Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trip To Bothell For Free Sewing Machine

I am always looking for sewing machines to refurbish. It's almost comical how much I enjoy tinkering with them, especially since I would not describe myself as mechanically inclined. When the Army gave me the aptitude tests they did not place me around tools. But then I also suck at math and Uncle Sam thought it a good idea to place me in stock control & accounting. Go figure? Friday evening I happened upon a lady in Bothell who was offering up a vintage Kenmore, in a cabinet, with a stool...for FREE. She said the hand wheel was stuck. I took that to mean the hand wheel would not turn. That can be something easy (tangled bobbin) or something hard (cracked gear). Even if the machine was beyond hope, the cabinet looked nice and I could sure use the stool. Yesterday I informed the poor husbeast that he was taking me to Bothell on Sunday morning. And that's just where we headed bright and early today. The first thing I did when we arrived was give the hand wheel a turn. It moved easily. That ruled out a cracked gear which meant it was probably something easy to fix. I kept that knowledge to myself. We loaded up the Subaru and headed for home. Later this afternoon I got a chance to play with the machine a bit more. When I plugged it in the belt turned but the needle bar stayed still. Nothing was gummed up so it dawned on my that the clutch was not engaged. The clutch on this particular model is controlled by a button on top of the machine, not by loosening or tightening the hand wheel knob. It seems the levers, under that knob, were stuck. I applied a few drops of oil and we were in business. This is a Kenmore model 158.1603 and it is in mint condition.

See the button on the top front of the machine, just to the left of the bobbin winder. That was the culprit. It's working fine now. This is the beautiful, solid wood cabinet that came with the machine.

And here is the stool which has generous storage under the seat. I'm keeping the stool but will be selling the machine and cabinet.

I almost kept the cabinet but I really don't have enough room. It is lovely, though. Maybe I'll change my mind.


Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

You are a lot better with fixing sewing machine problems than me. I love your stool and the cabinet is beautiful!

crazihippichic said...

The cabinet has found a new home. It was an early Christmas gift for a local Kenmore sewing machine owner. Her hubby is surprising here. What a great guy.

Anonymous said...

Gee, my machine like this died in 2012. I felt like it was a close friend. I truly cried. I had spent so many hours with my foot on the pedal, why I could have earned a Ph.D I am sure... I finally replaced her with a Brother and now I am looking for one like you found.....Hazel

crazihippichic said...

Hazel, watch your local Craigslist. Nice Kenmore machines show up quite often.