This is the last installment in my series on fixing my 1948 Singer sewing machine, because it’s completely restored! You can check the earlier parts by clicking the links: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.
All I had left after part 5 in which I restored the electrical system, was to buy a new belt and install it. When purchasing a replacement belt for your machine it’s important to measure the old belt to make sure you get the right size. For the 15-90 solid hand-wheel model the belt size is 15 3/8 inches.
First thing to do is loosen the screw(s) holding the motor to the machine, and remove the old belt:
Here is my machine without a belt:
Next slide the new belt on to the hand wheel, make sure the belt is sitting in it’s groove under the hand-wheel cover. You can see the belt in the picture below, it has stamped white lettering on it:
Slide the other end of the belt onto the motor and re-tighten.
Once I got the belt on there, I plugged it in and it worked great! I sewed a bunch of seams into some scrap muslin:
For a free sewing machine that didn’t run, I can’t believe how smoothly the restoration went. Here is the break down of what I spent on it:
Cleaning stuff: Kerosene (Lowes): $10.78 and Murphy’s Oil (Home Depot): $2.99
The machine was missing it’s spool pins, felt pads and bobbin winder tire. I got replacements for all of these in one package on eBay: $5.75
New belt (shop.sew-classic.com): $9.14
Sewing machine oil (Walmart): $3.49
To repair the electrical stuff I bought heat shrink: $5.91 and ring terminal connectors: $2.39
Total: $40.45, not bad considering the cheapest I’ve ever seen a working 15-90 go for is $100, and that’s without adding in shipping costs.
You can see it’s extremely dirty, the light fixture is tied on with string, the belt and bobbin winder tire are crumbling away from the machine, and of course it doesn’t run.
Beautifully restored, working, and super shiny for being 63 years old. It makes me so happy to see it sew. I can’t wait to actually make something with it!
I am going to be editing all the posts about this machine into a more succinct and user friendly tutorial on how to restore a 15-90 and similar machines. As always if you are trying to restore an old Singer, leave me a comment I would love to hear about it.