This week I would like to introduce an incredible invention to a few of you called the hand crank sewing machine. Sure, it was invented over 100 years ago, but they are no less amazing today. In the accompanying video I will show you how to use a couple different generations of machines, as well as a DIY option that fits on most of the belt driven metal gear Singers and copies. Also I have included a discussion about investing in one of these machines from a survival standpoint, and how that compares to gold and silver (at 25 mins), which everyone seems to be trying to sell us. Below will be a brief discussion on this subject as well. My regular readers know how brief usually works out with me, but I’ll try to keep it short. 😛
First off, I would like to give you a little bit of detail regarding these machines. If you care to learn the history or collectability on them, there are plenty of books, fan websites and of course Wikipedia. Personally I couldn’t care less. But as a survival tool, I think a reliable sewing machine is a great thing to have. If you have growing kids especially, being able to mend clothes and make clothes is a huge asset. It could also be a source of income once the sources of new clothes come to a grinding halt. Many important skills were lost to the last couple generations, and learning to sew is something you just might want to take up now. As for hand crank, I personally don’t think that the electricity is going to go out until well into the collapse, which could be many years from now. The power structure needs to keep the Fox News propaganda machine doublespeaking. But you never know. That is why I included the swap in crank for this article and video.
The first machine in the video is what I would consider the preferred style, because it takes bobbins that you can buy at Walmart, the Type 66 bobbin. These machines seem to have been made right alongside the older design, which uses a stick like bobbin in what they call a bullet shuttle. In the video I show you this design as well. If you are interested in a treadle machine, which runs from a foot pedal board, most of those machines that I have seen use the bullet shuttle as well. Both designs run reliably, but I prefer to invest in a machine that take a current bobbin. There are new machines with hand cranks and treadles from Janome that you can find on Amazon, but they are not well rated.
If you have the space, and you live in the Midwest, Ebay is full of treadle machines that have come out of estates, and because the people don’t want to ship them, they go for cheap, in good working condition. For daily sewing, in a post collapse, world, a treadle machine is much more of a realistic option than hand crank, because with hand crank you really need three hands. Treadle machines are no more difficult to sew with than an electric, and having used both, I think a treadle is more controllable.
Don’t be afraid of any of these old machines. Even though as you’ll see in the video I did get a broken machine on Ebay recently, for the most part the machines work. I was able to get the replacement part for my broken machine for $24. Compared to the plastic geared junk they sell at Walmart, these machines are on a different planet.
I got suckered on a plastic machine back in the 80s when the modern “Singer” company used to set up at hotels to sell $450 “student” machines. It couldn’t sew through two layers of cloth without stripping teeth off of the gears. The metal machines have metal gears, and though they can be a little quirky at times, I find that you can sew through just about anything with them.
Note that this generation of machines are all “straight stitch.” They can’t do zig zags or patterns. In practice, there is very limited application for those stitches, but there are steel gear singer machines from the 50s up until the 70s that will do them of you want. I just don’t think they can be retrofit for hand crank, so I didn’t bother with them for this article. There are a bunch of attachments for straight stitch Singer style machines that will do everything from button holing to ruffling, outside the scope of this article.
I have linked above to the hand crank sewing machines currently listed on Ebay. As of today I don’t see any killer deals, but there are some good deals if you are willing to buy a bullet shuttle machine. The stick bobbins are easily found on Ebay for about a buck each, and as you can see in the video, they work great. The models that use the Type 66 bobbin were actually made up until the 1970s periodically, and you can find them in perfect condition. They will even sew through leather.
There are dozens of Singer copies at any given time on Ebay as well. Many of them are also somewhat collectible and if you Google around they have their fanboy websites as well. I have no experience with them, but for the most part them seem to be decent investments, and most importantly they sew. You should be able to research which bobbins they take. There are only three standard bobbins. The Type 66 has the rounded top and bottom with a single hole on each side. The Type 15 has straight sides and a lot of holes on the sides, and then there is the stick bobbin. The copy machines will take one of these.
