Would anyone know where one can get the body cleaned and serviced for one of the old singer sewing machines? It has been converted to a regular bobbin, but it is still ran by the treadle/belt system, not converted to electric.
find a post she made in this thread I've added below, her name will be big and blue. Click on her name and you'll be able to send her a dmail (daves garden private message). She'll see it the next time she logs in. Hope that helps!
There are many free downloadable manuals available for old sewing machines. Singer puts theirs here: http://singerco.com/accessories/manuals.html In their search box, enter the simplest form of the model number - i.e.: instead of 66-1, (which gets you the manual for the 6610 from the 1980's) put in only the 66. Instead of 15-91, put in only 15.
Some companies scan and print the old manuals and the finished product is much easier to read than the original and the spiral binding makes the book lie flat - nice while you're trying to work on a machine. Relics is particularly good at scanning the originals and she carries manuals for an unbelieveable number of machines: http://pages.sewing-machine-manuals.com/stores/relics/
Many thanks! I have a Singer that started out as a treadle but then was changed to a belt-driven motor. The belt began slipping ever so slightly several years ago and needs to be adjusted or replaced...I've been looking for help...maybe I can find it here. My Bernina is good but the old Singer is such a steady stitcher I'd like to use it again.
Yuska, I don't have any machines with those after-market motors, but I *think* there are just two screws on the motor housing that you loosen in order to slide the motor farther from the pulley on the machine (when the belt is too loose) or move it closer if the belt is too tight.
And there are almost always new belts available for these machines. If you post a picture of the front of your machine and another of the motor and belt area, I'll bet someone can tell you where to find a belt that works.
This is most likely the one that you're looking for - it's a good eBay seller that I've bought a lot of different things from: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380129394541 This fits nearly all the antique domestic Singers with a solid handwheel. If the handwheel wasn't changed from the spoked type when the motor was added to the machine, you may need a different type.
I've heard that the stretch belts add a lot of strain to the motor, so I would avoid any belt that says "stretch" on it. (It may say "universal," instead of "stretch.")
I got a treadle machine for Christmas a few years ago, hubby bought from a friend from his aunt.
It was converted to electric once..but we took it in to a local guy and he converted it back.
It is in awesome shape..and my wish is to make a quilt on it..sounds to good to be true.
sew and stay in shape LOL
My machine is not overly old...early 50'
Your model 15 is one of the machines very well suited to free-motion quilting because of that big (and vertical) class 15 bobbin. And of course, it's got a perfectly precise straight stitch, so it's fabulous for piecing, as well. :)
I had one of these, but it had RAF decals on it, so I gave it to my grandson who was interested in learning how to make quilts. My model 15 is electric and I've just been thinking that I need to haul it upstairs and put it where it will get used more. They're really beautiful machines - and they make such a lovely sound when they're sewing - a happy little jingle. Especially the treadles.
I'm adding another treadle to my herd - this one is an industrial treadle.
I bought it for free-motion quilting and embroidery because instead of the 7" of space between the needle and the pillar, as on my Singer 15-91, this one has over 10˝" of free space - and it's a half-inch taller, too. Since I seem determined to make nothing but queen and king-sized quilts, I figured I should look for something with a longer arm.
It has the vertical bobbin that seems to be necessary for smooth free-motion work - and a class 15 bobbin, so it's a good amount of time between bobbin changes.
It takes standard industrial needles, too - easy to find and cheap. The seller is going to bring it over on Saturday, and I'm very much looking forward to trying some feathers on it. :)
Here's a picture of just the machine - not a glamourpuss, for sure. ;)
I forgot to mention that these giant industrial tables have 16" treadle wheels in them, instead of the 10" wheels you have in treadles for home machines. The larger wheel gives you a lot of power, but it's harder to get things in motion. I may switch the wheel to a smaller one, which will give me less power but faster sewing than this big one.
It could also turn out that I'm not coordinated enough to treadle and draw doodles on quilts at the same time, so I may go with a smallish motor, instead. :)
These industrial treadles come up for sale fairly often in different parts of the country - more in the northeast than here in the south because that's where all the factories were. Some of them are perfect for this kind of work - and they cost a heck of a lot less than the mid-arm and long-arm quilting machines.
Thunder, I got this Saturday and you wouldn't believe how easy it is to treadle and I'm just tickled pink and blue! I was afraid of how it was going to get along with arthritic knees and hips, but I think that for now, it's going to stay a treadle.
It's very dirty and grunged up and the table isn't in nearly as good a condition as the pictures appear, so I've got a lot of work to do on it before it does any quilting.
