After my crappy shifter handle I remembered I had a sewing machine for my late granny. The rest of the family wanted to toss it out. So I have a mechanicly perfect (sans a bad rubber belt) Ambassador Delux model 1952. The electric 1/15hp drive motor is not stock but still works. I could care less about that. I need to learn how the damn thing works! I have no idea how to thread the incredibly heavy thing. Its made of cast iron. Can any of you help me? Please.
Brian Lamberts Member
Posts: 2691 From: TUCSON AZ USA Registered: Feb 2003
Take it to a sewing machine repair shop. They can help you with routing the thread, filling and loading the bobbins, and adjusting the thread tension. They'll probably want to clean it, probably not too bad an idea and sell you needles, spare bobbins, and sewing machine oil.
Probably the think is built like a truck.
Posts: 12956 From: Russell, KS USA Registered: Apr 2002
What Brian said. The thing about these things is they're deviously ingenious in how they're made, especially the old ones. Once you figure them out it's usually a "DUH!!" moment, but they aren't normally very intuitive. I'd take it to a sewing machine repair place (preferably with an old guy or girl working there) and let them tune it up and show you how to thread the needle and bobbin.
BTW, if it's not an upholstery machine, it ain't gonna sew leather.
I looked in the "other book" for a phone # and address to the local sewing machine repair place and much to my suprice not only is there one its realy close, walking close if this damn thing wasn't 50 lbs. I tested if it would punch through doubled up leather and it does but the leather is thin and soft. It took a little effort to turn the wheel by hand and i doubt that the motor would be able to do it. I know it doesn't need cleaning my grand mother used it up untill a week before she died. I have extra needles and bobbin spolls. I even know how to sew. I will be getting some super strong thread and some other odds and ends maybe a belt to make it worth the time to show me what to do. Thanks guys for your help.
Before you screw with it... You may want to do some more research. Older sewing machines are often collectables even when not antique.
Even tho the motor isn't original, many of those were kits to convert Treddle machines to electric.
If you are going to use it... Do as noted above and take it to a shop for a checkup. Odds are it needs cleaning and adjustment to work safely. The motor and any controls need carefull inspection or you could set things on fire or electrocute yourself. Allot of those old motors weren't all that well wired.
------------------ Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. (Jurasic Park)
Back up the bus. Email the International Sewing Machine Collectors Society and have them give you a ballpark guess on the value of that machine. By looking at it, I know it's not made for heavy work and although I could be wrong, that's not a run of the mill machine. Don't be messing with that until you find out what it's worth.
Originally posted by Phranc:
I have no plans on useing the motor. its wires are sketchy as all hell. Heres a few pics. Quality sucks because I took them in pitch black. Didn't want to wake my girl with turning on lights.
[This message has been edited by jstricker (edited 07-10-2006).]
Posts: 3395 From: Newton Iowa, USA Registered: Sep 2005
One of the more important features is the speed controler, sometimes it's a foot switch, others a knee switch or one that can be used in either location. Wiring is not rocket science, the sewing shop can prolly do it, but you might save a few bucks if you can do the rewire yourself. It looks like you will need a belt too. Usualy on an old machine like this both wiring and belt needs replacement. I too inherited my grandma's old sewing machine about 20 years ago, diferent manufacturer same or earlier vintage. I partialy disasembled her's and was pleasently supprised. These things were built to last, and be quite serviceable. It looks like yours should work well for 'regular' sewing, it has forward/reverse and an adjustment for number of stitches per inch. On older machines, like this, there may or may not be an attachment somewhere, for doing button holes, usualy a mechanical doohicky that attaches somewhere around the pressor foot. A good sewing center should offer clases for beginers, and maybe a few instructors that would love to pop your cherry so to speak. A machine like this is much easier to learn on as it doesn't have as many bells and whistles. Imagine someone seating you in a 747 for your first flying leson? Good luck tell us how everything turns out. Dave
PS I wonder why none of the Ladies on this Forum have added their 2 cents?
[This message has been edited by DtheC (edited 07-10-2006).]
I actually ran a small factory that made Letter Jackets, windbreakers, and promotional items for about a year after my mom was in a car accident back in '89-'90. I did very minimal work on the machines, my dad was much better with them and had a knack for making them work. We had everything from heavy upholstery machines to sew the leather in the letterman's jackets sleeves to sergers that cut and sewed at the same time to manual parallelogram type embroidery machines to a computerized machine that used tiff images. We even did our own 4 color screen printing, which I liked to do. I hated the job because I knew so little about it but it forced me to learn more about production sewing than I ever wanted to know.
Originally posted by Phranc:
I figured the ladies would be the only replies. Who new that you manly men were so domesticated.
Thats cool I took home ec. in jr high where it was all cooking a sewing with no economics, go figure. My aunt showed me alot more but on a realy modern machine. That thing was all automated with multible threads and it can do embroddery. My girl has a bunch of stuff for me to fix now. But thats what i get saying I know how to use the thing. In an hour I find out how to thread the thing.
My mother and Grandmother had treddle machines. My grandmother taught me to use the treddle when I was like 5... She worked at a company in NJ called Air Cruisers. They make all that inflatable rescue gear you see on aircraft etc. She owned one of the few machines I've ever been truely afraid of. An industrial class sewing machine that sucked fabric like spagetty. This thing would sew just about anything you could put thru it. It took 2-3 minutes just to spool up the motor, which sounded like a small jet starting.
I have to agree... You really should get an idea what it's worth before messing with it. I've never seen one like that. If it's even a little rare it could be worth quite a bit, and that's as is. If you repair it with common modern materials you can actually degrade value.
Took it to the shop today and its in perfect working order. The guy looked it over and recomended some cleaning. I bought a new belt and some needles took it home and cleaned it up adjusted the electric motor armatures and bushings. That thing spins like crazy now. Spun some bobbins and threaded the new leather needles. Still alittle sketchy on the wires but if I replace 'em I'll put them in a box. Its not worth much about $200. Its the same "head" (the cast irobody )as a million other companies the paint is all thats diffrent. But dude said its built to do work, the workings like the gears and shafts and stuff are all heavy duty. Keep it lubed and it'll never break I may need one part that does the bobbin work as its the weak point but it should last alot longer. My grandmother took some real good care of it and only sat for 7 years. I'ma use the hell out of it and treat it good. And it will make short work of leather. I'll post my shift boot when its finished.