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seb58

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Hello everyone,

I've been AWOL for a bit lately... As some of you may know, I've recently moved houses so I've been busy settling in and doing the odd job that needs doing in the house.

In the house there was a sewing machine... Let me explain the whole story: I've bought the house from two ladies who were selling their parents' house now they have passed away. The house had been on the market for three years -not unusual in my area and not surprising for this house as it is a bit quirky lol. In the meantime it was used as a weekend home by one of the sisters so the house had been partially inhabited. 
After I signed the sales agreement, the sellers asked me if I wanted to come over and tell them if there was anything I would like them to leave in the house. I told them everything they did not want for themselves! So, I moved in a partially furnished house lol with bedroom suites and the sewing machine that was sitting in the hall.

Funny thing this sewing machine, an Excelsior "selling name" for Baer & Rempel Phoenix sewing machine

http://needlebar.org/main/makers/germany/b/baerrempel/phoenixff/index.html#cover

It is the 3/4 version of the very first sewing machine I bought and gave up! 

IMG_20200713_102303_resized_20200713_103112951.jpg 
It was in very good condition having always been kept inside. The woodwork was slightly whitish but nothing a dollop of wood renovator won't fix.

IMG_20200713_102228_resized_20200713_103112360.jpg  IMG_20200713_102338_resized_20200713_103117821.jpg  IMG_20200713_102420_resized_20200713_103116042.jpg  This machine has a rotary hook system which is pretty smooth to run but it runs the other way from most sewing machines; the balance wheel needs to go away from you instead of towards you, which makes treadling a bit tricky when you're used to Singers...
There is however an arrow on the stop mothing knob 

IMG_20200713_102358_resized_20200713_103115523.jpg 

There were many goodies: the original oil can, tin and brass, and in the drawer: presser feet, extra bobbins (that's fortunate since they are pretty unique!) a pillbox with buttons and pins, a tape measurer, a packet with 2 extra needles (round shank) and a wooden ruler with the name of the previous owner written on the back: one Jacqueline Paris. She used to live next door and since she was childless, she used to come for dinner on Sundays and at Christmas: the ladies who sold me the house nickamed her "la patronne" (the boss) because she was a formidable lady who took over her husband's smithy and turned it into a bicycle repair shop all around World War II.

IMG_20200713_102441_resized_20200713_103113641.jpg  IMG_20200713_102631_resized_20200713_103111674.jpg  IMG_20200713_102641_resized_20200713_103116683.jpg  IMG_20200713_102755_resized_20200713_103117323.jpg  IMG_20200713_102810_resized_20200713_103114198.jpg 
The metal box was not orignally in the drawer but was given to me at the charity shop I go to before they were going to throw it out.


Of course I cleaned and oiled the machine and tried it... It works nicely but the threading, the tension adjustement and the bobbin placement are overly complicated to my mind. I managed to source a user manual so it helps but I don't think it will be my go to machine eventhough I bought new needles and have it ready to go.
I will be keeping it of course because it is pretty lol and because it is part of the history of the house but I think I'll remain faithful to my Singers and especially the 201K [wink]

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stitchntime

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Beautiful machine but the cabinet is amazing!  Thanks for sharing.

Greg
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #3 
Gorgeous!  Too bad it doesn't work.  ;-) :-)
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OurWorkbench

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WOW!!!!  [thumb]  That is beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, etc. etc.

I just kept scrolling through the pictures, saying, "wow."  

Of course, I like the oil can, but that attachment box is fantastic and how fortuitous.  The decals on the bonnet are great.  The inlays really "pop."

I'm glad you got some attachments with it [wink].  I'm curious about one foot in particular.  It is the foot to the right of the other feet.  Initially, I thought it was a broken quilting bar, but probably not.  Maybe it is a zipper/piping foot?  I looked through the Wheeler & Wilson manuals to see if there was one like it, but without success. 

Janey


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Cecilia

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Reply with quote  #5 
What an amazing story, and the machine and wood are just phenomenal! Congratulations on the new house.
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ttatummm

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Reply with quote  #6 
Beautiful machine and drop dead gorgeous inlays on the cabinet made all the better by its back story.  Congratulation on such a nice machine.
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you for your comments! The cabinet is indeed gorgeous! It needs a bit of wax polishing to add a bit of sheen 😉

Greg it works but not really great... I guess I should unwind the bobbins and make a fresh one with a new needle, it should be better lol

Janey I also think it is a zipper / piping foot but without any certainty... The fixed part looks like it but I don't understand the use of the adjustable bar...
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #8 
It's all gorgeous, Seb, including the signature on the ruler. Mrs. Paris would cringe at my handwriting!
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Ana's Dad

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Reply with quote  #9 
Seb

What a lovely machine and a great story! It's wonderful that it is going to stay with the house and all its history.

As a Singer fan, too, I have the same issue with my beautiful White family rotary where everything including the balance wheel seems to work in the opposite direction 😊 It's a very welcome member of the herd but when I sew, it is on a Singer -- yup, most often on the 201-3. I also finally got around to working on my $20 rescue 201K-3 centennial putting it in a 1940s treadle stand. Wow, does it run smoothly and I love the reverse!

Enjoy your new home!

