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seb58

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Hello,

I have a question: I have rather recently got a 1924 Singer 128K that sews beautifully. Yet when I want to try such attachments like a buttonholer (#121795) or the Swiss ZigZag attachment (#160990), it all goes wrong: there is not any zigzag and the top thread eiher breaks or it gets all in a tangle. Yet these attachments work nicely on my Singer 15k.
I was wondering if those attachments are fully compatible with a VS system... Can anyone tell me of their experience or if I'm doing something wrong?

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OurWorkbench

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Hmmm, sounds strange that they are working on 15K, but not the 128. My initial thought was if the pressure on presser bar needs to be increased. The other thing I was wondering about is if the 'fork' that goes over the needle clamp needs more room? I know there are some Kenmore machines that need to have a different needle clamp screw for some of the attachments to work correctly.

Are you using the same size needle and fabric on both machines? The few attachment list that I have list the same buttonholer for both machines.

Sorry, I don't have experience with either attachment, but I do have both machines, and the buttonholer. Maybe I should try it. I do have a project that I have thought about for a long time that needs a buttonhole.

Janey

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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #3 
On my IF, most of the attachments that have a fork that goes over the needle clamp will not work reliably or at all The needle bar doesn't appear to travel enough to engage the next tooth on the gear that works the attachment.
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Friar_Tuck

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Reply with quote  #4 
Just a guess, with no knowledge to back it but,,,,,  Could it be the fact that the 128 has the stutter in the needlebar, rather than the smooth up and down of the 15?
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #5 
Janey I was using the same thread and fabric... as for needle size, I haven't checked but there was no big difference for sure. I will try increasing the presser foot pressure...

Violet, Friar_Tuck this is food for thought... I will have another go and check the gear on the attachment and the needlebar movement... 

Thanks 😉
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quick update: I have tried again the active attachments on the 128 and indeed, the slight stuttering of the needlebar seems to interfere with the smooth runnning of the gear system...

Just out of curiosity; does anyone have seen an original advert for a zigzagger of a buttonholer? Does it specify that is it made for such or such model? I wonder if some poor lady of 60 or 80 years ago owning a VS bought such a contraption only to find that it didn't work with her machine... Maybe back then, Sales Reps warned their custommers if only to have them buy the latest models? [wink]
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #7 
Is it totally installed 100% on spec?
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victrola

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Reply with quote  #8 
FYI, the manual for my zigzagger #160985 specifies that it is for "sewing machines of classes 15, 201, 221, and 1200" and it never worked well on my 99k or (I think) my 128.

If I am not mistaken, the different classes feature a different amount of vertical travel.  That vertical travel drives the swing of the zigzag and buttonholer, and without enough vertical travel, it doesn't seem to get enough swing... at least that's what I concluded, without actually measuring this on my machines, and of course YMMV.
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seb58

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Miriam I'm sorry but I don't understand what you mean.

Victrola thanks for the info. On my instruction manuals, no machine type is specified but the illustrations almost always feature a machine that looks like a 15. I didn't know about the different amount of vertical travel... But you're right! Maybe also, along that line, since the 99k and 128k are 3/4 size machines the vertical travel must be even different from full-size machines!

I love how much I'm learning here 😉
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #10 
A few thoughts

From my understanding, the "Famous" buttonholer was 'badged' for Singer at some point 1930s? Prior, I believe Famous made a buttonholer for different machines. According to a Yahoo group message the models Famous made were C. CC, F, and D. I think I read that Peerless may have made some really early buttonholers that were used on the VS/27/28 machines.

I have an image that lists the Fashion Aids for the different machines from 1938 and lists 36935 for all machines except 99, 101 and 24. I think it was about that time, the Singer number was 121704. This model had the adjustments on the left side of the unit.

I have another list from 1948, that lists 121795 buttonholer for all machines except the 24. On this unit the adjustments are on the right side. For the hemstitcher attachment there were two holes for attaching, but one was for the 101 and the other was for all the other machines it would work on.

As for the ZigZagger attachments, the above lists show 121638 and 121706 respectively. These are the all metal attachments with out the different design discs. I couldn't find a copyright date on the manual for #160985. However, I'm guessing it was very late 1940s and early 50s. According to ISMACS model list at http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/model-list/classes-100-199.html
they seemed to be phasing out the 127-128 in the US, but looks like the 128k went to 1962. Consequently, I would think that it would not be listed on the more modern zigzag attachments.

I don't remember exactly which machine but it seems like I had a 160506 buttonhole attachment that when I tried to use it, the presser bar lever would hit the top of the attachment so that the presser bar would not put enough pressure on the attachment to clamp the material to make it work correctly.

