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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #1 
OK, here we are.  Ms. Bags is my wife.  This is mostly her fault.  Mostly.

First there was the Bernina (it's a pain in the pratt). Then the new Singer (it went back).  Then there was the Brother (fabulous machine).  Then my daughter started pushing buttons about her old Featherweight.  Then there was the $20 66 spattered with paint.  Then there was the pheasant (she told you about my role in that one).  Then the 15 covered with 3-pack-a-day 'patina.'  Now there's the Featherweight.  Now I've become enamored with the bloody things.

I'm cleaning the 66 so I can eventually address the poor, abused table.  10 hours of picking paint spots off and we're finally cleaning.  The asbestos under the ceramic controller was alarming, but having some background in environmental nastiness, I got those two washers off safely.  The worrisome part involves the wiring.  Most of it is actually in reasonable shape, but there are a couple of spots showing bare wire.  Much more dangerous than the asbestos washers.

My question is this (and, no, I haven't done a search herein, which I promise I will do in the future):  What gauge wire is appropriate for the low-amperage motor?  I'm not interested in full authentic restoration.  I have no patience.  16 gauge?

And thanks to all of youse who have contributed to Bags' questions.  OK, well, except those of you who chided her from initially walking away from the pheasant.  That pushed ME over the edge, not her.  So, yeah, this is your fault, too!

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy

My question is this (and, no, I haven't done a search herein, which I promise I will do in the future):  What gauge wire is appropriate for the low-amperage motor?  I'm not interested in full authentic restoration.  I have no patience.  16 gauge?


Stranded copper 18-gauge (AWG-18) SPT-1 for cabinet/motor/lamp wiring.
(All internal no repetitive or constant rubbing/bending/flexing issues)

Stranded copper 18-gauge (AWG-18) SPT-2 for external power/foot pedal cords
which might drag across a floor/carpet/tile or have things dragged upon them.

*I usually buy two distinctly different colors of single wire and a bag/box of appropriate diameter shrink tube. A seven dollar investment.

**sometimes when I'm lazy I'll just buy an extension cord and whack an end off for external use, but you didn't read that.


*say 'Hey' to the Spiders from Mars* [biggrin]

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My adventures with VSM's: http://steelsewing.blogspot.com
*QuiltnNan and asshat may be synonymous...
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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #3 
Let all the children boogie.

Thanks, got it!

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Christy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim/Steelsewing

**sometimes when I'm lazy I'll just buy an extension cord and whack an end off for external use, but you didn't read that. [biggrin]


Buy??  I check the free boxes at yard sales for old appliances that I can cut the cords off and re-use.  [wink]  If it's a Cheapie McCheaperson contest then I am winning lol!

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pgf

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy


Buy??  I check the free boxes at yard sales for old appliances that I can cut the cords off and re-use.  [wink] 


Do you do that while you're still at the yard sale, or do you at least take it home first?  :-)

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Christy

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf


Do you do that while you're still at the yard sale, or do you at least take it home first?  :-)


Hahaha!  I take it home first!  😉

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Rodney

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Reply with quote  #7 
Welcome aboard Ziggy and you're welcome for the introduction to a new hobby. [biggrin]  Actually sewing with them is fun too.  Then, of course, is finding and using the matching attachments with your machines. It's a slippery slope with many paths to the bottom.
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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks, Rodney!  I am eventually intending on learning to sew on one of the things.  But I'm really more taken with the elegance of the design and mechanical functioning.  That, and the cabinets.  I finally have a shop space with some trendy mid-century power tools.  Haven't really had access to a shop since the 8th grade, 50 some odd years ago.  We'll see where this all leads...down that slope...on my butt, probably.

And as I keep telling Bags, I really just can't understand you people.  Some of you have dozens of these things.  It's totally crazy.  Says the guy with 30+ stringed instruments lying around the place...but, yeah, I can quit any time I want to.  Ooooo, lookit, a gold top Les Paul....sorry...where was I?

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #9 
I go for a mile or sometimes a two mile walk every evening.
I try to do this at the same time.
This makes everyone not look at me twice.
On garbage night I'll slip wire cutters in my pocket and...
Well... I don't usually run out of plug cords.

but when I do.

Yes. Of course. Welcome Ziggy.
You should be warned though that sometimes being able to fix and repair vintage sewing machines
can feel a little like being the equipment manager on the field hockey team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy
sorry...where was I?


