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Old Singer sewing machine 538

Hero Member Posts: 937
Old Singer sewing machine
« on: May 31, 2021, 01:24:47 PM »
Currently learning to work a bit with an old Singer VS3 hand sewing machine made in 1890.
When new a machine like this would cost you about a month's wages, but nowadays these can be bought for only a handful of euro's.
I paid 10 Euro for mine, and there are literally dozens more where this one came from for similar prices.

These high quality machines were made well before the era of planned obsolescence, and are basically indestructible.
The inner workings on this one were covered in a shiny brown veneer that once used to be whale oil, but once that was removed and replaced by a few drops of 5 weight Nano-Oil here and there the machine works almost like new again.
Also disassembled the wiggly wood parts to remove the remnants of the dried out bone glue, and then reglued everything with a good quality waterproof wood glue.
Very useful if you want to take the machine with you to use in places without power sockets.

The machine uses 15x1 size needles and easily stitches two parts of an old leather belt together (total leather thickness ~7,35 mm), so it just might work to make a simple leather knife sheath now and then (if i don't use overly thick leather)
Also does very well for jeans, t-shirts, bed linen, etc.












Also found this wonderful 1934 documentary about the manufacturing processes involved in making a Singer sewing machine at Clydebank, Glasgow, from its raw form of iron to the finished product packed and ready for export.
Sadly without sound, but well worth it (if you like these kind of things)

https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/1592













Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,484
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2021, 03:17:55 PM »
I have something similar (somewhere :think: ) operated with a knee bar.
How is yours controlled?

Point Of No Return Posts: 32,631 Plumbers Know Their Crap!!
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2021, 03:35:09 PM »
I thought mine was old but mines pink and in a plastic case, but dang that’s a freaking antique! Beauty!
JR

"The-Mad-Plumbarian" The Punisher Of Pipes!!! JR
As I sit on my Crapper Throne in the Water Closet and explode in the Commode, I think with my Head, that my flush will always beat John’s or Jerry’s pair! But Jack’s ran for the Reading Room and tripped on a Can and bowed to the Porcelain God!
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 22,216

Nix us

********* * *
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2021, 04:29:23 PM »
Beautiful old machine.

I gotta say, a sewing machine is a handy tool to be able to use!   :tu:

heterodox, not in the box
Point Of No Return Posts: 32,631 Plumbers Know Their Crap!!
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2021, 06:27:10 PM »
Beautiful old machine.

I gotta say, a sewing machine is a handy tool to be able to use!   :tu:
True that! Of course I’ve run out of needles so I can’t do anything,,
JR

"The-Mad-Plumbarian" The Punisher Of Pipes!!! JR
As I sit on my Crapper Throne in the Water Closet and explode in the Commode, I think with my Head, that my flush will always beat John’s or Jerry’s pair! But Jack’s ran for the Reading Room and tripped on a Can and bowed to the Porcelain God!
Hero Member Posts: 937
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2021, 09:26:29 PM »
I have something similar (somewhere :think: ) operated with a knee bar.
How is yours controlled?

Mine is hand cranked using the small white porcelain handle.
Nowhere near as fast as a powered one like yours, but fast enough for smaller jobs.
In the pics the white handle is still folded for transport in the wooden case, for use it needs to be flipped to the other side.

Hero Member Posts: 937
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2021, 09:30:44 PM »
True that! Of course I’ve run out of needles so I can’t do anything,,
JR

Machine needles that fit these old Singers can still be bought in any good sewing store.
I bought some thicker pointed ones for jeans and some chisel-pointed ones for leather from the Schmetz brand.
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 22,216

Nix us

********* * *
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2021, 12:01:21 AM »
Schmetz makes a good needle.  :tu:

heterodox, not in the box
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 57,217
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2021, 01:27:20 AM »
That is a thing of beauty !   :like:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,484
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2021, 03:18:35 AM »
Mine is hand cranked using the small white porcelain handle.
Ahh I see... I'm sure it wasn't in the photos when I first looked last night.  :facepalm:

Hero Member Posts: 937
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2021, 09:06:54 AM »
This is my second machine, a model 128 in a treadle, dating from 1925.
We found it standing on the pavement in front of the home of an older lady, who was going to a smaller apartment and wanted to get rid of it.
She still remembered her grandmother working with it back in the 1930's, but her mother and she had only kept it all these years for home decoration.
For 15 Euro we could take it with us :-)

Sadly a few rainy days and nights outside had damaged the wooden table and case somewhat, but the machine itself was still unharmed as it had been covered by the wooden case.
After i sanded the table i liked the wood grain so much (i think it may be red cedar) that i only treated it with several layers of a good quality mineral oil, and the drawers which normally hang under the table will get the same treatment.
The machine has been cleaned and oiled, it has been fitted with a new rubber wheel for it's bobbin winder, and a new leather belt that connects the treadle with the machine is on it's way. (E-Bay)
The treadle mechanism itself already ran smooth & silently on it's ball bearings, but i gave those a few drops of 5 weight Nano-Oil anyway.




Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 57,217
Re: Old Singer sewing machine
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2021, 01:43:07 PM »
 :like: :tu:

 

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