I almost feel guilty about having two of these machines. Almost. But, I also think I’m going to enjoy it very much. And, I might be able to further the research on these machines a bit as I have some original paperwork, including warranty correspondence from 11 years after purchase.
I got the machine for $60 and I gave the guy another $20 because…well because the deal was too good for the treadle base and the machine. I would have given him more, but he got strange about asking me how good of a deal I’d gotten and implying that I’d gotten a really good deal and that the money was going to his deceased brother’s children. All in a very friendly way…the way of the horse trader. But, it made me a bit uncomfortable. And, I found a really friendly way to make the point that he should research what he’s selling if he wants to sell it for what it’s worth.
Anyway, it was filthy. All these old gems are. And, I don’t mind that at all. It took me four hours to clean the cabinet and clean and oil the machine and get it in working order. That’s pretty quick for me. I must be getting good at this.
First, I freed the treadle wheel from the electric foot controller. All I can say is that somebody was real lucky that nobody ever got electrocuted. There was wire that passed through the controller and into the iron treadle base.
This is the kind of dirt I found.
It looked like the kind of hay based layers that would have built up in a humid barn. I forgot to take a picture of the dirtiest part, which was the tray the machine sets on inside the cabinet, under where the hook race would have been. A quarter inch layer of lint and what looked like oats.
The cabinet is wonderful. A complex piece of machinery on its own. When you lift the top, a chain causes the machine to rise.
And, the knee plate in front of the cabinet to lift out of the way.
The first thing I did on the machine was remove the electricals. Someone had done a pretty professional job of the conversion, adding that piece under the hand wheel on the left side below and drilling a hole in the back to affix the light. The electricals are Singer parts. You can see the motor if you look through the harp on the right side of the photo. You can see how dirty the machine was.
And, then it was cleaning. I started under the machine…no particular reason except the last machine I cleaned, I started at the top and the bottom became a problem and I broke a part when it all jammed up.
Somehow, I didn’t get a picture of the underside before, but here is the after. Let’s just say this was all brown from oil and caked on layers of dirt. I had a bottle of oil I bought on ebay that was yellow. Didn’t pay enough to return it, but I won’t use it in my machines. But, it’s great for cleaning them. Dissolves that old dirt right off. This was all brown, now it’s shiny and clean and works smoothly.
This was the feed dog before. YUCK
Next project was to oil and clean the hand wheel. No before pics of that either. There’s a bad rust spot in the handwheel and I might buy a new one. I should be able to get one from a National Rotary machine, which shares a common body with the two spool.
But, honestly, it’s not that big a deal to me.
Next was the needle bar end of the machine.
That’s all shiny and new looking now, too. At this point, the hand wheel is turning freely and things look good. So, I move to the motor and light. And, when I get them re-attached and get a belt on it, the machine won’t turn. Some little bit of gunk from my cleaning had jammed up in some tight spot and it took me a few minutes to work that loose. And, then I threaded the machine up and started sewing. Works like a charm. I did lots of straight stitching as I set the tension and then I did some free motion quilting on an old practice piece.
If you look close, you can see that the foot I’m using is made from a paperclip. I found a lady online that made one for her machine so she could FMQ with it and so I made me one. I’m pretty darn happy with it, too. It took some adjusting to get the pressure right, but now I’m just zipping along.
In comparison, the decals of this machine are a bit rougher than my other one, which is pretty bad. But, I don’t sew with the decals, so I’m good. The insides of the new machine are slightly superior to the old one…I think the old one sat in some water at some point, and there is more pitting in the steel parts under the machine and the movement just isn’t quite as smooth. But, they’re both great machines. So, the plan is to keep the new one as an electric portable model and put the old one in the treadle cabinet as a treadle model.
In other news, there was holiday shopping and baking and I made a pair of pants for Sydney, so there should be plenty to talk about over the next few days. Everybody have a great Monday.