You were packing up that Gretsch G3156 to send me because you're tired of looking at it?




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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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Bags

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Ziggy welcome to the boa... wait a minute!  Don't I know you? [biggrin]  I'll just wave to you across the room.

Sounds like I might need to defend myself here.  First off, the Bernina is 9 years old and is not meant to sew what I want to sew.  Bulky stuff (that's why I'm trying to sell it). The new Singer was a mistake from the get-go (sent back).

The Brother (straight stitch only) was before I (now we) knew about the VSMs.  And If I remember correctly, we found the first VSM on our search for hand wood-working tools that a certain someone was looking for.  I believe that's what we were looking for when we found the 2nd VSM too.  Just sayin'.  😉  Sounds like the FW is my stepdaughter's fault!

Carol

p.s. he owes me after introducing me to hockey!
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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #11 
No, Jim, 'fraid not.  Don't have a Gretsch.  However, I do have a fairly rare black Guild CE-100 that I won't send you.

Hey.  Wait a minute.  You wouldn't happen to have been moseying around central Maine about nine years ago, would you?  Somebody broke into the house back then and cut off all of the cords on all of the appliances.  They also cut out all of the copper pipes, stole the battery and radiator from the tractor, and heisted the remaining firewood.  nah.  Probably not.  I'm new at this, but I don't see how you'd use copper pipe or a tractor radiator on a 1929 Singer.  But then...what's this I've heard about sewing machine races?  You may have some 'splainin' to do....

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #12 
I've never been to Maine,

but I kinda like the music....





Yeah, sorry, only guitars I have any interest in right this moment are a cat's eye streamliner
or an Ernie Ball St. Vincent. Hahaha. Oh my, that's a rather telling combination.


__________________
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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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #13 
Interesting combination, that's for sure!  If you don't like either of them when you get them, do be sure to let me know!  Right now my favorites are the KayKaster (photo attached), the cigar box (I'll put it on my avatar), and the BobKat I modded.  Thru the Music Man amp.  And if I figure out a way to put strings on a 66...kay-Kastor3.jpg



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Bags

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
However, I do have a fairly rare black Guild CE-100 that I won't send you.


Unless of course it involves a Sphinx in pristine condition or a 201 or a ...

Carol
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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #15 
The internal wiring issues on most of the old black Singers is pretty straight forward. When you get to the point when you're clear inside the motor and soldering new leads, well then that's a different pay grade, or... having to redo the 101, 201, or 15-91's with the potted motors. There are excellent online resources for those. (Some of the old and simple rheostat wah pedals can be used as a motor pedal, oops, heh, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that).

Sometimes, one does need to know how to tie an underwriters knot, which can be easier than making the durn thing fit after you've tied it. Some people prefer to solder, others swear by crimps, whatever it is you do I would suggest a fused power strip for all testing, and the cardinal rule for all vintage sewing machines to never plug one in until every mm of the old wiring is checked. If the seller already plugged it in, maybe they just got lucky.

This means the lamp wires too, esp if they're hidden in a front door. Double check anywhere the wires might have made repeated bends. Motor leads must be chased to the point of a flashlight peeking in the metal entrances to the motor. I've seen bare wires there before, in the lamp housings, in a Necchi Mira I found crumbling insulation inside the metal box cover for the motor... completely hidden from view. Thirty years of holding a hard bend isn't good for the old coverings. Repeated bends aren't good (front door lamps). I'm not trying to discourage you... usually checking all the wiring is easily done. Only sometimes does it become a small adventure.

Never assume that just because the last old Singer had a wiring diagram of x, that this will apply to the next one. Check it. There's no such thing as a stupid question about wiring here. We've (mostly) all been there, so just ask. The woodwork is an entirely different story. Start saving veneer pieces now. [wink]

Oh, heh, forgot. I've been having an ongoing pm conversation with MKwatts about cleaning/oiling a 'new-to-her' portable Necchi supernova Automatica and she just reminded me of the dumbest thing. The 'Zoom spout' oiler from Lily White Sewing Machine Oil. If you don't have such a simple contraption... and a spray can of Tri-flow lubricant. Might wish to consider either. Makes my cleaning and maintenance life a helluva lot easier. Also, an old hair drier on the bench is a good thing. I should start a thread...

