August 28, 2011

White 765 (1965)

The 765 really surprised me when I finished the restoration and began trial sewing; it is a great performer.

Although the same time frame as the 764 (1965) the 765 is from an entirely different design influence.

Rectilinear streamlining! Now were' talking Grand Torino :-)

This is a great machine; heavy as a brick, smooth, quiet, and goes through leather very well.

Although simple the ZZ window is very nice; the bar slides back & forth behind the numbers.

I would like to get the story on the Industrial designers who were at White during the 60s & 70s... I would like to celebrate their contribution and ambition.


August 25, 2011

White 764 (1964)

The 764 introduced during the 1964 New York World's Fair really shows the degree to which the other than Singer makers were willing to go to attract buyers and differentiate them selves from the old generation. White seems to have maintained a very creative streak after the War when they and many others shifted manufacturing to Japan.

The colors are great; a metallic dark pearl upper and a standard beige lower make for a friendly machine. Controls are large and move easily, it's a well engineered machine. A real unique design feature is the integrated handle. The styling however may be argued as a little dated in that the forms and surface treatment are actually from a 1940s automotive vocabulary. This I think was odd; whomever was in charge of styling at the time was caught in a previous decade... it may be that the 765 was a corrrective responce. This design was and still is adventurous however just out of step with what was forward looking or "modern" at that time.

Jeff Bergman
Built like a brick house it sports a 1.3 amp motor, ZZ, button holing, etc. This particular one has had a hard life; I had to rebuild the reverse button from shattered pieces and the main hook shaft was frozen do to a crack in the casting! I am an amateur machinist and was able to realign the main shaft with a few hours of labor.

August 16, 2011

White 793

The White 793 was an ugly looking non working machine but with minimal effort she came back to life and is beautiful.

Good looking, easy to use, has lots of stitches, and a 1.3 amp motor too. The bobbin winder has the unique feature of disengaging a clutch when rotated up to contact the fly wheel... really the best solution compared to loosening the big hand nut on most other machines.

White with a blue hard top is pretty rare in cars

August 15, 2011

Brother Select-O-Matic (1957)

Something drew me to this little beauty even as a non working, varnished mess.
Along with a 1.5amp motor it is the most powerful domestic machine I have come by so far.

It has a mix of old and new design that is really unique. The color scheme alone is very special; the gunmetal blue upper along with the glossy beige is rare. Take note of the subtle curve between the main body and the top cover; no other machine before plastics would have done this, check it out they all have a straight line separating the top cover and the body.
I have the original warranty card... it was purchased in 1957 here in Michigan. It came with a nice white oak veneer cabinet.

This was my greatest restoration project to date; it took over 8 hours to get it clean & running. The incredible level of oil varnish was the easy part, I took virtually every single part off to clean and adjust. I learned a lot about cleaning and adjusting machines; the ZZ was completely locked up. Every mechanism is adjustable in every way so with enough time you can get it perfect.

This machine illustrates an incredible level of engineering, design, and manufacturing skill; clearly a decade or two before the MBA's were hired to cut costs. The Geiger counter style indicator for the Zig-Zag width is so engineering inspired... must have been some WWII design engineer in charge.

There are two beautifully made enamel badges, they cleaned up nicely. The large solid aluminum knob with the enameled badge adjusts the ZZ width. although it retains the old style reverse lever instead of the button (which I prefer) it has 100's of stitch styles with built in cams.

Although not extremely rare there don't seem to be many around. looking forward to hearing from you about yours.

OK I have to go-on about this machine; because of the powerful motor she is really good at low speeds, great for leather. But its the sound (or lack there-of) that is so wonderful; this machine sounds like no other.