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Sewnoma

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Reply with quote  #1 
This is my grandmother's machine (same grandmother that I'm working on a quilt made from her dresses).  

These are kind of awful photos, I snapped them in a hurry while leaning over a bunch of stuff, but here it is, just as gran left it when she stopped sewing.  It's a Singer 96-21 from 1929.

Grans_96-21_01.JPG 

Grans_96-21_03.JPG 

Grans_96-21_04.JPG 

Grans_96-21_05.JPG

I don't know much about industrial machines at ALL and I'm having trouble finding info about this one.  What can you knowledgeable people tell me about this breed of Singer? What is that extra arm in the back all about? Does this take class 15 bobbins, or something else?

I've read that this model (96) is not really suitable for leatherwork and is more of a "tailor's machine" and is meant to run fast on light to medium weight fabrics. My gran used it to make quilts, clothes, dolls, curtains...you name it.  That long throat sure looks good for quilting. ISMACS says 10-1/4" - not bad.

I can't find anything about what the -21 means. ISMACS just says "Industrial", lol.  For the overall class it lists some details and then says "Link take-up" - what does that mean? And, "Pressure grease lubrication for gears"? 

I did find a manual for a 96-10/12/16 online.  Unfortunately it lists 3 different needle sizes for the different machines so I have no idea what needles this one takes. (sizes 16x231, 16x233, 16x238...are they really that different??)


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DKuehn

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Reply with quote  #2 
Can't help much, but I'd say the extra arm in the back is related to the presser foot knee lift. 
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #3 
Can you shoot a pic of the bobbins. I have seen class 15 bobbins on industrial but the machine I currently have is type L which you can get from sew-classic. They are similar but not quite the same. The old class 15 bobbins can look like Ls since some times the old ones don't have holes. It would be a matter of standing one of your bobbins up next to a bobbin that you know what size and compare depth and circumference.

Usually an industrial will have an arm that will raise the pressure foot. Nice for keeping your hands free. That would also be link take up. There should be a knee control under the table. I disconnected mine because it was anoying... But if I were going to do production on it I would hook it back up.

You'll have to ask Jon about needles. As far as I know, the 16 is your needle size. The other numbers are how big around the needle shaft Your every day sewing machine is going to take needles of different sizes for sewing on heavy or light weight fabric. Some will range from 9s to 18s and be happy.

An industrial machine is just like a household machine but faster and some times bigger. In a factory it would have been set up to do one task. . Keep it cleaned and oiled and respect the limits and you should have a wonderful machine that will out live you. The 21 may have something to do with a task set up. I honestly don't know what the 21 was. There maybe be another model of 96 but it may have a different number after the dash. On my machine the number after the dash has to do with stitch length setting as far as I can tell. Mine is limited to rather small anoying stitches. Other models with different numbers after the dash can make larger stitches. In a factory that was good for quality control - it meant all the stitches in X garment would be about the same size.

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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #4 
In what way are you restricted from opening a new thread?
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sewbeadit

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Reply with quote  #5 
I sew lighter leather on my 31-20 which is newer than your machine.  I would imagine you can too.  Your machine can do a lot for you, just sit down and get to sewing.  Mine has a regular industrial  motor with a clutch on it but goes slow or fast.  They are fun to use, I haven't tried free form on it yet but I can't see why that wouldn't work.  On mine you can use up to a 23 needle and 138 tex thread.  I use normal thread or up to 70, that is all I need.  It would be great if you could find a manual.  The manual you found doesn't explain anything to you?  I do believe the arm on the back is for the knee bar to lift the foot, I don't use mine either.  They are pretty straight up machines, for oiling and cleaning and sometimes just the smallest change in them makes it a different number.  Don't know if that is helpful or not.[smile]  I know the 31-20 and the 31-15 have different bobbins. Just to give an idea of changes and numbers.
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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #6 
A 31-15 FMQs just fine - I don't see why most of the "tailor" class industrial machines wouldn't.  I can get the number of the darning foot I used if anyone wants.  I sold the machine to my neighbor but I can wander over at will.
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Sewnoma

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for all the input!

