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Forum > Sewing Machines > Just purchased an Elna SU ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Just purchased an Elna SU
Hope this one won't end up in the bin!
lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
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NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/10/06
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Date: 1/29/12 9:47 PM

After chucking my modern Singer into the rubbish bin last week, I have been looking for a replacement, and got some good suggestions from people here. Today an Elna SU popped up for sale, so I grabbed it before anybody else could. I don't even know if it has all the necessary bits and bobs! Let's hope it does It does have the manuals and the original cardboard box it came in as well as the metal case, so I am taking a chance on all the other important parts being there too.



Now that it's too late for me to change my mind, what are your thoughts on this machine? I don't know if it has a specific model number or anything much about it yet.

koo104
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koo104
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Washington USA
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Date: 1/29/12 9:57 PM

This is a very smooth machine, you can fine the number either on the side where the plug goes or underneath, it will be a series of numbers the 1st 2 are the most important. Probably a 72 or 62 series.
The needle position can freeze up but can be easily fixed. I was advised that a q tip with alcohol can remedy this. There is a yahoo group that is full of good information on this machine.
It is a winner for sure!

Linda
Linda  Friend of PR
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In reply to lareine


Date: 1/29/12 10:06 PM

Hi Lareine,
I own this machine. I bought it new in 1971! I'm getting ready to give it to my granddaughter for her first machine. It is a workhorse; a great little machine. You will love it! I own the Brother 8200 and the Babylock Ellisimo, but I really do love the little Elna SU!
Linda in TX

------
Linda Ann

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Texas USA
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In reply to lareine


Date: 1/29/12 10:27 PM


Its extremely nice looking for its age too. Great find with that original metal case.. which you rarely see sold along with this model.
There is some interesting historical information about your machine and Elna if you care to look up Elna history and read about them. I did before I started collecting my old Elnas.. Made me appreciate them all the more.

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
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NEW ZEALAND
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Date: 1/29/12 10:32 PM

These replies are very encouraging! I should be able to pick it up on Wednesday night and am quite excited about that.

I really hope it's as good as it seems!! If it's a dud I'll be kicking myself for not asking more questions, but it wasn't hugely expensive so it will be a lesson learned in that case, not the end of the world.

Renee' S
Renee' S
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Idaho USA
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Date: 1/29/12 10:37 PM

Lareine,

Great score !! One my local sewing machine dealers has been family owned for years and the old guy that started the business used to sell Elna machines. He loves those old machines and always told me he thought the Elna SU was the best machine. He still occasionally drops into the dealership and if there are any Elna machines waiting for repair, he grabs 'em and goes to work.

You're going to wonder why you waited so long to pitch the other one.

------
Bernina 560, Pfaff 7550, Pfaff 1171, Babylock Imagine, Singer 221 & the big girl Gammill Classic

Skye
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Skye  Friend of PR
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In reply to lareine


Date: 1/30/12 0:14 AM

I bought one way back in 1975 a real work horse and lovely stitches.

I have 2 other machines but I will always keep this one it will probably still be going when my newer models wear out.

------
Wellington, NZ

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/30/12 0:27 AM

So is there anything special I need to know about using Elna machines? Do they take weird needles or have weird bobbins or some other such non-standard thing? I've only ever used Singers (antique, vintage, and modern) and my mother's 1970s Brother, and they all seem very similar apart from the Singer 27 which has the long pin-shaped bobbins and bullet-shaped bobbin case. I have never seen an Elna in real life, or known anybody who had one.

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 1/30/12 5:07 AM

Lareine, Good Score!!!! It looks exactly like mine, which is a Elna SU 62C. My Nana had this model and I bought one one to remember her by as I have fond memories of her at her machine. Sounds and smells of machine are very evocative!

Don't panic if it is sewing less than perfectly when you get it, as from ebay in my experience you will probably need a service unless it just had one by someone who knows what they are doing. Having said tha,t if it is not sewing at all, that's a different matter! Yours seems in very clean condition and thats a good thing. Mine went from very average to really very nice after a proper service, since I bought off ebay, I expected it may have needed a little TLC.

You should hopefully get a nice stash of feet and cams for additional stitches inside that box that slides on around the freearm. The metal case becomes your extension table when slid on around the freearm. Some foot pedals have a slow and fast speed switch, some don't- it depends on their age. Sometimes the foot controls come up for sale that have the switch if this is important to you.
They take solid metal Elna bobbins that are slightly curved, not flat on one side and have 7 holes on the other slightly curved side. They are a little heavier than some of the ones sold by some people for these machines, which are knock offs, but work more or less. They are low shank machines but you should know if the bobbin extractor (its soo cool!) is still attached it interferes with a walking foot being screwed onto the machine. If it has been broken off, as can happen with some of these machines, you could then easily use one. The Elna feet are stamped with Elna on them so you can see if your feet are the real deal or not. The new Elna feet do not fit the old Elna machines- the needle is not centred in those feet- they are essentially Janome feet (made by them)I know there are people selling genuine reconditiioned or old stock Elna feet that has never been used feet if you are low on feet.

There is a generic set around that will fit the machine, but the results are not as nice and some of the feet are not a great fit in thoses collections of 14 or 12 presserfeet with the ankle and snap on soles. Quality is sooooo not there! If you plan to use it a lot you might want to hunt for original feet if you are missing any you need often. Check your local sm dealership incase they have any old stock or in their spare parts drawers extra feet..and for bobbins. And Cams. I found in my local sm shop before I moved a whole stash of original cams they sold me, and some that were preloved but work great. There are lots of decorative and functional stitches available and you can also find them on ebay, but sometimes the prices get very silly.

I find mine is quite particular about being kept spotlessly clean and has preferences for weights of thread, it prefers the standard 50 weight3 ply rather than finer 2 ply 50 weight thread but other machines I know of the same model are less fussy than mine.
When all is balanced, it does do a beautiful stitch and a lovely satin stitch as well, and naturally great zig zag since satin stitch is so nice. It is very quiet and has a lovely smooth sewing operaton with its rotary hook. Its incredibly easy to use and I am sure after the tantrums of your featherweight II you will be in heaven with the classic old girl! Its so tough, I would almost bet its just about earthquake proof as well! Enjoy and let us know how you find it when you get your hands on your new machine.
-- Edited on 1/30/12 10:05 PM --

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
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NEW ZEALAND
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Date: 1/30/12 5:22 AM

Just about earthquake proof? I may put that to the test before too long!

Thanks for such a helpful message with all the details about the feet and bobbins. Apparently the machine I'm buying was last serviced about 10 years ago and has been in storage for at least 5 years. I'm sure it could do with a once-over from somebody who knows how, but I'm told it was working when it was put away. I don't know where to start looking for a sewing machine shop at the moment, but it's possible that one or two of them survived the demolitions. Will have to do some investigation!

The person now selling it isn't the owner and wasn't able to help with figuring out whether it is working properly right now, and didn't know about feet or bobbins (or even what they were, LOL). I hope there are some. They did offer to have another look and update the auction tomorrow morning, but I didn't want to leave it open for that long. For some reason I felt very strongly that this was *my* machine and I needed to buy it straight away!

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