Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Everything Works Out in the End

Let me start out by stating that these are not my photos, but photos from Craigslist.  This long winded story begins with me trolling Craigslist for tools.  I was not looking for an industrial sewing machine at all.  I would also like to mention that you might notice a pattern forming here.  When I get excited about something, I tend to dive in blindly.  Especially when it comes to equipment.  Case in point, my letterpress.  I had never done any letterpress work before, but I went and purchased one anyway.  Ever since I started working in my leather class I have found that it is something I really enjoy doing.  I enjoy the construction and end product so much more than with any other material.  During class, I used one of the industrial sewing machines for leather a couple of weeks back.  I liked using it, but they can be rather large when you factor in the table and motor.  Back to Craigslist.  I started trolling the industrial sewing machines and found this ad for an entire shoe repair place that was selling off all of the machines including the sewing machine above.  It was up in Wisconsin, but I happened to be going to a town very close by.  The ad had been up for about 5 days already so I called to see if they would be willing to just sell the sewing machine.  I called and he had just sold the entire lot the day before.  Damn.  Why am I always one step behind?
So now, for some reason I was determined to find an industrial sewing machine so that I could continue to work with leather at home.  A few days later I found the machine above on Craigslist again.  It was a great price.  It would take me awhile to drive there, but it was worth it for that price.  I e-mailed and then called.  I asked when they would like me to come and see it.  They told me 2 days later.  They were also going to call me the next day to give me the model number and measurements.  The next day they called and said that somebody was coming to look at the machine and they would call me to let me kn ow what happened.  What?  I was ready to come and look at it when I called and they chose to put it off.  Now they were basically selling it out from under me?  Of course, the other person bought it.  I was pretty pissed.  This is why I do not like Craigslist.  I was not deterred.  I then came across the Singer 29-4.  I had never seen or used one before.  It was on ebay, it was about an hour away and it was pick-up only.  It is a machine that was originally used mostly by cobblers.  I needed more information so I contacted my instructor.  She was very enthusiastic about those machines and said if the condition is good I should definitely go for it.  Now I had my plan.  I would bid on it and see what happens.  The problem was that I would be in the middle of my class when the bidding ended.  You know what happened.  I lost by $5.  Again.  So behind.

I had seen this 29-4 on Craigslist, but it was more than I wanted to spend.  It is fully restored.  I decided to contact the seller and see if they were open to negotiating.  They were.  I low-balled at a price that was about 2/3 of what they were asking.  They weren't going for that.  They counter offered and stressed that the machine was fully restored.  I thanked them, told them I understood, but that my budget was not able to afford that price.  In a few minutes I had another e-mail with a final offer good for that day only.  I told them I was on my way.  I scrounged up my Christmas money and borrowed the rest.  The owner of this machine was the nicest guy.  He was very attached to the machine.  It was his first machine it was in rough shape when he found it.  He had fully restored the machine all by himself.  He spent time to show me how to work it, give me information I might need about it and also threw in some small extras.  He told me that I could contact him at any time if I had questions because he knew everything about that machine and was happy to help me.  When I returned home I found two e-mails from him that were sent about 10 minutes after we parted.  He had sent me links about suppliers and sites that offer good general discussion.  So, I now own this beautifully restored  machine and I have the valuable resource of the previous owner who knows it inside and out.  In the end, I think it was worth being patient and letting things work themselves out.

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