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Go Back   BHM Forum > Self-Reliance & Preparedness > Arts & Crafts > Sewing/Knitting/Crocheting/Needlepoint

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2010, 11:42 PM
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BigOBear Male BigOBear is offline
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Default Treadle brought home this weekend

I've been looking for one to have a winter project to restore for DW. The in-laws knew this and picked this one up a couple of months ago and brought it to us at the camp. Cost a wee bit... 60. They also gave us a line on another one in their family that we can have for free. It's in SIL's garage. Just gotta make a trip down to Corpus to get it. I need to head down that way to go fishing sometime in the next month or so

Pretty rough looking?

Here's the cabinet:


The machine (and another one with a motor that we picked up this summer while we were out and about)


Oh and another cabinet I found this summer that they're sitting on (but not a treadle).

I've never restored anything like this. Lost cause or a good winter project? I still have a couple of other sort of big projects to finish up before I get started here.

Edit: DW came by right after I clicked post and wanted me to be sure to tell yall that I've "collected" another old electric and another cabinet this summer also. I think I might be getting a hint to stop bringing them home until I start restoring...
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2010, 12:53 AM
patience patience is offline
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BOB,

Heh, heh! I'm not allowed to bring anything else home, unless I get rid of something first...

Check your PM's.

Not too bad, from what I can see. Sounds like you have enough parts to get at least one going. Those things are pretty well indestructible, with only reasonable care to not break stuff. NCLee has done some work on these. Bug him about it, and see what he has to sy.

Last edited by patience; 12-01-2010 at 01:35 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2010, 10:56 PM
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paqcrewmama Female paqcrewmama is offline
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That cabinet is like mine! 3 drawers on each side. I wonder just how many of those designs were made (what is the word- um, that inlaid shell look-begins with a "C" ) Does anyone know if they designs changed each year?
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2010, 11:04 PM
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Gracie Gracie is offline
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Congratulations on your sewing machines, they were built to last and last...if they could only tell you all they've sewn and seen, gosh! I thought I had one about to purchase, but didn't work out, spect twasn't meant to be. But, someday, hope to have one in the living room, to use, or for just in case. Best of luck with the cabinet restoration.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2010, 05:30 PM
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CarolAnn Female CarolAnn is offline
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BigOBear -
I salute you for your courage to start such a project to please your DW! The veneers are fairly thin on these cabinets, so you'll have some tricky work ahead - if you're not careful with strippers, you can get the layers loose. On the other hand, refinished well, a treadle machine is beautiful and functional. I'm kind of worried about the rusty look of those machines - it might be worth continuing to look for some that are in better condition.
It looks like the attachment box is in incredibly good condition - are the goodies still inside? (They're the best part!)

If she likes to treadle (or wants to learn) there's an amazing book - a reprint of an old manual on early machine embroidery. You can find them used for under $10 on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Singer-Instruc...1404100&sr=8-1

They made all kinds of exquisite lace, applique and embroidery on a simple treadle that didn't even have zig-zag stitches! It's way beyond what anyone does even with the expensive computerized models now. Fun to see how they did it, not practical for modern schedules!
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2010, 11:49 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Congratulations on your purchases. As best I can tell from the pictures everything will clean up nicely. Looks like you have some tiger oak on that cabinet. That'll be beautiful when you're done.

If the heads don't move easily use PBlaster to free them up. Don't use WD40 as it will destroy those beautiful decals on the machines. I learned that the hardway. (sigh)

Good luck with restoring them back to their useful life. Do keep us updated on your progress.

Yell, if you have questions. We'll try to help, if we can.

The only advice that I have right now is to have patience. It took me about 3 days to remove a needle that had rusted tight inside the needle holder. Finally managed to free it without breaking the thread guide wire beside it.

Your machines don't have nearly the amount of rust that machine had. It was frozen up solid when I got it. Nothing would move when I tried to turn the wheel. So, your clean up is going to be much faster.

Lee
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2010, 10:46 PM
organicfarmer organicfarmer is offline
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I have a treadle and want to use it. How does one go about putting a new belt on? Would regular sewing machine oil work for the oiling? I know these sound like simple questions, but they are my starting points.

Thank you in advance.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2010, 12:38 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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When you get your new belt, it'll have a metal clip on it. It's a cross between part of a paper clip and a long c shape lying on its back. You'll need to measure and cut the belt to the length you need. Then punch a hole in one end of the belt (clip may already be installed in the other end) just large enough to ease the clip through the hole. Put the belt on the lower wheel (pulley) beside the threadle bring the ends up through the hole(s) and wrap one end around the hand wheel (pulley). Then connect the clip to the other end of the belt to form one continuous loop. It has to be snug enough that when you turn the handwheel or press on the treadle the pulley on the other end of the belt turns.

