Sunday, 20 October 2013

Goodbye to the old, hello to the new

No, I'm not going plastic on you, good people, but the lounge room had started looking like a warehouse, with boxes stacked on cabinets and it made actual sewing (yes I still do that) really difficult. So, what should I do? Buy another machine in a cabinet of course! Two or three weeks ago (on Sunday night) someone had put an ad for a six drawer Singer cabinet in need of restoration on Gumtree for $50. Well, it looked OK in the ad, and as long as there's nothing missing I'm up for it. Yes it's shabby and yes I have no room. It lived in the back of the car for a few days. It took only a few days to get rid of the two cabinets that lived in my lounge room. My beloved 319k in lovingly restored 1960 cabinet and a model 66, which I had swapped the presser bar with a later 66 to fit side clamping feet. This brings me to what a PITA the back clamping 66 is.
The story of the back clamping goes back a bit over 100 years. I read that Singer thought it a pretty nifty idea to have the 66 as a back clamper just after they had bought the Wheeler and Wilson factory in the U.S. seeing as that's what they used.
It was a disaster, of course, and meant that the 66 had to use feet that were different to all other models, and their customers indicated their unhappiness with the back clamp. Around 1922 Singer caved in to the pressure and made all future 66s side clampers, making them compatible with, well, everything.
So every time I get a 66 it seems to be a back clamper. When the six drawer car crisis happened, I hastily converted the back clamper to use the only side clamp version I had, advertised it for a low price and of course it sold quickly. So, got the six drawer cabinet in, looked at the machine inside and it was, you guessed it, a Singer 66 back clamper! It did come with a couple of back clamp feet (which is unusual) but I'm still pretty unhappy about it.
Here's a summary of movements for the past month or so:
Singer 221k featherweight (centennial, manufactured 1950)
Singer 66k in treadle cabinet (1922 - only just a back clamper!)
Singer 319k in 1960 model cabinet.

All of these seem to have gone to the right people. They were all going to see further use as sewing machines. Decisions on what had to go weren't difficult. The 319k is in a cabinet, and I have a 320k that's also in the lounge room. I did keep the cams from the 319, though. Can't understand why the 320k didn't have them, or the darning plate.

OK, now this stuff I have to rely on my memory for, because there are usually so many. In
Singer 201k treadle, original deco treadle cabinet (1946)
Singer 66k treadle, original six drawer treadle cabinet (1912)
Singer swiss zigzag attachment
Singer attachment lot (incl two more of the above, plus two buttonholers). Not arrived yet.
Singer green button hole attachment (for low shank machines, uses cams for different types of button holes) - this has not arrived yet, more than a week after I paid for it. Not happy.

Out: 66k treadle

Out: 221k Featherweight
Out: the 319k
In: The 66 - Did I mention it's a redeye?
In: The redeye's home. The top needs new veneer
Don't have a pic of the swiss zigzagger (Google it - plenty of pictures around). It has a built-in walking foot and originally came with pattern cams (I got one out of the ten), which makes it highly desirable for a straight sewing machine like a featherweight, a 201 or a 66.

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