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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Is this Thread Injector worth it?

    It's a local ad, I'm thinking about picking it up rather than working with my fiance's all plastic Singer (that I can't seem to get to work right). Plus, I'd like to be able to work with Denim. The ad says this can handle leather, but I'm skeptical of that. Thoughts?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Singer 403 Sewing Machine in a Mid Century Modern Sewing Desk - Beautiful Shape - Looks New, but 50 plus years old.
    Almost the same machine as the Singer 500 and 503 referred to as the Rocketeer. Looks the same except the dial is a lever.
    I believe this difference makes it easier to select the stitches you want.

    Singer 403 Sewing Machine - Cleaned and Oiled and ready for you to sew...
    This machine is an all metal geared machine. Looks like new and sews heavy material like canvas, sunbrealla and leather.
    Straight Stitch, Zig Zag and decorative cams for embroidery stitching
    Foot Pedal
    Accessories
    $150.00
    Interested???

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

  2. #2
    Senior Member Strapped-4-Cache's Avatar
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    If the person selling the machine will let you take it for a test-drive while you're there, take a few samples of fabric with you and give it a whirl.

    Heck, if they're selling the machine and cabinet together AND The machine seems to work properly, it may be a steal. I'm still looking for a decent sewing table to uuse other than our regular dining table. Those things don't come cheap.

  3. #3
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    Antique machines are cool and they definitely have there place, but unless you want two hobbies (sewing and taking care of and learning an antique machine) I'd get a newer setup and focus on sewing.

    My recommendation would be to get one of the Pfaff Hobby Series, most likely the 1122. The MSRP is $350 but most sewing shops sell the 1122 for closer to $200 with sales and other deals to get you in the door. It's a quality machine that will sew through anything and make a really nice looking stitch over and over and over. I also think it beats out Brother and most other brands for the price.

    They also have the 1132 and 1142 but the only big difference is number of 'foofy' stiches My guess is you'll only ever use a straight stitch and maybe a zig zag now and again so what you gain from the 22 to the 42 isn't probably worth it for you. The 1122 also has a 4mm stitch width with a single needle offset which can be really helpful when working on the edge of materials, so it's got the few stitch options you really need for gear.

    The reason I'd go with something like the Pfaff is that while the machine is entry level all the mechanics inside are what you find on their $600 mechanical machines. Beyond that you go to an electronic machine and get IDT which is another feed foot on top, which is uber nice, but not necessary to make some sweet gear.

    I can also vouch for this machine as I put a good 600 hours on it before I wore out the reverse stitch button which was under warranty and got fixed. I've since upgraded a few more levels and have a couple machines, but I can say this one pumped out lots of gear. I still have and use my Hobby, though only when I get additional help from people and need a few machines pumping out stitches. Check craigslist, I bet you'll find a Hobby series on there as well.
    Evan Cabodi
    Black Rock Gear
    www.blackrockgear.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member lizzie's Avatar
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    Sounds good!

    Some pros/cons of older versus new IMHO.

    Older:

    Pro: Has character! Solidly made. Often simple to use.

    Cons: Can cost over $100 to repair if you need to take it in, heavy, can be tricky to find parts for (especially things like motors.) May have to hunt down and pay extra for certain things, like the operating manual.

    New:

    Pro: Cheap (You can get em on sale for less than $150), lightweight & portable, easier storage, may have features you won't find on an old machine (auto thread tensioner, more stitch selection, auto needle threader, auto button-eye sewer, removable piece so that you can sew cuffs and other curved items better.)

    Cons: May not last as long as an older solidly built machine. Some plastic parts where you would prefer metal. Selection can be confusing - lots to choose from.

    ** I wish I had my grandma's old machine. It was cool!. But after the motor went the cost to repair was more than what I paid for a new Singer Esteem (which has been working great for over a year of minor sewing now.)

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    If this is being sold by a local shop or repair guy then I would say it is worth it. You probably won't be able to get additional cams for it. But you'll never need them for gear. Plus, the "embroidery" features of those machines are laughable anyway.