Yes, regular sewing machine oil works fine. It's the right weight to provide lubrication. Tip: After oiling, especially when restoring and you're probably over lubricating to get everyting in working order, be sure to sew some scrap material. That should take up any excess oil before it gets to your good fabric.

BTW, I also use 3n1 machine oil. That's a lightweight oil that'll work well for this purpose.

Hope this helps.
Lee
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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2011, 05:29 AM
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Thank you for this thread! I brought home my "new to me" treadle sewing machine last evening. Have never used one before - but if others can learn to use one - so can I. At the moment I'm rather covered in 3in1 oil and furniture oil. The cabinet was terribly dry - it is soaking up the furniture oil like crazy.
The main drive belt is there, but not on the turning wheels, so I've left it off for now and put loads of 3in1 oil through every moving part I could find and left rags underneath it.

I'm hoping to find a source for belts and any parts that might need to be kept on hand. Looks like it has a longish bobbin, rather than the round type that I am used to with my electric Singer.

From what I can gather from the serial # (G90007L) this machine was made sometime after 1900. I'm hoping to be able to call Singer and find out what the model might be, and then track down a copy of a manual. A pattern for how to thread this baby would be nice.

My machine looks just like the one in the right of BigOBear's first picture. The decals are more worn on mine, but I think there might be a bit less rust. It's definitely seen a lot of use, there are wear spots on the paint where you'd expect from use.
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2011, 06:10 PM
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Karen -
My mom always kept a soft piece of cloth (folded up flannel) put under the presser foot with the needle down - when she oiled the machine. It soaks up anything that runs down the needle and keeps the thread in the bobbin from getting oily. If you're really drenching the thing in oil, you may find it dripping out on what you sew, so keep this in mind and sew on scraps until you're sure everything is clean!

I learned to sew on a treadle when I was 8! The first thing I learned is that when you put your little fingers in there where they don't belong, it hurts like crazy! Maybe I was just a bit too young to be learning to sew - I STILL remember the shock of having a needle through the pad of my finger! As an adult, you'll know not to do that sort of thing!

The most fun when you're first starting to use an old treadle is winding the bobbins! It was so cool to see how cleverly they engineered the bobbin winder - the little guide rolls around a heart-shaped cam as the bobbin winds up.
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  #11  
Old 07-29-2011, 02:23 AM
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I'll remember to keep my fingers clear!

When I went to town today I stopped by the sewing store - they had the belts for the treadle! $14.50 each. They also had the long spindle bobbins - ouch those were $3.50 each.
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2011, 03:37 AM
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Karen, did your machine have the shuttle that the bobbin pins go in? Mine had the shuttle but no bobbin pins. It's a miracle that it did have the shuttle. Those babies are not cheap.

I bought a pack of 4 or 5 bobbin pins on Ebay a few years back for something like $8.00 total. Probably cost more now, but they work fine.

I had to keep tinkering with the belt on mine. When I would start to work the treadle, the wheel would just go back and forth. After tightening it a bit, it would go on one direction.

Mine cleaned up pretty well, but it is one of the 'fancy' models that had all the pretty decorative molding on the drawer fronts, and the molding and some of the veneer was lifting so all I could really do was clean it up, glue it back down as best I could, and lightly stain it. Looks ok, but some of the molding and veneer was broken away and missing. But it works ok, and I guess that's the most important thing.

Hope you enjoy yours. They're a lot of fun but to truthful, I'll keep my electric machines.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:17 PM
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Yes the shuttle that the bobbin pins go into - is there.

I'm not planning for this to be my only sewing machine - I have a terrific electric machine that I've had since the mid 1980s. But the treadle is part of my prep plans...in backing up everything electric that I can with a manual version.

Some of the molding is missing on one of the drawers on mine, and the drawer across the front it missing the left "arm" - hoping to get that replaced this week when my Mom is here...she's a woodworker extraodrinaire.
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2011, 01:08 AM
morninglory Female morninglory is offline
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I got me a treadle about a month ago. It was totally locked down. After wd40 and much oil and some taking it apart and finely sanding off much pitting, it is like a new machine. I had to invest in a new belt. now I need a new case for the bobbin and they are 40.00. not ready to invest more into the machine just yet. hoping to find one cheaper. when the thread doesnt jam in the little crack in the bobbin case , I can tell the stitch is good.I took the bobbin case apart and can see the crack that is catching the thread. Havent decided what to do about the cabinet. It is in pretty fair shape,just not shiny new looking. I am so proud of mine. I dont plan on using mine for my only machine. Just wanted one.
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2011, 12:21 PM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Looks like a lot of us are getting 'new' treadles. I got mine about a month ago. I bought some belts for it, but don't know if it works yet or not. When my friend has time, she said she'd come over and see if she can get it running for me, oil it up, and show me how to use it. I found one for her, too. It turned out to be her grandmother's old one - the one she learned to sew on! Both of them have all the accessories.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:04 PM
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There were 2 of those posted on the free section of Craigslist a few months ago.
Should have got them I guess but I really don't need another project.
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2011, 09:58 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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FWIW, I'm up to 5 of them in various stages of restoration. Just can't get time to work on them lately. (sigh) Bought 2 a few months ago for $50. Woman had one for $45. Had another where the cabinet was in bad shape, head locked up, and a part missing on the treadle. Told her I'd give her $5 for it. She said OK, as she didn't want to haul it off.

