Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Aug 28, 2018

Adventures of My Bernina, Part 2: The Dramatic Conclusion!


My Bernina 930 is back home again, readers!

I had dropped her off to be serviced the Friday before last and she was ready for pick-up approximately 10 days later (yesterday), which seems pretty good to me.

The repair place, Crown Services, requires a cash deposit of roughly $39 dollars to have them look at the machine.  The deposit is applied toward the cost of the service (they call you with an estimate before performing the work).  Of course, if you decide not to have the service done, you're out the $39, but that's life.


It seems like they did a thorough job and the machine is working well.  I even have a three-month guarantee, which is good since I use the machine a lot: there's plenty of time to tell if something's not working as it should.

Crown Services are not certified Bernina service repair technicians but they've been in business more than 50 years and seem to know their stuff. (They're not fans of the more recent computerized Berninas and don't wish to sell or repair them.)  They are easy to communicate with and stand behind their work. 

The cost, $175 plus tax, is about what I expected; nothing in New York City is cheap, rents being what they are.  (NOTE: They only accept cash.)  Stores like Crown are an endangered species and, assuming they do good work, I want to support them.

One of the things I like most about my vintage straight-stitch machines is that I can service them myself unless something is radically off.  The oiling points are generally easy to access and the original manuals will explain which parts need oil and which parts require grease.  The expectation with Berninas is that they will be professionally serviced on a regular basis.  For me, this is a strike against them, no matter how good they are. 

Still, there's no sense owning a sewing machine if it doesn't function well, especially if you sew a lot, right?  I'm glad my Bernina is back in business.

Have a great day, everybody, and happy sewing!


15 comments:

  1. We have one like that around here-- Kirby Sew and Vac in Mableton, Georgia. Been there for 40 years, own the building and I send everybody to them because they're fantastic. Their base price is $70 when most around here is $90, and they actually know what they're doing, unlike a lot of the dealerships in the Atlanta area. Any repair costs are taken out of that $70, and sometimes it turns out to be less. I just took my vintage Pfaff in a few weeks ago for a problem with the bobbin assembly. Not only did they fix that, but they also fixed a short in my foot pedal that has been an issue for almost a year. And all for $89. Also fixed my serger when a spring and a screw popped out in one of the lower loopers, though that was more expensive. And yes, It's kinda a shabby looking place and they're old school. Still use paper tags wired to your machine. I dread the day they decide to retire!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad you're back in operation....I too, love my Bernina 1008 as you do your 930...what terrific machines they are...so fast & smooth running...I use my industrial for all my straight stitching & my beloved Bernina for everything else...they truly are wonderful machines......

    ReplyDelete
  3. Peter, no doubt your 930 was an expensive machine when it was brand new. Do you have any idea what it would have cost in 2018 dollars? The new Bernina models are highly rated, but I don't think they have the capability to manufacture a solid, top quality machine like yours today.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As irritated as I get with my Berninas (and now there are three of them), the 1995 models have horsepower to burn and will stitch anything I throw at them. I was pleased to get a guarantee contract for labor and parts for three years, and bless SewVac but they covered both of the stinkers in the deal (I think it was a mistake). They don't need a regular tune up, but I do take one in every other year just in case (and in the vain hope the buttonhole function might come back....). Having figured that I was a front loading bobbin person, I'm glad to have a set of machines that handle what I throw at them. And I cannot imagine paying full price for a new machine now. I could buy a painting for that kind of money.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting to consider "then v. now" economics. I purchased my then-new B930 around the mid-late 1980s for about $1,200. At the time it was the most expensive thing I'd ever bought that I could not drive. Since then, I've bought three additional cars--and the B930 is still with me! I go through spurts of sewing--sometimes there are periods of 24/7, followed by weeks of down time. As long as I keep it oiled and cleaned, and change the needles regularly, I'm good. I do an occasional professional tune-up--I have one planned next month.
    So glad your machine is home with you, and the fee for service sounds very reasonable. Best wishes for many happy days of sewing ahead on that wonderful machine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is such a relevant comparison! I bought my first 1120 in 1990 for $3295NZ which was a huge amount, indeed about what I paid for a second hand car at the time. I've been through eight cars since then and my 1120 blew up once and for all in 2009 after doing about 10 times its design life with no regular servicing (eep) so now I own four 1100 and 1200 series machines for which I paid second hand between $300 and $1100 plus a service cost fo about $200 in each case to be sure. They're not getting any younger and I want to be sure I am set up for life with my favourite machines!

      Delete
  6. My vintage 1970 Kenmore (Janome) just got back from Kelly Vac here in Michigan, and I can't say enough good things about them. The sewing machine technician has been there for forty (!) years, and they are so much more reasonable than anywhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It seems the happy ending to one experienced person's sewing machine repair experience has resulted in similar stories of good experiences from others across the country. We who do not consider our machines as disposable gadgets need a few hundred more recommendations of vintage sewing machine technicians who are honest and know their business! Thank you, Peter, for helping to spread the much needed word. I wish I could help.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My 930 will go to the grave with me, and this is only after having it 3 or so years. I adore this machine, and this is from someone who is currently waiting on a German transverse shuttle that is well over 100 years old, purchased from a vendor in England (and there are a few others in the herd that are of the same vintage). It does make me nervous that the 930 could potentially require professional intervention because of its complexity, but so far all it has needed is the usual oiling/cleaning. The vintage sewing machine groups on Yahoo and Facebook and now Groups.io have been priceless resources for me, and so far I have gotten by with all my machines as a do-it-yourselfer. Mostly because I really enjoy learning about and fixing my vintage machines, but also partly because I haven't found a professional as interested as I am in fixing them! I am in the mid-Atlantic, which has a pretty robust population, but here too the old sewing machine guys/gals (OSMGs) are a vanishing breed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you performed extensive maintenance on your 930? If so, what was the most useful reference?

      Delete
  9. That bernina is very similar to mine which is adore! Luckily my certified bernina dealer is a block up the street. Trouble is that machine is so heavy, steel throughout, it only goes in for service every few years.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm glad your Bernina is home again - and glad to learn about Crown! Despite two visits to a certified Bernina tech in NYC, my Bernina 930 still isn't working properly. I was about to give up and try to sell it (with full disclosure of its ailments), but now I think I'll see whether Crown can cure it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm glad you love your 930; I got one on a recommendation of brilliance and I just never bonded with it. It sewed beautifully, of course, but she and I didn't gel for whatever reason. I ended up selling her on to a friend who *adores* her, so some good came of that scenario. I had always heard great things about Crown when I lived in NYC; although I never used them, I had several friends who did and loved them.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails