The Sewing Place

Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.

crafter

Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« on: October 13, 2018, 21:43:53 PM »
Okay I have been given approval for buying a new machine (cheek, as if I need to ask!) but cannot decide what to do.  At the moment my arrangements are

An old F&R straight stitch which is heavy duty and is great for heavy jobs.
 
A little cheap Brother bought in a panic for a wedding dress alteration about 15 years ago with a fabulous stitch, lightweight and hardly used.

A Bernina 180 Artista sewing and embroidery machine, probably about 25 years old with the embroidery unit which works great as an embroidery machine but there is something wrong with the feed dogs and I have a short stitch even on the longest setting and it glides all over the place when I try a straight line.  Plus the software is no longer available to download embroidery images.

A Brother Overlocker

A Coverpro coverstitch machine

A Huskystar embellisher (hardly out of its box)

I have a budget of around £500/£600 for something new.  I don't know whether I should/could buy something that would do the job of the first 3.  This would get me something that is far better than the little Brother but is only 10% of the cost of replacing the Artista with today's equivalent.

I have a specialist "Bernina Doctor" living nearby.  Should I let him have the Bernina to correct the feed dog problem and risk using a large part of my budget if it cannot be done.  And then there is the possibility of the motherboard just giving up at any time because of its age.

I don't usually have a problem spending money  :devil:  I would really appreciation your views on this because I am in a quandary.
A perfectionist never achieves perfection.  If perfection was achieved, then the standard was not set high enough.

BrendaP

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 23:10:35 PM »
Ask the Bernina doctor for a quote to repair the Artista.

Hang on to the Frister & Rossman, there is always the odd job that really needs a sturdy heavyweight

Trade in the Brother.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

Marniesews

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 01:20:37 AM »
Don't write off the Bernina because of age. There are still a huge number of the earliest computerised Berninas still going strong and, if your Bernina Doctor isn't hopeful for your Aritista, I'd strongly suggest putting your budget into another used Bernina. Impossible to better them within that price range I think personally.

I couldn't help but notice at this week's Knitting & Stitching Show just how many stallholders who had brought a machine for their own use during the show were using an old Bernina (a couture stall and free motion embroidery were two I can specifically recall) - even though they're pretty heavy for carting around a lot. That says a great deal I think.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 50m
So far: 6m fabric; approx 40m crin (horsehair braid)

arrow

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2018, 01:52:43 AM »
As mentioned, the Arista needs a service, and if you still like it, track down someone who bothers about them. How much can it be?  I guess this is the area you need something new, a good basic sewing machine with various utility stitches and buttonholer? I would not hesitate to replace the Arista with something like a new 350, 530 or 570, but they just cost way more than your (or my) budget. How much do you embroider? These days anything nice is at least £1000. (I'm sticking to my 201).
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 21:58:14 PM by arrow »

crafter

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2018, 21:12:31 PM »
Thank you ladies, you have helped me make up my mind.

The Bernina goes to the doc tomorrow.  He is a specialist.  His trading name is The Bernina Doctor, doesn't have anything to do with any other machines.  And he is only 10 miles away.  For this part of the world where we have absolutely nothing on our doorstop, then he is as good as next door.

I really don't think I could get used to anything less than the Bernina performance and (usually) reliability.  She is a beauty, even for her age.  I asked at one of the sewing shows what the cost of an equivalent Bernina is and they said £6000.  Maybe if I was sewing professionally still and had a lot of money to dispose of because I had made huge profits.  Ha ha, we live in hope.

The F&R stays, the only machine I will let GS loose on.  He has a hand crank 128K but is dying to get onto an electric machine.

The Brother stays too.  I am about to start a Craft Club in the village and that one will go there

So, all depends on the Bernina being fixable.  I'm thinking positive. ;)
A perfectionist never achieves perfection.  If perfection was achieved, then the standard was not set high enough.

toileandtrouble

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 14:57:08 PM »
I would have thought that a feed dog problem would be  simply mechanical, which ought to be fixable.  Hope so!

arrow

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 15:41:31 PM »
I don't know how much you can do yourself on the Arista model, but on some models you can take out the throat plate, bobbin case and hook for cleaning. That is one of the best advantages with the older machines, they were made for it. I have had machines hard packed with felted lint from years of what I imagine were cotton and fluffy polyester thread. The feed dogs could hardly raise above the throat plate. It's surprising how much that will gather in the freearm of a sewing machine, particularly around the feed dogs.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 18:57:29 PM by arrow »

crafter

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 16:35:19 PM »
I will give  that a go  @arrow . Usually use Hoover nozzle but it could need.more.
A perfectionist never achieves perfection.  If perfection was achieved, then the standard was not set high enough.

arrow

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 16:17:34 PM »
Have you had a chance to look at it? I think all machines need some form of lubrication, it's just they have clever ways of making it last long, but nothing last forever. The sintered gears on the first lubrication free Husqvarnas and Pfaffs are know to be sluggish and completely dired out  now (30 - 40+ years later). When we have searched up service manuals for these, it turns out they aren't lubrication free, but a service guy is meant to add a specific type of  stable and a bit thicker oil to the gears during service. I don't think there are a lot of sintered gears around any more (maybe?), but all hinges, shafts and gears tend to need a drop of something.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 22:45:59 PM by arrow »

crafter

Re: Decisions, Decisions re buying a new machine.
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 22:21:55 PM »
Well, you seem to know your stuff, @arrow!  I was going to have a go at freeing up any lint but frankly I am terrified of messing all up.  I am so clumsy I am bound to drop a screw somewhere in the inner workings.

So I have spoken to the Bernina Doc today, who asked me to twiddle certain bits and move the feed dogs manually and he is pretty sure it is a broken spring which is "pennies".  Its booked in for a service next week, hopefully, as he is very busy.

The cost of a service is £75 plus any parts, which is far less than I thought.  I was thinking of hundreds.  He was very positive about the machine which is nice because as I got it and the embroidery machine at a ridiculously bargain price I really haven't valued it as much as I should have.

Although I haven't had it serviced much, I have oiled it fairly regularly, so hopefully no harm done.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 22:23:43 PM by crafter »
A perfectionist never achieves perfection.  If perfection was achieved, then the standard was not set high enough.