Each had boxes of attachments. Each had a button hole maker! Both were Singer, so many of the parts will be interchangeable.

BTW, found a handfull of the old style long shuttles at a flea market for either $.25 or $.50 each. New, never used. After I bought them, shop owner wanted to know what they were.

When I'm flea market shopping and have time, investigate those old sewing boxes filled the spools of thread and such. It may be worth $5 for a bunch of old thread, ragged tape measures, etc. to get those old long bobbins that in in the bottom of the box.

Lee
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:55 PM
oldtimer oldtimer is offline
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I've restored a few and fixed dozens. We have two like yours but fancier sides but the same three drawer assembly, that's the sign of an old timer as they later only put in two drawers on each side.

I tore the veneer off the lid. It revealed a rather interesting "pieced" wood top. My original intention was to put on new veneer but we liked the way it looked and now it's looked like that for 27 years. We replaced that old style head with a blackhead style head that we picked up for twenty bucks. That way we had one with a round bobbin and also one we could get bobbins for. Check ebay if you can't find one locally.

My wife is the sewer, I only fix them, but she originally sewed with the old head but was glad to move up to the black head as she liked reverse and the old heads don't have it. You can even move up a notch more if you want and put one in the cabinet that has zigzag.

Those old style heads use shuttles. I have a whole box of new shuttles up in the attic I might have the ones you need. It's awfully hard to get an old shuttle shined up to where it's usable again if they're badly rusted and the shuttle style was a general pain compared to the round bobbin anyway.

Good luck and let us see how she looks when you're done. I've refurbished many and they're now being used in Ukraine.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:19 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Just went back and looked at the pix again in the original post. The one I got for $5 is the same cabinet style. When I get around to restoring it, planning to take the cabinet apart (it's in really bad shape) and rebuilding it. Have saved all the pieces of veneer that came off the sides. Will take a piece of it to a local woodworking shop to try to match to some replacement veneer that's missing.

If memory serves this one was made in 1923. For Singer machines, find the serial number, then go to the Singer website and look it up. Singer site also tells you where to look for the S/N on various styles of machines.

Tip: For veneer that's just starting to peel up, go to a place that sells vet supplies and meds for farm animals. Buy a needle for injecting meds. Use that to inject glue in a crack or under the edge of a piece that's slightly lifting. Lay a piece of waxed paper over that spot. Then add plently of weight. For example a stack of bricks. Leave them in place for the clamping time given in the glue instructions. When the glue has cured, gently remove the weight and the waxed paper. Gently, repeat, gently sand off the glue residue that was squeezed out.

This is for minor problems. For major problems like the one I have with the $5 machine, finish removing the veneer. If hide glue was originally used (machines made before "modern" glue, a little warm water can help in stubborn spots. Then, carefully reapply the veneer. Injecting glue only covers a small area. Reapplying the veneer gives glue coverage under the entire piece of veneer. Reapplying can be a challenge if you don't have a vacuum press. (I don't.). Equal pressure has to be applied over the entire surface that's being glued for best results. Depending on the surface, I use a combination of plywood boards, cauls, and every clamp I own. At least it seems that way with the number of clamps it takes to apply even pressure.

BTW, I'll use hide glue. It's reversable if something goes wrong. Not the case with many modern glues. Hide glue is available from woodworking supply shops (brick and motar or on line). Practice on scrap if you haven't used it before tackling your sewing machine cabinet.

Another tip. If you need some small pieces of veneer for a restoration project keep an eye out for junk with peeling veneer at a flea market, yardsale, etc. Buy the junk for a few dollars, then strip the re-usable veneer. New veneer is expensive and often it isn't possible to match new to old, aged veneer. Spot a piece of junk that'll closely match and you'll save money and have an easier time of blending in the repair.

In closing if you haven't worked with veneer and hide glue, google will turn up quite a bit of information on the how-to involved.

Lee
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