Friday, September 18, 2015

Eighties Vikings

I haven't blogged about sewing machines in a while, so I guess it is time.  My Khaki pants from my last blog are still under construction, I just needed a little break from them.

This blog is called Eighties Vikings because it is about my mechanical Vikings made in the Eighties.   I already had two,  then Joe and I found a 150 in the thrift store, with the feet, extra bobbins, the cover, and  everything except the foot control.  Foot controls can be found on eBay for $25 and up.  This wasn't a problem because I had an extra.  I took it home and  it ran great but the reverse wouldn't work.  This is common with older Vikings.  I oiled where it needed and took my blow dryer to the reverse mechanism to heat it up and free up the hardened grease and grime.  Finally with some patience the reverse button started moving.  Success!  Another working Viking added to my collection.

Then a few days later down the street from my parent's house were some items on the curb.  I immediately yelled "stop the car, I see a Viking!"  I jumped out and scooped up a machine with a case that I knew was a Viking while a man looking at the TV in the pile told me "it just needs batteries"  I thanked him, jumped in the car and lifted the cover to find a 180E without a  pedal.  I tried it with one of my other pedals and it worked, except for the reverse being non-operative.  The blow dryer and oil to the rescue again.

 I decided after acquiring two Vikings in a matter of days I better take inventory of my Eighties Vikings.

Here they are:
Viking 150 from thrift store
Viking 180E from sidewalk

Viking 190

Viking 630

The 630 is the oldest of the bunch and has an adjustable stitch width.  The 150 uses a different foot control because it is not electronic.  Otherwise the machines are similar.  Also, the 630 and the 190 have an automatic needle up/down.
Group Photo

I think these are fine machines.  They are smooth, quiet, powerful, and make a nice stitch.  The downside is the foot controls are hard to find and the bobbins can't be purchased locally.  But I can handle a few downsides with all the upsides these machines offer.

I have videos of the 630 and the 190  on youtube.

Thanks for stopping.


  1. I can"t believe people just throw out these treasures. Lucky find for you. Love the collection. I hope you have "batteries" for all of them.

  2. Wow! A Viking left in the street!?! Good thing it wasn't raining. You have a good eye to have spotted the machine while driving by. Good catch!

  3. These all look like splendid machines. I like how both the 630 and the 190 (and maybe the other Vikings?) let you wind the bobbin using the regular thread path through the needle - so you don't have to rethread if you need to wind another bobbin while sewing. Needle down is nice too.

    Just how many machines total do you have in your collection at the moment?

    1. I have two Eighties computer models, 940 and 980. I also have a Seventies 6020.

  4. A friend of mine has a Viking machine and I was amazed the first time she showed me how to wind a bobbin. She got hers on craigslist and let me try out one time and it really is a nice machine. I don't remember her ever mentioning that the machine needed a battery. Was that guy just unaware? LOL

  5. Great videos! Very cool machines!

  6. Hello.
    Just now deciding on which to choose better: Optima 180E or Optima 630.
    Can you give any advice on which is better?

  7. I have a Viking 215 and I watched your video on YouTube on how to thread it but I’m wondering if the thread is supposed to be in front or behind the little metal plate hanging down behind the tension dial. The manual doesn’t specify either. I’m assuming it’s supposed to be in front but my tension keeps getting messed up so I thought I’d check. Thanks.