A few years ago, I met a wonderful lady at one of the knitting clubs who works very hard for our craft. She not only teaches (as a volunteer), she repurposes all the poor stray knitting machines that happen in a club - you know the story - the member changed machines, downsized, got sick, passed away, or something, leaving some machine sitting, gathering dust. They have no dealer in that area, but if you tell her which item you need, she can probably find one for you.
My husband John is extremely supportive of this hobby, and was also very impressed with the same person's efforts. Over the past few years, he's gone after various homeless knitting machines and we've sought to repurpose them to other knitters. This makes a lot of sense in our community, because we have no knitting machine dealer. We don't want to be a dealer, but it's kind of fun to clean them up, check them over, and find them homes as starter machines.
Knitting machine prices are all over the place, some very high and some very low. There's something bizarre about finding a machine that originally cost thousands of dollars for sale for peanuts. You do see them sometimes, though. Some of them are wonderful, some not so good.
We had a little adventure recently. John saw a Craigslist ad for a machine and we went to see it. It's a marvelous machine, a Brother 270, but sadly incomplete - missing the case lid and all the hand tools. The one missing part that's difficult to find is that case lid. The seller didn't know how to work it, had inherited it, and said the rest of the items were at her mom's house. It had been her grandma's machine. We could tell from the assorted odds and ends which were with it that there were other items, so we asked her to let her mom know that we'd be interested in the rest of the stuff.
We went to see the mom a couple of weeks later and bought the rest of the items - well, what she could find. We ended up with the case lid for that 270 (hooray), just missing a couple of obtainable parts, and a 970 that's missing it's CB-1 (the electronics for the machine), all hand tools, the manual, and I'm not quite sure what else. I figured the 970 would be a non-patterning machine unless I dug up another control box, but I read online that you can do things with a 970 with a missing box by hooking up to a computer. I have DAK, and I'll have to play with that. I already have an excellent, complete 970, so I plan to find a home for this new baby. I can tell from the piles of parts that the grandmother had a color changer, a garter carriage, ribber, garter bar, and lots of other items, but this family has not yet sorted through the items they need to sell. I told them to call me if more KM items turn up.
So, when I get a chance, I'll clean, oil, and test these latest machines and start ordering the parts I can find.
These old Japanese knitting machines are so sturdy that as long as they're not rusty, they're probably going to knit just fine.
John found another item this week, and I told him, nope, nothing more for a while, okay? It's all getting ahead of me; I haven't room to store it or much free time to fix them.