I spoke to Jack today. It wasn't good news.
He had given my Singer to another repairman who does "specialist" repairs, but I told him to pull the plug and bring it back when he picks up the loaner. I didn't want to spend more than the machine was worth - and it only cost me about $190 new. Sorry. I like what I like, but I'm not letting sentimentality rule my checking account.
So, say hello to . . . Singer 7426, winging its way to me for less than the price of the original. I want what I want when I want it. No nearby stores had anything comparable pricewise, featurewise, and which was compatible with all the bobbins and presser feet that I already had, and the online stores that did have anything were all saying 7-10 days delivery.
I checked Sewvacdirect. They had my exact model, 7426, factory reconditioned, and it'll be here on Friday. I love them.
There are better machines out there. I know. I have one. It also needs repairs. But this particular Singer (or at least its predecessor) turned itself inside out for me. And I'm loyal, when it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg.
Since this machine is at least partly intended for quilters, it comes with an extra long extension table which comes in handy for more than quilting. It sews leather, with no attitude. It has lots of decorative stitches, which I hardly ever use. It does really good one-step buttonholes, three varieties. And it will again.
Rest in peace, Singer 7426, it was nice knowing you. You gave good service, and I can only hope your successor does likewise.