I've been going through my boxes of sewing machine stuff, and listing things on Etsy as you can see in the side bar. Slowly I am finding some room in the studio to maybe actually sew something. A lot of what I list is Singer stuff, they make it so easy with the Simanco numbers on every part, I can do a bit of research and say what machines the part is for, and even what it is called.
Kenmore stuff is a bit trickier. I found great link to when machines are made, http://www.searsarchives.com/history/files/sewing_id.pdf but just haven't been able to find great resources for which parts go to which machines, etc. I finally joined the Yahoo Group for Vintage Kenmore sewing machines, their files are super helpful, especially with identifying the Kenmore cams that you come upon in thrift stores. They have a huge spreadsheet they are developing with makes and model info, so join if you have a Kennie you want more info on. ISMACS has a bit of info on Sears Kenmore machines also, and a manual or two. http://ismacs.net/sears/sears.html
But after awhile I found out that the most common cams are C cams, and listed a few sets of them. Almost every time I listed a set, someone emailed me to see if the set included cam #1, part number 26841. It never did, usually the sets are starting with a 2 or 3. I had to investigate, and eventually found out that cam #1 is the basic zig zag cam that came inside many of the Kenmores which use the cams for fancy stitches. This basic cam allowed it to make zig zag stitches, or worked with the buttonholer to make buttonholes.
Since this cam wasn't included in all the cam sets that keep showing up in yard sales and thrift stores, it is actually really hard to find. Hopefully when you get that great old heavy metal Kenmore, it has that cam inside it. But occasionally people get one of these machines and find they don't have that cam. In my internet searches I find posts from people looking over the last number of years.
Well in a random box of Kenmore (mixed with Singer and unnamed stuff) I found one of these cams. When I tried to find out how to price it, I couldn't even find completed listings to see what they sell for.
Why are they missing? I have a feeling more machines were junked with that cam in them, or machines were donated with another cam in them and the cam set (including the #1) got separated from the machine. I don't know, but they sure seem to be rare. I thought about keeping it for awhile, possibly in case I got a Kennie missing this cam -- but I really need to downsize on machines.
Update: I did sell the cam, I don't have one available anymore.
And on that note, next time I hope to write about my newest little cute Kenmore, a 1030 in the great rose patterned case.
Yes I know I said I was downsizing, I did sell two machines this month. But the overall machine count isn't going down much.