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Forum > Sewing Machines > Kenmore 158.17741 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Kenmore 158.17741
manual, chainstitch, and should I buy it or not?
PeppermintPam
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Date: 5/13/13 11:49 AM

A friend is helping her dad clean out his (deceased) wife's sewing machines (she had 8 of them). My questions are about this Kenmore 158.17741- I have the first option to buy it or help her decide how much to sell it for. There is no manual, but I remember reading somewhere that it does a chain stitch. Does anyone know how? Do I need a special feed plate or something? And why would I want this machine?

I checked with Sears for a manual, and it's not available any more. I found a place I can buy one, but I don't want to if I'm not going to keep it.

I brought it home, cleaned it up, oiled it and adjusted the tension and it works really good - but it is not a quiet machine. Is this machine better than a singer 401 (I will be getting one delivered in June), and if so, why? If I did buy it, what would be a fair price?

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to PeppermintPam <<


Date: 5/13/13 12:10 PM

This must be a very sad task.

I think I would pass as your heirs may someday find themselves in the same dilemma, or just toss it to the curb

Without the manual you do not know what accessories came with it, or if they can be replaced.

They might ask $30 for it given what is missing. And, then the more they sort through, the better the chance they will find the manual.

Wait and see.

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

jayl65
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Date: 5/13/13 1:19 PM

The old Kenmore's were great machines, but so were the Singers. I wouldn't pay more than $40 for it. The Singer 401 on the other hand is a great machine. It was TOL when it came out and I still think it is. All it ever needs is oiling and it might need the brushes replaced in the motor. I have rebuilt mine it sews beautifully. If you have a repair shop that can check the motor and repack the grease since its gear driven you will be very happy. It will sew anything from silk to leather. If your inclined to try yourself there are great websites dedicated to helping you DYI. Get some old 66 bobbins as these machines tend to not like the new ones. It uses singer and other brands slant feet and attachments. Get a buttonholer attachment for it and you will be making better buttonholes than a brand new machines costing thousands of dollars. You just cant beet the old singer buttonholes. Good luck

PeppermintPam
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Date: 5/13/13 5:48 PM

Thank you so much for the advice. I guess for some reason I was thinking the Kenmore 158 was a sought-after model (maybe only certain ones?). Oh, and I forgot to mention it comes with a box of extra presser feet. Anyway, I think I'll let them try to sell it and suggest a price of around $40. - They can always come down if someone makes an offer.

beauturbo
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Date: 5/13/13 6:58 PM

It's probably a good machine as Kenmores most times were and sounds like if you are correct about the chain stitch thing (I'm not sure of that), then you would have a chain stitch and maybe even some reverse cycle stretch or decorative stitches the Singer 401 would not. singer 401 might do a real nice satin stitch, but that will not help you, if instead you want some of those other ones. So I think they would compliment each other, not either one replacing the other. So I say keep it. Plus you already cleaned and oiled it and got it running nice, why give it back to someone else free for that, after all that work? That seems silly to me. I would remind them of that, when you tell them if so if you want it or not, and not have to pay too much of anything for it to them either. Like maybe only about half of what they might want from anyone else now.

Mufffet
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Date: 5/13/13 7:37 PM

Personally it would be a bargain at that $40.00. This is in a line of excellent machines, which with care, are great sewing machines. Perhaps if you get it at that good a price, you may want a professional servicing and so on, and then feet for this may be easily gettable if it is low shank, and if high shank, they are still gettable. If you decide not to keep it later you can always sell it yourself. I could kick myself for selling my Kenmore back in 1977.

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SewRaeMe

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Date: 5/13/13 8:08 PM

I agree with Muffet, this would be a steal at $40.00 but I guess it all depends on who is buying. This machine is very similar to the one my mother had that my daughter now has. It is a workhorse, I have a Viking and I couldn't sew through alot of things I could with the Kenmore. Can't say too much about the Singer as I am not familiar with it.

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Formerly The Canadian

PeppermintPam
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Date: 5/14/13 1:52 PM

Thanks for giving me some more to think about. I was just going to give it back to them to sell, but now I'm going to reconsider. So... if $40 is a bargain for this machine, what would be a fair asking price? Also, any ideas how I can find out for sure if it does a chain stitch - because that would be the clincher for me.

Thanks so much to all of you for your input.

beauturbo
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Date: 5/14/13 2:17 PM

I don't know if it does or not. The way to find out for sure, would probably be just to actually buy the manual for it. But, even in order to do a chain stitch if it could, you would still need the "chain stitch stuff" anyways. And if you did not have those, then it still would not do a chain stitch. Maybe go look through all those feet and attachments you have got with it and look for some "chain stitch stuff" as in the plate and such that would look a bit like these:





Actually it can do a chain stitch, I do know that, just because I can see all the "chain stitch stuff for it" in it's parts list over at the Sears web site. That will not get you the actual chain stitch stuff though, if it's gone missing over time and you don't have it there :)

If you have got them there, then it probably can do a chain stitch with them.
-- Edited on 5/14/13 2:31 PM --

rubyintherough
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Date: 5/22/13 1:41 PM

I love my 158.19310 that I bought with babysitting money in 1976. It has been through a lot with me and I won't ever give it up. I grew up in an all Sears household with Sears employee parents and worked in Sears Service in college. So I know I'm biased. That said: The 158 designates the manufacturer - Jaguar/Maruzen (mostly made in Japan, some Taiwan) The current Kenmores are 385-Janome (Taiwan). The 158s are workhorses that have extra-strong motors; check the motor to see if it's 1.2 amp or it may have been replaced with a cheaper generic. The accessories are very interchangeable within their generation/class, so once you find which "style" your machine is, you can find a lot of parts on e-Bay, etc. There were some complaints about the light-weight metal and plastic presser feet: they protected the shaft and motor. If too much pressure was put on them, they broke instead of breaking or bending the drive shaft. Feet and needles are easy to replace, shafts are not. I still collect all the accessories that I think might fit my machine including cams. When I do accidentally get something that doesn't fit my machine, I just list it on eBay and they sell like hotcakes. There aren't as many 158 Kenmore machines on eBay as others because their original owners are still alive and using them. As we age, they'll become more available.....

Beauturbo: Which Sears site do you use that you can see all the parts list?

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I have 6 sewing machines, and my profile only lets me list one ;-(

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