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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #1 
This is a work in progress.

001Nechi525.jpg

My first Necchi was a model 525 (no FA!) from 1963. Purchased in a grocery store parking lot in Cumberland Maryland for 45 dollars. I didn't really know what it was, but the hand wheel turned and the seller had a pile of attachments. When I finally felt comfortable cleaning and oiling and trouble-shooting sewing machines, I began on the Necchi. None of my efforts seemed to work. The machine was clean and well lubed and all the wiring was okay, but for whatever reason when I tried the pedal, the motor would rev and the machine wouldn't turn. It ended up being two loose set screws on the motor pulley. That was it. My experience with this machine ruined most other marques for me. It was so responsive and so quiet... that I began to use it's performance as a standard for all the others.

002NecchiBU.jpg 

The next Necchi was a challenge. It was frozen, filthy, and needed completely rewired. The crumbling insulation on the four leads from the machine would fall off in a light breeze. I had to dive all the way into the motor to find good wire for a solder. The machine didn't cost me anything, but it taught me a lot. It's a 1948-1951 Necchi BU zigzag machine (high shank) and still, do this day, it's my go to machine. I wasn't sure if it would ever sew again and it surprised me with just how eager it is to sew after being brought back from the dead.

0304NecchiSNBFs.jpg    

After the experience with the 525 and BU, I began to search in earnest for a Supernova and managed to trade my way into a pair of Necchi Supernova BFs. These are straight stitch only (low shank) machines and perform flawlessly even though they each needed a deep cleaning and they still have to share a foot pedal. =)

005NecchiSNBU1.jpg

Eventually I did find a Supernova BU (another machine trade) and it made me so nervous that I let it sit for over a year. It runs, it sews, but the embroidery unit is sluggish. I know now, thanks to some Sweatshop members, how to attempt a fix and hope to do that soon.

006NecchiNova1.jpg

A week after the SN arrived I had the opportunity to pick up a green Nova (Estate sale $45 with cabinet). It also needed a good cleaning and some new wiring. It's fully functional now... except for a odd rattle at full tilt. I should sit down and spend some quality time with all the shafts and rods. Something within is just a tiny tad out. It shouldn't take much effort to smooth it, just time.

007NecchiNiva2.jpg

This Nova was yet another gift. It needed some nicely insulated wiring instead of what it had. It doesn't have any issue going full tilt. For reasons I still haven't figured out the black paint Novas are always cosmetically better than the green.

008NecchiSNU1.jpg 

The bag-o-Ultra. Again an estate sale purchase. I remember it being a 7am start and standing in line in the dark. I was seriously worried that someone else might have figured out what was in the bag from the estate sale photos online. Eventually, a few sales later, I began to realize that I was probably the only person in line for the sewing machines. Yes, that was the price; $25 dollars, and in the bag was all the goodies. The machine needed cleaned and lubed. That's it. Runs like a top.

009NecchiBF.jpg

This unusual piece came to me as a surprise gift. I'd been helping out another VSM person and they said "Hey, got something for ya." and there it was. An early (48-51) Necchi BF straight stitch only machine in the fabulous multi-drawer portable case! Runs as it should with very little effort on my part.

008NecchiSNU1.jpg   

Another estate sale purchase, this time at $35 dollars. Again, the same panic came to me as I worried that someone else might get to it first. When I finally got inside the house it took a few minutes to find the machine and because I was a tad nervous I grabbed it up, paid for it, took it to the car, and then walked back to the sale in a far more relaxed frame of mind. That's when by complete chance I bumbled onto all the attachments. The salesperson asked me what the pile of stuff was for, and I said the sewing machine I bought minutes ago and he waved me on. So the bits didn't cost anything extra.

This machine took a while. It didn't want to turn. Eventually I got it to move and then spent a month going down to bench every day and giving it a good spin until finally the rust spot cleaned off to the point that I couldn't feel the bump anymore. The other 'issue' with this machine was a worn spring on the needle position lever. It was so worn that it wouldn't stay where you put it. Apparently it is something that may happen on zigzag machines. In this case I have yet to undertake the complicated replacement procedure and managed to affix a second spring in such a way to temporarily amend the issue. It's not the 'right' way to do it, that will wait for winter.

