Now that the Singer 15K80 is clean, lubricated and forming acceptable stitches my thoughts return to some of the things which make this machine feel a little odd to me.
The first is probably going to be the easiest to sort out. Look at this:
Notice how slender and wonky the upper spool pin is? I think that this is because it's not a spool pin at all!
A nail maybe?
The "spool pin" is loose and was easily lifted out of the top of the machine. This is an impostor! It's actually a pretty rough piece of steel standing in the place of a spool pin. Oh well. I guess it shouldn't be too difficult to pick up a genuine part like the nice stout straight one below the bobbin winder. I think I will have to check out that well known on line auction site.
There's something else. It's not so easily spotted and maybe something the machine and I will have to persevere with for the moment at least. I will try and show you.
If you look closely at this overhead shot of the balance wheel and hand crank you may notice that the decals on the machine bed and pulley guard do not match those on the top of the hand crank. In use it soon becomes apparent that the fit of crank in the spokes of the balance wheel isn't great either. If anything it's rather loose. I have the feeling that the crank is from an older machine a 27 maybe?
Well we all know that vintage machines get modified don't we? So... I wonder did this machine start life as a hand crank and get separated from the original somehow? Was this the result of conversion to an electric motor? Perhaps this unit started life in a treadle? Does anyone know if the answer to this mystery lies in serial number records?
When I first brought this machine home I had a vague idea that I might somehow use it for free-motion quilting. There's a lot of chat on line about how great Singer 15s are at that kind of work. I know that the 15K80 lacks dropping feed dogs but I have read that this isn't too much of a handicap if the stitch length is set to 0 stitches per inch. However I would still need to loose the hand crank on this particular example or try growing a third arm! I wonder if it would fit in the treadle cabinet that my 201K came in.