I checked the Bernina into the shop yesterday. It may be a few days before they can examine it and let me know what needs to be done. While it is there, they will make sure that everything else is in good shape. It will also receive a professional cleaning.
Not having it here has created a void and made me realize that I need to have a backup machine. I have been shopping on Craigslist and eBay. I also visited a few thrift stores, but that was depressing. The few machines I found were broken, scratched, filthy and expensive.
I purchased a machine on eBay that met my requirements of strength and modest price: a Singer 403A. Yes, a Slant-O-Matic! The 403A has the streamlined style beginnings of the 500 series and just makes you smile to look at it.
This machine, like the Bernina, is all metal. In the eBay photos, a few chips in the paint are clearly visible and the rubber bobbin winder tire appears dried out and cracked. I ordered a replacement. I have also ordered some vintage Singer class 66 bobbins, and have downloaded, in PDF form, the manual. This should help me to get started right away. I will gather additional presser feet and cams once I know the machine is a keeper. It will also need a carrying case.
The 403A has been shipped.