Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pfaff 130 in an Industrial Table

There was no need.

But the presence of several outstanding vintage sewing machines hanging around waiting to be used was not enough to dissuade me from purchasing this Pfaff 130. Why did I want this one (since I could never claim to need it)?


It's in a butcher block table. I love them and have had my eye out for one for some time. It's not the kind of thing a person can buy on eBay.


There is a knee lift, presently deactivated. I have not yet worked out whether or how it can be brought back into service. Your thoughts welcome on this! But if I can have the knee lift on a classic vintage machine that does both straight stitch and zigzag, I would love it.


Pulley and industrial motor setup such as I have never worked with. I can't resist the lure of the unknown.


The machine and its paint and decals are in lovely condition. All of these photos are in "as found" condition. I am optimistic that this machine will clean up beautifully. That strip of masking tape on the bed in the photo is already a thing of the past.

That hump on the back is a device called the Automatic 50010. Pfaff's manual notes: "With this device some 54 varieties in fancy stitching can be done by the use of but one needle." Well, it may be some time before I get around to exploring those 54 varieties, but it's a curious and interesting device, which seems rather similar to the Wonder Wheel available for Necchi machines of the same era. You could purchase these to add a set of external cams (all completely metal, of course) to your basic zigzag machine.

Things you can't see from these photos: first, and most importantly, the needle and hook for this machine are mounted such that the needle goes in with the flat side to the back. I'm sure there's a name for this, such as "transverse" or some such, but I don't know it. This setup allows the use of a twin needle, unlike the needle mounting arrangement of the Necchi BU or the Singer 201 or lots of other vintage machines. When the eye of the needle faces to the side, a twin needle can't be used.

Second, and I must take more photos to show you, this machine came with a very complete set of attachments--hemmers and tuckers and rufflers and cording feet.

A happy discovery: the M class bobbin used by the Pfaff (no, it's not a class 15; that would be just too easy to be sporting) is the same as that used by many single needle drop feed industrials. I just sold one of these machines (long story), but I kept the nicest of the bobbins I had bought for it, which were manufactured by Viking for its MegaQuilter. It's a wonderful thing to have a good number of beautiful, high quality bobbins for this Pfaff, especially since the bobbins that came with it are quite corroded.

It wouldn't be an unnecessary, probably over-priced, Craigslist sewing machine purchase if I could just come home and sew, now would it? I've applied lots of oil to the visible points, but there is still much stiffness. Planned next interventions are to remove the hook and grease the hook gears and then to perhaps remove the handwheel and lubricate that area. It needs a new treadle belt, which I fortunately have. At the moment it is SLOW, which has come as a surprise.

So that's my find. What do you think?

20 comments:

  1. Wow, so glad I found your blog. I am a 40-something, redhaired, four-leaf-clover-finding, garment-sewing and vintage-machine-collecting mom to 7 & 8 year old boys in Raleigh. I have over a dozen machines, including a Necchi and Singers in various states from beautiful to blech. I have found thousands, yea thousands of those little mutant clovers - it's so relaxing, isn't it? The clothes you make would fit me perfectly, by the looks of it. Amazing we can have so much in common!

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    1. Nina, long-lost-twin, maybe there is some connection between hunting the four-leaf clovers and vintage sewing machines? When people ask me how I find so many, I say, "I look". So glad you found your way to my blog! If you ever come this way, maybe we could meet up?

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    2. Any chance you have a garden and chickens?

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  4. Hi,
    I have a Pfaff 130 in an industrial table and I love it! It's not in a butcher block table,(luckY!) although I do own a Vintage Long Arm Industrial Singer that has a butcher block table... Anyway, I broke the little cast iron lever arm on my Pfaff 130 that mounts to the backside of the machine for the knee lift. You have the Automatic 50010 "organ Grinder" embroidery attachment mounted there, which is why your knee lift is not hooked up. The only way to hook up your knee lift is to remove your embroidery attachment. I did some research into it because I have another Pfaff 130 that has it too... anyway, taking it off and switching it to another machine is complicated and I decided not to try it...
    But if you have the cast iron bar that came off the back of your machine for the knee lift, and are willing to part with it, I'd love to buy it! nala woman at yahoo dot com... (:

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    1. Thanks for the information! I sort of half-removed the 50010 when I was cleaning the machine, but I wasn't able to loosen one of the nuts that would allow it to be removed completely. I'm sorry that I don't have the knee lift bar; only the abandoned part of the lift that attaches to the table.

