Saturday, November 9, 2013
And Now For Something Completely Different: Singer 307G2
OK, first things first. Drop what you are doing (like, um, reading this blog) and check out Shield Maiden Costumes. Shameless promotion for the charming Jenny, young costumier and the DD's BF. Whose husband Charlie gave me a 401 that he found at a thrift shop. Jenny wields a mean 401 herself and makes terrific costumes. Yes, I know that all of you can do your own sewing, but check it out. If only because there is so much positive sewing energy flowing around Jenny.
Long time readers know that I sometimes use this blog to discuss one specific sewing machine with one specific person. In this case the person is the aforementioned Jenny and the machine is a vintage Singer industrial, the 307 G2. Feel free to look and listen in as I talk to Jenny about this machine.
I have had this machine for around 20 years and have only used it maybe a half a dozen times. It is an awesome machine and I love it but it takes up way too much space in the studio for only occasional use. Which is why it needs to go and live with Jenny.
Now THAT's a sewing machine. I have heard that the head weighs 60 pounds. I have not weighed it, but I believe it. And the harp space is a full 10 inches wide.
Near and on the pillar: Needle postion lever. Zig-Zag width control. Stitch length lever. All with more functionality than on a domestic machine. The manual explains.
When I bought it I knew nothing about industrial machines, and I got very, very lucky. There are all sorts of industrial machines for all purposes. What I found at a local yard sale was a machine specifically designed for tailoring establishments.
I have a rather poor copy of the manual (but enormously better than nothing). That's how I know it is a tailoring machine, because it says so. And it has terrific instructions for using the machine for tailoring.
The light is loose and I never figured out how to tighten it. I'll bet you can.
One.....two.....THREE tensioners. Needles are industrial needles rather than the standards ones you can find at Joanns or Hancocks. Takes system 135X17. And it will take double needles, if you can find them. Of course I broke the one and only needle I had for it when I was test stitching. You can see it in the photo above. Sewed beautifully up til then.
The bobbins and presser feet are also not the standard ones. I've got the name of a dealer who specializes in vintage industrials tucked away with the manual.
As the photo says, the knee lever raised the presser foot.
There is a monster of a motor underneath. And lots of linkages. I would not want to take it apart and I LIKE working on things. Not to mention the fact that when you take screws out of wood and put them back they are never the same. never as tight. at least in my experience.
The monster motor runs the machine FAST. Terrifyingly fast at full blast. But when I did use it I was able to control it well enough.
With an on-off switch on the front
The bobbin winder runs on the motor belt. A latch snaps it in place when you want to wind.
I have the whole thing up on a moveable platform. This lifts the foot pedal up too high for sewing unless you are sitting on a stool but it did make it possible for me to move it out of the way when I needed to.
I oh-so-cleverly made a cover for it.
And when I say "made" what I mean is that I found a plastic box almost the right size and cut a small notch out of it so that it would fit around the bobbin winder thread stand.