Some heavy duty sewing in my future! Have been looking for a vintage trailer and just brought this baby home. (No, I didn't pay the asking price!)
It's a 1962 Airstream Globetrotter 19' in need of a lot of TLC. Luckily I have just the guy to do the job! Especially since my family owned this very trailer 25 years ago and Dad knew it inside and out!
Will need new cushions and curtains so my personal machine will be getting a workout.
My personal machine right now is a 603 Touch & Sew. It's one of the early models with steel gears and it's a real workhorse. I'd love to have a 401 or 403 but haven't been able to justify keeping one when this does the job and we can sell the 401 or 403 for a much better profit.
The steel-geared 600 series is every bit as heavy duty as the 500 series and I love the wind-in-place bobbin. Since I don't typically need anything more than zig-zag it's simple to operate. But it does have the Special Disc option if I need a fancy stitch.
Considering a 600 or 603? Here's what to look for.
Take the time to pull off the drip pan and look at the gears beneath the bobbin case. You have to remove all 4 feet to remove the drip pan, but it's worth the effort to know before you buy. If the gears are metal like the ones shown at left...great!
On the other hand, if these gears are black plastic...not so good. The type of plastic Singer used on these gets very brittle with age and eventually crumble. If the gears are white then they have been replaced with nylon, which is a big improvement on the black plastic, but will not hold up to continuous heavy duty use without risk of gear-stripping.
I love my 603. It's smooth and quiet and will sew new cushion covers for my Airstream with no problem. I'll post pictures of that project when the day comes. In the meantime I'm glad I have the tools at hand. Happy Sewing! Barbara
OldSewinGear is the collaborative effort of retired repairman Gary and daughter Barbara. We love old sewing gear and enjoy sharing what we've learned in our vintage sewing machine adventures. We are located in Roseburg, Oregon.