February 5, 2013

Pfaff 360 (1960)

Well I really am in to my Pfaffs. Although I had professed my OMG for the 332 when I saw her younger sister I new that was for me. I searched for several months to find a 360 and realized they were hard to come by, so I researched Ebay and got this one for a fair price. I'm not into buying these expensive machines, having them shipped, and hoping they are what I wanted, I prefer to wait for a CL listing but they must not have sold many in Michigan.


I found the SN date on Ismacs.





It has the same mechanics as the 332 but all of the human factors issues have been corrected; it is really the one to have. Forget all of the exotic stitches, all I need are the three levers and three dials. The dials are big, (you can get two fingers and a thumb on each) easy to read, and smooth rotating. The left and right of center is good, not like the 332 that takes two hands and three tries to get it into position.

FYI, I figured out how to fix the yellowed numbers on the 0 - 5 front dial. The dial comes apart fairly easily, take out the numbered disk, scan it at a hi resolution and Photo Shop the UV yellowing out of the scan. After you print it take some clear hard packing tape and cover both sides, then cut it out with an X-ACTO knife. I found it so annoying to have the whole machine cleaned up except for the yellowed numbers.


Since I use a flatbed machine when I need a flatbed I took the Rube Goldberg flatbed conversion parts off and stored them safely away.

It came with the crazy "Circletrol" too or maybe Circle-troll .




I'm afraid I didn't like the low speed fidelity of the Circletrol so I swapped it out for the gas pedal from the 332.

What a great machine, I'm really happy I did my homework and now understand why people pay full price for 360s with all the bells & whistles, they are worth it.



BMW Isetta, 1960: just look at the family resemblance; German is as German does!


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3 comments:

  1. I am wanting to learn to sew. I'm a car guy and my work would be related to car upholstery.

    I found a Pfaff 360 in the local used market. Looks like new, but I have no idea if it is up to the task of sewing leather. The little research I have done indicates I will need a machine with a "walking foot" in order to sew leather properly.

    Is this machine up to the task, and are "walking feet" available for them?

    Thank you.

    -Don

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    Replies
    1. Hi Don, Don't know where to start so I'll just start.

      Modern auto leather is pretty stiff; it has a hard surface and so needs pretty good punching power. The 360 will do 2 layers no problem but if you get to 4 that may be different.

      I think walking foot is a really safe choice but they are all industrial machines and can be expensive. A standard industrial would also work but in either case you need to get a slow speed servo motor to replace the production motor... added cost again. With several yrs of sewing behind me I still won't touch one of those production motors; they are kind of "on-off" from 0 to 60 in one second, as a beginner I don't think you will have much fun with that.

      Plan on buying scrap leather as identical as possible and practicing every seam up to doing a complete scrap part before you ever try for a final assembly.

      There are walking foot attachments for domestic machines but they aren't for heavy work.

      There are a lot of little details to the craft of sewing that are unconscious to the person that started sewing when they were 8 years old like mom, for you and I who start later in life it's not always obvious what the hell is going on until you several hours at the pedal.

      good luck, Tom

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  2. Hi Tom, I nominated your blog for the Liebster award. Details are on my blog here:
    http://tammyscraftemporium.blogspot.ca/2013/02/liebster-award-from-kelly.html

    ReplyDelete