Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pfaff 130: We're On Our Way


Just looking at this picture gives me a happy feeling. The Pfaff 130 and I have embarked on what I hope will be a long and productive relationship. I say this knowing how fickle I am about sewing machines, but this one really does seem to have a great spirit. The industrial motor gives it all the power I find lacking in typical domestic machines, but at heart it is a versatile and flexible home machine.

I have notions about the butcher block table top. Its battered look has a lot of charm but, like the machine, it seems to be asking for some oil. And maybe a little sanding before the oil.

To bring the machine into service, I did a few mechanical things, and I've several yet to do. First of course was oiling. My general tendency is to start out by squirting lots of oil (specifically, I use Triflow lubricant, which has added silicone) in every apparent oil port. As I work on the machine, I add more and more. When I first started up with this sewing machine interest, I was very sparing with the oil. I had read cautions about not slopping it everywhere. It's true that there are parts (plastic ones) that don't need and probably don't benefit from coming into contact with oil. But not on this machine.

Gene Champion is a, err, well-seasoned sewing machine mechanic from Columbus, NC. He came up to troubleshoot a problem I was having with an old Singer walking foot machine last summer, and he ended up tending to most all of the machines I had at that time. He poured oil into a little cup and kind of sloshed it up into the underside of the machine (using his screwdriver as a ladle) as the machine was running full speed. That was my clue to be more liberal with the oil.

So I oiled and oiled and oiled the Pfaff and then I greased the gears in the machine pillar and behind the bobbin with Triflow grease. Disassembling and reassembling the hook nearly brought me to my knees, but I finally got it done. I oiled the spinning around areas leading into the antique industrial motor. (The motor still needs to be serviced but I am rather daunted by it).

The machine came to me making a slight zigzag when on the straight stitch setting. The service manuals found at the Old Pfaff Yahoo Group taught me how to fix that, and I surely would never have figured it out on my own.

I replaced the motor belt and bypassed the red device visible in my previous post. That was a speed reducer, it turns out. Why anyone would ever have felt the need to reduce the speed of this well-mannered industrial motor is a bit of a mystery to me. It's true I am used to industrial motors, but this one is a kitten. I can easily sew stitch by stitch with complete control. Everything works much better with just one belt controlling the motor directly.

What I am trying to convey here is that I've spent quite a bit of time on this machine, and yet there is still so much to be done! Working on old machines is time consuming and only makes sense as a labor of love. Or as a slightly unhealthy obsession.


Since the Pfaff uses M class bobbins, unlike any of my other current machines, I didn't have a spot for them in my usual bobbin holders. This magnetic tool rack had been kicking around the sewing room for a while, looking for a use. It sticks itself right to the frame of the table and holds the bobbins very securely. They are certainly right at hand!

This machine is my new love. I don't know what the future will hold for us, but the beginnings of a romance are very sweet!

20 comments:

  1. Oh it is lovely! Enjoy sewing with it.

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  2. I have one of these machine from the original owner, her husband bought it for her when it first was manufactured and it sat in her sewing room barely used for all those years.
    I have many machine including a Union Special Industrial machine from a closed down factory in Alabama. I haven't used my Pfaff 130 because it was too slow. After coming across your blog today now I know why. As you mentioned in your post my must have the speed reducer belt, the red one, so what kind of belt do I replace it with? I am a snowbird going from Ohio to Florida and this time I brougt my Pfaff 130 with me, I forget the instuction manual and the circle guide for the Embroidery Module 50010 attachment so I can't figure this one out. I am still in Fl due to being in an auto accident on Christmas day and can't get back to Ohio until my back treatments are finished. I am so glad to come across your blog. Any help will be most appreciated.
    Thanks for your time,
    Carlotta

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    1. You need to phone Mr. Doyle Baggett, Warner Robins, GA for all your Pfaff, Singer and any other older sewing machine. If you are interested in purchasing one, he has several available. He is an amazing fellow, and seriously knows sewing machines!!!

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  3. did you ever used the pfaff 130 for sewing leather or fur?

    hugs
    kris

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  4. did you ever used the pfaff 130 for sewing leather or fur?

    hugs
    kris

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  5. Great article, warms my heart to read that others enjoy my new found hobby since I retired from being a licensed aircraft technician/inspector for the past 48.5 years. Here is my latest post on the Pfaff 130-6 needle to hook and needle bar checking and adjustments by: Vince J. Arcuri, I now have 292 HD video's on You Tube. My channel name is Vince J. Arcuri:

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  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vNWUYfbm78 My name is Vince J. Arcuri, I just wrote the previous comment but my You Tube link was not published, I will try to add it here on timing and adjusting the Pfaff 130 hook to needle and the needle bar height.

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  7. Can you steer me to info on the "hump" controls on the back of the machine? What do they do? How do they work? Is there any published instructions for them? The manual I have doesn't cover it; I don't even know what the correct term for the system is.

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    1. Hi there, the "hump" is called the 50010 unit. Some people also refer to it as the "coffee grinder". You can get information about how to get it working and a digital copy of the manual at the Yahoo Group for vintage Pfaffs. First you must get a log in for Yahoo, then request a membership for the Pfaff group. It's easy, though! Hope that helps.

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  8. Can you steer me to info on the "hump" controls on the back of the machine? What do they do? How do they work? Are there any published instructions for them? The manual I have doesn't cover it; I don't even know what the correct term for the system is.

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  9. I just bought a Pfaff 130 from a couple that moved into a home and it was left there. The belt that goes around the hand wheel will not move and it heats up. I turned it off and looked on line and downloaded an instruction manual and then bought a repair manual from Sewing Wizard. Neither of these booklets tell you how to adjust this belt. Could you tell me what I should do. Debbie.cooper@yahoo.com

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    1. Sounds like the belt is too tight, maybe it needs to be replaced with the correct one. Or it could just be that oil on the components has dried out from storage and disuse. Over time it turns to varnish and causes parts to act like they are welded together. If sewing oil won't release things try a penetrating oil. You can also use a little heat like from a hair dryer. Once you get the slightest movement you can keep working penetrating oil and heat in there until it all frees up.

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  10. How did you get the machine to straight stitch? The costume shop I work in has the same Pfaff and zig zags in the straight stitch position.

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    1. Hello meg, with a screwdriver a degree left or right on the main shaft in he knob (if they ar not frozen )), set the needle low point and set it in the middle by turning the mainshaft (loosen the screw first under the knob), the next turn do it again and your stitch is straight.

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  11. Necesito el número de catálogo de la banda de la Pfaff 130

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  12. I have a Pfaff 130 that was my mother's before I inherited it. Two years ago the latch on the case came open as I was lifting it off the table. It landed hard and broke the hand wheel. I had to buy a cheap Brother machine to get me by. (Ugh! I hate everything about it. Miss my Pfaff.) If anyone ever hears of a Pfaff 130 being parted out, I'd love to buy a hand wheel. Thank you! sherpashanda@gmail.com

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    1. You know vintage singer hand wheels fit pfaff 130 shafts .

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    2. I didn't know that, Dane. Thank you. Maybe that will help me get my Pfaff up and running again. I can't stand the Brother sewing machine I had to buy to get me by.

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  13. loved you intro and thanks for the type M tip. Im on my way now. My 130 isnt my first or only. Family Sew walking foot (e.g. Sailrite), Jenome HD1000, and now Grandpa. He seems like the Master of both of those. More later. //sd

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