Pfaff 130 Rebuild

Last year, I had the good fortune of finding a Pfaff 130 on the curb. These machines are famous for their power and durability. By this, I mean that they are just as comfortable sewing through five layers of canvas as they are all five of your fingers. This is what it looks like — sorry for the crap-tography.

The machine hadn’t been loved or used in many years. Tonight, I took it apart completely, cleaned and lubricated everything, repaired the wiring, scuffed all contacts and the motor armature clean, and clamped, glued, and screwed the bottom of the case back together. Incredibly enough it almost worked when I finished putting it back together. The remaining problem was adjusting the tension of the upper and lower mechanisms.

What I’d never fully appreciated before was that the stitches you get from a maladjusted machine are plainly diagnostic. Just look at the image below, from the Pfaff 130 service manual (taken from the Yahoo Group linked at the bottom of this post, BTW).

If the top thread is piercing through the fabric, but not pulling the bottom thread in, the bobbin tension is too high.
If the bottom thread is piercing through the fabric, but not pulling the top thread in, the top tension is too high.
If both penetrate the fabric equally, the tension is correct. Awesome!
(also remember that these things can be conceptualized the other way — if one is never high enough tension, the other probably needs to have its tension reduced)

Once I got that done, which took almost two whole hours of adjusting and re-adjusting (but will be a cinch now that I have done it a few times), I loaded it up with a needle and thread and tried to sew some neoprene. After quite a number of frustrating attempts to sew this thin neoprene, I realized that the hold in the needle was too small for the Consew Heavy Duty nylon thread I was using. The symptom that tipped me off was the thread sort of unwinding itself at the eye of the needle. After loading the machine with a “leather” needle, which is heavier gauge and has a larger hole, I was able to sew this little N900 pouch with almost no effort or trouble.

Spending an evening refurbishing this machine reminded me, again, that I am a builder, fixer, maker, artist. Nothing soothes like keeping these idle hands busy.

It’s probably obvious that I love this machine. I’m not the only one, there’s a Yahoo Group that has manuals and some discussion, and of course, there’s always the mass of people chatting all over the web.

This entry was posted in Oversight. Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Pfaff 130 Rebuild

  1. Milan Zacate says:

    I genuinely enjoy reading on this web site, it has got good posts. “One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.” by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

  2. says:

    Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it,
    you happen to be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and
    will come back sometime soon. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job, have a nice evening!

  3. I really enjoy reading on this web site, it has good content. “Violence commands both literature and life, and violence is always crude and distorted.” by Ellen Glasgow.

  4. I do agree with all the ideas you’ve introduced to your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for novices. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  5. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

  6. I really enjoy studying on this internet site, it holds wonderful articles. “And all the winds go sighing, For sweet things dying.” by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

  7. Kurtis Cohen says:

    certainly like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth however I’ll surely come again again.

  8. Thanks. Kind regards from Berlin

  9. I reckon something truly interesting about your web site so I saved to my bookmarks .

  10. Simply wanna input on few general things, The website style is perfect, the written content is very good : D.

  11. Excellent website. Lots of helpful information here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks on your effort!

  12. You completed various fine points there. I did a search on the topic and found nearly all folks will agree with your blog.

  13. Wine beverages stains can be difficult to take out. If you deal with the particular discolor As quick as possible, it’ll lessen any injury. Bright wines will help weaken the burgandy or merlot wine. Bare the wine with an absorbent rag to eliminate as much liquid as is possible. When you machine the carpeting, use stand sea to the damp area and enable it to keep regarding Ten minutes.

  14. Cherie says:

    If I where to purchase one of these what would a fair price be?

  15. Cherie says:

    If I where to purchase one of these what would a fair price be?

  16. Its great as your other articles : D, thanks for putting up. “The art of love … is largely the art of persistence.” by Albert Ellis.

  17. dogag says:

    Great site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  18. avital 5303l says:

    Installing a remote starter in these cars calls for the obtain of a transponder
    override module which can price an additional $25 to

  19. Natalie says:

    Upkeep: The cutters on all lawn mower versions need to be honed to offer desired
    results and even reducing solutions.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post – best lawn services

  20. Emerson says:

    Nevertheless, getting rid of body hair from numerous parts of the body, including the butt, ares come to be a fairly risk-free as well as usual process.

    My weblog laser hair removal anus [Emerson]

  21. May says:

    Clients with darker hair and also darker skin and lighter hair and lighter skin combinations could still accomplish preferable outcomes with the Nd:
    YAG laser.

    My page laser hair removal in az; May,

  22. online celeb says:

    Appreciation to my father who stated to me about this web site, this blog is really remarkable.

  23. Lauren Burton says:

    I just bought one of these machines. The case is moldy enough to bother me, so I’m going to pull off the fabric and sand and re-cover with actual leather, I think. Love the bakelite handle on the case!

    The machine itself is in pretty good cosmetic condition, but still has many parts that have started rusting. The plastic light case was damaged and has come apart (top from bottom; pins are broken). There is a little damage on the finish on the base of the machine and some crackling beginning near the bottom (below where it’s printed Pfaff 130).

    I bought this machine for $100 thinking that I could get it refurbished for, say, less than $200 and then use it to sew a leather upholstery project (with piping!). I’m not sure that I’m going to get the power out of it though without more extensive refurbishing. Also, I’m not so excited about having a machine with a bunch of chromed and galvanized parts that have begun rusting. The bobbin case in particular looks at least half corroded.

    Is there a way to revitalize/restore the parts that have begun rusting? The rust isn’t that bad yet. Can I purchase a bobbin case somewhere that will fit? Is there a place where I can buy a metal replacement for the plastic gear wheel that’s inside? How about a way to restore the paint with a shiny finish?

    I wasn’t going to try doing this work myself–this would be the first machine I’ve ever worked on. You make it sound really straightforward, but I imagine you’ve got a lot of tinkering in your background that makes you good at it!

    I would love your thoughts.

  24. Hello,
    We need Timing belt for 3-pharse heavy duty Zigzag sewing machine
    TYPE: 917
    No Serie : 464256.CE 95
    Kindly advise assap

  25. El piloto ahora detenido -que formó parte del Batallón Vasco Español en los años de la guerra sucia contra ETA y era apodado el Nazi- fue la pieza fundamental para la localización y entrega del ex director de la Guardia Civil Luis Roldán, fugado de España en 1994 tras el ser acusado de cobrar 1.500 millones de pesetas en comisiones y fondos reservados.

  26. Lisa says:


    I have this beautiful machine (with embroidery unit) and I sent it to have it repaired because everything was blocked inside …. Now I am looking for the manual to know how to make the adjustments behind the machine ….
    Do you have information about it???

  27. The 4th way of keeping your sweetheart interested is taking
    her out for dinner.

  28. john coils says:

    make money 2017

  29. Norma Henderson says:

    Hi All
    Needing someone in South Africa who is able to change
    the drive belt on My Mothers Phaff 130 sewing machine
    My mother who is 93 still sews but now the drive belt is
    broken and so is she as she has lovinly used the machine for
    68 years

    Many thanks

  30. K Davids says:

    I have a pfaff 130 sewing machine but the fibre timing belt broke because it was not used for many years. Can you please tell me where I can purchase a timing belt.I am from Cape Town South Africa

  31. Andrew says:


    I have a couple of questions. I myself just came across a Pfaff 130 and I am starting to restore it. Can you tell me (or suggest) what products to use to clean/shine polish the metal and the black paint? Thanks in advance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *