Saturday, October 26, 2013

Elna Transforma - the little sibling to the Supermatic

This here photo below shows the native form of the elusive friction drive tire on an Elna Transforma sewing machine. The highly technical term for this phenomenon is "flat spot". Ah, the dreaded flat spot.

An after-shot of the rubber tire after a two-bit shave and haircut...

Now the sewing machine runs sooooo much smoother.

This is a lowly straight stitch machine but is still a high quality Swiss made wonder. Bronze bushings in many of the pivot points, built-in motor control, portable case that folds out into a work surface. I'm sure most folks would rather have a Supermatic that does zig zag but this one is also fun to fiddle with.

Now what are these little nerdies doing inside the Elna?

Found in the pan under the right side of the machine.

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, a feature film presentation of the ever-popular Transforma... and for a limited time, free admission. How much better does it get? Ok, so it could be a lot better. But at least it's free.


  1. I just brought one of these machines home and I LOVE it!!! It's my new favorite old machine. I appreciate your video of the machine. I can't seem to get the hand wheel disengaged (as in bobbin-winding), any hints?

    1. Not sure how much you know, but the handwheel has a knob in the center of it. This is the clutch (or coupling) knob, and it needs to be loosened (CCW). Once loose, the handwheel should be free to rotate from the shaft. If the clutch knob is stuck or tight, you'll need to get that freed up.

    2. Could you please explain how to free up a stuck clutch knob in order to run the bobbin winder? I seem to be having the same issue as Cathy where the handwheel turns fine, but I can't free up the the wheel in order to wind bobbins. Do I have to unscrew the entire handwheel or would WD40 be a fix? The machine runs beautifully otherwise.
      Thank you.

    3. If the knob is really stuck tight, you may have to go to extreme means to get it unstuck. My first thought would be to wrap the clutch knob with some thin leather and use a pair of slip-joint pliers on the knob (while holding the handwheel stationary) to see if you can get it free. I don't have a lot of experience with a clutch knob being stuck. I don't think I've had to resort to pliers. Best of luck to you.