Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chandler 850 / Bernina in Disguise?

Chandler has been in the sewing machine business since 1905 - I haven't been able to find much information on the company history, but I can tell you that this Chandler 850 is a Bernina 850 from the button making feature to the utility and fancy stitch selection.  Indeed, this is an industrial Bernina 850 with the Chandler logo.

This is truly a wonderful sewing machine. Bernina's may be the best sewing machines ever made - Swiss precision as well as a high price tag.

I also have a Bernina 730 Record - what a joy to sew with.

This particular machine was not working when I got it. Too many years sitting around in a humid environment, then some inexperienced would-be buyer tried to make it work and forced it, thereby jamming it and making things worse.  I bought it not knowing if I could get it going again. I tried my best to make it sew before I purchased it, but could not. Risky business getting a Bernina that doesn't work - parts aren't as easy to come-by, and they're a little on the expensive side.

It took some work and some parts to get her back to life.

Lesson? If you find a sewing machine that is gummed up from sitting around for years - don't force it!! Use a solvent to release the old dried up lubricant. I know better - I use penetrating oil and heat to free all the moving parts before I try to make the machine work.

She is back to her old glory and working great - I have the Service Manual and was able to get her up to tip-top shape - she is for sale locally:



  1. I'd like to ask a question about your Chandler 850. Do you have a contact e-mail? Schustitch@aol.com

  2. I have this machine, bought it new in the very early 80's? That was how they came at first, marked as Chandler, then they started coming marked as Bernina. I have loved that machine dearly, but now am going to sell it. It has a broken thread take up arm from moving. I think that is about $85 from Bernia!

  3. Do you still have this machine? Would love to take a look at it and try it out!