I've been hunting the used markets for another sewing machine. No, you're quite right..... I certainly don't need another machine but need and want are two different animals aren't they. That's what I thought....
I like to watch craigslist and ebay for machines as you can find good deals if you're patient. Usually I only look at local ebay listings because shipping a sewing machine is both risky and really expensive. However I will have a machine shipped if there is no other way. I bought a Pfaff 360 months ago on ebay that I never even told you about because it arrived broken from extremely negligent packing. It looked fine on the outside but the repair guy finally gave up on it after having it for over two months. He said it would need to be completely broken down and rebuilt costing a small fortune. I ended up leaving it with him in Alabama to be recycled as scrap metal.
Anyway... that was a downer story sorry!
Yesterday the stars lined up and I found my newest machine. The price was staying low due to the overinflated shipping price and it was in Quincy which is about 30 minutes from me.
I paid $31.89
Introducing the Singer 99- (I don't know why the dash but that's just how it is)
I guess a lot of people mistakenly think this is a featherweight because of it's small size. It is small and cute but it's no lightweight by any means. It may be the heaviest home machine I own at this point. What did Singer think people were going to be sewing, bricks?
It's a very pretty straight stitch only machine with reverse. Apparently some of the earlier 99 series did not have reverse stitch. It also uses class 66 drop in bobbins which I find to be a bit of a downer. I know I know, they're supposed to be more convenient but I don't find that to be the case. The bobbin tension is difficult to adjust and I have yet to figure out how to pull the hook for cleaning on the Rocketeer which is also a drop in bobbin. See that little bobbin tension screw in the center of above photo on the right? To get to that you have to angle the screw driver which makes it extremely easy to mess up the slot on the top of the screw. Unlike a lot of people (you know who you are) I adjust my bobbin tension all the time and this system is a PITA.
Something I really enjoy when purchasing old vintage machines is discovering little things here and there which lead me to wonder about the previous owner. This machine had a few oddities. First off the bobbin tension was set so high I could hardly pull the thread out. I don't know what she was sewing but it must have been all puckered seams with the knots pulled to the back side. Pool old gal probably couldn't figure out what she was doing wrong.
A note on the inside of the case still holds true today. I even go a step further by setting my presser foot pressure to the lowest setting AND lowering the foot if I don't plan on using a machine for a while. Unfortunately the pressure foot spring on the 99 had been compressed for too long and needs to be replaced. I tried to stretch it out and the brittle metal literally exploded into tiny pieces. Woops! Hopefully it'll only run me a few dollars.
The light is very pretty on this machine with a glass lens that focuses the light on the machine bed. A nice touch.
Considering the condition of the cord I'm assuming this is a newer 99 series. The Bakelite foot controller says 1950 to me but I'll have to have Singer run the serial number to be sure. It smells like a dusty attic which I enjoy. The case was not covered with dust and the machine was almost perfectly clean. I will admit that I did wax it for the photos.....
You have two options today, the easier to load Picasa slide show for those in a hurry and/or the critically acclaimed animated YouTube slideshow set to music. Personally I've seen them both about a dozen times... I highly recommend the second choice because I think it'll make you smile.
Picasa Slide Show:
YouTube Animated Slide Show: