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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Be careful when considering vintage machines ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Be careful when considering vintage machines
bad news on the 117
mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/4/12 8:34 AM

I brought home a 117 kenmore from the 1940s that the head is in beautiful shape, got is set up yesterday and cleaned and oiled and lubed. I went to unroll the cord which stores inside the cabinet and it is horrific, and also the wiring that goes into the odd plug on the motor. I would sit in the electric chair someplace before I would ever plug this thing in. Since it is an oddball type of thing concerning the electrics even the simple fixes of new power cord. aftermarket controllers doesn't seem to be a viable solution. It is going to take a complete rewire/maybe some adaptations and I am going to have to think about that. This machine is nothing like the kenmores of the 1970s electric wise and function wise. My point for posting is I knew better than to not closely inspect the electrics and ignored that as the head was so pristine. In my defense the person told me they had it stitching(hmmm don't think so or you wouldn't be alive to tell this story) and I only had a few minutes standing there to take a look. I am really sick over this whole thing and for now will store the thing until I come up with a solution or someone to hire to totally rewire and open the motor that does this sort of thing. I have ordered cords and controllers for other vintage singers but be careful with some of the older offbrand electrics as they may be a bigger problem than you intended. This one is not a japanese clone or a singer knockoff. I am going to think before I put more $$ into this one. Any advice about a restorer in the US or any one want to offer up ideas.

jzygail
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jzygail  Friend of PR
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 9/4/12 9:17 AM

I would still take it to an OSMG* if you have one; I bet anything that the wiring can be replaced. It may be not cheap but I'd be surprised if it's not between $70 and $100 (which is about what I would expect ANY machine needing a new controller to cost.)

I paid $99 for my little Kenmore chainstitcher for a new controller. Based on the style of the badge "Kenmore" I suspect this chainstitcher dates to about the same time period as your 117 Kenmore. (Edited to add: This particular model of Kenmore is of unknown supplier--there is no serial number/model number plate on this machine to give a numerical hint. I happen to think Sew Easy made it, but that's because I have an identical parts machine made by Sew Easy. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is my OSMG was able to replace the wiring on this machine so it would work. Your machine has a known (and common) manufacturer; it's not likely that my machine could be easily repaired while yours could not)



-- Edited on 9/4/12 9:22 AM --

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 9/4/12 9:30 AM

mssewcrazy...I'm so sorry this happened. One of the reasons I don't do the vintage thing is, I'm not handy with repairing stuff on my own. As I mentioned in your first posting of buying this machine(yes the railroad theme is a real kick)...Daddy would repair Mama's machine. She was good at being able to work with most of it herself, but when something had to really be torn down, he did it. If you could find another model in an estate sale(like he did) or a thrift shop, perhaps it would be of help?

I would have to take it to my local guy and have him do all that needs to be done, because I'm not quite that "do it yourself" able I wish you tons of good luck on getting this resolved.

mssewcrazy
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Date: 9/4/12 9:50 AM

My osg will put on aftermarket power cords and the new wires to the controllers which I have also done with dh's help. He refuses to go any further with electrics other than servicing the motor with lube and making sure it is safe during a service so he is not going to be my solution for the electrical. That is a very cute machine btw that you pictured. My kenmore was made by white and the wheel turns in the opposite direction and has some sort of rubber pulley thing no belt. The plug into the motor is a very strange fan looking thing. I am sure the thing can be rewired and I am reading all the yahoo group posts on solutions for these models in the two old kenmore groups but have a lot more reading to do before I even have a clue. I have not yet given up as the head is really nice and it should be saved and redone. I wish we had a list on PR of people in the business of total rewire, machine restoration etc. If anyone has suggestions please post. I am also considering taking it back to treadle status as I understand it was one of the early ones that was converted but not positive about that. Thanks for weighing in.

mssewcrazy
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Date: 9/4/12 10:22 AM

Me too JTink . I can clean, oil and lube sort of thing but the pets here would do a better job on electrical repairs. Dh could replace the plug and tape up the cord but some of the other is scary and who knows what the motor looks inside. He is one that will gerry rig this sort of thing so don't want him for sure. He has the patience of a gnat for intricate tasks so I would still be scared to use the thing. I am willing to have it serviced but now I have to deal with a total rewire. The local electricians would tell me to buy a new one (sigh) as they don't get it. After I read some more I will talk to my retired singer man for some input and an antique dealer/auctioneer here that might suggest somebody in state that does this sort of thing on old electrics. If I did this myself I wouldn't be sewing on any machine any more as I'd be fried so I know where you are coming from on the do it yourself. If all else fails I know a couple of you interested in this model who could have donor bobbins,feet, etc. if it dies a natural death in storage here but I want that as a last resort. I have learned a lesson on adopting rescue machines that are not a common old singer or singer clone with aftermarket electrical parts available. I might assist someone like I did with my friend's 201 getting new electrical parts and putting her in touch with the retired singer guy to get it serviced but I now know my limits when it comes to saving these old electrics.

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 9/4/12 11:47 AM

Is this your machine? They have parts for a Kenmore 117.720.

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys  Friend of PR
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 9/4/12 12:06 PM

I think I might contact Sew Classic & ask her about it. She helped my sister & I figure out about bobbin bumper & a new foot/chord for her Kenmore. It would not hurt to ask. I am sorry about this happening to you. ..... I hope you can get her running without investing lots of money....

------
Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<

2 shots in DH eye down, 1 more to go. We hope the tumor is shrinking. Orthopedic surgeon for DH on Thursday... sigh...

"Dear God...Help me out please!" ..Fr. Eric

lisalu
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lisalu
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Date: 9/4/12 12:18 PM

One reason I stick to vintage Singers is because 1. there is so much easy to find information about them and 2. I can get any parts I need.

Although there are parts available for other makes/models as well, with the Singers I know I can find literally every part down to the smallest screw and of course replacement wiring, controllers, etc.

My Mom picked up a vintage Kenmore a couple of months ago and it doesn't work right and I have no desire to fool with it. (Good thing it was only $20 and came in a cabinet which is worth that price alone.)

Besides buying the parts online (Sew Classic has everything I've ever needed at reasonable prices) you can often just as easily find a donor machine. Old Singers are EVERYWHERE!

-- Edited on 9/4/12 12:21 PM --

------
Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

pknord
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In reply to lisalu <<


Date: 9/4/12 12:58 PM

Quote: lisalu
One reason I stick to vintage Singers is because 1. there is so much easy to find information about them and 2. I can get any parts I need.




Besides buying the parts online (Sew Classic has everything I've ever needed at reasonable prices) you can often just as easily find a donor machine. Old Singers are EVERYWHERE!


-- Edited on 9/4/12 12:21 PM --

This is why I've stuck almost exclusively to vintage Singers.

------
Pat in Rockport, TX
"As ye sew, so shall ye rip."
http://community.webshots.com/user/pknord
http://www.quiltingthoughts.blogspot.com/

mssewcrazy
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In reply to mastdenman <<


Date: 9/4/12 2:09 PM

Oh my goodness, I think that set would work. Mine is the 117-552 but it looks exactly like it even the bobbins. I can't begin to thank you enough as this will cut through all the time and money and any dangerous solutions by dh. I am thrilled you posted this link. I think I owe you big time. Lol!

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