Model 99 and 66 bobbin case and feed dog cleaning

Also applies to the 185, 192 (Spartan), 285 and 292 models.

Probably one of the most neglected areas of a sewing machine is the bobbin area.

We stick a bobbin in, sew, replace the bobbin, sew some more.

It’s often not until one day when we’re sewing and suddenly there’s a nest underneath the needle plate (throat plate) that we have to cut out, or worse, the needle breaks and now we have to dig the shrapnel out.

You remove the slide plate, and the needle plate and horror of horrors, you find you’ve been knitting felt and birthing thread bunnies underneath there.  Maybe even worse, the bobbin case just won’t come out, no matter how you wiggle it.  Continue reading Model 99 and 66 bobbin case and feed dog cleaning

Lessons learned while servicing the twins

Wow! That may be my most risque title yet.  The twins are 2 model 99k machines I picked up over a month ago now.  I got both of them a day apart.

So, I sat down at 10pm, and figured I’d try to figure out what was going on with the 99s.

Using the one bobbin case between the two, one machine insisted on the bobbin tension being fully tightened in, and the other one only worked with 0 tension.  You could actually see the spring wasn’t touching anything on the non-screw side.  You could stick a dime in between the spring and the body of the bobbin case.  Both gave almost, but not entirely acceptable tension balance results. Additionally, the tension seemed to fluctuate on Jellybean, and possibly the other machine as well (testing was more extensive on Jellybean).  Sometimes it would seem that the needle tension was too loose, but a few inches later, with no adjustments from me, it would change, sometimes perfect, sometimes too tight. Continue reading Lessons learned while servicing the twins

The twins – model 99ks

The twins are 2 model 99k machines I picked up over a month ago now.  I got both of them a day apart.

The first one, possible name: Jellybean.  (That’s her in front) I was watching this machine on ebay.  The ad mentioned that the machine was missing “the bobbin case” and being sold for parts as a result.  It was missing most of the light as well.  It sure looked like the bobbin case was in place in the images, so I thought it worth watching. If memory serves (and it often doesn’t), the asking price was $100.

It was being sold by a seller about 30 mins away from me, then suddenly the ad was gone.  The machine didn’t sell, the buy it now was ended by the seller. Hmm… oh well, it was one of many i was watching to see what sort of price the machines would sell for.   Continue reading The twins – model 99ks

How long have I been out?

An obscure “Will and Grace” reference. Karen Walker’s (Megan Mullally) character always cracked me right up.

I apologize for my absence.  I’ve been working on things, but no time to post.  I tried to promise myself an article a day til I was “caught up” to what I wanted to post when I launched this site, but that’s been more of a challenge than I’d anticipated.

I’ve been building display boxes for the machines, and replacement boxes for some of the machine accessories, and will post about those soon. I’ve taken lots of pictures, so there’s lots of eye candy coming.  Over 400 pictures are uploaded to the site right now.

Of course, I’ve also been looking for machines to rescue.

The site itself suffered an attack, and I had to clean that up and harden the site.  That meant an all-nighter yesterday and the night previous when I found it, so I’m a little loopy today.


Interesting things you learn when you read an old user’s manual

So I’ve finished cleaning up the Elna, and have begun the process of learning its “originalities” as a sewing machine.  Naturally, I pulled up a copy of the user’s manual, and within 6 pages, I’ve learned something.  Not so much about the machine, but about thread.  So I thought I’d detail some of the neat things I find as I go and a few things I’m remembering as a result of this reading, mostly from the OSMG (Old Sewing Machine Guy).

  1. When thread is too dry, it becomes brittle; it regains its strength when placed near an open window overnight.
  2. Wind a bobbin while pressing lightly on the top of the spool.  (This is also backed up by an OSMG.  He said that the machines often wind a loose bobbin, which causes a tension problem when sewing.  You can combat it by doing what’s mentioned here.)
  3. Bobbin thread should always unwind in a counter clock wise direction.  Doesn’t matter which sewing machine manufacturer you sew with. (From the OSMG) – Note 01/27/2014 :  I don’t agree with this.  I believe you should check your manual and see what the manufacturer recommends

A non-Singer sewing machine


So, here it is, Canada Day, and we’re on our way to see a sewing machine.

I found an ad in Kijiji about a week ago, for an Elna open arm sewing machine. My OSMG (Old sewing machine guy) keeps extolling the virtues of Elna machines, telling me they’re Swiss made, and very good running machines. I figured what the heck, the asking price is decent, so I sent off an email asking for information, and a picture, if they had one. I didn’t hear back right away, so I figured this one was sold.

A few days later, there were 2 replies in my mail. Yes, they still had it and the second was a picture of the machine. Continue reading A non-Singer sewing machine