011NecchiMira.jpg 

In one of the strangest VSM stories... this machine was advertised on CL and the wording of the ad more or less ignored the machine and put all the focus on the odd little desk. The ad had been up for 21 minutes when I called and asked if they still had the machine for sale. They did, and I got an address and ran to the car.

It was raining hard when I backed up the driveway to the garage. I stood there with the two sisters who were slowly cleaning out their parents house for the downsizing. I made a comment about how I liked the West Virginia University sticker on the back of the one ladies car, and a conversation about WVU and Morgantown ensued. That's when it got strange. It ends up the one sister lived in the exact same apartment that I did. She'd moved out the summer I moved in. Small world indeed.

If that wasn't odd enough, the other Sister had taken all the attachments for this Mira back to her house in New England because she had a Necchi - except her model was too new for the attachments. After a few more minutes of loading the cabinet and machine into the car, the second sister offered to send me the attachments. They arrived several months later. It was quite a lucky experience, and even more so when I got the machine home and realized that their father had been using it up until a few months ago. He was very lucky that he had quit when he did. The insulation on the wires to the motor had been crumbling and it was nearly dangerous - and all of this was going on well hidden inside the motor cover. Cleaned and oiled and with fresh wires this Mira and it's blonde seat-front desk remain a favorite.

010NecchiSNJ2.jpg 
There isn't a great story to go with one. Another estate sale purchase; saw the photos online and I had to go find out. I remember it was the same day as an annual fabric sale and the wait was excruciating. Once through the fabric sale the estate sale was two miles away. This is the most expensive Necchi I own ($65) and I'll admit that if it wasn't for the lavender... it probably wouldn't be here. Of all of the machines here, this one reminds me to settle down and seriously reconsider another machine purchase.

013NecchiEspiria.jpg 
By now it had become habit: see a Necchi at an estate, go and see what they wanted for it. I had to dicker this one down to $25 because the wiring was a mess and t wouldn't turn.  This time though, it wasn't the color, the selling point was the unusual Espiria model. It's a straight stitch only machine and runs like a champ.  It came complete with nothing at all: just a machine head and pedal.

012NecchiNova3.jpg 
Like I need another Nova? But it's here. A friend had made a deal on several sewing machines and this one got tossed in for free. I like those deals!  And I do really appreciate friends that call me and tell me to come get the free Necchi.

As far as I'm concerned I have more than enough Necchi machines at this point, even a few too many.  The only thing that will convince me to bring home another is perhaps a Nora, or a crazy price.



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It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
There is grace within forgiveness, but it's so hard for me to find - Ben Gibbard
My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #2 
What a fine collections of Necchis you have!  Although I just have just one, I can relate to you using your 525 as "the" standard.  Wouldn't have understood this without having the experience of using one.  Thanks for sharing.
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Mrs. D

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Reply with quote  #3 
Bless your heart. Thanks for sharing info and pics of your Necchi machines. Totally awesome.
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Mrs. D - Wisconsin
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susieQ

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Reply with quote  #4 
My first Necchi was a Supernova.  $10.  When plugged in at the thrift store it didn't work, hence the price.  All I had to do was reverse the plug in the outlet and presto!  Light comes on and motor runs but just barely.  I dragged it out of the store and left it in the back of the car for several (hot) days - quite by accident.  When I plugged it in at home it ran!  Just needed a breath of hot air.  After cleaning and oiling it was fine.  Except that dead animal smell from the case.  I eliminated most with frequently changed activated charcoal filters but got distracted before I could use the odor eliminator from The Featherweight shop.  Now it's one of those "someday" chores to actually sew something with all those strange attachments! Supernova After 1.jpg
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Mrs. D

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Reply with quote  #5 
She's as pretty as you are SuzieQ!
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Mrs. D - Wisconsin
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