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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #1 
The Improved Family line are my most favorite machines. I had finished acquiring, but it seems like every couple days someone pops up with pictures of yet another one. So, I broke down.

TWO of them. Separately, but within a week. One is an 1883 and one is an 1884. Both have broken or missing springs on their upper tensions. Neither one has good decals and the 1883 has been poorly painted over with glossy black paint. And, I love them both!

They will likely be sharing a table. The one that came with the 1883 has some severe problems. Until I figure out how to fix the upper tensions, they will be using a later machine's face plate with a working tension.

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jpeg IMG_20181127_095938.jpg (3.13 MB, 14 views)


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pgf

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Reply with quote  #2 
Why are they your favorite machine?  I've never had the pleasure of meeting one.
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Mickey

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Reply with quote  #3 
I like the fiddle base shape, and the decals on them are very nice; flowers, roses,...  Some seek out the large hand wheel of the older machines, later they became smaller and even smaller. I have yet to see the early type bobbin case system, if I'm lucky I might some day.
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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf
Why are they your favorite machine?  I've never had the pleasure of meeting one.


In reality, there's not a rational reason for it. I do think they are beautiful, with the fiddle base and all. They're the only fiddle base, round bobbin machine Singer made. Every one I've had has sewn beautifully, though most old straight stitchers do. 

But every time I use one of them, it makes me very happy - more so than any of the other old machines I've had. I've bee making a lot of shirts lately, using one of them. It has been fantastic. 😉

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Madmurdock75

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey
I like the fiddle base shape, and the decals on them are very nice; flowers, roses,...  Some seek out the large hand wheel of the older machines, later they became smaller and even smaller. I have yet to see the early type bobbin case system, if I'm lucky I might some day.


I do like that the bobbin holding parts are attached, so there's no way a bobbin case can go missing.

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madmurdock75


But every time I use one of them, it makes me very happy ..... 😉


Well then.  'nuff said!  :-)

(I feel the same way about my 201-2, though I rarely use it.  It got moved to the cellar to make way for the more visually interesting machines.)

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Mickey

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Reply with quote  #7 
If I ever got hold of a machine with rose decals or fiddle base I may switch, but at the moment a belt driven 201K is  my favorite. I think it's the flat bed in a table factor, it makes it a joy to use, and it stitches nicely through anything. I'm thinking an Improved Family is more in the direction of a regular 15, but as mentioned, I have yet to try one. A 201 with nice gold decals look  nice too, especially the pre 1950 version with the decorative face plate pattern.
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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey
If I ever got hold of a machine with rose decals or fiddle base I may switch, but at the moment a belt driven 201K is  my favorite. I think it's the flat bed in a table factor, it makes it a joy to use, and it stitches nicely through anything. I'm thinking an Improved Family is more in the direction of a regular 15, but as mentioned, I have yet to try one. A 201 with nice gold decals look  nice too, especially the pre 1950 version with the decorative face plate pattern.


You are correct -the IF is a pre-15, sometimes called a 15-1, though I'm not sure if that is accurate. They use a 15x1 needle but a special bobbin.

I've never tried a 201 but have heard good things. The belt driven would be better IMO than potted motor, since that would give the option to treadle it. They are nice looking machines too, just in a different way.

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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf


Well then.  'nuff said!  :-)

(I feel the same way about my 201-2, though I rarely use it.  It got moved to the cellar to make way for the more visually interesting machines.)


I guess I should try a 201 someday. Everyone who has one seems to love it!

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Reply with quote  #10 
I should add that I've never used a 201 other than my 201-2, and that the whir of the gear drive is much of what makes me happy.  It has a sound and vibration unlike any other electric I've ever used.  The belt drive may also be a nice machine, but for reasons I may not even be sensitive to.  :-)
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #11 
There is no other machine that feels and sounds like a well running 201-2. If you've never sat down and sewed with one you don't know what you're missing.

Cari

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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #12 
I have to chime in here.  The 201-2 is THE ONLY electric machine we have owned that we actually miss.  If I were to keep an electric, it would be a 201-2.  The potted motor is what makes this machine special.  IMO, the belted version is not much better than any other give Singer of that era.  I had a dream one night about finding a Singer Industrial with a potted motor... I woke up an researched for a couple hours until I convinced myself it was ONLY in my dream.  I imagined a 16 with a large potted motor...sigh.
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Mickey

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Reply with quote  #13 
I still have an eye out for a 201K-2, but I have only seen two so far, and they were already gone when I contacted seller.  I can't complain about my belt driven 201K though, it's smooth and a joy to use. Its' different than a 15, 128, Pfaff 30, I guess a 66 is the closest. A 66 runs lighter than a 201 for some reason, even when cleaned and oiled. I'm convinced what makes the 201 stand out isn't just the elusive potted motor, it's the turning rods and three sets of all steel cork screw meshing gears; on top of one set of gears is a rotating race and hook with a drop-in bobbin. Most other straight stitch models are sort of hinged together. I'm sure an improved family is different from the later 15. When I compare the basic 15 to a Bernina CB model, they are very different too.  My mention of the 201 should not take away from the Improved Family, it's quite a find and well worth appreciation. I'm positively envious ;- )   You have to let us know how the hinged click-in-place bobbin case compares to the basic CB bobbin system.
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johnstuart

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Reply with quote  #14 
2 of them IF machines is awesome madmurdoc. You are the only one with two of the finial topped bars i know. They are rare, lucky finds both of them!!! The 1884 is rarer still with most of that year with plain needlebar and presser bar. Does the 1884 have the newer type tension system or the same one with the slide screw tensioning system ?