Seb, I know Miriam has a dedicated 99 that she uses for buttonholer. I think she was referring to having the fork over the needle clamp and the feed dog cover in place. Since you have them work on the 15, seems like you would have them attached correctly.

I doubt that it makes any difference when it comes to the zigzag or buttonhole attachments, but I know for the narrow hemmers, they used a couple of different ones and as far as I can tell, it was based on which direction the needle was threaded. While they both will work on either the long bobbin or the round bobbin machines, the stitch position is a little different. I hemmed some handkerchiefs for my brother and with one the stitches were in the middle of the hem and the other the stitches were closer to the fold.

Janey




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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #11 
Here is my collection of buttonholers
The two on the far left are the earliest models we know of.  They work excellent with earlier TS and VS machines
The one on the far left is shown with the VS2 Fiddlebase slide plate.

Just to be clear, the "stutter" is not an accident or a product of poor design.  it serves a specific and useful function.  It is the equivalent to a seamstress tugging each stitch tight, and IMO why earlier machine with that feature are superior to later machines that do not have it any longer

20160131_172638.jpg 


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seb58

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks Janey for your very informative thoughts... and for enlightening my thick head about Miriam's question lol And yes the attachment clamp was on the needlebar and the feed cover was securely (and painstakingly I may add) fashioned.
It has always also struck me that they continued to make 128s in Scotland up until 1962 when it was obviously no longer up-to-date technology... Yet, as Steve says, the stitch is so very fine....

Steve, your collection is impressive! The one I have is the one before last on the far right. You gave me faith and I will have another go when I have time to do things properly.
About the "stuttering", I never thought it was poor design, on the contrary I was amazed that it did so on every stitch and I had also been thinking that it mimicked the seamstress hand gesture 😉
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #13 
Interesting to know about the stutter and it's purpose.  I thought it was a design part of shuttle machines and now know why.  There is a buttonhole I've seen on eBay out of China that is for "industrial machines" and lists Juki as one of them.  If it works on a Juki it'd surely work on many of the industrial Singers and even some others like a Pfaff 34.  Honestly though I don't need it so cannot justify spending 49.99 for something out of China when we have dedicated Juki button hole machine as well as a dedicated Juki button machine (and two Reece 104's).  We have button hole kits for our White, low shank, Kenmore, and even our high shank 401's.  Our only dedicated vintage machine with a button hole is our 201k hand crank.  However, if I can get a machine from the 1800's with a working button hole kit I'd jump on it.  What are the make/model part numbers for the two on the left that work with your shuttle machiens?  I might keep my eye out.  When looking on eBay I saw just over 800 button hole kits so need to be able to narrow it down more than that.  Sure would be nice to use one on our Domestic high arm from 1872.  That is a good machine that also stutters.  Best regards, Mike
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #14 
Also need to put a feed dog cover on or the button holer won’t work.
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #15 
Too right Miriam! On that note, the feed dog cover that came with the buttonholer never worked: it keeps moving around as the buttonholer moves the fabric and each time the attachment was going for the bottom of the buttonhole the needle ended up broken (or bent according to the needle brand I used lol). Eventually, I use the buttonholer on my 15s with the semi circular feed dog cover that comes with the machines attachment box  [wink]
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Friar_Tuck

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Reply with quote  #16 
I cheated, I removed the feed dogs, and all the arms and shafts that operated them from a 99 here and leave the buttonholer on it.
Love the way it works!
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #17 
If I had a truly junk 99 I would do that too. Those machines make the best button holes. You don’t need the slide plate and that is nice so you can monitor the bobbin thread.

I have had dog covers do that too. If you leave it off and set the dogs as low as it goes it still doesn’t work as nice as with the stupid plate.

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seb58

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quick update: I tried the Swiss Zigzagger on the 128 again while observing more closely:

The needlebar doesn't go quite up to the top of the zigzagger's arm capacity and the cam is not quite engaged. Secondly it requires a lot of energy and it ended up disengaging the needle clamp... (it also happened when I tried a unoiled ruffler...)

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Madmurdock75

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seb58
Quick update: I tried the Swiss Zigzagger on the 128 again while observing more closely:

The needlebar doesn't go quite up to the top of the zigzagger's arm capacity and the cam is not quite engaged. Secondly it requires a lot of energy and it ended up disengaging the needle clamp... (it also happened when I tried a unoiled ruffler...)



Yep, that's what happens with my IF.

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Violet
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seb58

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Reply with quote  #20 
I'm not alone in that...

I'll try a more basic zigzagger (eventhough the zigzag is not really pretty) to see what happens... 

Yet it is just for "science" 's sake... I have 2 Singer 15s (one treadle and one electric) on which to use the gadgets... 
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