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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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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #16 
This 66 surprised me, actually.  Considering the thing was covered in paint spatter and the table is a veneer splinter forest, it's remarkably clean inside and out.  What I found odd was that the cloth wiring is quite sound, virtually no deterioration...except in that one spot where the bare wire is exposed through really deteriorated insulation near the motor.  I'm curious as to why that one particular area rotted.  Motor heat?  But the other lead is right next to it, it's fine.  No major kinks, and it's a knee-lever accelerator so none of the wiring moved very much, which is what may have protected the rest of it.

Anyway, we take your observations/warnings seriously.  We plugged it in a while back and gave it a quick turn, and that was it.  I have no intention of tearing the motor down unless we find out it doesn't function properly for some reason.  The remaining wiring is pretty straightforward in this one.  I'm a novice at these things, for sure, but I've done a fair amount of wiring over the years.  That doesn't really count doing the SRV strat rewiring on the Ibanez knockoff.  Not so much amperage involved with that to be very exciting at all.

Now, of course, Bags is keeping an eye on me.  I needed a light on the counter and she asked me pointedly where I was going with that extension cord...

I'm the sort to leave this kind of stuff alone if it's safe and still works.  But...still considering rewiring the whole thing.  It really wouldn't be all that big a deal.  Getting into the light looks like the most challenging element.  So to speak.  That will still be easier to deal with than the 3,000 coats of shellac I'm gonna have to put on this thing to repair the damage done to the finish by that friggin' paint.

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Jim/Steelsewing

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Reply with quote  #17 
Isn't it amazing how seventy plus year old wiring can still be viable!? What in the world did they use back then? Makes one wonder if whatever we use now to replace it will last half that long. It's unfortunate that the bad spot on the 66 wiring is close to the motor housing. Then again, it's a learning opportunity. If you 'have to' open the case to replace the wires there are little maintenance things you can do while your there. Checking the length of the carbon brushes and cleaning the communicator both come to mind. You can end up with a much happier motor - which could possibly run cooler. Do be warned that the carbon brushes are held against the communicator by small springs. They too can be quite viable after all these years and can potentially sling a small black brush, or the spring itself, into the 30-minutes searching for it world. At least someone warned you.

If it's possible, post us some pics of either the motor rewire, or the cabinet work. Before and after shots are much appreciated around here. As well as any record of the steps/tools/methods you used to get there. We were talking about this last month, take pictures as you go along. The digital record of 'where things were' can be extremely helpful. It's saved by butt more times than I care to admit. Take pics as you go along. Fortunately, many of us here have the old Singer six wire wiring block, leads, and terminals more or less memorized and can post diagrams.

__________________
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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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #18 
Bags has been insistent with regard to photographic records.  Unfortunately, I'm still enough of a novice that sometimes I don't grasp what it is that really requires close documentation.  Eg:  that little doohickey thing on the bobbin winder with the spring that unsurprisingly leapt across the bench.  How does that go back on?  Didn't get a photograph from that side.  The advantage of living in the 21st century is that the intergoogle is full of 66 winder pics.  Lesson learned.

I may take a peek into the motor while I have it off.  I realize I only know enough to be dangerous, but, hey, I have a Master's Degree in Science.  And I've dealt with small motors a little bit.  Replacement brushes may well be warranted.  Those sorts of things don't bother me all that much.  Anything with a capacitor in it scares the livin' bejeezus out of me.

I'll attempt to get info flowing to the forum.  Maybe start a new thread, eh?

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Peter

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Reply with quote  #19 
With regards to the wiring on old metal machines (ie not plastic).  I have put together two isolation transformers and we do not run any machine straight off the mains; 230 volts here, but 110 can also kill you.

These old machines do not meet modern safety practice. There is no double insulation on these beasts and any contact of a wire with the machine will leave 230 volts just looking for a path to earth.  I don't want that to be me or my wife!  Yes, we have an earth leakage trip (residual current detector) on the house wiring, but this will only trip after the current has passed through you to earth!

Take care!
Peter
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Ziggy

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Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks for the info!  We're 110 AC here, which is only marginally less fatal.  I encountered the 110 AC w/ probably 1-2 amps as a young man and took an immediate disliking to it.  I have subsequently encountered similar adventures with microphones, guitar strings, and ungrounded electrical services.  To paraphrase John Lennon, "I got blista's on me...lips!"
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Keep your hands to yourself
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