Stiff but functional.
I’ve had the Pfaff model K sitting in my workroom for close to two months. We went on vacation just after I got it, and then after our vacation we had a lot to do around the house and yard. Last weekend, I finally got around to building a temporary base to use with the Pfaff model K (and future projects.)
I had ordered some parts for the Pfaff a while back, and finally got all of them in. I got some bobbins specifically for the Pfaff K from somebody on eBay, along with a bunch of presser feet and other accessories. There was a shuttle in the machine when I got it, but no bobbins.
While reading up on the Pfaff K, I discovered that the Pfaff model K is a nearly one-to-one copy of the Singer 28K. I also found that you can buy shuttles and bobbins for the Singer 28K on Amazon. I ordered a set (shuttle with ten bobbins) to verify that the Singer parts will fit and work in the Pfaff K.
|Pfaff K with shuttles and bobbins|
The original shuttle and a Pfaff bobbin are there on the left. The Singer 28K shuttle and bobbins are in the little box to the right.
I used some instructions I found on the internet to see how to wind a bobbin and thread the machine. I’ll write up a good description in a later post. For now, here’s what it looks like when threaded up and ready to go:
|Threaded Pfaff K|
I cranked the balance wheel by finger, and tried out stitches of various lengths.
The Pfaff K is a lot stiffer than my Adler 8. Part of it is certainly because the Pfaff needs some oil, while part of it is probably due to the entirely different mechanism. You can feel the pressure from the balance wheel change as the shuttle reverses direction at each end of its swing. Stiff as it is, it still gets the job done.
You’ll notice that the stitches are of different lengths. That’s not a malfunction. I changed the stitch length several times from very short to very long while trying it out. There’s no reverse on this machine, and no limit to keep you from making the stitches too short. There’s not even a scale. You adjust the lever, try it on a scrap, then hope you don’t bump the lever once you have it set - there’s no lock on it.
The Singer 28K shuttle and bobbins are so nearly identical to the Pfaff parts that I can’t tell them apart (well, I can, but only because the Pfaff shuttle has some wear marks on it from being used.)
|Pfaff shuttle and bobbin beside the Singer 28K bobbin and shuttle|
The original Pfaff shuttle is on the left with a bobbin inside. The Singer 28K shuttle is on the right with its bobbin still waiting to be wound.
At the speeds I could crank the Pfaff K at with my finger, the Singer 28K shuttle worked just fine.
|Stitching test with the Singer shuttle|
I left the stitch length control alone for this test to make sure that the shuttle was OK. It seems like you really can use a Singer 28K shuttle in a Pfaff K sewing machine. That also means that you can use Singer 28K shuttles and bobbins in the Pfaff 11 (renamed from Pfaff K,) the Pfaff L (the full size “big sister” of the Pfaff K) and the Pfaff 12 (renamed from Pfaff L.)
The Pfaff K is, despite its age, an ideal machine for use in modern times:
- It takes standard needles. (I swiped one from my wife because the one in the Pfaff K was rusty.)
- It takes standard low shank presser feet.
- You can buy new shuttles and bobbins because the currently available Singer 28K shuttles and bobbins will fit.
If you run across a Pfaff K, a Pfaff 11, a Pfaff 12, or a Pfaff L, you can be pretty sure of getting consumables for it.