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anyone into old sewing machines?

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anyone into old sewing machines?

Postby smojo » Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:22 pm

What next eh? I find myself getting quite excited by an old singer sewing machine. Knew nothing about them till a few weeks ago when I was looking at a bushcraft forum and a post on there about them. I wanted to make some tool rolls and stuff bags for my woodland gear so being a bit of an engineering person I "Inherited" my mum's old non-working treadle machine to play with. Bought new belt and needles and watched stuff on Youtube and got the thing going and made a few rough and ready bags. Now you know how you sort of get "tuned in" to things once you start taking an interest? I spotted an old electric Singer on a boot sale that looked complete, lots of spare bits and bobs and I bagged it for the princely sum of £7. Weighs a ton. Plugged it in and it went round but started smoking. Wiring shot to bits so a bit more research identified it as a 201k-2 model made in 1938. Turns out they were one of the best they ever made. So I've rewired the motor, dismantled this and that and cleaned all the nasty gooey gunk off it and it's working a treat. It goes at a nice quiet and steady pace unlike the wife's new one which is just manic. I tell you what - it's the best £7 worth of fun I've had for while.
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Re: anyone into old sewing machines?

Postby Wendelspanswick » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:19 pm

My mum was a sewing machinist so I grew up around sewing machines and most of my clothes were home made as a youngster.
I put a stop to the home made clothes though when waiting for a pal outside our house, as he walked up our path he pointed out that my trousers matched our living room curtains!
I had not noticed but mum being thrifty had had enough material leftover from making the new curtains to run me up a pair of trousers.
I am banned from using my wife's sewing machine after I knackered it turning some brand new chrome leather aprons I bought cheap into sheet metal sand beating bags, had to pay £60 for it to be serviced and 'timed'.
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Re: anyone into old sewing machines?

Postby Dexter's Shed » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:59 pm

and when you get fed up with the treadle one, I'm sure a man like you could remove the machine and rig it up to become similar to a pole lathe, give you something to whittle on
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Re: anyone into old sewing machines?

Postby Bearwood » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:22 am

I too have a 201k from 1952 built into a fold out cabinet. The 201 is by far the smoothest and most robust Singer ever built (and held in very high esteem). £7 for yours is a bargain Smojo! I occasionally use mine to sew leather, but I have a treadle 66k for the bulk of my leathercraft.
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Re: anyone into old sewing machines?

Postby smojo » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:43 am

as he walked up our path he pointed out that my trousers matched our living room curtains!


Brilliant - love that story. When I was a young man and a bit of a hippy, that would have been acceptable :lol:

and when you get fed up with the treadle one, I'm sure a man like you could remove the machine and rig it up to become similar to a pole lathe, give you something to whittle on


Now there's an idea .. hmmmm?

I too have a 201k from 1952 built into a fold out cabinet. The 201 is by far the smoothest and most robust Singer ever built (and held in very high esteem). £7 for yours is a bargain Smojo! I occasionally use mine to sew leather, but I have a treadle 66k for the bulk of my leathercraft.


I was planning on trying a bit of leathercraft - maybe some pouches for tinder or something. I bought some leather sewing needles so I'll have a go. Not having done any machine sewing in the past, I found it quite difficult to control the stitch and keep it straight on the treadle machine and of course you have to co-ordinate stopping the treadle and grabbing the handwheel simultaneously to stop it dead but initial test runs on the 201 have proved far easier. It sews in a straight line without any "steering". I saw a vid where the guy was telling us that Rolls Royce had chosen this machine to sew their leather interiors back in the 50s/60s. Some provenance eh?
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Re: anyone into old sewing machines?

Postby oldclaypaws » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:41 am

Back in the good old days of blatant sexism and corporal punishment, although it was undisputed that I did the best needlework in my junior school, I wasn't allowed to have the annual sewing prize "because I was a boy". I think that single episode turned me against the system and establishment, ever since I've felt life's unfair and corrupt. Perhaps it was a similar story with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his primary school teacher didn't approve of his rainbow coloured butterfly cakes in domestic science class, so he went all shirty and promised to wreak his terrible vengeance on the world. If only he was invited on to Masterchef to demonstrate his Halal Profiteroles he'd stop all that beheading business and show his feminine side. :?
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Re: anyone into old sewing machines?

Postby Bearwood » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:24 pm

oldclaypaws wrote:Back in the good old days of blatant sexism and corporal punishment, although it was undisputed that I did the best needlework in my junior school, I wasn't allowed to have the annual sewing prize "because I was a boy". I think that single episode turned me against the system and establishment, ever since I've felt life's unfair and corrupt. Perhaps it was a similar story with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his primary school teacher didn't approve of his rainbow coloured butterfly cakes in domestic science class, so he went all shirty and promised to wreak his terrible vengeance on the world. If only he was invited on to Masterchef to demonstrate his Halal Profiteroles he'd stop all that beheading business and show his feminine side. :?

Hehe. Brilliant. I enjoyed that 'Paws.
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