Ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh…

Slipped down to the Tip yesterday in a spare 10 minutes, Monday often being a good day after people have decluttered their attics at the weekend. Nothing obvious, so I climbed up to look in the Metals, and there, not 12″ from my hand, lay a very tatty industrial Singer… naturally it leapt straight into my arms. I could see a gigantic cracked motor and a rusty old footplate, which would be no use to me even if I could have taken them; was there anything else? A few moments anxious scanning revealed a bag of bits including the (broken) bobbin winder, and a thread stand out of reach, which Lee kindly hooked out for me. I grabbed anything else loose that might be vaguely sewing-related, and ran off, a mere 10 minutes late for my next appointment, hyperventilating gently…

It’s a Singer 96KSV7 from 1940. 96s were generally fast tailoring machines, but this one looks as if it’s been adapted (SV meaning Special Variant) to use heavy threads & thick fabrics, as it has a tension knee-lift and a higher shank than the only other 96 that has passed through my hands. There was a bit of very thick strong thread trapped in the shuttle race, and it has a massive needle fitted. Upholstery, maybe? I seem to have picked up most of the correct bits, and a few totally random ones too, but now I will have to find a treadle table to fit her, as I think this might well be the all-round heavy-duty machine I’ve been hunting for for my planned workshop. She stitches beautifully, from fairly-small to a gigantic 4 stitches per inch, and has reverse. I wonder how she’ll like quilting? There’s plenty of room under that massive arm.

When something like this falls into your hands, you know it’s just meant to be. I knew I needed to part with my 1895 Singer 15 Light Industrial (probable) sailmaker, as I know someone who needs it more than I do and will use it regularly to do something well worth doing. I’d been wondering how I was going to replace it for the little heavy-duty stuff I need to do, but someone up there was ahead of me, as usual. Now, what colour do you think she’d like to be next?

A real find...
A real find...

4 thoughts on “Ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh…

  1. Mike January 11, 2013 / 6:57 pm

    Hey, hello there! I just bought 2 of those machines. I am developing a hobby in repairing horse blankets on the manege where my horse Jethro is. I bought the table with big motor and 2 heads, one exactly like yours (grey) and one black head. My sewing wonder works great, but I have to get to know it! Do you have a manual or so?
    E.g. I don’t know how to thread the upper thread etcetera. And the thread guards have been used up, I mean there are deep wear grooves, maybe too sharp, because the threads breaks when I use it on thick blankets.
    But I really love the thing!!!

    Greetings, Mike
    P.S. Hope to hear from you, we might be the only 2 humans left that use this machine…

    • thriftwizard January 18, 2013 / 5:12 pm

      Sorry, Mike, I don’t have any instructions, but I’ll have a hunt around some of the lesser-known backwaters of the Web & see what I can come up with! I bet there are plenty of them still soldiering away in people’s back rooms & workshops, you know…

  2. Kate March 29, 2013 / 6:52 am

    Hello, I’m thinking about getting one of these to do upholstery work, do you think it would sew through a couple of layers of thicker fabric? And also do piping? I mean do the singer feet fit it?


    • thriftwizard April 7, 2013 / 8:06 am

      Kate, I have yet to get mine installed on its table & up & running – no space! But if the one you are looking at is a KSV7, then I think it should – even the little old handcranked domestic singers will tackle thick fabrics well if you go slowly. I don’t think standard feet will fit, as the shaft is thicker, but I will check that out in a week or two – run off my feet just now, I’m afraid!

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