I have 3 old hand operated Singer sewing machines but I am having a good
clean out and want to keep just one - the question is which?
- a model 15K from 1914, recently serviced but not original (repainted
in a horrible hammerite type finish, with a plywood case)
- a pretty model 99k from 1923
- a very pretty model 28K from 1937 (with a boat type shuttle).
I don't know whether the last two work - they definitely need a good
service - but am tempted to keep one on the grounds of looks.
How do the 15K, 28K and 99K compare in terms of ease of use, reliability
and results? Is it simply the case that the later machines are better?
The 15 and 99 use round bobbins, which I would have thought was
more modern - but actually predate the 28K, which is a bit confusing.
I agree, but should admit that I have *cough* quite a few machines
around here, including a few 99s, a 128, a 129, and a 115. I gave my 15
to my son. It is in a rather nice treadle cabinet and goes well in his
On Dec 2, 11:06 am, Roger Moss
Sally, the hammerite finish is a souvenir of the IIWW I believe, and
was applied around that time to "freshen" used machines to make them
more saleable when the factory wasn't putting out new machines. it is
often called a godzilla finish.
BUT, the the 15 K is a modern mechanism and easy to use, easy to
find bobbins for and easy to service yourself most of the time.
The model 99 is a smaller version of the model 66 which is also a
modern mechanism, easy to find bobbins for if you look for model 66
The model 28 is a smaller version of the 27 and is not so easy to find
bobbins for, and when the bobbin case starts to wear out your sunk
unless you can find a donor machine which is a boat anchor, but this
model does have the historic factor. If you decide to get rid of
this one, send it to me. I've loved them for years since My grandma
had one and had me doing all her mending on it since I was around
15. She didn't like to sew, I think. I'll pay shipping.
Now why they overlapped was probably a financial reason. the Model
28/128 was produced as the Low end model, the Model 66 and 15 were
both higher end models but depended on what features you wanted which
you would choose. The model 15 had a zigzag attachment you could buy,
not to sure about the model 66/99 sure wish they had a smaller
version of the model 15. I'd enjoy having one of those.
I've always found the model 15 to be easier to use, but some people
swear by the model 66/99. oil that baby up and try it. see which YOU
prefer. No one else can tell you which you will like better, it
takes sewing on it to know.
The bobbin sits vertically, that is, on its side. In the 66/99
machines, it's horizontal, like you would put down a plate. Oscillating
means that the bobbin does not spin in a circle, like in a rotary
machine, but spins one way, then the other, then back again, without
ever making a complete circle.
"Pogonip" wrote in message
Thanks for the explanation. I have a Featherweight freearm but have never
really bothered to find out how the bobbins on it or my other old machines
work - so long as they work. Is it something that I should be trying to
learn more about for the health of my old girls or is it just something that
enthusiasts get interested in?
It's not necessary to know, but it helps to differentiate between the
various models. All sewing machines today are either rotary or
oscillating. There are some vibrating shuttle machines and transverse
shuttle machines, but they are antiques now. It becomes more important
when cleaning and adjusting and repairing, especially when looking for
parts, but if the machine sews for you and you are happy with it, that's
sufficient. After all, you probably drive a car, but don't know too
much about what makes it go, other than a king's fortune in gasoline,
right? Some people are interested in the details of the internal
combustion engine and drive-train, others use them and enjoy them and
don't care to know more.
You have a 222? That is a prized machine, far beyond just a FW.
Thanks. But it's still true that the oscillating motion has a bobbin
that doesn't make a full rotary turn, isn't it? My 15 goes back and
forth, but my 115 (which I originally thought was a 15) goes round and
"Ron Anderson" wrote in message
This is getting complicated for this bear of small brain. What does a
"horizontal axis rotary hook" mean and how do I recognise one of these as
opposed to a "vertical oscillating bobbin"?
"Pogonip" wrote in message
That's a bit of a relief :-)) I'm not good with remembering technical words
and descriptions but have no problems with figuring out the mechanics of how
things work or go back together. I'm good at regular cleaning and oiling
and keeping bobbins for different machines in the right place, but beyond
After all, you probably drive a car, but don't know too
Yeah - I have one of those in the house already and can't for the life of me
understand why my mildly expressed interest in what he's being doing in his
garage results in detailed descriptions of the workings of the internal
combustion engine or other old car crud :-))
Yes I have a 222. At the time when I got it, I didn't even know what I was
buying as I was really buying another old machine, sight unseen, and it was
thrown in with the description of "a little black Singer" and we didn't talk
about it at all, only the other machine. I think I paid either $A100 or
$A150 for the two of them.
I bought them off a male work colleague who was getting rid of his aged
mother's "stuff" and he knew that the other machine had had very little use
and was in pristine condition. He didn't mention that the Featherweight
(which I think he didn't rate because it was little and didn't have many
knobs or levers) was also in pristine condition. He loaded them into my car
when he brought them in so I didn't even see them till I got them home.
I never have told him just what a gem he sold me or what it's resale value
is as it was only when I got home that I recognised the black box the
Featherweight came in (the box is also in pristine condition). I also don't
feel guilty as he was delighted with the amount of money he got (and some
time later even told co-workers how he'd done a good deal with me [meaning
he thought he'd got eh better part of the deal]).
I know they are worth a lot of money in the US but I have seen them going
for quite reasonable sums here in Australia so I suspect it's prized status
may have more to do with its rarity within the US than it is here.
That is the best kind of deal that there is -- when both the seller and
the buyer think they got the better half of the bargain. ;-)
Apparently the 222 was sold more widely in Oz and the UK than in the US.
Graham Forsdyke of ISMACS has a nice little business buying 221s and
222s in the UK and selling them in the US. He's developed a packing
protocol that will survive a 6' drop to concrete without damage to the
But the reason the 222 is so prized is not just because it's rare, but
because it is an outstanding little machine. I don't have one, but
wouldn't pass one up if I found one I could afford.
Well shoot. That's what I get for putting my oar in. Now I'm an
ignoramous. Maybe if I used my FW once in a while..... but wait. That
would mean I'd actually get something done other than on this computer!