January 20th, 2007 : 1949 Singer 15-88 Sewing Machine
I originally thought this machine would do for sewing a leather interior for my truck ... however, after doing everything I could with this machine, I decided it would serve best for sewing lighter materials. After making some modifications and putting a teflon foot on the machine, I was getting 5 stitches per inch, which is wonderful! And it did great with leather, too, but only on the suede side; when I tried sewing with the leather (smooth) side, even with the teflon foot, there was too much friction and I could only get 8-9 stitches per inch. I'm still ecstatic about owning this beautiful Singer, but in order to acheive the professional results I want for designing a leather interior, I decided to purchase a Tacsew T111-155.
These old Singer machines are wonderful work horses; they'll last two lifetimes and still perform like Day One! And the Singer Model 15-88 is one of the best ... it's a hard one to find, but, obviously, they are still out there.
After days of researching every machine that was available ... and after talking to my Uncle Charlie, who has serviced and sold Singer Machines for more than 56 years ... I found this Singer on eBay from ALC National and won the bid on it. It was built in Clydebank, Scotland by The Singer Manufacturing Company in 1949. It came with an original instruction manual, needles (including needles for leather), upholstery thread, and a number of other accessories. If you're thinking about buying a sewing machine, I highly recommend Andre & ALC because all his machines are professionally rebuilt, outfitted with brand new motors and foot-pedals, completely ready to go, and they come with all the extras you'll need -- plus, Andre has been so helpful to me ... I mean, he went way above and beyond the call of duty in helping me set this machine up to do exactly what I want it to do; I can't say enough about his generosity.
Note: If you are planning on going this route, contact me and I'll fill you in on what you'll want to look for in buying one of these Singers. Also, there are some modifications to make in order to get the most out of the machine and I'll fill you in on all that, too.
This powerful machine is completely restored to original manufacturing specifications, is in outstanding mechanical condition with all new heavy-duty wiring, has no wear on any parts, has been freshly oiled, balanced and adjusted to perfection, and runs smoothly and quietly. A brand new 1.6 Amp (10,000 RPM) variable-speed motor was installed by ALC National; at top speed it is capable of 1,100 stitches per minute! The machine has a bright working Singer sewing lamp, a new electronic foot pedal and a pressure foot-release. It accepts the commercial nylon thread, size 69, but ALC National recommends Coats D-64 Nylon Upholstery Thread which resists exposure to the sun and is weatherproof. I can hardly believe how clean and free of scratches this machine is! After 58 years, I expected more wear and tear ... but all the goldleaf is 100% intact and the paint is in nice condition, too.
The Singer 15-88 has a chrome vanadium semi-rotary hook ... this performs great on thick feeds. Also, it's adjustable feed mechanism is driven by a metal cam, which means no slipping -- all stitches are produced in equal length. An especially exciting feature, to me, is that both ends of the bobbin shuttle drive shaft are locked with heavy drive pins which were installed at the factory after perfect timing was obtained -- these set for life adjustments make the Singer 15-88 a true workhorse that will never be out of timing and will never need adjusting!
Click Here to See More Pics of the Singer 15-88
Click Here to See the Attachments ALC Included With the Singer