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Filson Factory Auction Dozens of 211W151 Starting at $20

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@Firestar1485 Thanks for the update about the auction. I am interested in some of the 'non-machine' smaller items but not sure if I can get up there in time for the pick-up. Or justify the 9 hour drive each way.

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The vast majority of the Singer and Union Special machines were all originally owned by Pacific Trail Sportswear. At it’s height of production in the late 70’s and early 80’s there were over 600 machines. These are the machines I built my career with beginning in 1980. This factory shut down a year ago. I was the head mechanic there. I have fond (and not so fond) memories of the machines. I worked for Filson for 3 years, but over the course of my career I was the head mechanic for these machines for a total of about 13 years. There were other mechanics in charge during the years I worked in other factories. I worked in this particular factory for 7 years. At its peak in the mid 80’s while it was a contract factory we had 300 operators. So for me, this is the end of an era, I’m happy with my new company, so no looking back. 

The 211 151’s are the best deal. Needle feed, bullet proof. They have been in storage for 20 years or so. Our main machines were Juki 9010’s and 3578’s double needles. Before those we used the Judi 5410’s which meant the retirement of the 211’s. I didn’t look through the entire auction, but there are a few 211W157’s. They actually have reverse and are set to use 135x17’s. Still needle feeds. The Singer 300w’s are my favorite chain stitch machines and we’re still in use to the end. 

The Juki LU562 was rebuilt a few years ago by me and sews like a dream with T135 thread. A few of the Singer 153’s are well loved, but decent. 

I debated whether or not to comment on this thread, but I at least wanted to share some history. Hopefully my PM box won’t blowup with questions, as I likely won’t respond. I simply don’t have time. 

Regards, Eric

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Prices skyrocketed toward the end, seemed like most good machines sold above craigslist or ebay pricing.  After placing some 200 bids, I ended up winning three items (2 of which I was only bidder, not much value).

I did not win any machines, dropped out at $350+ on the singer 135's and $200 on the singer 211's.  For me it was just too much to risk, not being able to test run the machines.

If anyone bought thread locally and wants to split/sell off excess, just let me know.

 

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Eric, thanks for the background info on these machines and the facilities!  Your experiences and knowledge are not only entertaining, but help paint a much more realistic picture.  

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I went yesterday to the factory where I spent almost 8 years of my career. I bought 3 pieces of equipment that will be a reminder of my time there. It was weird seeing the building so empty. I ended up with the Utica Mills combo slitter. I had rebuilt this machine 3 years ago, so I knew it was in good shape, and we needed another one.  I bought a small heat press while I’ll rebuild, and a 5hp vacuum motor. It had been factory rebuilt a number of years ago. Factories use vacuum systems for various things. I obviously had a huge advantage in this auction since I knew all of the machines. Some people didn’t have a clue what they bought or what the machine actually did. I took a final look around and then walked away, making the long drive back to Seattle. I’ve had a long career and am currently working for the 6th apparel manufacturer during a 38 year span. Not bad I guess for an industry that has been devastated by importing. 

Regards, Eric 

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The industry has not been devastated - it is thriving. Workforce - a different story.

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On 9/14/2018 at 5:37 AM, gottaknow said:

I went yesterday to the factory where I spent almost 8 years of my career. I bought 3 pieces of equipment that will be a reminder of my time there. It was weird seeing the building so empty. I ended up with the Utica Mills combo slitter. I had rebuilt this machine 3 years ago, so I knew it was in good shape, and we needed another one.  I bought a small heat press while I’ll rebuild, and a 5hp vacuum motor. It had been factory rebuilt a number of years ago. Factories use vacuum systems for various things. I obviously had a huge advantage in this auction since I knew all of the machines. Some people didn’t have a clue what they bought or what the machine actually did. I took a final look around and then walked away, making the long drive back to Seattle. I’ve had a long career and am currently working for the 6th apparel manufacturer during a 38 year span. Not bad I guess for an industry that has been devastated by importing. 

Regards, Eric 

Do you remember a 231-8 and a 35800 DR?   I got them and would love to know their history.   The 231 was missing it's feed dogs and foot.

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On 9/14/2018 at 5:37 AM, gottaknow said:

I went yesterday to the factory where I spent almost 8 years of my career. I bought 3 pieces of equipment that will be a reminder of my time there. It was weird seeing the building so empty. I ended up with the Utica Mills combo slitter. I had rebuilt this machine 3 years ago, so I knew it was in good shape, and we needed another one.  I bought a small heat press while I’ll rebuild, and a 5hp vacuum motor. It had been factory rebuilt a number of years ago. Factories use vacuum systems for various things. I obviously had a huge advantage in this auction since I knew all of the machines. Some people didn’t have a clue what they bought or what the machine actually did. I took a final look around and then walked away, making the long drive back to Seattle. I’ve had a long career and am currently working for the 6th apparel manufacturer during a 38 year span. Not bad I guess for an industry that has been devastated by importing. 

Regards, Eric 

I had a similar feeling once, although not to that degree. I worked for several different screen printing companies in the SF bay area from the late 80's into the 90's. One I worked for in the mid 90's grew HUGE and quickly. They fell even quicker when their market shifted. When was there in the mid 90's, it was the night shift in a shop with one automatic and one manual press, in a tiny building. When they shut down in 2009, they had a huge shop with 10 automatic machines, a giant distribution center, multiple offices, etc. I think the building was well over 100,000 sq feet.

I bought a shop's worth of manual equipment from them and the next day 9 semi trucks and an army of techs arrived and stripped the shop of the rest of the equipment in like 12 hours and hauled it all off to Mexico.

I closed my shop after several years and worked as a facility and maintenance supervisor for a couple other shops. I whipped those places into shape, but I know they've sold off gear since I left.

It's weird to see equipment go after you spent many hours wrenching, cleaning and greasing it. You get that sick feeling in your gut that the next guy won't keep it clean and tuned. Ugh.

Onward.

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On 9/11/2018 at 12:29 PM, Firestar1485 said:

Prices skyrocketed toward the end, seemed like most good machines sold above craigslist or ebay pricing.  After placing some 200 bids, I ended up winning three items (2 of which I was only bidder, not much value).

I did not win any machines, dropped out at $350+ on the singer 135's and $200 on the singer 211's.  For me it was just too much to risk, not being able to test run the machines.

If anyone bought thread locally and wants to split/sell off excess, just let me know.

 

I bought 4 sewing machines for my mom and my aunt, 2 of the Union special sergers and 2 Singer 281-22.  I also bought one of the thread lots and a lot of needles of which I am interested in selling the excess of.  But my main question is where to find parts for the Singers.  After we got them home we realized my aunts machine was missing a knob on top that when I looked at the parts diagram is a pressure regulating thumb screw and pressure bar guide, part number 147091. I’m not sure if the pressure bar and the spring are there or not. I’ll have to take a closer look the next time I go to her house. I’ve been looking online without success for the one part. Does anyone have a suggestion where to get it?

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I'm interested in thread.  I was hoping to pick up heavy weight thread, so let me know what you have that you might want to sell.  I am located in North Idaho.

In terms of parts, I have been very lucky to find replacement parts on Ebay.  There is a seller in Seattle/Portland area that I bought a lot of very unique parts from.  90% were right on and the few that were not, they quickly accepted returns on.  I believe most parts I purchased were from "NGOSEW Sewing Parts Company" on Ebay.  There are a number of other companies (many of which have active members here on leatherworker.net) that can probably help too!

 

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I interested in buying whatever needles your interested  in selling if you wanted to bulk out what you don't want.

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There are a few industrial sewing machine groups on FB, one of which is for parts.

 

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