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    2. Are you looking to sell any of the parts you removed from the 50010. Atbellbuckletn@aol.com Thanks

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  5. and here is a link to a free manual that shows all the points to oil it at!: http://www.scribd.com/doc/57698461/Pfaff-130-Manual

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  6. Does anyone have the manual for the 50010. I have what I think is just part of one. The pages aren't numbered so its hard to tell. Also for those that have one, The piston knob on mine is missing. Looks like it may have broken off right by the knob part. Can still pull it by the screw part but it wont stay out of the groove. Anyone know how to repair that? Thanks in advance. atbellbuckletn@aol.com

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  7. I just picked up a Pfaff 130 from a friend that buys storage units and said if I didn't want it he was going to take it to the dump!!! My Pfaff is almost identical to yours with regards to the table/motor setup but I don't have that pully unit on the back of the table. I'm guessing that was added later to slow the machine down when sewing. I'm pretty excited to have gotten this unit and can't wait to get it running again. I've sanded and am refinishing the top (butcher block...BEAUTIFUL!!) and am repainting the legs/pedal. I don't have the embroidery unit on the back of the machine so the knee lift intact and is a nice addition.
    The paint on the bed of the machine isn't in good shape so I'll be repainting the machine as well. Thanks for sharing your pictures!!! I'll try to get some posted somewhere once mine is done.

    Eric

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    1. Eric, how wonderful that you and your 130 found one another. I am so impressed that you are refinishing the top and repainting the base. I would love to do that someday, but just now it doesn't seem like I should be spending that time on that project. I also want to replace the motor with a servo. The vintage industrial motor works wonderfully (and is so easy to control, unlike many industrial motor set ups) but there is no denying the noise issue. Jealous of your knee lift!

      Thank you for letting me know about your find and I hope you will be even happier with it once you have it ready to sew.

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    2. Thanks for the reply!!! I'm done refinishing the table and WOW was that easy. I just removed the the components (motor, legs, top, knee lift) and worked on them separately. I just sanded the top down to bare wood and then stained it with a cherry stain (my wife Barbara's suggestion) and finished with three coats of Minwax Satin poly. For the base I just roughed it up with a sanding pad and sprayed it with Rustoleum. I bought a larger extension cord at Home Depot and rewired the whole unit and installed a new on/off switch just for giggles. It really looks and works GREAT!!
      Last night I started tearing into the machine and hope to have it re-worked in a couple of weeks. Admittedly I'm a gearhead but enjoy sewing on occasion too. I'm fixing the Pfaff so Barbara can use it for recovering a sofa in our basement and not have to drag all the sewing to her Berninia two floors up. I'll use it for projects on my sailboat.
      I do have a question for you. I see you removed that red pulley assembly on your table and I'm wondering if you'd like to part with it. That piece was undoubtly installed to both slow the machine down and would also increase it's penetrating power. If you would like to sell it I'd be interested.
      P.S. Your site is wonderful and I'm going to show it to Barbara. She is quite the seamstress and makes absolutely beautiful clothes, curtains or whatever she touches. I'm impressed with your work too!!

      Eric

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    3. Eric, your project sounds so beautiful. I would love to see a photo. I also enjoyed hearing about your admiration for your wife's work--I bet she is amazingly talented.

      I'd be willing to part with the speed reducing assembly. Why don't you email me at v daffron (a t) g m a i l . c o m and we'll go from there?

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  8. Hi,

    I just bought a pfaff 130 with the 50010 attachment, this machine will go thru leather. I too am looking for a manual for the 50010, sure would appreciate help on the manual.

    Thanks

    Jack G

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  9. here's a site that has 8 pages on how to install 50010 unit, not how to use it,
    https://picasaweb.google.com/105455792801049523904/Pfaff_130_50010?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLmC5I6lqqrAfQ&feat=directlink#5909500166531652834

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  10. The Pfaff 130 is not an industrial machine and a powerful industrial motor will destroy it. Expect the cleated belt to snap quite soon.

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    1. Roger, thank you very much for your comment and for your words of caution. Although what you say makes sense to me, I'm not quite sure how to proceed in the face of it. Best I was told by the person who sold this machine to me, it was configured and used this way for a number of years before I got it. I've been using it now for over a year. I don't sew particularly fast, and I haven't been working on anything very heavy, but I hear you that the industrial motor produces more torque than a domestic would do. Finding a domestic motor would be an effort and an expense, so I suppose I am inclined to keep on with the machine as it's configured now. If the belt snaps, that's it for the machine, but I would be able to part out the 50010 and other components.

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