I burned up almost the last of the shop fire wood today. Betsy came over and we each worked on a machine. She had a Kenmore (darn, she always gets the Kenmores!) and I pulled out a Montgomery Ward Free arm I have been itching to service for years. Yes, years. I bought this machine in 2012 at the same time that I bought a Singer 301 Long bed. I remember the day. Steven and I drove to Albany to fetch the 301. The seller brought out the Montgomery Ward too. I looked at it, saw that it was a free arm and brought it home.
Since then I have been wanting to get it on the bench. Instead I kept moving it around the shop. Someone built a very nice, custom, plywood case for it. The case weighs almost as much as the machine.
The shuttle gears look miniature to me. At least compared to Kenmores
Betsy found this information on another blog. http://www.doubleveil.net/zssmp/wards.htm.
Yesterday I picked up the Kenmore to service for a customer. Actually I picked up two machines. The Kenmore and a Montgomery Ward Straight Stitch HA-1 Class 15. Unfortunately the wiring on the 15 is a MESS and I put it aside until we could talk to the owner. It is definitely worth fixing. It is a lovely machine.
The Kenmore is a 385. It isn't a clamshell but it isn't metal, either. It was pretty dirty, gummed up and reverse didn't work.
Just the same I would hate to have to take this mechanism apart. This is the base of the free arm.
I admit that it made a decent stitch. For people who want a lot of bells and whistles, it is likely an ok machine, for the time being. Not for the long haul. Even my latest love, Ward, likely won't still be stitching in 2084. I betcha the 1938 Singer 201 will be. If the motor lasts that long. I don't see why it wouldn't.