A new attitude...

No, not me. Still grumpy as ever. It's this old girl that's got a new attitude.

This is a Kenmore sewing machine from the mid 50's. Look at all the flat planes. No curves. A very masculine machine, me thinks. And, she's sparkly and clean...now.

I got her off ebay. Fell in love with the shape, right up front. Price was right and shipping was low. All the pics looked good, so at bedtime one night, I placed my max bid and just let it go. If I got it, good. If not, so be it.

But, for a 35 lb bohemoth, she wasn't packed very well. Just bubble wrap and a kind of a flimsy box. She must have gotten banged up pretty good. The needle bar was bent inside of this shaft. A thread guide was flattened, a needle pin broken off and I think the hand wheel is bent.

And, you can see how dirty. I can only assume this is a combination of machine oil and nicotine, but fortunately, it polished right off, with a whole lot of elbow grease, most of a Saturday, and some sewing machine oil.

When I bought her, I thought she was brown and a copper colored metal, but it's not. It's all black and chrome. Under years of dirt and dust.

Ughhhh! Look at that lintball. It took a couple of hours to remove this and oil and clean under the bed.

Hours of oiling and gently moving parts until the oil all dispersed inside of her. And, then I connected the electrics and gave her a whirl. Took a while to get everything moving correctly. She doesn't have a belt, but rather a rubber bushing from the motor touches the outer edge of the handwheel and that bushing has a flat spot on it, so it makes a noise every time that flat spot hits the handwheel, but that's an easily replaceable part.

I'm going to try the other handwheel and then I need to get to some real life chores. Can't complain tho. I've also pieced a Linus quilt and made a shirt for me this weekend, so I've had plenty of "me" time.

Take care. Have a great Sunday. Lane

I forgot to say how I fixed the machine, other than elbow grease. I went back to ebay and bought the part i needed. Now, the best deal on the part I needed was to buy it as part of a lot. Okay, so the lot was...everything. Somebody took one of these machines and they unscrewed every screw and stripped the whole outside of the machine, including the handwheel (but not including that grommet thing...grrrr). Anyway, every screw, every part, all of it and in good physical condition, but as filthy as the machine I had. If I'd had the shell and the drive shaft and motor, I could have built a machine from what they sent. Anything I've needed, I've pulled out of that, including thread pins and thread guides.

Just finished with the handwheel and the original was warped, probably by whatever did the other damage. The replacement is true and I've solved everything except the grommet. Pesky grommet.


And, the last thing I forgot is that she came from Arkansas and we're going to Arkansas in August and I've made arrangements with the seller that I'll pick up the cabinet while we're there. The original sears and roebuck cabinet. It's gonna be coool.



Vesuviusmama said...

I'm so impressed with your ability to rehabilitate these machines! And all black and chrome with sharp planes, you can't get any more masculine than that! Very nice!

Linda said...

This looks like an upholstery sewing machine to me. Could it be that is what it is? (My brother has several for making seat covers for the old cars he retores.)

Kay said...

My nephew found the very same crinkle finish Kenmore in a cabinet at the curb last summer and gave it to me. If my research is correct it is from the 1930's. I just think it's the coolest looking machine. After a good cleaning it runs beautifully

Pati said...

What a great looking machine! I LOVE it!!!!

scrappy101 said...

That is so great that you are able to restore this beauty.
These machines of yesteryear were meant to last.

Tammy said...

Hi Lane,
Your Kenmore is a very handsome sewing machine. I love the crinkle finish and straight flat lines. That huge mess of lint and thread in the feed dogs was gross! Glad you cleaned it all out.

My 1954 Elna Supermatic has a rubber friction wheel inside that turns the handwheel rather than a belt. The flat spot on the friction wheel is a common problem. My friction wheel was replaced, the part was $50 CAD. But a fellow sewing machine collector has had success by sanding out the flat spot on the damaged rubber wheel instead of replacing it. He just took the tiniest bit off the wheel to make it smooth again. This worked perfectly.