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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Singer 15-91 vs ?Help with machine delimma ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Singer 15-91 vs ?Help with machine delimma
randomyvonne
randomyvonne
Advanced Beginner
MI USA
Member since 6/7/12
Posts: 14
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Date: 10/12/12 9:46 PM

My quandry, I have 2 singer 15-91 machines. One is in sewing condition but started to smoke under high speed sewing. The other is disassembled for recondition. It was in sewing order but I thought it should be fixed up. I got to the point of needing to have the motor re-done but there is NO local shop that is willing to do that except one that is known to have high prices and 2-3 month turn around. I kind of want a newer machine. Should I try to sell the 15's as a lot or parted out or look into a new machine? I love to re-fashion denim jeans into skirts and I want to sew purses. Can any of the newer machines handle jean seams and leather? Thanks for the help!

------
Yvonne proud owner and user of 2 singer 15-91s and one Singer Tiny Serger

Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose  Friend of PR
Intermediate
IN USA
Member since 3/10/11
Posts: 144
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Date: 10/13/12 8:21 AM

Before responding to this, I consulted my husband who services my (2) 15-91's.
This first paragraph reflects his comments. Where is the smoke coming from? Is it from the motor or from the belt? The fact that it occurs at high speed makes him wonder if the belt is slipping. If you need to replace the motor, have you considered buying a replacement motor on Ebay? Another consideration is to go to this site and consult Jenny for suggestions. We have used it extensively. She can be very helpful. You can call her, too. Here is the site: http://blog.sew-classic.com/2008/10/05/singer-1591-sewing-machine-review.aspx.
All that being said, my immediate thoughts were that I would never give up my 15-91 for heavy fabric sewing. I have a newer, computerized Bernina that also does embroidery. I enjoy its superb creative qualities, i.e., hundreds of built-in stitches, zig-zag, beautiful buttonholes, embroidery attachment etc. But it does'nt hold a candle to the 15-91 for sewing leathers and heavy denim seams. The Bernina can sew through the heavier seams, but the 15-91 plows through them like they were soft butter. My Bernina dealer told me to be careful using it for that kind of sewing, also, because it was not designed for that...that I could damage it. The Bernina cost too much to damage it, so I also view the 15-91 as an investment to protect the more expensive Bernina.
I don't know what kind of newer machine you are considering to buy, but if it were me, I wouldn't even think of giving up my 15-91....even if I had to buy another a replacement to your current ones.
Hope this has helped.

ThePadre
ThePadre
Advanced Beginner
PA USA
Member since 1/27/09
Posts: 833
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In reply to Sharon Rose <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 10/13/12 9:09 AM

Concerning your 15-91s:

If it's a 15-91, there isn't a belt. It's a gear-driven machine.

If there's smoke, there are a couple of possibilities.
One is that it's electrical: broken down wiring, possibly inside the "pot" that houses the motor (it's easy to remove and give a sniff test), at the controller (sniff test there, too), or in the wiring between controller/terminal block and terminal block/motor. It could also be something at the light. If the insulation is cracked or flaking away, don't use the machine until you replace the affected wiring.

The other electrical issue could be something related to the motor. Perhaps the brushes are worn down (easily replaced), the commutator is dirty (clean it with an eraser and 400+ grit sandpaper and a metal pick of some kind; GENTLY), or oil has leaked onto an electrical surface and is smoking as a result.

Finally, does anything feel HOT when you touch it after the smoking starts? Feel around. Can you SEE where the smoke is coming from?

I'm assuming you've already lubricated this machine as required.

For the machine that isn't operable, keep checking. I'm sure there's a technician somewhere who'll be willing to service the machine. Or call Jenny at Sew-Classic and see whether she'd do it.

If you've been otherwise happy with the machines, I'd look into fixing them rather than something more drastic. They're pretty tough.




-- Edited on 10/13/12 9:10 AM --

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
GA USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2056
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In reply to Sharon Rose <<


Date: 10/13/12 12:45 PM

A 15-91 doesn't have a belt. Funny that your husband would ask that question. Are you talking about the same machine - a gear driven Singer 15-91 with a potted motor vs a 15-90 with external motor and belt?

------
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/

Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose  Friend of PR
Intermediate
IN USA
Member since 3/10/11
Posts: 144
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Date: 10/14/12 11:38 AM

OOPS. You guys are corrct. My husband just told me he was confused and thought I was talking about my little featherweight. I apologize for the misinformation. I promise to have his undivided attention the next time I consult for info. He's a great guy, and is wonderful to me, so please don't misjudge him on this one OOPS..

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
GA USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2056
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In reply to Sharon Rose <<


Date: 10/15/12 11:06 AM

Hi Sharon. I thought maybe your husband was thinking of a 15-90 which does have a belt, no judgement!

Then I go to another thread and someone says their 15-91 has a drop in bobbin which I have never heard of but yet....gosh, I dunno. I always hesitate to make definitive statements about sewing machines since my knowledge is limited, but the belt thing I was sure of. LOL

------
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/

randomyvonne
randomyvonne
Advanced Beginner
MI USA
Member since 6/7/12
Posts: 14
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Date: 10/15/12 11:23 AM

Thanks for the info. Smoke is coming from motor area, nothing external feels hot, guess I will break down and re-wire the torn apart machine since it sounds like I need to do that to both now. Kind of excited then because I am painting the torn apart one. Now to decide which color. I am thinking barbie pink, lol. Scared to do this on my own but oh well.

------
Yvonne proud owner and user of 2 singer 15-91s and one Singer Tiny Serger

lisalu
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lisalu
Advanced Beginner
GA USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2056
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In reply to randomyvonne <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 10/15/12 11:28 AM

If you are going to re-wire your 15-91, here is a must read blog that shows you step by step how to do it. It is very detailed with photographs of every single thing you will do and how to do it. I referred to this when re-wiring my own machines.

How to Rewire a Potted Motor

------
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/

randomyvonne
randomyvonne
Advanced Beginner
MI USA
Member since 6/7/12
Posts: 14
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Date: 10/23/12 1:34 PM

SHE LIVES!!!!! Thanks to some help from the hubby and lots of online friends, it is rewired and running better than before. I was scared something was off but it was just some tension issues. They sure knew how to write an owners manual back then.

------
Yvonne proud owner and user of 2 singer 15-91s and one Singer Tiny Serger

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