Author Topic: Vintage Singer Machines  (Read 11109 times)

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #60 on: April 16, 2017, 11:09:35 AM »

I agree. I've never understood the obsession with speed. If you're sewing curtains and tablecloths all day that would be different.

For the ultimate in precision, I find it hard to beat a hand crank machine.  Seriously.  You can put each stitch exactly where you want it, and you can feel any resistance on the needle.

Of course, once you start sewing long seams the crank gives you a workout.

Schneiderfrei

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2017, 11:18:58 AM »
I agree, although rather than bother to get it out I prefer a good needle.

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lepus

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2017, 02:39:50 AM »
For the ultimate in precision, I find it hard to beat a hand crank machine.  Seriously.  You can put each stitch exactly where you want it, and you can feel any resistance on the needle.

Each to their own, I suppose. A hand crank machine, perish the thought! I definitely need both hands most of the time to guide the fabric layers properly. If I had to operate the crank that would severely hinder me. Nearly all modern industrials have control units that permit slow sewing, stop with needle up or down, etc., so there is no loss of precision or control at all. Admittedly, you cannot feel the resistance on the needle, but what would that tell you anyway? Change the needle for a new one only when absolutely necessary? Compared with a simple clutch motor necessitating a lot of practice and the occasional grip of the handwheel, a good control unit makes a world of difference. Even many domestic machines have such controls nowadays. And there remains always the treadle machine.

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2017, 01:18:06 AM »

And there remains always the treadle machine.


Treadle is a very different animal from the crank.  The only advantage over an electric machine is being able to work without power.

The crank is superior IMO for things like very tight arcs, such as the ends of epaulets or belt tabs.  Needle up/down is less accurate.  Crank machines often have large handwheels, and using these you can place stitches very precisely.

Steering the fabric isn't difficult after some practice, if the machine has a good feed mechanism.

Greger

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2017, 06:10:33 AM »
Might as well use a thimbled finger and hand needle. Develop this skill seems best to me.

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #65 on: April 18, 2017, 07:35:09 AM »
Might as well use a thimbled finger and hand needle. Develop this skill seems best to me.

Say you are sewing an epaulet.  You have a short straight seam, a radius, and another straight seam.  Why take the work out of the machine to hand sew if you can just sew one stitch at a time around the radius?

Greger

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #66 on: April 18, 2017, 03:04:07 PM »
Either way works.

hutch--

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #67 on: April 18, 2017, 04:16:23 PM »
I confess I would like to own one as long as it did proper lock stitches as I have seen the use of a gadget like that occasionally. I already own a Singer pinking machine which is useful from time to time so another toy like that would be worth having.
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Tailleuse

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #68 on: April 22, 2017, 04:28:01 AM »

I agree. I've never understood the obsession with speed. If you're sewing curtains and tablecloths all day that would be different.

For the ultimate in precision, I find it hard to beat a hand crank machine.  Seriously.  You can put each stitch exactly where you want it, and you can feel any resistance on the needle.

Of course, once you start sewing long seams the crank gives you a workout.


I think it would be a hoot to try a hand crank machine, and just my speed. 

Have you ever sewn with a treadle machine?  I've read that such a machine requires getting into the right rhythm. [Never mind; hadn't read your previous response.]

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #69 on: April 23, 2017, 03:10:10 AM »
A treadle has a rocking pedal attached to the idler wheel by means of a rigid arm.  When the wheel turns, rotary motion is converted to oscillatory motion.  To drive the machine with the pedal, you have to time the inputs correctly, much like pumping a swing.  This is why slack is left in the friction belt that turns the handwheel of the machine off the idler wheel; a sudden reverse would not be good for the mechanism.

Tailleuse

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #70 on: April 27, 2017, 11:22:10 AM »
The point is that you shouldn't need to track down any parts at all. A Singer 128 of mine has all the same pieces on it from when it was built in New Jersey in 1911 and it still works perfectly. You are in NYC right?, so you should be walking into these machines everywhere and they are cheap as chips.


If I were to look for some, which three models would you recommend?

jruley

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #71 on: April 27, 2017, 01:19:25 PM »

If I were to look for some, which three models would you recommend?

I'm not Henry, but I think you would do well with any one of these:

http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/singer-class-201-sewing-machines.html

http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/singer-class-66-sewing-machine.html

http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/p15.html

The 201 is supposed to be one of the best machines Singer ever made.  I can vouch for the 66 since I have a hand crank version.  The weakness of the 15 (IMO) is that the bobbin goes in a separate shuttle (case) which makes thread changes awkward.

The 128 Henry mentioned is a "vibrating shuttle" machine which uses a long, skinny bobbin.  It works fine (I have a similar machine made by Jones in the UK) but if you already have thread wound on modern bobbins you now have two styles to maintain.

Of course any old machine needs to be in good working order.  Don't buy a dirty or rusty one unless you have the skills to fix it up.

hutch--

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #72 on: April 27, 2017, 02:29:40 PM »
Some of these old hand cranked machine are very handy, I scored a hand cranked Singer pinking machine off eBay a few years ago and it works really well. I usually don't rely on a pinked edge but if you are working on a fabric that frays badly, trimming edges with a pinking machine holds it together long enough to properly secure the edge with an overlocker.
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lepus

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2017, 09:22:57 AM »
The crank is superior IMO for things like very tight arcs, such as the ends of epaulets or belt tabs.  Needle up/down is less accurate.  Crank machines often have large handwheels, and using these you can place stitches very precisely.

Steering the fabric isn't difficult after some practice, if the machine has a good feed mechanism.

I can assure you that an industrial machine can be used at least as accurately as a hand powered machine, with the added advantage that you have two hands available to manipulate and guide the fabrics or whatever you're sewing. That the machine stops immediately with the needle down in the fabric is a big advantage. Even domestic sewing machine users reporting on hobby forums wouldn't want to be without it. All operations are controlled with the foot pedal (and possibly the knee lifter). Lift the presser foot a bit, reposition the fabrics and make the next stitch. Very sharp and intricate curves can be made that way.

BTW, I may remember incorrectly, it's a very long time since I sat at one, but doesn't a hand operated machine also lack a reverse stitching facility, and you have to pull the layers toward you sharply to stitch over the seam again to lock it?
Anyway, your assertion that a hand cranked machine is the best where accuracy and control are concerned I cannot support.

Tailleuse

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Re: Vintage Singer Machines
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2017, 01:10:47 PM »

If I were to look for some, which three models would you recommend?

I'm not Henry, but I think you would do well with any one of these:

http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/singer-class-201-sewing-machines.html

http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/singer-class-66-sewing-machine.html

http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/p15.html

The 201 is supposed to be one of the best machines Singer ever made.  I can vouch for the 66 since I have a hand crank version.  The weakness of the 15 (IMO) is that the bobbin goes in a separate shuttle (case) which makes thread changes awkward.

The 128 Henry mentioned is a "vibrating shuttle" machine which uses a long, skinny bobbin.  It works fine (I have a similar machine made by Jones in the UK) but if you already have thread wound on modern bobbins you now have two styles to maintain.

Of course any old machine needs to be in good working order.  Don't buy a dirty or rusty one unless you have the skills to fix it up.


Thanks a lot. I will look into these. The 201 I've read a lot about.

A person who is confident about machines and/or has people IRL to consult doesn't understand the apprehension of someone who doesn't have that background.  My family had to hire a handyman to help us assemble our IKEA furniture.  He said we weren't the first. :-) Now, IKEA offers an assembly service.

I mean, the machine could explode.