancy sts anyway, so I'm not heartbroken.  I'm just so damn excited to have a machine that works!  (My one machine, there's something wonky about the reverse that can't be fixed, the other one, a Pfaff, needs to be taken in for some tension issues, and the other one, a newer Singer, the needle moves to one side or the other seemingly on its own.)

I love the manuals that come with the older sewing machines...the new ones basically assume that you are a moron and not capable of the most basic cleaning and maintainance.  Even my new Singer (well, new as of 02 or so) has directions like this:  "Bobbin Tension Adjustment:  Don't."  This baby not only tells you how to adjust the tension, but how to take apart the bobbin shuttle and everything to really clean in there.  I love it!

Wow...guess I rambled on, huh?  Anyway, thanks for the help!

Making an effort to use proper English and not 'net slang makes me much more willing to respond to your post.
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006 04:53:05 AM »

No they did not offer compensation.  I actually didn't want compensation.  The machine was about 15 years old and I wanted it replaced with the same machine or repaired.  I fought but they just blew me off...and it is hard to get above the district manager with Sears.  There has never been a machine that I loved more than that.  At the time I searched everywhere thinking that I would be able to find a replacement machine just like it but I guess everyone that had that machine felt the way I did.  I keep a (loose) eye on E-bay but the shipping on those things is horrible plue someone has decided it is a "professional" machine (which it NEVER was) so most people on E-bay ask way too much for them to start out with. 

Forget the Touch and Sew.   I've sewn on almost every type of T&S that was ever made.  Mom had a grey one.  The schools got each of them all the way up through the golden touch and sew and I used them through college.  I never was just terribly fond of anything about them except for the bobbin mechanism  (yes, they only used a small plastic bobbin that was larger on top than the bottom and you could unscrew to remove the thread).  I've had many a frusterating moment with the T&S.  I didn't even argue when Mom decided to give hers to a niece-in-law.  Now, my sister had a Kenmore like mine and I would have done almost anything to get it....but of course, that was not possible because she had children.  The T&S machines weren't  nearly the machine this Kenmore is.  It doesn't matter if you have the cam machine or not. 

The button hole on this machine is easy.  You just replace the slide plate with the one that has a gear.  There is a long piece in the your box that has a "toothed" area and a knob.  You choose your buttonhole templace and just turn the knob to dial it into this attachment.  Place the attachment so that you are at one end of the button hole.  I think you place it so that it is closest to you (been a while).  Start the machine.  The gears will turn the button hole template as the machine runs and your button hole will be perfect!!!  It has been a while but I think that the button hole attachment screws into a hole behind the presser foot. 
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2006 09:16:27 AM »

Okay, it's a Kenmore 1410.  Here's an ebay picture of the actual machine:

I mainly just feel better knowing the model number.  (And from looking at the pictures in the manual and attachments and such on ebay, I'm going to try the metal bobbins with the holes all around).

Making an effort to use proper English and not 'net slang makes me much more willing to respond to your post.
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2006 09:52:07 AM »

Yes, I have that machine too.  I buy the cheapy metal bobbins
at Walmart and they work just fine.
Oops Creations
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2006 11:17:42 AM »

I just got a Kenmore 158 series model 1341.  I can't figure out how old it is though.  Does kenmore have one of those sites where you plug in the serial number and they tell you when it was made (like Singer does)
see my previous post 

I did find a good site with the FREE threading diagrams for kenmore machines (and manual for sale)


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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2006 03:45:43 PM »

Chances are better than average that it will have been made between about 1970 and 1976 or so.  My baby was made in 1973 and given to me in March, 1974 as a first gift from my new husband.  So it is probably 30-35 years or so old.
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2006 01:30:22 PM »

that's my sewing machine!  It's the best one I've ever used, too.  Since i really like my equipment to never need anything ever and to work every time i want it to, this is the only machine i haven't wanted to throw against a wall!  My boyfriend's parents gave it to me when they got a new fancy one, and everyonce in a while his mom will ask about it-- it was good to them, and now, it is good for us... so cool, I just got really excited when i saw this topic, sorry for rambling
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