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| | |-+  used Pfaff in my future?
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: used Pfaff in my future?  ( 3081 )

« : June 30, 2010, 09:54:29 PM »

First time post, newbie to all of this, hope all of your collective knowledge can help a guy out.

I'm a day away from inspecting at a Pfaff 545-H4-6/1, considering the price, I don't want to pass it up.
The seller (private) received the 545 from a retired upholsterer, and was assured it ran.
The guy never used it, and now needs to get it out of his garage. Pretty good vibe from him.
I'm new to industrial machines, but have used lighter duty machines. I'm mechanically inclined
and could change a motor or pulley if needed.

My question is: what are the most important aspects of THIS machine to look at?
I know this is a broad and simple question, and I can feel the newbie hazing coming, but hey, what ever it takes
to advance my work, I'm good with that!

Thanks in advance for all your replies.
YaBB God

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« #1 : June 30, 2010, 10:21:36 PM »

Howdy and welcome to the forum.

No newbie hazing intended.

The most important question to me is "Does it run?" And if it does, how well does it run. It sounds like you are going to put money down on a strangers' (the seller) word. And if it doesn't run, it's not the seller's fault, it's the unknown upholsterer who obviously lied to the seller. The seller is really sorry, but no, you can't have your money back.

To me, the price is totally irrelevant because I don't know what I would be buying. A great running sewing machine? A good running sewing machine? A broken sewing machine that will take as much money to fix as it would to buy a new machine from one of the guys on this forum who sell new machines? If it's a broken sewing machine that will cost as much to fix as buying a new machine, would you give the guy 50 cents for it?

If you can sew on the machine before you buy it that would be a good start.

Do a 'search' on this forum. There's a tremendous amount of good info about buying used sewing machines.

It's kind of like the lottery: there are folks who win, and that motivated others to play. There are folks who have found awesome used machines for a great price. I just don't think there are that many.

Good luck.


YaBB God

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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.

« #2 : June 30, 2010, 11:01:29 PM »

Look at this one:  http://www.keysew.com/Pfaff_545-H4%20Walking%20Foot.htm
How does this one compare in price to the "Potluck" model that you are looking at?
Of course, Gregg (Keystone) is out of stock right now, but maybe this will give you an idea of what to expect.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban

« #3 : June 30, 2010, 11:36:05 PM »

Thank you and thanks for the first response gene.

The sale is pending on my exploratory of the machine, and the seller is good with that.
The only thing I've invested so far is time in research, and a few emails.
I will continue my search for relevant information.

sofadoc,  As far as I can tell from the sellers photos, it is the same machine, less the refurbishing.
              And the price, if this sale goes, I will be extremely happy!

« #4 : July 01, 2010, 11:24:37 PM »

OK, so I see this guy and the machine he has to offer, all the parts are there, the clutch motor runs nice and quiet.
The machine head is in good shape, bobbin is clean and shinny, moves well, presser motion not sloppy. Under carriage looks good, little rust.
Three spool thread rack and guide, present. Bobbin winder, present. Flex neck lamp, present and working. Crappy particle board top, replaceable,
Foot pedal and rods, good, cork is a little worn. My general feel is that this sewing machine has a good many years left in her.
Oh, and the price, $250.00, a six pack of Fire Rock Pale Ale, and a two hour drive to pick it up. So far, I'm happy, now comes the real work.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the input.
YaBB God

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: 4390

All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.

« #5 : July 01, 2010, 11:33:34 PM »

I think you'll come out just fine on the deal. Even if you had to put it in the shop for a general tune-up, and maybe a few parts, you would still have a nice machine for around $500-$600. Of course, if it's "road ready" now, then you REALLY came out great. Did it come with any welt feet?

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban

« #6 : July 02, 2010, 01:55:48 AM »

Welt feet, that would have been nice! I believe what I have are a standard, an extended left toe (?) and a left hand zipper foot.
One extra bobbin, and a partial spool of thread. one needle. Yikes!
A good tune up would be nice, maybe down the road, I think I'll start with getting the paper work.
Best recommendation for an owners manual?

YaBB God

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: 4390

All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.

« #7 : July 02, 2010, 07:30:11 AM »

Best recommendation for an owners manual?

Click on that Keysew link in my first post. You will see downloadable pdf's.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Sr. Member

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Northwest Tarp & Canvas

« #8 : July 02, 2010, 11:05:44 AM »

You've got a great machine there.  Most of our machines are Pfaff.  We have an 545 H3.  The older the Pfaff gets the better they run.

Just be sure to keep the gears greased.  The one below the bobbin has a cover over it.   Trust me, leave it there.   It will make one heck of a mess otherwise

The other gears, top and bottom of the upright just get slathered with grease every so often and should work fine.  I've found that sometimes they have covers too.  Mine doesn't.

These was sent to me courtesy of Gregg at Keystone:


Here's a copy of the sales brochure:


Enjoy your new machine!   It will give you good service for years to come. 

YaBB God

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« #9 : July 02, 2010, 11:34:46 AM »

Mechanically a fabulous machine.  But...

1.)  Replacement parts are expensive and not easily interchangeable with other machines.
2.)  The reverse mechanism is out of the stone age... inevitably you shorten the stitch length incrementally with every lift of the lever!  (take note!)
3.)  You can likely buy a Juki for the same $ if you have the luxury of time and the inclination to do so.  I bet you'd pay about the same dough, too.  I sold a Juki 562 for $600 this spring.  I took the money and ran.   No way I'd have paid that much for the machine, but it sure made my new machine a lot more affordable; and the machine was in tip-top conditon and I included some extra "goodies"!

« #10 : July 02, 2010, 07:02:09 PM »

Wow, what a terrific amount of information! I knew this would be the right place to go.

In reading some of the other threads I knew about the stitch length creep, and parts, well, I can
probably keep the accessories to a minimum.
Replacing machine parts if and when, ugh! I"ll just need to deal with it.

Digging into the head last night it was apparent that it needs grease and oil, not seized up, but dried up.
Will search for suitable lubricants.

Downloaded the pdf, that's going to help, thanks Keysew.

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