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Unlike the Forsdyke's Cosmetic Condition Scale, there is NO universally used and approved scale by the International Sewing Machine Collectors Society (ISMACS) to determine a sewing machine's mechanical condition. The main reason being that many people collect sewing machines as antiques and are not necessarily going to sew or make quilts.
The scale I use to determine if a machine is mechanically fit for sewing use is outlined below. This scale is independent of cosmetic condition which has it's own rating scale as mentioned above. If something is broken or missing this should be stated separately under mechanical condition. Some machines may be near perfect cosmetically and yet not run mechanically such as a jammed or broken hook assembly or burned out motor. Conversely, a machine that runs perfectly may not have been cared for cosmetically and have rusty metal parts or a severely scratched finish or missing decals.
If you intend to use a sewing machine to sew or make quilts you will want one that can stand up to the wear and tear that heavy use brings on.
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