My mission is to reinvigorate interest in old Singer sewing machines, and help those already using them. In this age of plastic junk, it's incredibly satisfying to use an all-metal machine that was made over 50 years ago and still runs like it was brand new. A well-cared-for or well-restored Singer will run forever and do its job with excellence. If you've ever seen the beautiful straight stitch laid down by a well-tuned Singer then you know what I mean. If you don't know what I mean, you will after I populate this blog with enough entries.
Singer would take twenty- or thirty-pound chunks of cast iron and precision-machine them into refined, powerful and versatile tools. They dominated the global sewing machine market from roughly the late 1800s to the 1950s. They made the best stuff, designed by the best engineers, manufactured using the best techniques with the best materials. That's why the machines are still around. I have an expensive fancy-schmancy cell phone that is state-of-the-art, and chances are I won't have it in two years; it will break or become obsolete. Similarly, the computer you're reading this on is not something you'll give to your grandchildren. But I've fixed up thrift-store Singers that I know will still be sewing after I'm dead.
The machines I've fixed will last not because I'm some kinda super-mechanic, but because they are designed incredibly intelligently and built with durable materials. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to perform the basic operations necessary to get them running, so I hope you will not be too intimidated to try them. The basic mechanical principles they operate on were worked out in the 1800s. With just a little effort you can turn a frozen-up boat-anchor Singer into a lifelong machine, and I want to help you do that by sharing what I learn as I go along.
I could not have learned to use and fix these machines without the generosity of many individuals on the Vintage Singer Yahoo Group, the Featherweight Group, the WeFixIt Group, the sewing machine repair teacher Ray White, and a number of very patient individuals. Sadly I've never even corresponded with some of these people directly and at least two of them passed away before I ever had a chance to thank them for their generosity.
So here I would like to thank some people. I do not mean to claim these people endorse me, and if I accidentally give out incorrect information I want it to be clear the fault lies with me. I want to thank (in alphabetical order) Barbara L.G., Bill E., Bill H., Bill R., Chuck G., Dave M., Ed L., Graham F., Graham F.'s "Singer motor guy" indirectly, Jenny G., Leo K., McKenna L., both Ray. W's, everyone from Ray White's NC 2011 class, and many others whom I'm sure I have forgotten to list, for their time and knowledge. I will pay the favor forward and pass your generosity on to as many people as I can.