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  1. #11
    ErickSaint's Avatar
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    I for sure could see myself tearing into one that needed some work. Especially if there is any sort of repair or tune up manual to follow. I think I'm going to hold off on the $200 investment for now and see what I can scrounge up at a thrift place. I'd be fine spending the money on an older "built like a tank" kind of machine vs spending money on a 2 pound plastic machine from Wal-Mart. Now if I found that Wal-Mart machine for a dirt cheap price maybe. I'd just like to get practicing.

  2. #12
    ErickSaint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    The good thing about buying from shops is they likely will have a warranty and offer free lessons. Look for a simple machine with a handful of basic stitches. For what most of us do, you don't need a lot of fancy stitches. It's actually amazing what you can do with just a straight stitch.

    I bought my machine from a local sewing store and although I probably paid a little too much, they gave me some lessons and I have a 5 year warranty on it. My main goal when I went looking was to find a machine that was older. Typically the older machines had more metal parts and were more durable than the newer machines that often have plastic gears and such. You probably have seen this yourself in the various machines you have worked on.

    Good luck finding what you are looking for. Once you get it, I wager you'll use it more than you thought you would.
    I have to look for some other shops. The one I stopped at was just one I pass every day on the way home from work. That Janome was I think the most basic of the used machines and probably the cheapest. They have some pretty amazing stuff there, but it's all way above my pay grade.

  3. #13
    Debi Jaytee's Avatar
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    I know it's winter and all so yard sales are out of the question, but don't pass by flea markets either. A lot of people wind up with granny's old machine and think it's a useless piece of junk, so will do anything to get rid of it. The older machines are rock solid work horses.
    If you lived, closer, I'd give you the Kenmore I bought at the Salvation Army. I've made a lot on it, including about five hammocks now (Christmas presents) and other stuff. Shipping costs would be a nightmare though, would be more than I paid for the machine (which is in a table)
    Debi

  4. #14
    ErickSaint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debi Jaytee View Post
    I know it's winter and all so yard sales are out of the question, but don't pass by flea markets either. A lot of people wind up with granny's old machine and think it's a useless piece of junk, so will do anything to get rid of it. The older machines are rock solid work horses.
    If you lived, closer, I'd give you the Kenmore I bought at the Salvation Army. I've made a lot on it, including about five hammocks now (Christmas presents) and other stuff. Shipping costs would be a nightmare though, would be more than I paid for the machine (which is in a table)
    Thanks for the offer. I'm sure I'll find something, really just started the search yesterday. I wanted to hit a shop to see what their suggestion was. But seeing as I can definitely get by with just a standard old school straight stitch machine it opens much more options. It seems there are a lot of parts available to service the bigger name machines. I'll just have to visit thrifts more often, something I hardly ever do, and keep my eyes open. I also work with a guy that lives in thrifts looking for the next million dollar eBay sale, I'll have him keep an eye out.

  5. #15
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Another thing to do is talk to family and friends. Might be a machine gathering dust in someones attic or basement right under your nose.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  6. #16
    ErickSaint's Avatar
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    Actually I know my mom has one in the basement. But it's the kind within it's own rather large desk. I haven't seen the machine used since I was very young, and I'm now 40. I think it was passed on from my grandma. Speed controlled by the paddle you move with your knee. It was my homework desk all through school until I moved out. I think I remember it looking like some old Kenmore's I've seen on cl. Sadly the space is definitely a problem with that one, that's if I could even get my mom to part with it.

  7. #17
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErickSaint View Post
    Actually I know my mom has one in the basement. But it's the kind within it's own rather large desk. I haven't seen the machine used since I was very young, and I'm now 40. I think it was passed on from my grandma. Speed controlled by the paddle you move with your knee. It was my homework desk all through school until I moved out. I think I remember it looking like some old Kenmore's I've seen on cl. Sadly the space is definitely a problem with that one, that's if I could even get my mom to part with it.
    That's too bad. Sounds like a good machine. I'm the same as you and watched my Mom with her table machine when I was growing up.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErickSaint View Post
    Actually I know my mom has one in the basement. But it's the kind within it's own rather large desk...
    There's a good chance that's your first machine.

    Two set screws on the under side of the machine securing the hinge studs is all that connects them to the table. Many times (not always), the "knee" speed control is a foot speed controller that slides out of the bracket.

    Many machines can be set on a table top and used although you will want to set it on a newspaper to protect the table. Simple wood bases can be made and (pricey) plastic cases are available to fit many old machines.

    Give it a good look over, take a few photos of it (and the speed controller), get the serial number if it's a Singer, post them here and we'll do our best to tell you what you have.

  9. #19
    Senior Member cwford's Avatar
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    As gmcttr pointed out -- most machines are easily removed from the cabinet. In fact I've paid less for a CL machine because I told the owner I wasn't interested in the desk -- just the machine. Then again I have passed on a machine because I was told they go as a package. Can't hurt to ask. Also if the desk isn't in great shape I wouldn't feel too bad about a trip to the dump to get rid of it.

  10. #20
    ErickSaint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    There's a good chance that's your first machine.

    Give it a good look over, take a few photos of it (and the speed controller), get the serial number if it's a Singer, post them here and we'll do our best to tell you what you have.
    I'm going to be over there on Sunday for her birthday. Maybe I'll see about sweet talking her. And at the very least getting some pictures.







    Quote Originally Posted by cwford View Post
    As gmcttr pointed out -- most machines are easily removed from the cabinet. In fact I've paid less for a CL machine because I told the owner I wasn't interested in the desk -- just the machine. Then again I have passed on a machine because I was told they go as a package. Can't hurt to ask. Also if the desk isn't in great shape I wouldn't feel too bad about a trip to the dump to get rid of it.
    Truthfully the thought of making an offer for just the machine never crossed my mind.

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