Friday, January 6, 2012
Hans and the Singer 206, Part 2
Here's Part 2 of Hans from Chicago's questions about his Singer 206.
Is there any type of regular maintenance a 206 requires (oiling?) to care for them?
Of course. Every vintage Singer requires regular oiling at a minimum (click here to learn how to oil your machine), and I always check the wiring and the motor for safety’s sake. You'll also want to check that the belt is properly adjusted.
This machine came with a needle, bobbin and bobbin case, so I believe it is operable. Are there other attachments that are needed/beneficial?
Needed or beneficial for what? Please understand it is impossible to answer vague questions like this.
I have read this machine uses an unusual needle (206x13) and using the wrong one will nick up the bobbin case.
That’s absolutely true, a 15x1 needle should not be used on this machine. The 206x13 needle is a bit more expensive than the more common 15x1 needles used by model 15s, 201s, 221s et cetera. For that reason, some people muck with the timing on the 206 (and related 306) to use the 15x1 needle, but based on what I’ve read from those more experienced than I, this is not a good idea and ought not be done.
For your edification on this topic, I recommend you join the Vintage Singers Yahoo Group and search through the archives to read up on it. I do not recommend you pose questions to the group on that topic until you have read through the archives, as it has already been discussed to death; many of the kind and knowledgeable folks on the forum have dedicated much of their time to explaining it, and I think it would be inconsiderate to ask them to repeat themselves.
Do you know of a good supplier for these needles?
There are tons of suppliers, but I haven’t ordered enough 206x13 needles to know which is better than another. I’m not the best person to answer this question, you’re better off poking around on forums that deal more heavily with actual sewing.
Is the 206 really "The Singer That Should Be Forgotten"?
Hans, like many people you're sending me a question seeking a factual answer to a matter that is rooted in opinion. You might as well ask me "Is France really a good place to live?"
The link you’ve provided is to the blog written by Ed L., a well-respected vintage sewing machine aficionado who founded the Vintage Singers group. I’ve never had the pleasure of corresponding with Ed, but I believe he would tell you the same thing I would: That a sewing machine becomes an intensely personal item to the user, and that there’s no accounting for taste. If you spend time around them you’ll find there’s a model you ought to hate that you simply love, and vice versa. Ed clearly states his reasons for why he dislikes the 206.
Another vintage sewing machine aficionado was the dearly departed Ray W., a longtime contributor to various sewing machine forums, and he has stated that the 206 was one of his favorite machines and his main machine for many years.
Whether or not the 206 should be forgotten by you is entirely up to you.