This is the machine, as found; and now affectionately known as "Ruby". Other than lots of dirt, lint and crumbly wiring, she doesn't look bad for her age at all.
|1926 Singer 99|
I want to keep this machine as original as possible, with the exception of the wiring. Wiring that is 80+ years old can be scary - brittle, crumbly, and exposed bare wires. All of those things can add up to a painfully dangerous shock, house fire, or worse. And being unable to test the machine's motor, I have to keep in mind that it may need replacing. So the first step was to photograph everything and from multiple angles and begin assessing what parts/materials I would need to restore this machine.
First things to add to the budget, electrical supplies - $30 for a potential motor replacement; $5-$10 for wiring/cords/soldering supplies/etc. I already had some wire left over from the previous machine's re-wire; I bought it in bulk to save on shipping. Somehow, I knew I would be going down this road again in the future. But I still want to account for it in the 'total cost' of refurbishment. It gives me a good idea of a machine's 'cost of ownership' should I decide to rescue another vintage machine. (And we all know given my current track record, there will be others. I'm perusing Craigslist now as I write this post.)
The internal wiring didn't look too bad on the surface. But, being cloth covered, looks can be deceiving. Upon deeper inspection, I found exposed wires where both the cloth and latex insulator had worn away, and on a few of the end connectors, the wires had broken into separate pieces.
|On the surface, wiring 'looks' okay. But it is hard and non-flexible. It has survived past its lifespan.|
|The motor controller is removed from the case. This controller requires the round-ended knee lever, which I was fortunate in that it came with the machine. Those levers frequently are lost, and sell online for more than most machines are worth.|
|The BU7 A motor that came with the machine. I did jury-rig a quick set up to test that the motor powered up and turned over. It did; but I failed to notice the rotational direction; more on that later.|
And just in case technology failed me, I made a hand drawing of the wiring to put away with my notes. And even though I back up my photos religiously, I still like tangible hard copies of some things, thus my diagram:
More disassembly to come in the next post.