Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The good and the bad. The ugly and the beautiful.

very sad Singer 99
very sad photo of a very sad singer 99. Photo from the original eBay listing
I bought this machine for parts over the weekend. I needed a ¾ sized base and cover. I am in the middle of a mass maintenance of a bunch of my machines. One of them is a little ¾ sized Japanese 15 clone.

They were made in hundreds of factories in Japan after the war in any colour you wanted. These were sent all over the world to have a locally made motor bolted on and badges added.
a singer 15 with RAF decals.  I really want one of these one day.
Some people call them 15 clones because they use almost the same mechanisms and are roughly the same shape as a Singer 15. But don't be surprised if you get an ear bashing if you say "15 clone" to the wrong person. A lot of sewing machine people take offence. They are not exact copies. The Japanese made a few improvements. The bobbin case's are not always the same. Some of them have a feed dog drop switch on the bed of the machine. But as a general term I think it's a good one and I use it.

machines made in Japan usually have JA punched with the serial number
My little 15 clone is smaller then most. In fact it is a bit rare. I wouldn't want to declare that it is worth lots and lots of money, I bought it from a very nice man for $16, but you don't see them as often as the full size. It didn't come with a base or box so I bought this very sad looking 99 for the box. Now even though my little Chevret is not a clone of the 99 it did fit.  I am very thankful that those Japanese factory workers 50 years ago copied singer with so much dedication and detail.  Unfortunately the base and box is very sad as well. It's coming apart and the veneer is coming off in parts. Some bright spark painted the lid with some watered down brown purple paint which has been coming off on my hands and all over my sewing room. I don't think I will be able to save it.

The listing and the pick up was very typical for an eBay purchase. The sellers had no idea what it was. The 99 in bentwood box was designed with a knee lever mechanism. There wasn't a knee lever in the box which happens a lot. They go missing. People think it is just a random piece of metal and throw it away. But the seller had packed an extra foot peddle and cable. No matter that this plug wouldn't fit. When I got there the machine was set on top of a magnificent industrial treadle machine with gold decals. I do not know much about industrials so could not tell them much about it other then it was industrial. The sellers then told me it was a family heirloom and they bought the 99 to replace the huge machine sitting in the industrial table. That would be like putting a very small peg in a very large hole. Or driving a Cadillac and replacing it with a smart car. I told them if they sew they should use it. Maybe they will maybe they won't.

And then they mistook my brother for my boyfriend so I said good day.  

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