Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Can You Get For $20 Today?

Well, you can get a pair of cheap shoes at Target - barely.  Lunch for two at Jason's Deli.  Not quite two movie tickets.  A discounted bestseller.  What else?  Anybody?

How about THIS!

Yep, $20 for a 15-91 in perfect working order in a beautiful #40 Singer cabinet (no stool, though).  And what's even more amazing than the price is that this machine sat all weekend at an Estate Sale with a $20 sticker and was never sold.  I saw an ad on CL where they were selling off the remaining items, including this.  REALLY?  In fact when I called the seller and offered to buy it, he said in a doubtful voice, "Are you planning to try to use it, or do you just want it as an antique?"  Heck yeah, I (or whoever I sell it to) will use it!  This is a great machine.

(This had belonged to a family member, the seller had no clue.)

The thing is, this machine had been extremely well cared for and seemed to have been in use fairly recently - maybe within the last few years.  My forensics yielded the following clues:
New Red Spool Felts - already on it

Freshly wound bobbin with clean thread - not the rat's nest you usually find in an old machine.

New Bobbin Winder Tire already there

Hard to see, but nice clean lube cups with fresh lubricant inside

It was very dusty so it had been sitting a while.
But no lint, crud or corrosion
Doesn't it look like a well cared for machine?  The cabinet was also perfectly clean except for dust.
Lovely, yes?  The crud on the carpet is the dust I brushed out of  it.
Here is why I think it didn't sell.  It had no power cord or controller.  This is obviously a machine that has been in use until fairly recently, it hasn't been moldering away in a garage under a tarp for 40 years.  It is a clean, well maintained machine installed in a cabinet but with the power cord and controller removed and the pin block screwed back into place - so this wasn't haphazard (not like a portable machine where the power/controller lead is simply misplaced.)   It is a MYSTERY!!!  But mostly likely that it why no one else bought it - their loss.  I just happen to have a power cord for it, although I don't have a controller.  I can buy one for $15-$20.

I was *almost* disappointed how little attention this machine needed, but I still did my standard strip down/clean/oil/lube routine.  That is always fun for me.

Love this syringe for oiling!
Even the external wiring is in surprisingly good condition, the insulation is intact as far as the eye can see, and inside the pin block the connections look good - good contacts, nice and clean, with no deterioration.   Do I want to bust inside that motor and take a look?  NO.   Everything I can see looks sound, there was no visible crudded up old lubricant in the cups, the carbon brushes look fine.  Let's just assume that the wiring inside is acceptable based on the external clues and leave well enough alone for now.

Forgot to take pics in the thrill of the moment (LOL) but I did take apart and reassemble the tension.  The one and only part I had to replace was the tension take up spring and I just happened to have one on hand (Thank You, Jenny at Sew Classic for keeping me in parts!)

So how does she run ?  Perfectly, how else?   She is a beautiful, well cared for 1953 Singer 15-91 and is ready to make someone a very happy quilter/seamstress.  

UPDATE:  Put an ad on CL last night, sold it this morning for my asking price!

The buyer is a repeat customer, the same guy who bought the 201 with leprosy I fixed up this summer.  He said he LOVES that machine and here he is buying another one.  BIG SMILE for this  :) :) :)

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