Apples and Oranges

If you wanted an entry level machine back in the early 60’s and went to your local Singer dealer, they might have sold you a 328 for around $150.00 which was still a pretty good chunk of change back then.

These were an all metal workhorse that used cams to expand the stitch selection and 60 years later these machines are still working reliably and in our experience, rarely fail despite being abused and neglected. They will sew pretty much anything you can get under the foot.

Singer 328

Fast forward to 2022 and take a walk down to your local sewing shop and they will might sell you a decent quality, entry level machine like a Janome HD series for around $400.00, and while these new machines are a clamshell design they do have an internal metal frame to which everything else is attached. There will be a bunch of internal plastic parts but modern plastics tend to be very good and you should be able to use one of these machines for decades.

A vintage Kenmore from the 1970’s will still be a much better machine at a fraction of the cost… but anyways.

It is when you start looking at some of the economy models that you should really consider if you want to save a few hundred dollars, especially if you knew what was under that plastic clamshell.

This is a Brother CS4000, a computerized model which is very alike to the Brother CS6000i which sells for just under $400.00 in Canada. It came in for a new bobbin winder tyre as the one it had turned to goo.

Note the absence of any metal sub frame and how everything is attached to the external plastic shell… and don’t get me started on how much I hate plastic take up assemblies as these are a stressed part that cycle tens of thousands of times and will often fail.

It sews well but it’s 11 year old owner says it is possessed… I am sure that one day she will be coming to upgrade her machine and maybe we can hook her up with a nice vintage machine for much less that will last a lifetime, or three.

We sold a beautiful Singer 411G yesterday, in a beautiful cabinet for less than one would pay for a better quality entry level machine like the aforementioned Janome 3000 HD… the Singer 411G falls into the category of one of the best machines ever made.

I doubt that this machine will ever require anything beyond regular oiling / lubrication, and might need a new bobbin winder tyre in a few decades, and if you sew enough the brushes in the motor may need to be replaced after 40,000 – 50,000 hours of work. Singer built these with the expectation this machine would last a lifetime, or three.

The Singer 222K

There is often much confusion when people see a 221 “Featherweight” selling for $1200 plus dollars because, at a a glance the Singer 222K looks very similar.

That is until you notice the oval needle plate, and maybe the set screw on the bed that releases the extension to turn this wee machine into a free arm.

The Singer 222K was only made in Scotland and distributed through the Commonwealth and Europe with a total production of just under 109,000 units which is a fraction of a 2.5 million Featherweights that were produced.

As it was never sold in the United States, it tends to be very rare there and command some very high prices, and even here in Canada we may only see one or two a year compared to dozens of the 221 Featherweight.

The case is also a little different but that requires a trained eye to discern the small dimensional differences.

Yet Another Hand Crank

Dazey Butter Churn – 1940’s

And now for something completely different…

The Dazey company made these hand cranked butter churns up to 1945, earlier models had an open gear drive while the later models seem to have copied the Blow butter churn that was made in England.

The covers were in poor shape and the inside of the gearbox looks like spiders had taken up residence at some point. The wooden impellers and handle were in very nice condition and since I plan to make butter with this, that is important.

I touched up the covers and think I will give them another fine sanding and a few more coats of enamel before I put on a final clear coat.