I think it does have a knee lift - my aunt was talking about that.  So that explains that extra arm!  I wasn't sure if it was something for extra leverage on the needle bar or what.

I don't have ready access to this machine - it's at my aunt's house ("other" aunt) and she doesn't live near me.  I don't own this machine, not yet anyway.  [wink]  I'd actually prefer my aunt to keep it and use it herself but she's intimidated by sewing machines in general so this is probably not a good "starter" machine for her.  She's afraid to even turn it on but it was working perfectly when Gran stopped sewing in the early 90's.  I'm trying to learn about it partially just so I can tell HER about it, but I'm curious as well and realized someone here would know some stuff!  I took these pictures probably about a year ago now, it's been a long slow search for info.

My aunt has no idea where any accessories for this machine are - I couldn't really get to the machine to fiddle with it or get to the bobbin area.  That bobbin on the winder is the only one I could see, wish I'd thought to try to pluck it off of there or had gotten a better shot of it.  The machine is tucked into the back corner of my aunt's art studio (which has become more of a storage room) - quite safe from the elements, but not easy to get to.  No manual, no feet, no extra bobbins...however much of that existed in the first place, it's apparently been lost now.

This is the machine my gran used as a professional seamstress, making slipcovers and draperies all through the 70's and early 80's.  When she retired, she was able to take her machine home with her. I hope with permission, but my gran...you never know.  LOL  So I wouldn't be surprised to find out we'd never had a manual or extra accessories for it.

If the stitches are a fixed length, and the -21 refers to that, it's a good useful stitch length for quilting and general purpose sewing, at least!  It's kind of funny...she used this machine for everything, including all the dresses I chopped up for quilts.  During my deconstruction, I noticed her zigzag stitches were manual zig-zags...I guess she didn't have a zig-zagger attachment so she just zigged and zagged the fabric herself!  That's one way to do it!  I saved some of those seams to show my aunts.  I love the practicality of just wrangling the fabric to get the stitches she wanted.  It is a perfect demonstration of my grandmother's personality! 

I like the no-nonsense, brutally industrial look of the machine, and I even like the very dated table (I'm guessing 60's due to the color..?) but I'm not sure I'm up to taking this machine on myself.  I don't know that I'd use it enough to justify the space it would take up and the work it'd take to get it here.  My aunt has a lot more square footage than I do - the machine is safe in her keeping so I'm inclined to leave it there, but I do wish we could get it running, if for no other reason than just to make sure it's staying limber and oiled.

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rdop5388

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sewnoma
This is my grandmother's machine (same grandmother that I'm working on a quilt made from her dresses).  

These are kind of awful photos, I snapped them in a hurry while leaning over a bunch of stuff, but here it is, just as gran left it when she stopped sewing.  It's a Singer 96-21 from 1929.

Grans_96-21_01.JPG 

Grans_96-21_03.JPG 

Grans_96-21_04.JPG 

Grans_96-21_05.JPG

I don't know much about industrial machines at ALL and I'm having trouble finding info about this one.  What can you knowledgeable people tell me about this breed of Singer? What is that extra arm in the back all about? Does this take class 15 bobbins, or something else?

I've read that this model (96) is not really suitable for leatherwork and is more of a "tailor's machine" and is meant to run fast on light to medium weight fabrics. My gran used it to make quilts, clothes, dolls, curtains...you name it.  That long throat sure looks good for quilting. ISMACS says 10-1/4" - not bad.

I can't find anything about what the -21 means. ISMACS just says "Industrial", lol.  For the overall class it lists some details and then says "Link take-up" - what does that mean? And, "Pressure grease lubrication for gears"? 