There are also copy machines of the pre-war Singer electric machines, and you can usually buy them for next to nothing on Ebay. Take a look at the Singer 99K that I put the aftermarket hand crank on for the video. I have found a dozen great deals from people who don’t know what the model is, and sometimes a copy is indistinguishable. If the copy machine has that slot for the motor mount in the back, it will almost definitely take the hand crank. If you plan to convert an electric machine, make sure to get the spoked wheel with the crank unless you are converting an electric Singer Model 128 or similar that already has the spokes.
Also note that the Singer Type 15 machines do not take the aftermarket hand crank that I have linked to above. I showed you my green 15-125 in the video, and it has the same direct drive motor as the popular 15-91. The Model 15 machines were a pro’sumer product made for daily sewing, heavy fabrics, and light duty leather and canvas. I love my Model 15, but when the lights go out I don’t want to have to rely on solar backup power to be able to sew.
Gold & Silver vs. Sewing Machines as Investments
You aren’t going to find a lot of prepper sites and Youtube channels that cover hand crank sewing machines, for good reason. From what I have seen, 99% of the prepper material out there is horseshit, at best written by fools who aren’t prepping for anything, and at worst written by hired Elance.com people fishing keywords. And included in that coverage are sales pitches for physical gold and silver, as well as overpriced survival food, faraday cages and other misguided investments.
It is very difficult for me to tell you to spend $150-$300 on a hand crank sewing machine, when I know that few of you have anywhere as much food put away as you are going need. I wonder the same thing for myself as well, but I do like to discuss some of the choices that we all must make. Planning for the collapse is not the scope and breadth of our lives. If it was, we’d drive ourselves crazy with the waiting, knowing that when it comes, there will be no guarantees, no matter what you planned for in advance. Nobody wants the collapse to happen, therefore it is impossible for most of us to invest everything we have in food, or other consumables that will eventually go bad and get thrown away, should Armageddon never arrive.
Most people in right wing middle America by now have woken up a bit, and they know something is going on. The question I get from literally everyone is “should I buy gold and silver?” As I said in the video, my first question is “how much food do you have put away.” But that is really only half the answer. You’ll put away how much food you put away, and there is little I can do about that, but I have to accept that at the same time, many of you will debate taking $300 or $500 and putting it into silver coins. Even worse, some of you will be tricked into numismatics, but I’m not even going to go there.
I have been following the gold and silver markets now for a few years. I also follow a number of experts, like Mike Maloney, Bill Holter, Peter Schiff, and Jim Sinclair. All of those guys sell metals, but they are also 100% genuine true believers, in my humble opinion. The core of their conviction comes from a simple rule. Eventually all “fiat” monetary systems burn down, and the paper currency devalues to zero. When that happens, the world has always reverted to the only other portable and “fungible” option, gold and silver. If you have tens or hundreds of thousands in retirement savings locked up in stocks, real estate, or any other asset where a piece of paper “guarantees” you ownership, I strongly suggest that you move it into gold and silver. But if you are sitting on that kind of money, make sure you have damn food ok. As I’ll explain below, precious metals are a dangerous asset in troubled times. Less so than paper, but dangerous nonetheless.
For someone debating spending that $300, if you bought just Walmart flour, and you plan to live on just bread, you will live. And for $300 you can buy almost one and a half million calories. Eating 1,000 calories per day, that is almost 4 years of survival rations for one person. Don’t go buy a sewing machine, or silver coins. Go buy some flour. If there was really a windfall coming in silver, do you really think you could buy any?
That potential windfall is the bait. The story is that gold and silver are going to return as monetary metals, physically in the coins, and that will lead to the metals being drastically revalued. I’ve read and heard the story a hundred times, and you know what? It is 100% true. At some point the world monetary system is going to burn down, and it will be replaced with another monetary system. But there is no guarantee that the system will be gold backed and not just another fiat false guarantee. Gold and silver will most likely carry forward whatever value they have today. In dollars, most likely gold will “skyrocket” to tens of thousands and silver to hundreds or even thousands, but you know what? That Singer hand crank sewing machine will skyrocket in dollars as well, to the tens of thousands if the dollar becomes worth very little if anything. But you can sew with the Singer!
