Plate Throat

I'm looking to learn how to sew and want to buy a used sewing machine. Anyone familiar with Husqvarna 1050?

In my city, there's a Husqvarna 1050 for $200 including the manual, case, bobbins and feet including the quilting foot. Is this a good machine? And is this a good deal? I was thinking of offering him $150. I don't even know how to sew yet, so I'm not sure what to look for when I go to see it. Any insight would be much appreciated.Thanks!

The owner should be able to demonstrate stitching that looks at least as good top and bottom as the first pair of photos here: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/22521551 (To get an idea of scale, those stitches are 3.5 mm long). And s/he should make some buttonholes for you -- they should look as good as on storebought clothes. Also have them make the widest zigzag stitches possible. If there are any "missed" (skipped) stitches, they'll immediately show up. If they aren't cured by a new needle, you'll need to get the machine adjusted.

If you can possibly find someone who sews to go with you, that would be excellent.

That's a mid 90s machine I believe, and iirc, it retailed for about $700. I doubt they'd get much more than 200 for it on trade in on a new machine.

The machine should be clean inside (have them take out the bobbin and lift off the needle plate (=throat plate), and the sound should be quiet. The machine should be able to start stitching easily and stop immediately, without "coasting". The manual for the machine should be included for the price, and they should be able to tell you who last serviced it, and when.... a machine this old should have had several routine services by now if the machine has been much used.

Look for dings and dents around the hole in the needleplate that the needle goes into, and on the presser feet (there should be several) and on the sewing hook, which is the silvery thing you'll see "orbiting" the bobbin case as the hand wheel is moved. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lockstitch.gif -- it's the thing that catches the loop of thread from the needle. If you look at the last photo here: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/22801244 there's a pretty good view of the needleplate on my Husquvarna/Viking 350, which is a little older than the one you're considering, I believe. Notice that there are no dents around the needleplate hole, and the edges are smooth. I've taken the foot off this machine for photo purposes, but the feet shouldn't be all nicked up, either. Walk away from it (or bargain really, really hard) if you see a lot of dings and dents -- that's a machine that's been abused.

Also look at the screws that hold the plastic case together -- if they're all chewed up, there's likely been some amateur repairs, and therefore, I'd be quite suspicious.

And check the wiring... the power cord and the lead to the pedal should be flexible, with no signs of undue stiffness, and no cracking or breaks in the insulation.

Also, before you go, call around to find out how much a routine "tuneup" (COA, clean, oil. adjust) for this machine would be in your area. It's about $75 out here near Portland, OR, because this is an electronic machine. I would not assume it has been given a proper service recently. I honestly don't know how much longer boards will be available for this model -- but I can tell you that my 350 has never needed a repair -- bought it about 1996 or so. As I do not know this particular model, you might inquire if they know anything about problems with this model. If it was made in Sweden (rather than designed in Sweden), it's likely to be a good machine that should serve you well.

My "sermon" on beginner sewing machines: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AtVc8znRrlRdYqlm02KFETbty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20100423044254AAnGzFy&show=7#profile-info-OKJf8nHFaa And yes, this machine meets or exceeds all of my technical criteria laid out there.

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