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.

24 comments:

  1. I have one of these & love it! I had the option of the 793 when shopping craigslist but chose this one as I loved way it looked & figured it was all that I needed. Like that you include the car pics with these as "old cadillac" is always how I've referred to mine. Only comment is that stitch length & width seem small (as compared to my mom's commercial-grade 1980s machine). Is this common? Was there a different stitch size norm back then?

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    1. Thanks for the comments, it is a unique good looker!
      I find the stitch length and the ZZ to be substantial; the ZZ is so big that it is suprizing.
      A thorough cleaning and oiling is always in order on these old machines.
      Service can add a lot to the machine cost but could get it running perfect.

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  2. There is one on craigslist here in Portland, OR that looks pretty nice and they want $75 for the machine and case - is this a good price?

    I have caught the vintage sewing machine bug and just love the looks of this one - I bought a White Rotary a few weeks ago - Model/Serial #1x1q357 - made in 1929 in Cincinnati

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    1. Hi Sue, these are cool for the collection. I have adopted a very strict low price policy especially on these Japanese machines because they are around and they come up often enough. I would not pay over half of that unless it is spotless, start at $35 and stay firm! I got another one for $20. Good luck & have fun.

      Tom

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  3. Hi Tom,
    I have one these handed down from my grandma. She was an expert seamstress. My machine has been sitting in my basement for years. I once tried to take it apart to see how it worked (before I knew the first thing about sewing). In the process I lost the bobbin case, race cover, shuttle. Could you point me in the right direction on where I could get these parts?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Jen Greenwell

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    1. Well this will take a little time and effort but there are a couple of ways to go.
      1st start on craigslist to find an old machine hopefully in "for parts" condition, but regardless if you can get a machine for $30 or $40 you will be good.
      2nd is sewingpartsonline or some such thing lots of people are selling lots of parts, check at least a couple of sites to make sure pricing isn't out of line.
      This machine is identical (mechanically) to many other machines from Japan of the same era (like the White 793.) the bobbin case itself is extremely common but there are some differences, I found good ones for cheap at Joann’s.

      This is a very good machine when it's tuned up.
      Good luck

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    2. You are so kind to reply so quickly. I will try these options first. Thank you so much.

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  4. Hi Tom
    I want to buy acessorie feet for my machine but I am not what foot it will take.ie rotary or short shank. Any help? thanks

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    1. It is a short shank and is like many other machines from Japan of that period, mostly all interchangable. You don't need a special foot for this machine; any short should do.

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  5. Hello... are you still in the loop ? I just bought a 764 and have a problem with the tension disc. I would so much appreciate your help... Regards

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    1. I'm guessing you mean the thread tension not the bobbin tension?
      The thread tension was likely taken apart and needs to be "zeroed out" again, by that I mean get the middle of the range (5) to stitch correctly on 2 - 4 layers of light fabric.
      Let me know more and I'll try to help.

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  6. What size replacement belt do I need to get for my White 764?

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    1. I measured 13" or 330mm
      See: https://www.sewingpartsonline.com/blog/sewing-machine-belts-sizing/

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    2. Was that the outside circumference?

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  7. I'm looking at one that is missing the bobbin and needle. How difficult would these be to replace?

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  8. I'm looking at one that is missing the bobbin and needle. How difficult would these be to replace?

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    1. Needles are universal for domestic machines like this and bobbins are very common.
      Bring the bobbin case with you to the sewing supply store or local repair guy and get the correct one. You should have about 6 in hand.

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    2. Thanks so much! And from a previous post, you noted the bobbin case is a generic item as well?
      She says she has it, but the pic she sent was to confirm none of the internal bobbin stuff was missing (the parts that would require another machine).
      I'm so excited, picking it up today :)

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  9. I'm glad I found this site, I just bought a 769 on eBay. For a zipper foot would any low shank do? I have a brother a few years old which I believe is low shank does that mean this foot may be interchangeable?
    I may have additional questions also once my machine arrives, I'm excited.

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  10. Hello, I will soon be the owner of a White 764, however I bought it without a reverse button! Now I cannot find this part without perhaps buying another machine for parts. Blah. Do you by chance know where I can get a reverse button?

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    1. Mine came with that button broken... I was able to glue it back together.
      I was just working with it yesterday! and it really is an amazing machine, although it does not have a centered needle or left & right of center needle position it does have the widest ZZ I have ever seen!

      I am going to be selling it soon I hope.

      There will be no new parts for your machine however, like many other machines of that era made in Japan have similar buttons, your best bet is to make a craigslist and ebay search notification and wait for one to show up.

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  11. Hi Tom! I just bought one of these Fair Ladies and I'm having trouble making the presser foot shaft go up and down. I assume that there is a belt missing. If so, where would it be placed? I looked underneath and see no wheels to hold a belt.
    Thanks,
    Deb

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    1. Well the presser foot shaft is entirely in the top of the machine, so the lever to the back of the machine should push or drive it up by a cam type action, and the spring (around it) should force it down. There is nothing on the underside.
      If it doesn't move it is frozen and needs oiling and coaxing slowly.
      Now if you are talking about the drive feet underneath I would check to see if the darning setting is set up or down, this is an item that regularly freezes and if it is in the down position the machine won't sew.

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  12. I found my "Fair Lady" in our neighborhood Goodwill store for $19. She sat in my garage, then in a storage facility while we were house-hunting, then came to the new house and sat in garage here for almost 7 years. I finally got back in to sewing. I was using my Brother ($400 machine from walmart) one day when suddenly I remembered the old White! Husband pulled it out and we cleaned it, etc. Realized it needed service. Took it in to sewing machine store and waited 7 weeks to have it returned .. Just tried sewing with it today, after this long journey, and Wow! Was it worth the wait!!! I am in love with it! It sews like a dream. It is so fluid and quiet too. Mine happens to be in great shape, minus a couple of chips in the paint that are small and one deep scratch that the guy put in it while he was servicing it recently (boo)! This is a STURDY almost industrial type machine that can handle curves and stops and turns and twists anything you give it to handle. I will be sewing on my 1964 White machine for years to come. :) Beautiful machine. Hope all of you enjoy yours! *M

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