Here's the latest addition to my crazy collection, a 1959 Singer Slant Needle 404. This model is a Slant-O-Matic with an internal gear drive, which makes incredibly nice, even stitches. It has a horizontal rotary hook with Class 66 drop-in bobbins, and accepts standard 15 x 1 needles. This machine has a funky "elevator" needle plate system with a lever that allows the needle plate to raise above the feed dogs for free-motion stitching or quilting, or raise all the way up to remove the stitch plate for cleaning.
I've secretly always wanted a 400 series machine, but haven't run across one at a decent price. Also, it's not like I really NEED another sewing machine, right? Because honestly, at this point, I'm not really sure how many I have!
This one though, this machine was free AND close to home. Very close to home—like right out the back door. Literally! My neighbor behind us in the alley tossed it out right before trash day!
Unfortunately, the poor old girl was dropped on her head on the way out to the trash, and had big scrapes and gouges across the top cover and part of the hand wheel. And she was pretty grimy, like sitting in the corner of the basement for probably longer than I've been alive grimy. No extra parts were with the machine, but we did dig out the original cord and foot control from the trash. (And yep, I did ask the neighbor about the machine and if there were any other parts. The neighbor said she wasn't really sure where in the world the machine had come from, but did not belong to anyone in her immediate family.)
Fortunately, she works! And my husband offered to take the top cover and handwheel (which were originally a tan color on this model) and powder-coat them for me to cover up all the scrapes. We picked out a gold color to go with all the gold trim on the machine. And he just took them out of the powder-coating oven last night, so I just now finished putting her all back together again.
The gold color turned out okaaaaay, but in some light it can take on a big of a greenish tinge...like below.
I think I would have gone with a different color had I known this gold was a bit on the green side, but what's done is done! After a little cleaning and a lot of oiling, this machine works great. A perfect machine for straight line sewing and piecing!
Yay! I love her, what a great early Christmas gift!