Saturday, May 31, 2014

The No-Name Sewing Machine

A lady dropped off a sewing machine last week. She said it didn't sew, she had tried to sell it and got no takers, so I could have it for parts. This was my first view - a plain, white generic plastic carrying case.  I wonder what kind of machine is in there...

Well, that's unusual, a sewing machine with no obvious badge or manufacturer's name.

Maybe it's on the back...Nope, nothing

I'll tip it over, there's bound to be a manufacturer's logo or JA number...Nope, nothing there, either.

I'm sure it will be on the serial number plaque - Nope, nothing there but a serial number.

Here's the only identification information - a tiny sticker saying, "Made in Taiwan".

Tipping it over to look at the serial number, I noticed that the bobbin case was not installed properly.  That could be why it doesn't sew.

Removing the bobbin case and shuttle, I spied red thread behind the shuttle. Maybe that's why it doesn't sew.

There was a serious burr on the point of the hook, so bad that fine abrasive wouldn't take it off.  I had to clean off the burr with a file, then polish with the fine abrasive.

After oiling, I threaded it up to test sew. First thing I noticed was that the tension did not release when the presser foot was raised. The paddle that presses the tension release pin on the back side of the tension assembly appears to be bent.

I tried to bend it back without removing the whole light/needlebar/presser bar/swing assembly but couldn't get it where it needed to be.  If I couldn't make the paddle reach the pin, maybe I could make the pin reach the paddle.  I disassembled the tension assembly and removed the pin from the front and cut a same-diameter finish nail to about 2-3mm longer than the original pin, that has worked for me in the past.

That still wasn't long enough, I guess I'll have to continue turning tension to '0' to thread the needle until I figure something else out or find a longer finish nail or bite the bullet and remove all the mechanicals to get at that paddle.

On the first test run, it sewed pretty well - a bit noisy, but changing the orange, toothed tractor belt for a smoother version quieted it down significantly.

 I learned that it is a left-needle zig zag machine, at '0' stitch width, the needle sits at the far left end of the hole in the throat plate; as stitch width is increased, the needle swings farther and farther to the right. That configuration makes it tougher for a quilter to judge a quarter-inch seam but having the fabric supported on three sides in straight stitching mode reduces the possibility of the fabric getting sucked down under the needle plate.

Now, I need to use it on a project to see how it performs in the long run.

Ed's Vintage Sewing Machine Shop


Jonathan said...

My repair guy uses the orange belts. When he's put them on my machines the teeth of the belt are always on the inside. Correct me if I'm wrong but the belt on the machine pictured appears to be on wrong.

Jonathan said...

It's a nice looking machine. Are there any plastic parts in the top of it?

Ed Lamoureux said...

1. It's not really visible in the photo but the orange belt on the machine has teeth on both sides - looks like WWW from the side.

2. No plastic parts inside, only the knobs outside. -Ed

Pierro said...

Rosemary B here:
Well, what a cool machine.
I wonder if the "made in Taiwan" sticker is really for the machine or if someone put it on there for a laugh.
Secondly, I wonder what the R stands for?
And my last wonderment: I wonder when this machine was made. can you tell by looking at the materials?
60's or 70's I would guess?
Very interesting item.
Happy Wednesday

Pierro said...

Rosemary again:
It kind of looks like a "Nelco" model R.

Roofie Mei said...

I have run into the same problem and have been scouring the Internet for help!
My sewing machine is not the same but there is no name and no manual for it, only identifying marks are "CLASSIC" on the front and a "made in Taiwan" sticker on the bottom!

Anonymous said...

The R on the front of the machine is to make the "Reverse" stitch to lock in your sewing. Some of the older machines would have that R button while newer models will have the reverse symbol instead of the letter. Also some other machines will have a lever. However, they all will do the same thing.

Anonymous said...

It is a Dressmaker Centennial Zig Zag. If you get a manual for a dressmaker Centennial Ziig Zag you will be in business :) Same machine, made in large quantity and branded under a few different names... "White Mode 301 Sewing Machine" should bring up the same machine as well, but again with a different name tag.
(They originate from "DeLuxe", who badges under many names for companies like; Dressmaker, White, Morse, Sovereign, etc....
Hope that helps)