Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fantasia model F7500E

I picked this up a couple months back and wanted to get it cleaned and oiled so I could start using it as my everyday machine, the few times I really do use or need a sewing machine.

New Home 6000 - the final chapter... maybe

Things aren't looking too promising for this old girl. The feed dog stepper motor drive circuit seems to be flaky. Getting to this point though was a bit of a chore. First I was thinking the stepper motor itself was cutting out, so out comes the stepper motor:

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Home 6000 - Cleaning, oiling, adjusting

Part two of the continuing saga of the Binford 6000, a.k.a. New Home Memory Craft 6000. This first photo is of the handwheel side of the machine with the cover removed. A cogged belt goes from the motor to the handwheel and a second cogged belt goes from the handwheel to the bottom shaft.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Home (Janome) Memory Craft 6000

The title sounds like one of the old Home Improvement shows where Tim the Toolman Taylor would advertise some new Binford tool.

Tim: "Hey Al, what do you suppose we could use for that new awning we need to make?"

Al: "Not sure, Tim. What did you have in mind?"

Tim: "Let's see if this New Nome Memory Craft Binford 6000 sewing machine will do the trick."

Ok, so it's a little lame. I guess that's why I'm not in Hollywood writing for these guys...

So, here we are, my lovely bride and I taking a nice drive out of the area a few days back. I'm telling her that because of the horrendous pile of sewing machines needing attention in the basement, I'm thinking I shouldn't frequent any Goodwills or thrift stores until I whittle down the inventory. She says "let's just go to this one store we haven't been to before". Ok, hon. So we stop in at the Goodwill store in South Tacoma and what do I see but a New Home Memory Craft 6000 sewing machine. I didn't know what it was at the time. I just saw another newer machine. I did notice though that it had a pink 1/2-off price tag, lowering the price to a manageable $10.

Since I could tell it was electronic to some degree, I plugged it in and tried a few rudimentary functions just to make sure I wasn't buying an ugly door stop. It did seem to work. Fast forward a few days to today. The machine looks pretty decent, so I thought I'd try some stitches. Straight stitch works. Zig zag works. On to some fancy stitches that require the feed dogs to go both forward and reverse. Nope - didn't work. I decided to pop a few covers off and see what there was to see...... The innards of this puppy haven't seen the light of day for a while, and this next photo is it's good side. I didn't get shots of the wads of lint removed from the back side.

I again tried some fancy stitches but to no avail, so I poked around inside the machine, trying to reseat every connector that I could find. And let me tell you, there were plenty.

I again tried some fancy stitches and lo, it seemed to be working, at least for now. Ok, now to try my hand at programming something. Here's what I came up with (yes, it does letters - 135 or so different stitches in all):

Hey, look, it works. And even better, I can program it to some degree. I don't have a manual for this thing but I can get by for now. Below are some more shots of interesting features of this machine. The first couple show some LEDs on the bottom that indicate something. LED 1 appears to be lit whenever the machine has been plugged in. It still glows after unplugging the machine, so it must be connected to some big capacitor inside. LED 2 comes on when the machine is on. LED 4 blinks momentarily when the power switch is flipped off. I haven't seen LED 3 come on.

Here is a shot of LEDs 1 & 2 on:

DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!! (see below) - I'd better not even think of taking this cover off... But a label like that will only make me want to take the cover off even more.

I'm sure I'll report more on this sewing machine at some point but that's all for now.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Yet Another Garage Sale (YAGS) - 5 machines (3 Singers, a New Home and a Universal)

At work I live in the world of acronyms (civil service - Navy), so it's no surprise I attempt to do the same when at home. Thus the title of today's post. YAGS.

Some garage sales are good, and some are really good, while others are in the category of why-did-I-waste-precious-brake-material-stopping-for-this. Well, today's garage sale had five vintage machines. The lady had a lawn full of stuff but my eye immediately spotted the row of sewing machines on the grass even before I got the car parked. Apparently the garage sale had been going on for two weekends and this was the second day of the second weekend, so I'm presuming they were wanting to unload stuff. And I was right. While the sewing machines were not a screaming deal (which would have been on the order of a buck apiece), I did walk away with five machines for $25. Not bad for 100+ pounds of cast iron, steel and a bit of plastic. I didn't take a very good look at the machines prior to settling on a price but figured I couldn't go wrong. Now on to the down and dirty, emphasis on dirty.

If I had to choose the best machine of the five, it would probably have to be the Singer 66-4. Once I got it home, I noticed the very nice decals on it. I believe they're called Red Eye. The one downside to this machine is it is only forward stitching - no reverse. See the small knob beneath the bobbin winder? Thread that puppy all the way in and you have a long forward stitch. Thread it out all the way and the stitch length is 0, or nearly so. Sounds so convenient, doesn't it, but I guess back in the good ol' days, you didn't mess with stitch length much (as in the old commercial - just set it and forget it), especially when you didn't need to be bothered with such things as reverse. The machine does have the cool spoked handwheel and vintage layer of dust though.

The next best machine in the group is the Domestic Admiral, a Class 15 clone with the upper thread tension knob poking out the left side of the end cover. I never could understand the logic behind Singer putting the take-up lever and tension knob on the end cover of their Class 15 machines. Sewing machines are easier to thread with those items on the front of the machine.

Third in line would be the New Home model NLB. The friction drive disk has a massive divot in it from being pressed on the handwheel for the last who knows how many decades, but it can probably be saved.

The final two machines are Singers, an early 60s model 417 missing the needle plate and spool post, and an early 70s model 603E missing parts of the stitch length lever mechanism. The 603E did come with a cam under the hood, I guess to make up for the missing parts...

So there you have it. A good find at a local garage sale.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pfaff 130 Automatic 50010 attachment installation instructions

If you are ever in need of instructions for installing one of Pfaff's Automatic 50010 attachments (the cool whizbang gizmo hanging off the back of the Pfaff 130 in the first photo below), the following link will take you to a folder with photos of all pages in the manual:

Pfaff 50010 Automatic installation manual

Monday, August 5, 2013

Excitement for the week - tire blowout

Not sewing machine related, but we were on a camping trip with our pickup truck and camper the last several days. Coming home on the final 100 miles of our 1200 mile trip we had a blowout on the left rear. A loud motorcycle was just passing us on the left and we heard a very loud *bang*. We figured it was the m/c but all of a sudden our truck started swaying. My son was driving and he got the truck pulled to the side without incident. Here's the damage: