Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A manly machine

I bought a Singer 206K10 around Christmas. It's the industrial version of the 206 which is the earlier version of the 319. Took ages to work out the sub-model but fun. It cost $6.25 and included the irons but no table. Since I'm on school holidays out came the power tools and I built a table top, bolted everything on and tested her out. Wiring very dodgy (started smoking from the light cord) so re-wired it and all was hunky dory. The motor is powerful but is like a conventional motor (starts up when you put your foot on the foot controller). A week or so later a full sized machine with bench was listed on Gumtree for $100. Hmmm... yes I bought it. 96K49 (1952) and very scary machine. The guy hadn't oiled it for ages, it needed a clean and it wasn't threaded properly (either top thread or bobbin), oh and it had the wrong needle. Finally the bobbin was tightened right up. I have no idea how he got it to sew at all when I was there, but even the thread was old and very brittle. Tossed it and gave it a good clean. Now even more scary and amazingly fast. Sewed a new cover for my back seat in cheap (faux suede - it was reeeeaaal cheap) upholstery fabric. A quick stab gets you about 60 stitches! Doesn't seem to matter how many layers either. Anyway, it seems this is the way to do it (upholstery).
I've had to learn about needles and threads, they have to match and you should use the smallest needle you can for the smallest amount of damage to your fabric. A line of stitching had to be unpicked from the faux suede today. Seems it's more like real suede than I'd wanted: The size 18 needle left loads of big holes. Maybe a 16 next time.
That same week, I bought a second machine head for it: A 96K41 (1947). Dec-Jan seems to be a great time to buy an industrial. Saw a Pfaff industrial last night on Gumtree for $90. Amazing. Well, can't imagine I'll be getting rid of this one, particularly now it has a spare head. Perhaps I should call it "Zaphod".
206K10 - yes it's a centennial
96K49 from 1952. Fantastic but scary.


  1. Hi! Good old google helped me stumble across your post. Someone gave me the same sewing machine - The 96K49 - Both the sewing machine - and the cast iron base.

    However it's missing the wooden plank which sits between the cast iron table and the sewing machine.

    I have no desire to actually sew, I thought it might just look nice to have in my apartment.

    I'm curious what the dimension are for the wooden top so I can place the sewing machine on it. Should I just take it to a carpenter and get them to figure it out?

    Any pointers would be appreciated!


    1. Oh. I just saw a few other of your posts! You're really into sewing machines! Do you do repairs? How do I get in touch with you!

    2. Hi Ronnie. I'm guessing you also live in Melbourne then.
      I don't have a 96K at the moment to measure. It would be the same as any 96 or 31, both being very common.