I did find a manual for a 96-10/12/16 online.  Unfortunately it lists 3 different needle sizes for the different machines so I have no idea what needles this one takes. (sizes 16x231, 16x233, 16x238...are they really that different??)
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rdop5388

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Reply with quote  #9 
This looks very similar to one that i just got from an uncle.  I believe it is a 15-141.  The serial number is F7067116.  However table has the old black singer legs.  I am still trying to research it.  Also got a old embroidery machine and the table looks like yours.   W688712 that is industrial.  I am in wow and don't have a clue.  Very interesting to say the least.  
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #10 
Sewnoma, I know this is an old thread and is probably on the 'back burner' for the time being. You might want to check some links about this machine.
http://parts.singerco.com/IPpartCharts/96-21.pdf parts list numbers - says bobbin 40264
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/0145/index.htm catalog from 1924 does not include 96-21
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/0145/thumbnails/tnSIL10-145-006a.jpg describes the numbers Class (aka model) and variety
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/0145/thumbnails/tnSIL10-145-263a.jpg begins the descriptions for 96 class sewing machines
http://needlebar.org/needles/index.htm for needles see Singer list, it does not include specifically 96-21 but does list several other 96's

Welcome rdop5388, maybe you could introduce yourself on this thread ->http://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/introductions-7893896?trail=850
According to the serial number F7067116 it appears that it could be a 16K. Maybe you could post a picture when you introduce yourself [smile]
The catalogue for machines made at Kilbowie in 1907 can be found at http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/2753/index.htm the discriptions for 15k class machines begins at http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/2753/thumbnails/tnSIL10-2753-027a.jpg and the last of the 16K is at http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/2753/thumbnails/tnSIL10-2753-047a.jpg

Janey

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Sewnoma

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Reply with quote  #11 
Wow Janey, thanks for all of those links!!

This machine still lives with my aunt at the moment. She won't ever use it and wants me to take it but I don't have the space for it right now, partially because I have my OTHER grandmother's industrial machine (a Pfaff 138).  I believe the Singer still runs, but I'm sure it hasn't been powered up in at least a decade.  Family lore is that she purchased this machine from her employer (curtain maker) when she retired, although there are hints that perhaps she didn't pay for it so much as she simply demand to take it with her when she left. [rofl]  (And knowing my grandma, I would believe it!  She was a "firecracker" for sure.)

I was actually just thinking about that the other day and wondering - what are the odds that both of my grandmothers were obsessive quilters, and both used industrial machines as their main machine?  Did people in the 50's and 60's buy industrial machines a lot?  Was an industrial in the 50's and 60's like a longarm is today - something that would be somewhat common for fortunate and obsessive home sewers to have?  Or were they both a little unusual and I just got lucky to have two weirdly obsessed sewers in my family?

Because I do feel quite lucky to have grown up with two quilter grandmothers.  [smile]

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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #12 
I have an industrial machine that was from a lady who made draperies in her basement. At this point it still needs to be re-homed. I love the machine but it does not suit my living space or sewing needs. I’m sure it could be made to do free motion and with the big arm would work fine.
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NDNavy

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi everyone!
I just aquired a 1918 Singer model 96-10 that had been in storage for about 35 years.  The grease around the gears was hardened like candle wax so I ended up soaking the entire head in a kerosene bath for a couple of days.  That solved the gunk problem for sure!  After a week or so of sitting on a shelf in the garage to get rid of the kerosene smell, I brought it into the house last night and started the re-assembly and lubricating process.  What type of grease is ok for the gears on this old girl?  I had planned on using Tri-flow or Super Lube synthetic grease but I have never owned an industrial machine before and thought I had better ask..  Is it better to use a petroleum based grease?  What do you all use?

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jplowrey

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Reply with quote  #14 
I’m no expert, but I use Tri-Flow synthetic grease in my few industrial machines, including a 31-15. I have to admit that none of mine see a lot of heavy use, as an industrial machine is designed for. Interested in hearing others’ opinions.
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