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Pfaff 139
Another value / price / good machine question
Vandoels
Vandoels
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Date: 9/8/13 6:04 PM

Found a Pfaff 139 for $50 in cabinet (no power cord) on CL. Worth a shot or a definite skip? I read Peter in NYC's very helpful review from a few years back. Any thoughts?

Owner wanted $100 I said $50.

Thoughts appreciated. The power cord seems easy enough to locate.

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to Vandoels <<


Date: 9/8/13 6:12 PM

How will you know it works and works correctly if it does not have a power cord to turn it on?

What about the foot pedal?

-- Edited on 9/8/13 6:16 PM --

Vandoels
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Date: 9/8/13 6:23 PM

Of course im looking for thoughts/experiences with this paeticular machine not really if this machine in particular works.

I'm good enough to spot major issues with my eyes. Testing is always best, and my pfaff serger cord, elna cord, and viking cords aren't compatible sadlyI'm trying to borrow one locally. I know the repair cost structure wtf, if need be.
Foot pedal/cord easy to find on line. I'm curious about the machine.

beauturbo
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Date: 9/8/13 6:51 PM

You could go through every old machine ever made like this.I think there is really no set at all "Value for money" on all those older 40's-50's machines. I think people just pay whatever they want, when they see something they want actually. Or not. I do have a lot of them.

Most times I bought most of mine at the good old, Goodwill store actually. And I probably paid less than $25 for most of them. But also I'm real good at the Goodwill store and with machines, always test drive first too, and would really just know if something was wrong with anything I found there. If some bad thing, I probably would just walk on by instead. That is kind of probably a big difference right there. I think they all will cost you about at least $50 if someone has one, as if they don't want or need that for it, they will probably just donate any of them to the Goodwill Store instead even.

I think if you buy any of them and they are cleaned and oiled and everything works right on them, as a trade in, at any kind of sewing machine store, they will always want someplace between $125 and $250 for them. Craigs list and ebay are just a horrible toss up. Lots of them there, can't tell if they sew right or what is going on with something there most times and people really want more like $300 to $500 for them even often. Which is way more than even some antique or collectable kind of store most times. So, just pick your choice there I guess.

That one for $50 is probably a keeper if you really want straight and zig zag, but only if it really works good,when you sew on it right there before paying for it, and everything moves right and it's not all stuck and frozen up now. Good things about old Pfaff's are very tightly calabrated between all the moving parts and feel and sound real nice to sew on. Bad things about old Pfaff, are much the same, as also very tightly calabrated, and so if you get thread stuck in them, harder to get out, and if all stuck and frozen up in places, like all those knobs and everything attached to them inside, is you might never get it all freed up again or it might take a whole lot of effort and time. so then maybe pass it by instead. As it could be just very, very stuck by now. But just go sew on it and see, when doing that, if you like it, and it actually works fine in all ways and everything still moves good, you probably could not even do much wrong on it for only $50. Even a sewing pattern costs money and so does thread too.

Correction:
Only buy if you have a power cord in your hand first. And using it. It's not easy to find cords for old stuff,or foot pedals or any of that stuff and not cheap at all either. Also no fun to find out later that something is broken or not working because you did not test sew on it first. The better and longer a sewer you are, probably the better you would fare, with eyeballing something and not test sewing with being really plugged into a wall outlet. and just turning the wheel by hand instead even. If that's not you, you are probably in trouble buying anything that way.
-- Edited on 9/8/13 6:56 PM --

Vandoels
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Date: 9/8/13 7:43 PM

Thanks so much. Yes I've spent $25 on old vintage coat patterns so in the end it's just money. I'm a fairly good eye baller at sewing stuff and have some reasonable experience. Of course I could ask about 1000 different machines :)

Thanks for your thoughts. Here, even a singer not working was priced at 179.99 at the cheap thrift store the other day. I'm always on the lookout as well--never find anything for $20, though.

I'm just not wanting to get an embarrassingly bad priceso I like to ask around and hear/read thoughts.

I think I'm going to pass on this machine, thoughthanks so much for your insight!!

TeeGee

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In reply to beauturbo <<
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Date: 9/8/13 10:22 PM

Quote: beauturbo
Only buy if you have a power cord in your hand first. And using it. It's not easy to find cords for old stuff,or foot pedals or any of that stuff and not cheap at all either. Also no fun to find out later that something is broken or not working because you did not test sew on it first. The better and longer a sewer you are, probably the better you would fare, with eyeballing something and not test sewing with being really plugged into a wall outlet. and just turning the wheel by hand instead even. If that's not you, you are probably in trouble buying anything that way.

