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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And on we go!

These are the carbon brushes for the motor of that machine. What do they do? Well, they actually transfer the electricity to the inner magnet, causing the whole spinny thing to occur. These ones are in great shape.
and they came out of THIS mess. the photo is worse than I realized, you can't see the insulation on the wires has become this sort of revolting semi solid gunk.
So, I cut the old wires off:
and soldered new ones in place!
I LOVE liquid electrical tape...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conflicting ideas..

Here I am, with two somewhat opposing ideas circling my head...
I have a dressing gown design I want to work on, and I want to finish this 1200 and start the next thingy.

Ah well, I'll survive!
So, there's the light switch!

And here's the whole thing, rewired.

While the wiring was exposed, I pulled the flywheel and removed the entire motor mounting for easier access/cleaning.

The green stuff is old congealed motor smells bad and it acts as a binder to slow the motor down. It's just plain gross.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Like the Pheonix..

So there it is, the rheostat rewired.


The plug receptacle on the back end of the machine..
As you can see, the wires inside are corroded and the whole thing is kinda coated with the goo that used to be the insulation before it was degraded.

I stripped off all the wiring, removed the light control, and generally made it a bit less disgusting.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The rheostat controller box thingy was coated in a fine layer of spider webs and goo.
The Bakelite was in fine condition, though, so that's good.
The wiring...ewwww. The insulation had completely degraded, and the wire itself was missing sections.

Once I got the controller free of crappy wire and stuff,
replacing the wiring was a fairly simple procedure. I mean really... there are two screws, it's not even bicycle science never mind rockets.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

First things first!

This is the rheostat control for the machine.
The external wiring, as you can see, is totally shot....
Oh what joys await me inside?

Now, the first question you should ask is:
Why do you rewire the machine first, when you're going to have to take it all apart again in order to refinish the table?

Wow! Good question!
Here's the answer:
If I get through the wiring process and the machine just won't run, or in the process I discover some horrible flaw/damage in the motor that is unfix-able, having not spent the effort to refinish the table becomes a blessing.
If the machine runs, I'll need to repair/refinish.


Remember that idea of a machine a week?
Yeah, turns out I suck at that kind of planned thing.
So, time for the NEW PLAN!!11!!

I just picked up a Singer 1200 in bad shape, and I mean bad.

The table veneer layers have all separated. the wiring is all shot. the drawer is missing, the feet are nowhere to be found. it's missing the power cord.....
So, I am going to restore this machine, here, bit by bit!
I'll get more into the history/design of this machine as I work on it, but I'll give you a basic rundown now:
Singer marketed a special version of the beloved 201-2 at home based or shop based businesses.
It's not an industrial machine, any more than any other 201, but it's been given a knee lift for the presser foot, and a more industrial table design.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Newest Doll dress

These things are somewhat crazy to make.

The good thing is that they really up my confidence for working on large scale items.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And of course...

My plan goes horribly awry!
Ok, horribly is an exaggeration..
Maybe mildly wary.

Got stuck in traffic today, had minimal luck with everything I no energy for a detailed machine post.
BUT, I plan on doing NOTHING tomorrow, so there you go, full day to work on a decent post...

in the meantime....
here's a picture:

These are some of the many attachments available for these sewing machines!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A plan!

So I figured out that using the doll as a model for the clothing, rather than eyeballing it, works much better...(yes I know it's obvious...NOW) And these dolls are disarticulatable, which means I can make fitted/non elastic clothing for them.
Also, I think I am going to do a 'Machine a week' type thing, where I will take one classic machine per week and totally go over it during the course of it's week.
we'll see.
I may throw in some attachment/feet posts as well, who can say?
It's madness!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My new 101

Hailing from 1927, this is the very first model that singer made with a direct gear drive and a full rotary hook,
the innovations in this machine later became the basis for the legendary 201-2!

Monday, November 29, 2010

and then....

Ok, so I just had a mental 'breakthrough'.
I figured out, whilst in the tub, a way to work on these doll clothing that will save me time.
Let's see if it works!

This is the chrome from that Lotus 66...gorgeous!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I just picked up a 1927 Singer 101, the first of the 'potted motor' machines.
It's definitely going to need rewiring, and the cabinet it's in is in terrible terrible shape.
But I also got this 1915 66 with Lotus decals.. so that's ok!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

this one needs a little work, and I still gotta figure out sleeves

Not as easy as it looks...

Sure, I can make doll sized versions of the outfits I design! No Problem!
These may fall under the category 'Famous Last Words'

The scale and lack of flexibility make this a lot harder than I originally thought!
But, I will continue to try!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Machine....

This is Victoria, my main sewing machine.
She is a Singer 201-2 from 1936.

Prior to finding and rescuing this machine from certain doom, I was sewing on a Janome MemoryCraft 7000.
Now you may wonder, how do you go from a modern computerized machine that has a bajillion bells and whistles to something that predates WWII..
The answer:
She's a better machine. 
Quieter, Stronger, more reliable.
The only difference is a lack of zig zag or decorative stitching, but that can be addressed through the use of attachments, should you so desire.
Did I mention she's quiet?
There's something about sewing on a machine that you KNOW has been sewn on by generations before you that makes you feel more like a human being, gives you more a sense of the continuity of existence.

Monday, November 22, 2010

And so it begins!

Well, here goes nothing!
I'm going to use this blog to document the machines I work on and the clothing I design!
To start:
A friend of mine asked me to try my hand at making doll clothing for Japanese fashion dolls. I do most of my sewing by eye, rather than from patterns, so working on that scale is a bit of a challenge..

So here we have first attempt at a skirt and a petticoat.