So I was strolling lazily through ebay a few days ago and someone had a really nice looking machine from the 1920s up there. He said "Antique Singer Sewing Machine Head, Machine is seized, Electricals untested". The machine looked really nice (lotus) and the serial said it's a model 66 from 1924. No cabinet of course, and it came with a motor. Starting price was $15.
OK, what are the chances of anyone else bidding? Well, there was a chance even though it sounded pretty bad. I read the description: "Antique Singer Sewing Machine Head. Machine No. Y1657881. Machine is seized and has some rust, globe, bobbin and bobbin cover plate is missing. Electricals untested pedal attached. The drive belt is missing too". Yes, he's really sexing it up. Even better was that it finished at 10:05pm on a Wednesday night, was in Geelong and postage was listed (cheaply, IMO - it weighs quite a bit) as $26.50. Nobody else placed a bid, surprisingly :-) Picked it up today and it looked like this:
Re-connected everything and plugged it in (I had disassembled and reassembled the motor too) and the motor worked. It was so pathetic (probably because I'd removed the brushes) that I decided to treadle it. Into the cabinet it went, and I even had a new belt for just such an occasion :-) She's probably not sewn a stitch in 50 years, but she did several hundred this evening. Yep, she's a beauty, and I'm just going to apply some shellac to protect the decals.