Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's Purple! Kenmore 158.321

That was the first comment from my daughter when she saw me working on this Kenmore 158.321 sewing machine.


The Model 32 (as stated on the instruction manual cover) has an eerie similarity to another Kenmore I recently picked up, a 158.510 (Model 51 as stated on its instruction manual). Ok, so they're not really *purple* purple, but more of a pale purple/lavender.


The Model 32 looks to be designed for a portable carrying case since it has a smaller base. Both machines do straight, zig zag and cam stitching, but the 32 also has an extra knob with which to do buttonholes. I'm not sure which machine I like better. I guess I'll just have to keep both for a while...

16 comments:

  1. I love the color of these machines. I have a Kenmore 158.523 (model 52). The old Kenmores are awesome.

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  2. The only real drawback of the old Kenmores is that they are cast iron and heavy. Not a huge drawback, but something to consider. They are so smooth running and quiet. The cast iron probably helps in that regard.

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  3. My mother gave me one of these in daily good condition and I would like to know how much its worth. I would appreciate the help, thanks.

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    1. I just had mine repaired for my wife. We don't have the manual or spare parts. Can you help?

      gtrouty@aol.com

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  4. Diana, with vintage sewing machines, value truly is in the eye of the beholder. People routinely donate these old Kenmore's to the thrift stores just to get rid of them, then there are folks that advertise on sites like Craigslist that ask hundreds for the same machine. I've seen prices all over the map for what I consider run-of-the-mill machines like this. If the machine were recently serviced, that would obviously add some to the value, but most people selling on Craigslist are just trying to sell a machine that has probably sat untouched in the corner for the last 30 years.

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  7. Did they come in other colors? I thought mine was grey and white. Maybe I'm colorblind. I need a power control for it if you come across one. Are the cams for it black? Thanks.

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    1. They very well may have come in other colors. If you are a little creative, you can wire in a generic foot control to the motor. It isn't terribly difficult but some of these older Kenmores have a strange three prong connector poking out the top of the motor. It might take a bit of messing around to get rid of the prongs. Oh, and I think the cams for mine are black.

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    2. You can find a power cord here: http://www.shop.sew-classic.com/Cord-3-blade-slot-Kenmore-White-Sewing-Machine-SCE-660-5.htm
      She also sells a couple of types of foot controllers and you can have her wire it for a nominal fee if you're uncomfortable with that.

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  10. Do you have a video on how to put a longer cord on an old Kenmore 3 blade (the blades are straight across) plug? I opened up the plug part (that fits onto the motor) - the bits inside came out of their slots before I could get a good look at what went where. The wires are soldered onto v shaped pieces of metal that fit in slots.. 3 slots/ 4 wires. The 2 sets of wires (wall cord and pedal cord) criss cross each other inside the plug. I'm guessing 2 go together as ground in the end slot.
    I'm almost in the same position. I got the 32 without a pedal or case. I just got the 52 with the idea of taking it's case and longer power cord. It runs fine, with the exception of randomly bending needles, but that's probaby my error as i'm not as familiar with this machine. For me the 32 is the hands-down keeper. The controls are better laid out. On the 52, the + & - control is on the backside. It looks cooler too.. the 52 looks kind of after seeing the 32. The biggest difference is on the 52, the bobbin is a royal pain to get to- with or without a case. The plate opens to the front and the bobbin is set back out of the way. But what to do with it? I should just keep it for spare parts but I don't really want another around, especially one that heavy.

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  11. Do you know what years they were made in? And who made them for Kenmore? Thanks.

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    1. Late 50s/early 60s is the closest I can guess to a date. Most Kenmores of this era were made in Japan.

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