Gold and silver hold intrinsic value historically. Kings have paid their soldiers in gold and silver during wartime. You could always pay your taxes in gold and silver. And of course in the marketplace, gold and silver could always be swapped for food and other goods.
The same is not true of sewing machines. You certainly can’t pay your taxes with them, and in the marketplace, a sewing machine is only useful if someone who has what you want needs a sewing machine. That is why we use “currency.” Gold and silver, even though they are often called “money,” are just a historically universally agreed upon form of currency as well. Historically, those same kings who used to pay in gold and silver, eventually cut the gold and silver with copper to stretch it, and those coins were equally valued as currency, for a time.
But there is a rule about currency that is diluted, that I learned in a book by David Morgan. “Bad money drives out good money.” That means that if someone is holding pure gold coins and gold mixed with copper coins, they will always spend the mixed coins and hold the pure coins. That is why right now, it is smart to spend your “bad money” paper currency on what you need, and hold the pure gold and silver until the paper is worth nothing.
But in the meantime, and the meantime could last a decade for all we know, paper currency is going to be extremely useful. As Mike Maloney has explained for years, before the bankers get a license to print money with no limits, we have to hit a period extreme “deflation.” Deflation is just an economics turn for nobody having any money. In such a period, the currency of the day can buy much more. So “cash is king.” We are coming into the early stages of the collapse now, and this past few weeks, cracks have begun to show in the government story that unemployment is low and the economy is good. The reality is that unemployment is well into the double digits, and it is as high as 50% in the inner cities. The global financial system is overleveraged and broke.
Theoretically, according to the gold bugs, this should mean that the Federal Reserve will try to “helicopter drop” money into the economy. This means that they will lower interest rates, even into negative territory, where rather than earn interest, it will actually cost you money to leave cash in the bank. Theoretically this would make everyone take their money out of the bank and spend it, and encourage people to borrow more, knowing that they won’t even have to pay back the entire principle. This would in turn blow the economic bubble back up.
Problem is, this isn’t the way it is going to go down. If you look back to December, the Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen announced that they were going to raise interest rates from where they had been at zero percent since 2009, not lower them. This effectively cut off free cash for the banks to borrow from each other for their own stock buy backs and cheapy corporate loans for the same purpose. That is why the stock market is crashing right now.
If you think about it, even if just to play devils advocate here, why would the banks hyperinflate the currency to begin with? It isn’t like they don’t know that if they add too many dollars to the system it will eventually crash to zero, as people lose confidence in the currency. Don’t forget, the banks have **loaned** dollars, and they can only get dollars back. If the dollar becomes worth less, and I can sell my $200 sewing machine for $10,000 now, well howdy ho I can go pay off my $10,000 car loan with that, and the bank gets effectively nothing, while I have a car and a clean balance sheet (and I bought two sewing machines anyway). Loan values don’t float with inflation. They are hard numbers.
So if I am a bank, if I know that the world economy is grinding to a halt, why wouldn’t I abandon ship and just let it sink? Nobody can pay me back the loans, but whatever I have taken as collateral in secured loans is going to revert back to me.
Because of the way our money system works, the system is called “fractional reserve banking,” the banks were allowed to create 10x more in loans than they held in cash, so they never had to earn that money they lent you for your car anyway. The foolish Japanese took those borrowed dollars for your car, and they lost the car. Who got the car? The bank! …for you guessed it ladies and gentlemen, FREE.
That is true of all the real estate too. They are going to get it for free when they foreclose, even though the money used to give us the mortages was created out of thin air. These people are greedy bankers. They aren’t going to say we’re sorry for screwing all this up lets just call everything in possession owned by the possessor. If they have a loan guarantee on it, they are going to take it.
I see no reason for the banks to helicopter drop money once they decide we have reached the point of no return, which is like now. Now is the time I think we are going to see them sit back, watch the world implode, and collect up all the assets of the world without having built or made a thing. And I will note that during the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve **decreased** the money supply by 1/3rd. If the answer was truly to helicopter drop money, they would have done it then.
