1918 Singer 127 "Sphinx"What I've been able to find out so far:
As received, looking a bit tired.
Spotted this one in a thrift store, wife got it for me for Christmas. It has similar, if not identical, decals to the handcranked Singer 15 in oriental cabinet - but unlike that machine its electric and in a much smaller base that doesn't take up nearly as much room!
Being that its from 1918, its my belief that it wasn't originally electric as the motor and light that were on it date from considerably later. In addition, its obvious that the cabinet/base that it was in, isn't original either. The portable base has aluminum hinges made in Japan, so I suspect that it dates from the immediate post WW II era. The motor and light probably date from about the same time.
It turned out that the bakelite motor had a cracked bearing carrier, so it was replaced with another motor of the same part number. The spotlight style light was missing its lens - and as these aren't particularly well loved by anyone, plus having sketchy wiring; I decided the best thing was to replace it as well with a brand new "SingerLight" style fixture rather than go to the trouble of rewiring it and having something sub-optimal. Since the light on this machine as found didn't date from 1918 anyway, I had no problem with replacing it.
The wiring was shot, so the machine was rewired, cleaned with orange oil, lubricated, and the foot pedal adjusted. Much like the Toyota TZ-17, I refurbished the base, but discarded the cover.
Just dirty and tired looking, esp. in hidden places like under the motor...
Motor wiring J-box, sketchy looking wiring - bare wires in places!
Cracked motor housing.
Inside of carbon pile controller, installing new wiring. Note sulphur deposits -
apparently from sulphur being precipitated from the air by ozone generated by the
controller depositing on steel parts over many years. A bit on the Bakelite too!
Fiberboard insulating insert - NOT asbestos as found in the 185K controller.
Looking much better with an orange oil cleaning.
Shuttle oiler was missing its packing - used a .22 caliber gun cleaning patch as a replacement.
After disassembling the spotlight light fixture, I kept the bulb as a spare for the
185K, and discarded the rest.
Mostly back together again, with replacement motor and new light.
Base was so cheap, that whoever made it didn't even bother to completely cover its bottom!
Hard to see, but the thin Masonite bottom has a partial punch-through, very much like
the situation with the TZ-17's base.
Old Tolex removed. It was literally rotten! Note the accessory compartment divider.
Sub-optimal situation here. The hinge pin screws go exactly between the two wooden pieces.
As this particular machine does not have wiring that needs to route from under it into the
accessory compartment, a new divider piece was fabricated...
... and installed. Another plywood piece reinforces the bottom of said compartment. These
were usually beefed up in the bottom for applications where there was a dual outlet attached here.
Overall shot, shows new 1/8" Masonite bottom, new divider, and some of the wood filler where the latch hardware used to be.
Green Tolex readied for bottom of accessory compartment...
... and glued in place.
Using hot hide glue...
Main piece of Tolex cut and marked - brush for hide glue.
Hot hide glue applied to both surfaces - note reflection in the glue on the Tolex.
Then turned over and smoothed out. Left to dry overnite.
Laying out the cuts...
Basic cuts done.
Flaps to cover the corners.
Clips to hold into inner lip while glue dries.
Here, the inside of the lip can be seen, holding Tolex in place with stick pins on the left...
Enables precise cuts.
Oftentimes, its easier, although far slower, to simply glue one part and let it dry overnite,
before figuring out how to trim it for the next portion. Business card glued in bottom!
Remaining stick pin was to hold a tricky spot for glueing. Goddess Bless this glorious mess!
In this case, only the ¼" wide top of the wood divider is being glued at the moment.
Held down with clamps for good, sharp corners, the other face will be glued later.
Hot hide glue applied to both surfaces...
Then smoothed down. Any excess is wiped away.
Nail in plastic feet.
First hinge installed.
Tolex trimmed away before second hinge installation.
Backside shot before test run. Why didn't I put some wood filler in the wood joint
there between the hinges? I put filler everywhere else that needed it, but not this!
Food pedal stows neatly in accessory compartment.
End on view.
First stitch run...
And several later.
And first actual use, repairing my granddaughter's shorts! No problems.
Machine didn't want to pick up the bottom thread because there was too much oil wicking into it, after several inches of sewing, it stopped being flakey and now seems to work just fine. I do note that in complete agreement with what I've been told, the Singer Vibrating Shuttle machines - or at least this one - does not run as smoothly as my National VS machines do.
Here are a some YouTube videos:
Initial assessment and run.
Post machine head refurbishment and run.
Base refurbishment complete, test sewing.