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RopeaDope

First sewing machine recommendations

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Right now I'm in Syracuse, NY. I found a nice looking Singer 201 in a mahogany table for $100. It isn't local, but I'll be passing through their area in two weeks and they are going to hold it for me.

There is a Singer 20u73 listed for $500 but I can't get the person to respond. A Singer 301a for $175 and a Pfaff 260 for $260.

I'm looking for something that I can do great patches with at my intermediate skill level.

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So when I first asked this question, I got some good info and ended up with a 401A. I had to clean old hardened up oil and break loose a few parts. By the time I get it put back together, my wife's aunt had been going on and on about how much she loved that machine, she remembers the day they got it, she learned to sew on it, blah blah blah. I gave it to her because I'm a softie.

So then I was trying to figure out where to get a machine, how much I should pay for it and which ones people were liking. I ended up going with a Pfaff 230 that I found for $50, but it was seized up and pretty nasty. I ripped it apart all the way down to the last screw and scrubbed the hell out of it with WD-40. I put it back together with grease on every screw and around all the parts that were connected in a way that they aren't moving, then I oiled all he moving metal parts and it just purrs. I was so fascinated with the mechanical engineering, and enjoyed working on the machine so much, I started doing some research.

Now, the beast is out of the cage. I spent 2 weeks hitting thrift stores, flea markets, and pawn shops across 3 states and snagged every metal sewing machine I could find for under $50. I think I may have a problem. I'm going through them one by one because I don't want to get parts mixed up or lose track of what I'm working on, so as I do some test patched with each one I can update if anyone is interested.

So now I currently have a Singer 201-2, 301A, 401A, 403A, 503J. (Now looking for a featherweight to complement the 301A) I have the Pfaff 230, and a 332 junker for parts. I have a Bradford (jap clone looks very much like a Necchi Supernova), a Kenmore, and two Whites.

The 403A I paid $150 for. It was going to be my main machine. It has a complete set of all cams, feet, and attachments available to a 403 and was restored by a pro and it looks awesome. But now I seem to have this bug, where I have to find these old beauties and restore them. I need to get to the DZ before I go crazy :S

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RopeaDope



I'm looking for something that I can do great patches with at my intermediate skill level.




good patches take skill no matter what machine. its the operator, not the equipment. a nice machine just makes the process smoother....
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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Alexg3265

***

I'm looking for something that I can do great patches with at my intermediate skill level.




good patches take skill no matter what machine. its the operator, not the equipment. a nice machine just makes the process smoother....

Yeah, I get that. I do a perfectly acceptable patch with my wife's old plastic Singer, but it's like that saying, "dress for the job you want to have"

I got a few yards of ZP and a few yards of LoPo just for practicing with, but I'm a perfectionist and want to bust out patches that Raggs Ragahanti would try to steal credit for. (Raggs taught me how to patch actually)

I thought if I got a "pro" machine, like a 20U with a servo motor, I would have an easier learning curve to sew like a pro. Now I'm just experimenting with different machines/different styles, and seeing what I like (or what likes me)

I'm a new kid on the block so I have to establish my reputation, and anything less Gan perfection is not acceptable for me, ya know?

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My first machine was a Juki 5550 which is a nice little single stitch and a really nice simple machine to learn on. Managed to pick up an old forgotten Singer 20u for $200 off craigslist a few years later. Cleaned it and oiled it, and now its my go-to machine for most projects. Highly recommend either machine depending on your goals.

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I should be able to flip the ones I got for enough profit to make it worth my time as well as paying for what I keep. I have someone talked down to $375 on a pretty new looking Singer 20u73 with a table and clutch motor, but I'm not sure I want to sacrifice that much space. I'm also bouncing around the country quite a bit, so it is nice to limit large heavy pieces of furniture.

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RopeaDope

******

I'm looking for something that I can do great patches with at my intermediate skill level.




good patches take skill no matter what machine. its the operator, not the equipment. a nice machine just makes the process smoother....

Yeah, I get that. I do a perfectly acceptable patch with my wife's old plastic Singer, but it's like that saying, "dress for the job you want to have"

I got a few yards of ZP and a few yards of LoPo just for practicing with, but I'm a perfectionist and want to bust out patches that Raggs Ragahanti would try to steal credit for. (Raggs taught me how to patch actually)

I thought if I got a "pro" machine, like a 20U with a servo motor, I would have an easier learning curve to sew like a pro. Now I'm just experimenting with different machines/different styles, and seeing what I like (or what likes me)

I'm a new kid on the block so I have to establish my reputation, and anything less Gan perfection is not acceptable for me, ya know?

Yep, i definitely hear you... A proper machine makes it more efficient for sure... once you get really good at working with the home one, itll be a walk in the park on an industrial machine that actually feeds that slick shit properly... haha
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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1. Consider the Singer 188K. The same machine Rags Raganti uses when h demos for PIA Seminars. Smoothest machine for light to medium work I have ever used.

2. Highly consider scrapping the clutch motor and replacing it with an electronic one.

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