Saturday, June 1, 2013

Garage sales - feast or famine

I've stopped trying to figure out why on some days every garage sale we hit has nothing but on other days each one we stop at has something interesting. A week ago we hit a couple sales and I came home with three new additions. They're really nothing to write home about but they are cheap entertainment.

The first garage sale had a Kenmore 158.17520 in a cabinet but missing the cord plug (?), and a Singer 920 Futura II with some attachments and cams but no motor controller. The second sale had a bare Singer 500A (missing the motor controller, spool pins, cam spring, side door, and who knows what else).

Old Kenmore machines are a pretty safe investment, especially when they are five bucks. They are well-built and will last a millennium. Not much in the looks department though. I'm not sure why someone cut off the cord plug off, so I don't know if it runs, but it would take a lot to put a Kenmore out of commission.

I'm a little apprehensive about this Singer 920 Futura II. I have a 900 that I started working on but had to shelve it due to some issue I can't remember at the moment. Hopefully this 920 will be a better specimen. With no motor controller, I don't know if it runs either. As can be seen in the photo, the spool holder is requiring some amount of mending. Another five dollar machine.

I can't really say much about the Singer 500A that hasn't already been said before on the net. It is very collectible. The Rocketeer, as the 500-series model range is affectionately known, is not very aerodynamic with its side door missing. This one will need some parts investment to get it looking good and running well. For five bucks though, I just couldn't pass it up. And I think I have a spare motor controller laying around...


  1. My friends wife gave me a Singer Creative Touch 1036. It's a later model Futura with a solid brown top cover. It doesn't take cams. The paint is in excellent condition but the feed gears are busted. I was also given a Futura parts machine (in terrible cosmetic condition). I think these machines use a foot controller that's marked "solid state". My 1036 has a nice selection of built in stitches. But I'm not sure if I'll invest the time or money to replace the gears. The motors sound kinda growly to me.

  2. The slant needle Singers are really nice. I didn't appreciate how far forward the presser foot is on them until I sewed on a non-Singer vintage sewing machine. From an engineering stand point I always wondered if it affected piercing power though.

  3. My go to machine for heavier fabrics is a vertical needle vintage Kenmore.