Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Singer 6217C That Didn’t Make It

Awhile ago, I picked up a Singer 6217C sewing machine. It did not have a power cord/foot controller, but I knew I did in my spare parts. I put the machine through all the stitches, and it seemed to move in all the stitch formations just by my turning the hand wheel, so I gave it a chance, for $6.38.


This morning I decided to take it out and check it over. I took the top off and the first thing I found was this nylon stitch selector gear. It looks ok.


I don’t know the proper names, but you can see that there are more nylon (plastic parts which get brittle and deteriorate over time) in the moving parts of the sewing machine. They could snap at any time, without warning.


Here you can see a ‘corkscrew’ type of NYLON gear in the back, in the middle of the picture, which rotates and moves the feed dogs back and forth.


…and OOPS! Here is a plastic timing gear which has two big chunks out of it! I had plugged it in before I took the bottom off the machine, and the machine seemed to have a ‘wobble’ to it, and the machine as a whole was pretty loud. I was trying to find the spot to quiet it down, but there is no fixing this, without replacing the gear, which I am not qualified to do, nor would I ever spend the money required to pay someone qualified at their hourly rate to do it. I would much rather go haunt the thrift stores and buy an OLDER, all METAL sewing machine, which could easily outlive me.


This machine would probably sew the way it is, but I’m not going to go any further. It is loud, and in my eyes, with the nylon parts, unreliable. I would never give it to anyone, because I would not trust when it would give out, and I would not want to disappoint someone who thought they had a good sewing machine when they did not.

All is not lost though! My hubby has a coworker who makes the cutest little motorcycle squirrel feeders, and he likes to go through my rejected machines for little parts he can use for his feeders and other little projects. One thing he will take for sure, is the notched timing belt, which will make a ‘chain’ for the ‘feeder’ bike. I think the belt from the motor to the hand wheel is notched too, so he will get two belts.


There are parts I will save too, like the snap in extension table, throat plate, slide plate, light bulb, needle clamp, rubber feet, knobs, bobbin case, bobbin tire, and whatever I think I might need someday for a machine that might be missing something…and maybe the motor. The foot control can go back in my parts box for another day.

I like HEAVY machines from the 60’s and before. Singer started using nylon gears in the early 70’s, and that’s when sewing machines started becoming disposable. The modern ones are ‘cute’ and lighter, and all that, but not meant to last long. Kenmore waited about another 10 years before they started using plastic.


betty said...

It is good that it will still be able to be used in other ways, just not for sewing though.


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

When I graduated from HS and started working, I bought my first sewing machine, a Singer Stylist. I had problems with that machine from the start. And years later, I asked a repair man, why my machine broke so often. He told me that that machine had ONE plastic part, and that was what broke each time. I was blessed by a friend who gave me her older Kenmore, which sewed like a champ for years. I still have the Singer, but I wouldn't sew on it even in an emergency. I'll use my Featherweight in that instance :-)

Jeanna said...

I'm sure the parts you salvaged off that machine will be worth more than the money you paid out for it. It's sad that as we have come up with better and better technology, we make things that are less and less reliable/durable. Yay to you for recycling!

Grammy Staffy said...

At least you try. I'm amazed at all you do with machines.

Missy Shay said...

At least you'll be able to get your money back from the parts. My friend got an expensive sewing machine on sale and her kids knocked it over or something and it was going to cost more then the machine to get it fixed. She now has a handcrank! LOL

Tammy said...

Hi Michelle, Looks to me like you gave that machine your best shot. I'm sure you will salvage more than $7 worth of parts from it, plus those belts will be repurposed. I'm with you all the way a 1950s Japanese clone will out last and out sew those newer plastic/nylon wonders. I wish they would have stuck to all metal parts for the insides where all the movement is.

kath001 said...

It's not just machines. When I wanted to have my parents' piano repaired, I got the horrible news that it was made in the fifties when they started using plastic pieces in the works, and they would just keep crumbling at any given moment while played. It would have been a FORTUNE to replace them all with wooden pieces. I just had my husband take it apart, and plan on using the keyes for an art piece someday.

Packrat said...

Ditto Jeanna. :)

Chrissie said...

Thanks for this Lou, I was just thinking about purchasing this machine from e bay, but it s not cheap at £75 plus £17.00 postage, so now I know it could be unreliable I can resist!

From a Singer Fan x


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