Cheers

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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #10 
Beautiful story, beautiful machine, and beautiful cabinet.  Thank you for sharing that with all of us!
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thank you for your kind comments! I'm really glad I got this machine even if I may not use it much.

An addendum: I forgot to mention that the Excelsior DD (the first ever sewing machine I bought) which I gave to a friend to try and make it work and eventually to give away to charity managed to find its way back home! The friend in question never found the time to take it to a charity shop so it was tucked away in her attic and she kindly brought it back to me... However since it is the full size version of the FF it wears a ton and it has been electrified and put in a "portable" case so I won't use it much if ever lol
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kndpakes

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Wow, what a fabulous machine! It is mind boggling to me that anyone would just leave that behind. I just love that cabinet! 

Kelly in PA
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks Kelly!

It is actually mind boggling how many things the previous owners left: three bedroom suites complete with pristine mattresses and brand new old-style blankets (one antique 1910s, one vintage 1940s and one ugly 1990s in black and gold chipboard wood which I got rid of), a vintage chiming clock, a pretty 1930s table lamp, about 2000 (no kidding) empty and usable preserves glass jars, eons of tools and gardening tools mostly vintage in sturdy iron etc etc... The two sellers are in their late 40s and early 60s repectively and they told me their houses were already full and it was either they left all of this behind or they dumped it. I'd rather they left it all especially the sewing machine [wink]
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kndpakes

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Quote:
It is actually mind boggling how many things the previous owners left


Wow, what a treasure trove!
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hilltophomesteader

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Reply with quote  #15 
Seb, it sounds like your move was a wonderful adventure, with treasures to be found everywhere!  That lovely German sewing machine being the most exciting, of course.  Our move was to a little old 1950's tear-down cabin with mostly junk everywhere (actual junk...).  There are a very few treasures here and there, but mostly a whole lotta work ahead, lol.  I  make up for it by buying an occasional sewing machine to keep me inspired, lol!  Thank you for sharing pics, I have a definite fondness for the German machines.
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #16 
I'm starting to wonder if the needles I bought are the right ones: in the Excelsior DD accessories compartment there was a paper neddle packet (Schmetz) with "system 16x87" written on it... The needles I bought are Bohin  287 / 1738. Are they the compatible?
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seb58
I'm starting to wonder if the needles I bought are the right ones: in the Excelsior DD accessories compartment there was a paper neddle packet (Schmetz) with "system 16x87" written on it... The needles I bought are Bohin  287 / 1738. Are they the compatible?


Yes, according to http://ismacs.net/needle_and_shank/needle-cross-reference-chart-round-shank.html
that is compatible.  It says that the different brands have different shank diameter, but doesn't give the dimensions of the shank for Bohin.

Janey

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seb58

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks Janey! As long as the needle is not too long and risks damaging the shuttle, I can try and see... 😉
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VintageGalKim

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Reply with quote  #19 
What a great story, Seb, and a stunning bonus vsm find! Sounds like they left you a lot of wonderful and useful items and you saved them the hassle of trying to deal with it all. Win-win! 
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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #20 
Excelsior! They say she has TransWarp drive!  [wink]

What a beauty!

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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba
Excelsior! They say she has TransWarp drive!  [wink]

What a beauty!


Hehe, I wonder if anyone else knows what you're talking about.

Cari

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Zorba

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly


Hehe, I wonder if anyone else knows what you're talking about.

Cari

Yea, if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon!

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ttatummm

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly


Hehe, I wonder if anyone else knows what you're talking about.

Cari


Oh, I'm sure many folks do.  I do, check my sig.

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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttatummm


Oh, I'm sure many folks do.  I do, check my sig.


I've seen your sig, I guess I should have excluded you from the question lol. I love all of the series but one. Not a big fan of Discovery.

Cari

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seb58

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Reply with quote  #25 
I'm definitely not a fan of the Baer & Rempel machines... 

After countless tries and fiddlings, I couldn't get the machine to stop making nests underneath. So I decided to look into the unit with the take up spring... Woe betide! Long story short, the spring broke when I released the screws, I sliced my hand open and the electrically converted Excelsior DD ended up donating her take up spring unit... I've not had the nerve to try sewing yet... Hopefully I would be able to get a decent stitch... I'm already regretting having spent 7€ on round shank needles lol
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #26 
My goodness what an ordeal. I hope your wound wasn't too bad and heals quickly. And fingers crossed hoping your machine now stitches properly!

Cari

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seb58

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Reply with quote  #27 
Thanks Cari, the wound is alright it's more annoying than anything.

I've taken the bull by the horns and tried it again last night and it stitches nicely with a slight awkwardness when going reverse but other than that it's just fine! I've even wound a bobbin successfully. 
I can understand the appeal these machines can have; they are fast, smooth... But they are not for the faint-hearted! 

I've seen ads for other Excelsior models (VS and CB) and I wonder if they are simpler to use lol 
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #28 
Good for you, way to go [thumb]  I'm glad you got it stitching.

My concern was the round shank needle.  I think I used a Kenmore needle threader to hold it in position to insert it the way it was supposed to go.   I do not have a bobbin winder for my Junker & Ruh, so I used a SideWinder, which worked for the odd bobbin.

Janey

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