  John Stuart
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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstuart
2 of them IF machines is awesome madmurdoc. You are the only one with two of the finial topped bars i know. They are rare, lucky finds both of them!!! The 1884 is rarer still with most of that year with plain needlebar and presser bar. Does the 1884 have the newer type tension system or the same one with the slide screw tensioning system ?

  John Stuart


It has the slide screw tensioner. Also with broken/missing screws. I still have to clean it up, but I'm saving that for a rainy day. 

IF/IM machines now make up half of my collection of sewing machines! It's not a large collection, but still - half!

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Mickey

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Reply with quote  #16 
I found this video on youtube. I should take out my CB models and compare the mechanical side of things.
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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks for the link to the video!
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johnstuart

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Reply with quote  #18 
Sewmachines youtube page is nice for all sorts of machines. Be sure to click like on the videos you like, it helps his page and eventually, with enough likes, becomes a basic suggestion like Lizzie Lenards channel. That is another good channel. Sewmachines IM machine has the early tension like our 1883 IF/IM machine madmurdaoc75. Sewmachine's Flickr has nice photos of some others like the 1879 IF light industrial machine. Thought Steve here has an IFCB as well? The Improved Family Central Bobbin has a more modern form of what a Singer 15 would have with removable bobbin holder. Here is a link to the 1879 IF light manu. machine with 28 very high quality pictures https://www.flickr.com/photos/98957834@N06/albums/72157661569179727 Notice the Bobbin shuttle on this one....

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #19 
Okay, having followed this thread now, and having looked at more IF pictures -- I get the attraction now.  They have a very lovely form to them, even without decals, as in that 1879 picture album that John linked to.  I'll have to keep my eyes open for them locally.

Is it fair to say that the IF machines were the first to have what most people would consider the "normal traditional" Singer design?  Or were there other intermediate machines between the New Family / Model 12 and, say, the 15?

paul

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johnstuart

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Reply with quote  #20 
Singer sold these Machines first as the Singer High Arm Sewing machines. These include the IF. The others are the Singer vs1/vs2 , the tranverse shuttle and all those were fiddlebase machines. I think it would be safe to say they are the basic shape we have got used to and others cloned.

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Andy Ybarra

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Reply with quote  #21 

Madmudrock, why do not you give us an image of your machine with the complete piece of furniture, it should look beautifully good, I just made a small wooden base to my 15-1, now that it is complete I will upload a photo, greetings.
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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstuart
Sewmachines youtube page is nice for all sorts of machines. Be sure to click like on the videos you like, it helps his page and eventually, with enough likes, becomes a basic suggestion like Lizzie Lenards channel. That is another good channel. Sewmachines IM machine has the early tension like our 1883 IF/IM machine madmurdaoc75. Sewmachine's Flickr has nice photos of some others like the 1879 IF light industrial machine. Thought Steve here has an IFCB as well? The Improved Family Central Bobbin has a more modern form of what a Singer 15 would have with removable bobbin holder. Here is a link to the 1879 IF light manu. machine with 28 very high quality pictures https://www.flickr.com/photos/98957834@N06/albums/72157661569179727 Notice the Bobbin shuttle on this one....

  John Stuart


I had not seen up close pictures of the IFCB. Thanks for the link!

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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Ybarra

Madmudrock, why do not you give us an image of your machine with the complete piece of furniture, it should look beautifully good, I just made a small wooden base to my 15-1, now that it is complete I will upload a photo, greetings.


Ha ha! You asked for it! Though, it's dark right now so the pictures aren't the best...

1883 IF in the 1884's table.

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jpeg IMG_20181129_184202.jpg (2.97 MB, 13 views)


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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #24 
1886 IF

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jpeg IMG_20181129_184234.jpg (3.21 MB, 10 views)
jpeg IMG_20181129_184249.jpg (3.43 MB, 10 views)


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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #25 
1888 IM- it was a pile of rust when I got it, with no table. This is a Wheeler and Wilson industrial treadle with a butcher block table top.

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jpeg IMG_20181129_184324.jpg (3.49 MB, 8 views)


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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #26 
1888 IF with hand crank. The hand crank is not original to the machine, but is an IF crank. Home made base.

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jpeg IMG_20181129_184406.jpg (1.66 MB, 10 views)


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Andy Ybarra

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Reply with quote  #27 
1888 IF con manivela. La manivela no es original de la máquina, pero es una manivela IF. Base casera.

[/CITAR]

three beautiful Machines, congratulations!

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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Ybarra
three beautiful Machines, congratulations!