So that is the chance that you take buying any physical asset right now, including gold and silver. But holding cash is also risky, because they could have an existing plan to hyperinflate this time, for some other game, to burn down the world currencies and create a single system. In the short term, they could be under big political pressure to keep injecting cash into the system. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are both at negative interest rates already, in an effort to do exactly that.
The gold bugs use this uncertainty to sell us on physical gold and silver. During the Great Depression, gold did go down in price while retaining its purchasing power, or even increasing it, while things like sewing machines and saxophones became worth nothing, or not much of anything. Nobody had any money to buy new clothes, or to pay anyone to play a song.
But that was a different era where the price of gold didn’t fluctuate like it does today. I’m not going to get into the histories of gold and silver, but I will link to some information above. I think this is totally uncharted territory, regardless. When people talk about the price of gold today, they are quoting the COMEX spot price, which is a paper market.
The COMEX trades futures contracts, not physical gold, and when you horse trade in COMEX gold, almost 100% of the time, the trades are settled in dollars. “I bought gold at $1040 and sold at $1120” doesn’t mean that I bought physical gold, held in my hand, then sold it to someone. It means I agreed to buy it at $1040, the sold the right to buy it to someone else at $1120, so they gave me the difference in dollars. Almost no gold changes hands on the COMEX or the other, the LBMA, at all. And those contracts are floating back and forth out there at over 300x the amount of gold that is even registered on the exchange to physically trade. Nobody calls in the deliverables, so the system happily chugs along, until it doesn’t. And that day isn’t today.
If you can get physical gold and silver at close to spot, and you have enough food and a good sewing machine, by all means grab some if you just want to protect your cash. But I have seen way too much manipulation over the past several years to believe that there is a potential windfall for the little guy out there. We don’t get that kind of opportunity. There have been two crisis events in gold over the last hundred years. One was when FDR confiscated the gold in 1934, and the other was when Nixon decoupled gold from the US dollar. You think Obama invented unconstitutional executive orders? FDR forbid the hoarding of gold in 1933 by executive order! History doesn’t always repeat itself, but it usually at least rhymes.
What happens next? What happens when the Chinese decide the game is over and gold and silver, worldwide, go to “no offer?” When nobody will sell their gold and silver for currency, their will be no bad money to chase out the good, and good money, gold and silver will become the currency. Unless there is a plan for otherwise, and there is.
One thing I can guarantee you though. As I said in the video, no matter what the outcome, when all of this finally burns down, world trade is going to grind to a halt. America sent all of our manufacturing machines to China and South America years ago. We have become a service economy, and we make almost nothing. I think that in a deflationary environment, where cash is king, physical goods that people need will retain value, because no more are being made. We could experience a compound crisis, where the rest of the world refuses to use the dollar for anything, so effectively the dollar becomes worth nothing, but we are still using it here for food and needs. The US could create a replacement currency, even an electronic currency. Who knows. I think the best bet is to use you head and buy what you need now, regardless of any potential windfall that I don’t think will occur. My regular readers know that the picture is much bigger than financial. I have linked to GeoEngineeringWatch.org several times in my articles, in hopes that you all will watch the documentaries by Dane Wigington, and help us wake up the true Patriots of freedom so that they can’t be used by the oligarchs as a convenient opposition. The planet is dying. The solar radiation management planes spraying us with metal oxides in an effort to block the sun are right over your head every day. All you have to do is look up.
I wrote an article “Guns and Guitars Not Gold & Silver” some time ago, and it is still true today. One way or the other, things are going to get nasty. I would add to that list of guns and guitars some steel gear sewing machines, preferably with a hand crank or treadle. Below I have included some videos on how to use the machines with the pin bobbins. If you sniff around on Ebay, these can be had for well under $100 in good shape, shipped. This adds up to an electric and hand machine with steel gears well under $150. Also check your local antique store or flea market. I have seen pristine machines for as little as $25.