Sunday, November 15, 2015
Vintage Singer 99
Sometimes when your friends find out you sew, they gift you with sewing machines. This is a Singer 99 that a friend of mine inherited and gave to me (thanks Brad!). We converted it to hand crank a couple of years ago because it was missing the knee control (this one was operated with a knee lever rather than a foot pedal) and the wiring was scary (original cloth-wrapped cords). This machine dates to 1926. The machine is actually in reasonably good condition, despite a few nicks the decals and paint are in good shape, there is minimal rust, and the needle goes up and down when you turn the wheel. However, life got in the way, and the machine got put in a closet for a couple of years. But I wanted to play with the sewing machine again, so I pulled her out for a good cleaning and oiling.
And boy, did this machine need cleaning! Years of lint had collected in all sorts of spots. Apparently, we forgot to clean the machine before putting it away, and so did the previous owner. I've been taking everything apart, clearing out as much lint as I can, and dribbling oil everywhere two moving metal parts meet up. The machine is now reasonably clean, and I tested the stitch and it is perfect. The only issue is the bobbin winder, which does not work. The rubber tire on it that rests against the hand wheel doesn't actually touch the hand wheel, so it can't operate. I located the adjustment screw and tried adjusting it, but it won't adjust far enough to work. My husband can't remember if he changed the hand wheel when he converted it to hand crank, but I think he must have, and the replacement hand wheel must be a slightly different size. I have ordered a set of 3 replacement tires in 3 different sizes. With luck, one will fit. In the meantime, I successfully wound a bobbin for the machine on the Megasaurus (my MegaQuilter), which takes a different bobbin, but one of a similar size.