October 3, 2011

Morse MZZ (1957)

The MZZ is quite a machine. It has many castings in it clearly labeled "Toyota." Found on CL it was in a terrible state... from on abused home and with a few miles on it, but it came back to life and cleaned up really well. The 1.5 amp motor looks original and is date stamped OCT 57.
Stitch length is controlled by the lower right dial, reverse is a push button in the center of the dial. ZZ is up top with the enameled M in the center. I like the dial type stitch length controls much better than the lever type; it is just more intuitive.

A little clunky in the styling department but in person its very appealing. There is a very "Japanese" or at least 50's element in the styling that I would like to highlight, that is in the molding of the off-white, partially translucent control knobs. They have a very subtle milky white swirl to the plastic moldings that to some may look like a mistake but to others makes each machine unique. I think it counters some of the doughy 50's forms and adds an organic element to the final work.

To my surprise during the tear-down & cleaning I discovered an additional light bulb inside the main casting under the top cover! The design team made a tremendous but unfortunatly futile effort to back-light the stitch width indicator :-) It would be so cool if it worked I may try to improve the light path if I can do so without permanently modifying the original machine. 

I am starting to make simple wood frames for my in use machines and I have a secrete way of attaching them to the machine without those ridiculous looking plastic swing nuts that are on every portable case.




  1. Can you post a pic of your sewing machine frames with swing nuts?

  2. What i do for these bases is remove the hinges because they really aren't necessary for using the machine on a table. I make a four sided frame that the casting sits on top of using standard 3/4 x 3" (actually 2.5") planks from the hardware store. if you make the inside of the frame smaller than the outside dimensions of the casting then the machine just sits on top. the secret is to put four dabs of silicone sealer between the frame and the machine then they stay together but can be separated when necessary.

  3. Just pick up one of these beauties at our church thrift store - can you tell me what the dial to the left of the bobbin peg on the base of the machine is for?
    It reads "tack" "silk" "norm"

  4. Hi, it is a beautiful machine. That knob is the drive tooth or feed dog height adjustment; if you watch the height of the feed dogs (and it isn't frozen in the up position) under the chrome plate they should drop down as you go from "norm" to "tack"

  5. How much is one worth in really good working condition?

  6. I have a question. I am looking at one of these off ebay to put into a white mission style treadle base. I would really love to have a treadle zigzag, and got the base w/o the machine. Can you tell me if the hinges and pin holes will line up? Thank you.