Your machine is probably not 50 years old. I have one just like it that we purchased about 5 years ago. Necchi makes a very sturdy reliable machine. There are a couple of tricks, though. First, your bobbin thread has to turn clockwise. If it doesn't, it will either not sew, the stitch will look horrible or the thread will break. Second, threading it is pretty easy; however, I can't explain some of the parts. I would be happy to scan the diagram and e-mail it to you. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
. The tension should be set at 3 unless you are doing a ruffle or close zigzagging (machine applique). For applique, I find that I have to move it to 2. For ruffles or gathering, set it at 0 and your stitch width to 4. Another trick is to hold the top thread for the first 2 stitches. This alleviates a bobbin catch at the beginning. Other things you will want to know are in regard to the two knobs. One is pretty simple. It has a line that gradually increases in a zigzag. This knob basically adjusts the width of the zig zag. Obviously, for straight stitching, you would make sure the straight line is towards the top. The other knob determines the type of stitch you want to do. The red stitch options on top of the machine can be done with #1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 at the top; however, I usually use #1. The blue stitches are really fun! Simply decide which stich you want and make sure the corresponding number on the dial is turned towards the top. Also, it is very important that you adjust the other knob to the largest zigzag possible AND change the stitch length to 4. Don't pull on the fabric from behind the machine as you are sewing, because the machine will go forward and backwards while making many of these stitches. The green A, B, C on the dial are used for the automatic buttonhole feature. In order to use this, make sure you have the button hole foot. It looks like a long rectangular piece of plastic with measurements on it and hollow in the center. Not sure if that description makes sense. Anyway, the first step is "C." Make sure you begin with the button hole pressure foot measuring "0". Also, change your zigzag width to the desired width AND change the stitch length to less than 1. (You will notice that this area has a green line on it.) Begin stitching. You should be moving forward. When you have reached the desired length, make sure the needle is up, then turn the knob to "B" (sometimes I make my zigzag wider for this part), begin sewing. You should not go forward or backward. This step makes the bottom of the button hole. I only make 3 or 4 "B" stitches. When done, make sure the needle is up, adjust your zigzag back again if you changed it for B, and set it on "A". This will take you backwards. If you started your button hole with the foot on 0, it will automatically stop moving backwards when you reach 0 again. At this point make sure your needle is up again, then set the knob on "B" once more. If you adjusted B before, do it again. There you are! You can use twin needles on this machine. It also works well with a walking foot for quilting. Oh! To wind your bobbin (starting from the thread spool) you need to slide the thread under the little metal knob sticking out on top of the metal "?" right above the tension and then insert it into the hole in the bobbin spool. Push the bobbin to the right. This locks it into place. Next, hold the outer part of the flywheel (round wheel on right side of machine) while turning the inner wheel towards you. This will disengage the needle and allow the bobbin to wind. Now you can press on the "gas" and wa-laah. It will slow down and almost stop when it is completed. Cut your thread, slide the bobbin to the left to unlock, tighten the wheel and you're done. If you have any more questions, let me know. Hope this helps!