“Yesterday my wife and I were at a thrift store, looking for something else entirely, when we came across an old sewing machine in a blond wood cabinet marked $30. The owner said, “Furniture’s 25% off today, and I guess that’s furniture, if you’re interested.” So I forked over $22.50 and into the car it went.
It was covered with dirt and crud, with surface rust on the foot and needle shafts, but I figured what the hell, I can see what it’ll do. She already has a near-mint 1968 Touch & Sew that we got the same way, so I figured it was worth the gamble.
Once we got it home I looked closely at it. Model 201, with a serial number that worked out to 1957 manufacture. It would barely run at first, but it was trying hard. So I cleaned up the outside, read the manual, opened it up, and did a lot of careful cleaning and oiling. The surface rust came off the metal parts with a little 00 steel wool and some polishing with a piece of jute twine. The internal mechanicals looked clean, some of them almost new. The motor brushes looked good (although I did crack one of the plastic brush caps and had to epoxy it back together). Even the light worked.
After about 90 minutes of cleaning, oiling, and reassembly, I plugged it in, pressed the pedal, and WHIRRRRRRRR away it went, as if 57 years had not actually elapsed since it rolled off the Singer line.
I put a new needle on it and turned it over to my wife; she threaded it up (after a couple of false starts) and after a little bit of tension adjustment it was sewing perfectly, quietly, and FAST.
Now I have to clean up the cabinet. That’ll take longer. But apparently this is quite the find. She’s really happy and excited about her “new” old Singer. I’m happy I brought it back to life, but from what I’m reading here, that has a lot more to do with Singer’s engineering than anything I did.”