    I don't usually get into the brand game but since it was brought up... my mechanic won't work on Pfaff's because the repair parts are available only to authorized dealers. Please note: this is NOT to dis pfaff. They can be excellent machines. It is to say make sure you can get the machine worked on locally. All equipment needs maintenance sooner or later. You want to be able to get that done locally.

    If it is a private individual sale take that "cleaned and oiled" with a grain of salt. I would ask to see the work bill. If you can't see it... they may not have had it done professionally. Then you may want to take it to a local mechanic and have it done right. If that's the case, I think the price is high. You might want to check out the "guidelines" post in my signature. You might get some ideas of things to watch for.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    If this is being sold by a local shop or repair guy then I would say it is worth it. You probably won't be able to get additional cams for it. But you'll never need them for gear. Plus, the "embroidery" features of those machines are laughable anyway.

    I don't usually get into the brand game but since it was brought up... my mechanic won't work on Pfaff's because the repair parts are available only to authorized dealers. Please note: this is NOT to dis pfaff. They can be excellent machines. It is to say make sure you can get the machine worked on locally. All equipment needs maintenance sooner or later. You want to be able to get that done locally.

    If it is a private individual sale take that "cleaned and oiled" with a grain of salt. I would ask to see the work bill. If you can't see it... they may not have had it done professionally. Then you may want to take it to a local mechanic and have it done right. If that's the case, I think the price is high. You might want to check out the "guidelines" post in my signature. You might get some ideas of things to watch for.
    I just got off the phone with the woman. Apparently she's been buying these machines at garage sales and cleaning/fixing them up and selling them on eBay for years. She's got great feedback, and even said I can pick which desk I want to go with the machine as she's got a few of them to choose from.

    Sounds like she's not a pro-repair, but advanced amateur who really knows the machines. She has a full accessory kit and cams all ready for me, though as you said, I really only need a couple basic stitches for gear (And I plan on working on some of my own denim once I find a good source for the material).

    She said it's the same model as this one on eBay (though this one isn't hers)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/INDUSTRIAL-STREN...t_32540wt_1137

    I think I'm going to take a stab at it. It should work out better than the newer plastic Singer my fiance has that I'm having so much trouble with. I learned on an old Singer in High School (yes, it was a great glass to pick up chicks - cut me some slack), so this should work out well. If not, maybe I can trade it for a nice winter tarp.

  7. #7
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I think it's worth a shot, especially since it's local (no shipping!) and the woman can provide all the accessories that go with it, and help you with maintenance tips if necessary.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    I think it's worth a shot, especially since it's local (no shipping!) and the woman can provide all the accessories that go with it, and help you with maintenance tips if necessary.
    Yeah, there might be better options out there, but right now, this one sounds like it's plenty fine for me. And after speaking with her it's clear she knows what she's talking about.

    Well, another small dent in the credit card (thank Pay Pal)

    I'll pick it up this week and report back how it's working out. Who knows, maybe I'll finally get to make a tarp! I've got enough material to make like three *winter* sized tarps already!

  9. #9
    Senior Member tasthree's Avatar
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    I have a 401A portable and two 500As in cabinets. They are the fancyer ones that have the built in cams. As a price point for you I paid no more the $50.00 for anyone of them. All they needed was a little cleaning and oiling.The 401A was a one owner with a manual and a bunch of attachments. I think they are great machines. I love the Retro looks of the Rocketeer.
    "If the women don't find you handsome,they should at least find you handy"-Red Green

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tasthree View Post
    I have a 401A portable and two 500As in cabinets. They are the fancyer ones that have the built in cams. As a price point for you I paid no more the $50.00 for anyone of them. All they needed was a little cleaning and oiling.The 401A was a one owner with a manual and a bunch of attachments. I think they are great machines. I love the Retro looks of the Rocketeer.
    I've been keeping an eye out on Craigs list for a while, and I've not seen one for less than $100. If I could get one for $50, I'd buy two!

    401A Portable almost seems like a joke. What 1950's woman do you see carrying that heavy thing to a sewing meet! LOL

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