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  1. #11
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frawg View Post
    I'm ignorant about the terminology, Rev, and not quite sure what you mean by 'the head'. If that refers to the main body of the machine, I would note that although my 640 and a 758 I came across both have metal bodies, their gears are all plastic/nylon. It's easy enough (one screw) to pop the top, though, and look at the topside gears to see what they're made of.

    BTW, thanks again for your videos... very helpful to me!!

    Cheers!

    Chuck

    Nothing like first hand experience to set the record straight. I stand corrected about the metal head showing metal gears. Thanks for that piece of insight.
    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

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  2. #12
    Frawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Even double box loops stitches can be made with straigth stitched and be entirely safe. They do not need to be zigzag.
    Good to know, thanks! Went back and looked and found that the cam on the 1000# rated Harbor Freight strap I just got is held in a loop secured by a box stitch that is all straight stitched. Only the front and back edges of the box are double stitched. Nary a zig zag!
    - Frawg

    {generic tagline}

  3. #13
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    agree with Rev - visit a sewing machine mechanic in your area. If more than 1, visit a few. Get their opinions on machines. Most or all will probably have used machines for sale. You will pay more than buying a used machine from Craigslist or ebay, but the mechanic will have gone over the machine and put it good working order and will probably stand behind the machine for a year or so - go elsewhere if he won't. If you buy a used machine from the newspaper or online, you would be well advised to take it to a sewing machine mechanic immediately anyway. You save on the purchase, but pay for the service afterwards. Costs about the same either way.

    That's just my opinion, but then I would never buy a used car from a private seller either. I'm going to pay the mechanic, so I may as well get one the mechanic is going to have his rep riding on.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  4. #14
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    My own personal checklist for choosing a sewing machine mechanic...

    Fancy racks and cabinets where the parts are hidden out of sight.... Not a chance. I pass immediately. I don't need to pay for merchandising when what I want is expertise.

    Clean work counters and carefully placed workstations. Kiss it off... I want some guy who is busy working his butt off fixing machines for people. The more machines they fix the better I figure they are.

    White shirt and tie with chino pants and shined shoes. No way Jose. I won't do business with a mechanic who dresses neater than me.

    Old guy.. looking like he's hit retirement age last decade but just didn't bother to fall over. The closer to dead the better within reason. I want a guy who has learned from the hands on dealing with the stitchers. Not some one who can find a website and follow the numbered steps.

    In short.. if the place looks lived in and worked in then he's probably a pretty good mechanic. But he also needs to be able to talk the game for the tourists. Know what sells and what doesn't and then knows whats useful and what isn't. If they have a sales lady to demo the machines I will usually by pass her except for the sewing lessons. I want the guy who fixes them. I want the guy who gets his hands dirty. Piles of machines being fixed is a good sign to me. I may have to wait for an appointment but that's not a bad thing.

    Even better if the old guy has a younger kid who is part of the tech team. Train 'em up right so they know what they're doing. Always a good sign in my book. Note.. the young guy is usually absent. Seems nobody wants to fix things anymore. Throw them away and buy another one. sigh...
    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

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  5. #15
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    As Rev said
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  6. #16
    Senior Member Slackdaddy's Avatar
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    Found a SINGER 185J
    looks old and metal, they want 200.00
    anyone know anything about these dogs?

    Slack

  7. #17
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    private owner? or dealer?

    Private owner you probably are going to want to ave it checked over by a mechanic. From a dealer.... that thing is bomb proof when properly adjusted. It ain't fancy... but you don't _need_ fancy.

    I might be reluctant to pay $200 for a machine that's been sitting in the closet of somebody's home drying out for all that time. You don't know what shape the bushings and bearing would be in. But if a dealer has checked it over... I think it is probably worth that kind of money.

    Incidentally.. they made a conversion kit for it so you could crank it by hand. Oh yeah... if it's in good shape that beastie will out last your grand kids. As long as you can still get bobbins and needles for it. Another reason to check with dealers. Some bobbin designs have been discontinued. I wouldn't think that would but you might as well make sure. Also make sure it uses universal needles. Again.. I would think it should but best be sure before you spring the cash. If this is from a dealer then I wouldn't worry about those questions. They only come into play when buying from ebay or craigslist or something like that.
    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

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  8. #18
    Frawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slackdaddy View Post
    Found a SINGER 185J
    looks old and metal, they want 200.00
    anyone know anything about these dogs?

    Slack
    Nothing firsthand, but this pdf document says it's a 3/4 size machine and that the 'J' indicates it's a Canadian model.
    - Frawg

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  9. #19
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frawg View Post
    Nothing firsthand, but this pdf document says it's a 3/4 size machine and that the 'J' indicates it's a Canadian model.
    Frawg... good find. That explains something of the price. Those small machines are very very popular with the quilting crowd. They are portable and Lighter than their cabinet counterparts. I wouldn't worry about the Canadian heritage. The model 99 is an absolute workhorse. There are third world factories that are probably still using those babies.
    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

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  10. #20
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    If it's a private party seller, ask if the $200 includes them having a mechanic check it over before finalizing the sale? Or when was the last time a mechanic checked it out?
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

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