The Sewing Place

Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit

Madame Cholet

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #60 on: November 10, 2017, 17:52:14 PM »
Well I sat the 840 in my treadle base, and realised that, because of the oil pan and hook drive gear housing beneath the flat bed being very close to its front edge, I would have to butcher the front wooden lift up flap thing on the treadle cabinet top in order to make the machine sit in the base properly...

... so instead I have attached a 90W generic motor onto the machine, sat it back in the original wooden base it came in, and the machine is running perfectly  :)

I originally intended to use this machine to sew medium-weight leather using a Bernina leather wheel foot, using it in a treadle base, and, (unlike my other vintage Berninas), with no expensive/irreplaceable Bernina motor at risk of blowing out.

But I'll run the machine with the generic motor for the time being at least. If that motor blows out it is no real issue as they are easily replaceable and not too expensive. I also have the option to run the 840 with a more powerful, industrial motor, but I'd need a cabinet or table for that, and at the moment I don't have the space.

I'm a bit disappointed at not being able to treadle the 840, but that does not detract from the fact that I am overjoyed that the sad, forgotten, rusty, seized-solid machine that sat in a garage for who knows how long and cost me £5, is sewing beautifully again!

 :vintage: :vintage: :vintage: <3

I nurse unloved vintage Berninas back to health and then just cannot bring myself to part with any of them... 807, 830, 840, 530-2, 930, 910, and a modded 717 in a Singer treadle base.

Madame Cholet

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #61 on: November 10, 2017, 19:17:08 PM »
The end panel on the 840 is plastic, so fitting the motor was, er, a bit of a bodge... note unsightly block of wood, lol  :|

But the motor is held securely in place, which is what counts I suppose  :)




Here is the 840, back in its original wooden base, and ready to sew:



There is still a little paint work needing to be done, but I'll get round to doing that eventually.
 <3 :vintage: <3

I nurse unloved vintage Berninas back to health and then just cannot bring myself to part with any of them... 807, 830, 840, 530-2, 930, 910, and a modded 717 in a Singer treadle base.

Sewbee

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #62 on: November 10, 2017, 19:34:36 PM »
It's a different machine!! I wish I knew how to restore old Berninas. I don't know what's under the hood, though. It's like my car - oil and window washer fluid are the only two places I know!  :[

arrow

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #63 on: November 10, 2017, 21:37:31 PM »
Congratulations Madame Cholet! I  have never seen a Bernina in a case like that, I don't think I seen an 840 at all, but not too long ago I had my hands on a 740. The 800 series has a bit more plastic than the 700 numbers in general, but I like the wood bit as a work around; it should hold up well in use. I hope you have two screws on the inside there too, if so it look perfect. The flatbed Berninas usually turns up in cabinets here, the freearms are of course on their own base plate. I don't think anyone should be afraid to take on a Bernina, they are a bit more advanced than straight stitchers but not impossible at all. You did a great job Madame Cholet, and it wasn't the easiest.

Madame Cholet

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #64 on: November 10, 2017, 21:56:23 PM »
I hope you have two screws on the inside there too

Yes there are 2 screws holding the motor bracket to the wood, on the hidden side  :)

I really enjoyed the whole of the restoration process, I find it utterly relaxing, and I just drift off into my very private, alternative, so much happier, world.
 
And to be brutally honest, I prefer fixing up machines to sewing these days  :o

It helped that I had such wonderful support and help, from you and so many other lovely folk on this forum - thank you  <3

I do have one lingering concern though.
This is a photo of the hook drive gear housing, under the flatbed, with a plastic plug removed.
Do you think it is a grease port?
I know we decided that Berninas ought not be greased, but, arrow, what do you think?  -<



I nurse unloved vintage Berninas back to health and then just cannot bring myself to part with any of them... 807, 830, 840, 530-2, 930, 910, and a modded 717 in a Singer treadle base.

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Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #65 on: November 10, 2017, 22:20:44 PM »
Did we ever track dow a user manual for the machine? I still lean towards oil, there isn't any electrical parts for it to interfere with and if you can apply a drop or two of oil now and then it will do at least as good a job as grease. I guess you have to unscrew the entire plate for a through clean up and inspection at least once a year or so anyway. Would grease or oil reach the parts that actually run against each other through the hole?

Madame Cholet

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #66 on: November 10, 2017, 22:49:09 PM »
Yes I did find a user manual, and there is no reference to lubrication of the hook drive gear etc.
There is only one photo showing the oiling points beneath the upper lid, and another photo of how to slide off the needle plate so as to oil the shuttle area.

And yes - removal of that plug in the hook drive gear housing will enable oiling of the gears in there. So I think I'll just stick with using oil now and then  :)

The oil pan beneath the machine took a lot of oil, and thankfully the gasket, which was torn in one place, appears to be holding up. I was concerned I might have to replace it. But I know you can buy gasket material to re-make gaskets for vintage motorbikes, so I was not too worried. I am glad it is not leaking though.