I agree !

I passed on a Lady Kenmore sewing machine I wanted for a very long time a few months ago.It was made in Germany for Sears by Pfaff/Gritzner.The seller told me on the phone the machine was in very good working condition.

How could the seller tell me that ? There was no power cord or foot control to try the machine out.I asked the seller and was told,it worked when my mother used it 40 years ago.The hand wheel was heavy to turn by hand and the pattern dial didn't move at all.

But,I bought an Elna Grasshopper without a power cord. I never regretted buying it for 15 dollars.Everything moved easily when I turned it by hand.A brand new Elna power cord was only 20 dollars,the last one in stock at the time at a dealer in another city.
-- Edited on 9/8/13 10:26 PM --
beauturbo
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In reply to TeeGee <<


Date: 9/8/13 11:34 PM

There are some machines I would buy without a cord or a foot pedal if the price was really right for me, (and we already know what I consider right which is most times not all that much) or something I had just always really wanted, just because I could turn by hand, and really sew that way fine too, but that would not tell me if my motor worked or not.

I do think it really depends on a lot of things. If you are only going to have one or two or three or four or maybe even 10 sewing machines, then I think you are going to be willing to just pay way more for them.

If you kind of collect them, and probably have got to the point you got more than you can or really will sew on, then I do think you only tend to pick them up, if you see one really at the right price, whatever that is for you, just because there really is no hurry at all. And you don't even need one to really sew on, as you got all those others too. I'm actually trying not to pick up any more machines. Over the last 2 years or so, I did bring home a Singer 404 and a Pfaff 30 though just because while at the Goodwill store, I sort of saw them there, and I think they were maybe $14.95 or such, so I had a real hard time walking away and leaving them in there, so they did come home with me.

I got my elna #1 / Grasshopper at the thrift store too, and it was long, long ago maybe even 20 years or so, I paid I think $24 there at the time, it had a cord, but it really needed a new one, so I did get a new one back then, and I think it only cost me something like $6 or so. It was a thrill to see it there though, as I had always wanted one and remember I was getting ready to leave the store and I saw it's little case there behind some stuff, and I thought, whats that doing here, it needs to come home with me!
-- Edited on 9/8/13 11:40 PM --

TeeGee

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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 9/9/13 12:37 PM

Quote: beauturbo
I'm actually trying not to pick up any more machines. Over the last 2 years or so, I did bring home a Singer 404 and a Pfaff 30 .............

so I had a real hard time walking away and leaving them there, so they did come home with me.

Same here !

Two months ago I couldn't leave a Singer 221K Featherweight behind either . I'm not a Singer fan,but own a few old models.I bought a Singer 99K a year ago for 20 dollars and found 12 old style Bernina presser feet in the box with Singer presser feet. I didn't have a couple of the Bernina presser feet yet.

There are only a few old sewing machine brand models I'm interested in now,if they stare into my face somewhere at very low prices.They have to be in working condition,don't need rewiring,have a few accessories,foot controls and power cords.
SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/9/13 10:48 PM

I have no experience with that model- wish I did. I was looking for a good mechanical Pfaff last year. If I had found your find I would most likely have scooped it up for $25-40 (given lack of cord or ability to test). Figure if I put $100 into it would be functional. And if not I would donate it back to charity and take the entire amount off my taxes. But that's me- always curious about machines and I am in a position where Zi can use a tax write off. Just print the CL ad for the full $100 for a non-working machine and keep that as documentation showing relative value- should you need to gift it to charity.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

sewfrequent

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In reply to beauturbo <<


Date: 9/22/13 7:58 AM

Beauturbo, you just described me!! I continue to pass on so many machines I'd have bought just a few years ago but now I don't do that anymore bc i have more than i can really use now AND that's AFTER down-sizing! These are the ones that made the cut and its hard to get rid of those keepers even if you don't use em often or at all, in some cases. For many years, I loved the hunt as much as the find. Like that adrenalin rush you get when you see a case you recognize stuck off w/ the luggage at the goodwill. I found my first FW that way and it was before they figured out they had value. I forgot what i paid--very little. Lots of experiences like that and it was such fun. I do miss that. Right now there's not a machine I lust for enough to pursue but could be very tempted by a singer 403 if minty and a steal. like you said, it'd have to be a steal at this point for it to make me late for dinner.

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