Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Machine Madness

I am trying to get some photos of machines ready so that I can post them to the website

I got the new Black and Decker Work mate out,  put a piece of luan (sic) on it with a back drop and started shooting.

I had forgotten that this machine is a free arm.   It really is a good machine.  I am becoming more fond of free-arms and find myself drawn to them on the auction sites.  I think that they are more versatile, thus worth the effort at repairing and restoring and, yes, hoarding.  (Don't tell Ingrid)
Kenmore 158.1931 (I think)
Which might explain why I am determined to get this Taiwanese Kenmore fixed.  This is the one with the broken drive spring.  We are about to order one from a parts supplier.  We are NOT going to try to scam one off of another machine.  Too much work with those tiny little screws.  And awkward positioning.
Kenmore 158.1350

This machine is a nice looking, sleek machine.  But it has its chintzy side to it, I think.  Still its a "Made in Japan" Kenmore 158 so it probably is a good one.  I hate the way it threads.  If it were a free arm I would like it better.

Kenmore 158.1814
 (See the comments below for reference)
 Compare the 158.1813 (below) to the above machine.  I think this one is elegant.  I think the one above is chintzy.  Just sayin'....


Pfaff 230
I sewed on this Kenmore 158.1430 in our classes at Project Anthologies last month.  I really like it.  Nice and quiet and strong.

Kenmore 158.1430
We have two of these.  One I bought from a "local" (60 miles away) seller on Craigs List.  The other I bought from an online auction site.  Both machines are in fairly nice shape.  Again, not free arm but good machines.

This Singer Featherweight was the one that Betsy and I chased down last spring.  I paid well under 100 dollars for it.  The machine is in nice shape.  Better shape than the Centennial that I paid way too much for.  
Singer 221-1T
The seller had broken into the case.

 I bought replacement hasps and finally got around to putting one one and replacing the latches today.
Steven found some tiny bolts and nuts for me.  He claims that they were mine originally.  I rather vaguely remember having them, though I know not for what.  They are the perfect hardware for attaching the "new" hasps.  I just must put something over the nuts on the inside of the case so that taking the machine in and out doesn't damage the finish.  I think some leather glued over them should do the trick.

I found some slightly larger than the original screws for the latches.   The key works in the new hasp.  The old hasp is too damaged.  It latches but I would not want to depend on it.  I have another hasp.  One day I will gently pry the damaged hasp off and replace it.  I would have done it today but three dogs were pestering me for dinner.

Its getting cooler out so the critters are moving in.  Already, Steven has trapped two mice in the kitchen.  Right now Wilson and Wrigley are on alert, trying to find the critter rustling around in the walls or in the cellar.  How I wish they were cats...or Jack Russels.  Poodles are not vermin killers...too big...though Wilson has been known to nail a field mouse or two. 


  1. I bet that 1814 Kenmore has a 1.2 amp motor. I have the free arm version of it. I have read some positive things about it on the internet. Mine is at the shop, but when I was oiling it underneath it seemed to be all metal. Haven't had it long enough to form a good opinion about it yet. The cams weren't working properly so that's why it is in the shop. I think the lady I got it from hadn't used it in awhile and some of it is just really dry--no oil in a long time.

    1. Hi Ann. I have a question about your Kenmore with the 1.2 amp motor. Can you tell me if the Kenmores with the 1.2 amp motors are faster and have more needle piercing power than the ones with the 1 amp?

      Thank you,

    2. I was able to repair a horse blanket using a #18 needle with my 1757 flat bed Kenmore with the 1.2 amp motor. I do think it is a little stronger. I have a 1.0 amp too Kenmore which isn't bad. I looked on some older singers and a Viking and their motor was .80.
      The 1757 really sews nice and does seem to have good power. It is a keeper for me. I also have a 1946 free arm that is a 1.0 motor. I just like the 158 series Kenmores.

  2. The 1813 is not "chintzy" at all. It is a fabulous, really highly desired machine. I think if you look it up online, you'll find out what a treasure you have in that machine. It is set up much differently than other machines, but once you get used to the threading pattern, it is very, very easy to use!

  3. I agree, the 158.1813 is not a chintzy machine at all. I love the 1813. I do think, however, that the 1814 is a bit less elegant. OK maybe not chintzy, but certainly not an 1813.

  4. Yes your top pic is a Kenmore 158.1931 , I have the EXACT same one =). I found a manual for the similar USA model 158 series 1431. I had it in to sears and they did a full work up on it. I am just about to get it put to use and I am SOoooooooooooo excited. If you find any particular information on this model you think I may find useful PLEASE let me know .. Thanks!

  5. hi again elizabeth, the kenmore 158.1430 is my primary machine. it's the one i bought new. it's running a little wonkie and it's the one i can't find the guide book for. i hear that you can download them for a price. i know as soon as i do, i'll find mine (while looking for something else).

    1. Try Sears Parts Direct. I downloaded a manual for my refrigerator for free from that site