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Forum > Sewing Machines > Used sewing machines ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Used sewing machines
galadriel45
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galadriel45
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Member since 10/24/03
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Date: 9/30/04 10:29 PM

The machine of my dreams is 6-8 months away, if I am lucky.  My poor ole Walmart Singer has been rode hard and put away wet, and is showing it.  DH suggested I look for a used but good quality non-computer machine - price range $200-$250.  Anybody have any suggestions for an interim machine?

Bill Holman
Bill Holman
Wisconsin USA
Member since 8/29/04
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Date: 10/1/04 8:09 AM

Find a mechanic who specializes in reconditioning either Berninas, Elnas, Pfaffs, or Vikings from about 1960-80. Each brand has some strengths and weaknesses, but if you get one that has been properly serviced by an expert in the brand, it will likely be running long after the "machine of your dreams" has gone to that great stitching post in the sky.

Bill Holman

Gigi Louis
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Date: 10/1/04 9:22 AM

I agree!  I have a 20++ year old Bernina 830 that still runs like a dream!  It handles all the newer fabrics (even Slinky) perfectly, as well.

galadriel45
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galadriel45
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Date: 10/1/04 10:20 AM

I sew garments almost exclusively.  I have a small sewing alterations and repair business going.  I need a machine that has some power for heavier fabrics, like outdoorwear, and a very good buttonhole feature.  Fancy stitches not important, but good even stitching is very important.

Janie Viers
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Janie Viers  Friend of PR
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Ohio USA
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Date: 10/1/04 3:32 PM

Pfaff 130 or 230, or a 830 or 930 Bernina.  As suggested, go into a sewing machine store with repair facilities and they will guide you to the best machine for your needs.  You must be careful, what you do is considered commercial sewing and would void the warrenty of a home sewing machine.

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JanieV

joan
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joan
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California USA
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Date: 10/1/04 11:20 PM

I had a Bernina 830, which my daughter and grandaughter now have that is from the early the 70's and it still runs like a top and has good power.  The stitch quality is superb, but it does not have a one step button hole, which is a major plus for me, not necessarly for the quality of the button hole, but just the convenience.  I am not up to date about what the current price is for them, but I know they are a popular model on the resale market.

Gigi Louis
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Date: 10/2/04 9:29 AM

Around here, 830s are running about $400 but sometimes you can get a bargain - especially from a non-Bernina dealer.  Dealers often don't want to have used machines of other brands hanging around.  There are actually two different 830s - the regular 830 which was made first and the 2nd generation 830e (Electronic).  The 830e will fetch a higher price if the seller is aware of the difference.  The model number is embossed on the side of the plastic motor housing at the back of the machine.

Lizzy

Lizzy
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Ontario CANADA
Member since 8/27/03
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Date: 10/14/04 10:42 AM

Does anyone on this list have an Elna Air Electronic? (1980's). I just bought an Elna Jubile which is similar and figured that I've used enough different machines that the threading would be intuitive. Not so - It is running great without thread but as soon as I thread it, it protests - obviously threading the top thread wrong. There are too many thread guides and I find it very confusing. Can anyone describe the threading route for me - I'm going to contact Elna for a manual but meantime I'm really anxious to get using this baby. I realize this probably isn't of general interest so if anyone can help me you can email me off-list liz@lubricon.ca. Thanks....... Liz H.

Lizzy

Lizzy
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Date: 10/14/04 11:07 AM

I suspect that many of the comments about the Bernina 830 would apply to the Elna62C (circa1970-1980) I recently returned to using mine as my main machine after 2 years of working with my"new" Elna 6003. It is great for quilting but nothing beats my old Elna for handling everything from fine chiffon to really heavy stuff. We gave our DD a re-conditioned one many years ago - she is not a sewing enthusiast & easily frustrated by mis-behaved machines. The only things she used it for were sewing & repairing riding gear and blankets,etc. for her horse who sadly died recently at the ripe old age of 30. I never heard any complaints about her not being able to easily sew layers of heavy canvas, etc. The one thing I was never happy with were the button holes, so I have a 1950 vintage Kenmore, permanently set up with a Singer button holer attachment. Does beautiful buttonholes! My Kenmore is from college days but I recently bought an identical one on ebay (came with a lot of attachments that I didn't have) for $12.50USD. Some of those old mechanical machines, if well-cared for, are such reliable work-horses and well worth looking for. Just my opinion. Liz

Betakin
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Betakin
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Arizona USA
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Date: 10/14/04 5:49 PM

bizzylizzy I am so sorry about your daughters horse. She must be devastated. Will she get another? I was thinking about the older sewing machines being work horses. Isn't it something when thinking about these old sewing machines how long they continue. It seems they will out live us all. I have purchased some new ones that didn't get through the first couple of weeks.

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