I recently looked at a photo of the underside of the 850, which is the industrial machine. It looked the same as the underside of the 840, at least to my untrained eye.
I nurse unloved vintage Berninas back to health and then just cannot bring myself to part with any of them... 807, 830, 840, 530-2, 930, 910, and a modded 717 in a Singer treadle base.

Roger

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2017, 20:33:46 PM »
I’m so pleased for you that the hard work paid off! Nothing like seeing an old neglected machine produce a lovely stitch!
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

Madame Cholet

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #68 on: December 02, 2017, 18:48:41 PM »
I’m so pleased for you that the hard work paid off! Nothing like seeing an old neglected machine produce a lovely stitch!

I have had a splendid time this past week or so playing with reconditioning the el cheapo spares/repair Bernina 830 (-with the trashed motor cover) further up the thread; it was the machine the leaf spring came from.

So far it has had a jolly good clean and some oil, I have cut out and fitted a rough and ready (but totally functional, hurrah!) leaf spring from plate steel, and I am currently rebuilding the motor cover using epoxy putty, a selection of glues, and a slice of wooden dowel...

I removed the blown suppressor from the motor, and then tested the motor, and the motor seems to be working just fine.

I shall post pics when all is done, so watch this space! 
I nurse unloved vintage Berninas back to health and then just cannot bring myself to part with any of them... 807, 830, 840, 530-2, 930, 910, and a modded 717 in a Singer treadle base.

Madame Cholet

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2018, 22:54:45 PM »
I used the 840 Favorit lately to assemble the last bag I made - the monogram one from my bag thread in the Access All Accessories sub forum.
Although it managed to sew the leather ok, the feeble domestic motor I had fitted on it sounded as though it was in great pain and was grumbling dreadfully, and I had to turn the hand wheel by hand through the toughest bits. In order to sew leather it really needs much more oomph!
The ideal solution would be to sit the 840 in an industrial table with an industrial motor but at present I don't have the space for that.

However I was in Cornwall this last weekend and while I was down there I had a chat with a very nice chap called Alistair who puts together these DC sewing machine motors:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u580rsg_9qU

He had been selling reconditioned vintage sewing machines fitted with the DC motors on ebay and also the DC motors on their own, but I had not seen any listed for a while and his ebay shop had gone rather quiet so I did wonder if he had stopped selling them.

Well like I said I managed to get hold of him and he explained he had just taken on a mobility business, and the mobility scooter side of things had pushed the sewing machine side of things into the background temporarily while he got his new business premises organised, but yes he does still produce the motors... phew!
He said if I emailed him pics of my sewing machine set up at some point then he would sort out a DC motor for me.
:)
I nurse unloved vintage Berninas back to health and then just cannot bring myself to part with any of them... 807, 830, 840, 530-2, 930, 910, and a modded 717 in a Singer treadle base.

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Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2018, 21:49:36 PM »
The motor looks very nice in the video, runs evenly and keeps it's power on lower speeds too. I have rarely had problems with the original motor on my 201, I have the standard motor on the 730 which is half or less of the amps on the Favorites. Your 840 should in theory have a strong, speedy motor? The old cast iron straight stitchers run faster and easier on less amps than a swing arm straight stitcher. I would double check specs on the new motor and compare with the one you have. I guess Alistair have found a good one, better than some of the YDK motors available (which isn't bad, just not much of an improvement, and they probably aren't all the same). Could be worth it of the Bernina motor can't be improved upon or just isn't up to the job.

Madame Cholet

Re: Restoring a Bernina 840 Favorit
« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2018, 23:11:11 PM »
The motor looks very nice in the video, runs evenly and keeps it's power on lower speeds too. I have rarely had problems with the original motor on my 201, I have the standard motor on the 730 which is half or less of the amps on the Favorites. Your 840 should in theory have a strong, speedy motor? The old cast iron straight stitchers run faster and easier on less amps than a swing arm straight stitcher. I would double check specs on the new motor and compare with the one you have. I guess Alistair have found a good one, better than some of the YDK motors available (which isn't bad, just not much of an improvement, and they probably aren't all the same). Could be worth it of the Bernina motor can't be improved upon or just isn't up to the job.

Unfortunately my 840 came with no motor whatsoever, as it had been used in an industrial table with a clutch motor, which the seller kept to use with another machine head.

So I put the YDK motor on the 840 as I had it already, having bought it for another machine in the past but not used it. The 840 sews most fabrics amazingly fast with the YDK motor, but it really starts to struggle with thicker layers.

I want to use the 840 with my leather wheel presser foot to sew not-too-thick leather shoe uppers, and also to make some more bags. I think I am right in saying that Alistair has designed and assembles the DC motor set up himself, but he's a very busy man at the minute so I don't know when he'll have the chance to get one made for me, although he has promised that he will.

An industrial table and motor would be the ideal solution, but because of my lack of space I'm hoping the DC motor will provide the extra power I need, until I can afford to move to a bigger house, lol! 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 23:53:54 PM by Madame Cholet »
I nurse unloved vintage Berninas back to health and then just cannot bring myself to part with any of them... 807, 830, 840, 530-2, 930, 910, and a modded 717 in a Singer treadle base.