Monday, 17 November 2014

Bernina manual 642-1 542-1 540

Bernina 542-1 and 642-1 manual

The Bernina I bought a few weeks ago came with a manual. The lady found it a few days after I bought it but in those few days, I searched for one online but it was only available as a paid download. Keeping information a secret bothers me enough but the fact is that these people didn't write the manual and have no right to sell them.
I'm quite certain they didn't get permission or pay Bernina for the right to make money selling their works.
I did the right thing here and asked Bernina if I could give the scan away. They said "You are more than welcome to pass on the  PDF book for this model machine for anyone that may need it."
So here it is. It's fairly low resolution and 4.4MB If you need it, feel free: The pdf is.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Bernina 642-1 semi-industrial 1960

I had my doubts as to whether a "semi-industrial" even exists, but it's just what Singer called "industrial - for home use" or "light industrial". The first sign is the motor, which seems as fast as an industrial - quite remarkable for such a small motor. This actually makes it hard to do some things, like, well, sewing slowly, embroidery etc. Real industrial machines never have an attached motor.
Unlike the 630/730/830 it has a full rotary hook, and still a vertical bobbin so you can do embroidery (in theory at least).
Also it's a flat bed machine, and no cam stack. It says on needlebar that it can be converted into a full automatic machine. I just Googled for this and couldn't find what an automatic machine is. Singer use the same terminology: In the adjuster's manual for the 206/306/319 series, they only list the 319 as automatic. Now the biggest difference between the 306 and the 319 is that the latter has a cam stack, or built-in stitch patterns. My new Bernina doesn't have a cam stack so I'll assume this is what it means. To be honest cam stacks are nice but who really uses them? I don't use decorative stitches for anything but demonstrating them as a feature and never when constructing a garment, so they won't be missed. During garment construction I only ever use zig-zag and straight stitch, which brings me to another feature of this machine: The longest stitch is really very long! Haven't measured it but it's longer than any domestic I have.
OK, on to the machine's specifics.
Bernina 642-1. 1960, straight stitch and zig-zag, super fast, flat bed and Bernina green a-la 730. Here's a picture:
She came in a really nice Swedish cabinet, too. My father is currently giving that the love it needs to look new again, but after cleaning I did some sewing with the head free standing. Nice but starts vibrating a bit at full speed. It was very clean probably due to being inside a cabinet. The previous owner used it all the time for a business, and the motor brushes were worn almost to the spring! It had the original green bobbin winder (it looked like it had melted), which I replaced with a more usable black one, and cleaned it for hours and am very happy with the result. It came with the original feet and some needles.
Didn't come with a manual but if the lady finds it she'll call me. They don't exist as free DLs anywhere on the Internet so if I get one, I'll scan it and make it available as a pdf, free of charge.
I'll update with cabinet pictures when dad has worked his magic.