Thank you! I like them very much. [smile]

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hilltophomesteader

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Reply with quote  #29 
Christy....STOP, lol!  Now you've got me looking into my room of machines and thinking to myself, "harrumph.  my collection is OBVIOUSLY lacking, since I don't have an If!", lol!
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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilltophomesteader
Christy....STOP, lol!  Now you've got me looking into my room of machines and thinking to myself, "harrumph.  my collection is OBVIOUSLY lacking, since I don't have an If!", lol!


Ha ha ha! You definitely need one.

Keep in mind, this is most of my collection! If I say I'm just specializing, it doesn't seem too weird, right? (I'm pretty sure my husband thinks it's weird.)

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johnstuart

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Reply with quote  #31 
Wow nice machines. Hilltophomesteader, The more you look at IF machines, the more you notice each year has differences and there are several special ones mixed in too. Steve recently has got one that has alternating presser parts, but i am suspicious it is not a IFAP. His, I think, Is a special variant for embellishment work. The decals change rapidly in this era and some variants of the same pattern too. In 1885 they had gold decal variants lacking in color that are neat. Here is a 1885 golden decal lotus IF i have that was a handcrank(  long missing ). IMG_0067.jpg  IMG_0068.jpg 

  John Stuart 

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SewMachines

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Reply with quote  #32 
I too really like the IF models. There is something pleasing about how the look and how they sew. I am curious if anyone has one with the 'U' shaped bobbin case latch like on my IF (LM) machine. I was quite surprised to see it when I picked up the machine.

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 9.36.33 AM.png 
Thank you johnstuart for the kind words about my videos/photos. I probably need to add more as I have a few more oddities to share [wink].

I will also admit that my 1929 201D1 is also a favorite. Currently it is my daily driver for garment making. I had a few 201-2's sitting around before I found my treadle. I quickly moved them out after I found the lovely 201 in a parlor cabinet. I like the gear driven action and find it smooth, strong, & quiet.

Happy stitching!
Suz


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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstuart
Wow nice machines. Hilltophomesteader, The more you look at IF machines, the more you notice each year has differences and there are several special ones mixed in too. Steve recently has got one that has alternating presser parts, but i am suspicious it is not a IFAP. His, I think, Is a special variant for embellishment work. The decals change rapidly in this era and some variants of the same pattern too. In 1885 they had gold decal variants lacking in color that are neat. Here is a 1885 golden decal lotus IF i have that was a handcrank(  long missing ). IMG_0067.jpg  IMG_0068.jpg 

  John Stuart 


Nice decals! I have not seen those on an IF.

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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SewMachines
I too really like the IF models. There is something pleasing about how the look and how they sew. I am curious if anyone has one with the 'U' shaped bobbin case latch like on my IF (LM) machine. I was quite surprised to see it when I picked up the machine.
Suz


I have not seen that style latch before. Great videos and pictures though - thanks for all those!

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johnstuart

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Reply with quote  #35 
Sewmachines, i can't remember if i tried to look those parts up in the Smithsonian archives. Did i try that for you once a while back ? Do you have links for those parts manuals from before for 1882, 1891 , and 1893?

  John Stuart
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #36 
ETA: Oops! Wrong thread. Moved to Adventures.
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johnstuart

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Reply with quote  #37 
WI Lori, it all depends lol. I hope the 466 isn't $400 !!! or a grand!!! If it is five bucks, you are saving a controller from being part of a Franken-sew machine and similar to the 466.... This also saves a novice from thinking this is the way they come, but also prevents an inquiring mind how to connect a button type controller to a 466 Stylist. The jury is out on that one....

I did similar (sort of) trading a set of irons for a Singer 15-89 br7 with the control IMG_0446.jpg  er like this one at the top. The bottom one is a BUK treadle controler. All the electrical talk before in the forum made me do it ROFL


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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstuart
Sewmachines, i can't remember if i tried to look those parts up in the Smithsonian archives. Did i try that for you once a while back ? Do you have links for those parts manuals from before for 1882, 1891 , and 1893?

  John Stuart


I don't know of others, but I did find http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/2725/ which according to http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/CF/single-recordonpiece.cfm?CompanyName=The%20Singer%20Manufacturing%20Co%2E it is dated between 1879 and 1889.

Janey

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Reply with quote  #39 
Ourworkbench, all of those manuals including the domestic, are used together to find out what parts are on the IF and IM models. Some parts are only listed in the IM parts list and other further still in a specialist part manual like the ornamental parts book. The ornamental book list the overserge, asc (singer 24) IF and IM machines. There are 23 different stitch models for the IF/ IM model alone on top of the regular plain straight stitch. They are such cool machines to get into, and you could fill a room with different ones..."IF" you can find them.

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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #40 
I completely forgot to update! Both the machines sew, and I've fixed the upper tension on the 1884.

Well, what I did was find a likely looking check spring in my parts box and just put it all together, hoping for the best. And it worked! That method didn't work on the 1883, so for now it has to share a working one with another machine till I figure it out.

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_20190107_112638.jpg (457.79 KB, 8 views)
jpeg IMG_20190107_112631.jpg (340.78 KB, 9 views)
jpeg IMG_20190107_112707.jpg (169.64 KB, 8 views)


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