The take-up spring on the tensioner is broken, and someone has used non-Singer screws to attach the needle plate. Plus, I think the feed dogs that have been put on it are too big, because they were banging up against the underside of the needle plate with every rotation.
It took some sweating just to get the needle plate off, but I removed the feed dogs and I ordered a darning plate and slide plate that I hope will fit the machine.
It took TriFlow and a wrench to get the pressure off the presser bar - it was locked solid with old crud. But, I got that up and put a darning foot on it and it does free-motion feathers! :) (Well, it tries to - but I keep getting in its way! Hahhaaaah - walking and chewing gum at the same is tricky for me, too!)
The needle that's in it is HUUUUUUUGE, so I can't wait until the new needles and bobbins and stuff get here. But, the main task is cleaning, right now - and boy, it's going to be a pain.
I wish I could just soak it in a tub full of acetone until it's clean - and stripped. I would love to paint it a bright metallic candy apple red! :)
I have a nifty old treadle, that was pieced together, very haphazardly with ( I think) parts from two or three different machines...but it's mine and I love it...hubby got it at a yard sale for me (for a song)...It does work...or did anyways...have not used it in years...but it sure looks pretty in my living room!!!
I wish I hadn't converted my treadle - many years ago - to motorized. It's belt-driven rather than geared and now the belt slips too much. At the time I was looking for more speed, but I really think there is more start-stop control with a treadle.
Thunder, oil that baby up and put her to sewing! ;)
Yuska, you are so right - I love being able to control every stitch, sometimes.
The good news is that with the machines that were originally treadled or cranked, it's usually very easy to remove the add-on motors and re-convert the machine to treadle or handcrank again. Lots of people convert machines that never were treadled to treadles! :) Janome still makes a very nice zig-zag/fancy stitch machine for plopping into a treadle base.
If you have discarded the treadle irons/cabinet, that's going to be your biggest expense and headache of getting it re-converted, (just moving it to your house, I mean) but if you watch craigslist, sometimes they pop up at reasonable prices - if the wood is sound and the iron treadles smoothly, go for it! Most Singers (along with many other models) will fit into any Singer cabinet.
If you have to replace the handwheel, http://www.sew-classic.com has reproduction handwheels and cranks and belts for treadled and cranked machines. She's fast to ship and her prices are reasonable and along with being just plain nice, she's a really knowledgeable person.
I just finished cleaning up a little hand-crank 28K from 1900. The paint is mostly nice with some small gouges here and there and the gold decals are still pretty, even though some are missing. Clean and oiled, everything turns as easy as a breeze - that's almost always how it goes with these old ones - they were made to sew forever.
The industrial treadle is slowly coming along - with the feed dogs removed and a darning plate in place and new bobbin case, it really does nice free-motion sewing. I've got a burr or a maladjustment somewhere, though, because the thread keeps breaking. (I'll bet it's PEBCAM syndrome - Problem Exists Between Chair and Machine ;)
I only have one minor repair to make on the irons, but it badly needs a new top, so I'm going to make it a really big one and put a light or two and a thread rack on it. Go big or go home, you know? Well... with me, it's usually a case of a fool rushing in where angels fear to tread. ;)
The paint is also a problem - who wants rust and paint and who-knows-what else coming off onto their quilts? So I'm going to strip the machine and paint it something really jazzy and plate the steel parts with nickel so that they'll be shiny and pretty. (and clean!)
These old machines are addicting - like Lay's potato chips used to say, "Bet you can't eat just one!" Once you try one, the hunt will be ON! :)
Have been lurking on this forum for a few weeks. Am new to quilting and gathering great info from everyone here, has been wonderful! Discovered this morning an old treadle machine in attic and wondering if anyone can tell me anything about it, particularly if good for quilting. It is a Willcox & Gibbs Automatic. The direction manual does discuss quilting and the use of the Quilter attachment.
Any information anyone has on this machine, and its usefulness in quilting would be much appreciated.
I don't know anything about Willcox and Gibbs machines. How wonderful that it came with a manual! :) Does it have a model number or copyright date in it, anywhere?
What kind of a bobbin does it use? A spindle type or a round one? If it's round, does it lie on it's side or stand on end?
Any of the old straight-stitchers will do great for machine-guided quilting, but if it has a vertical bobbin or a vibrating shuttle bobbin, it will also probably do very well as a free-motion quilter. :)
I'd love to see pictures of what you have - what fun it would be to get it running again!
We have found a website with a great deal of information about history of Willcox & Gibbs sewing machines, but nothing regarding usage today for sewing/quilting. Using the information on the site we believe the machine here dates back to 1880s, altho the site says the method is imprecise.
If this is the same, then it looks like you have a chainstitcher machine. Chainstitch is wonderful for basting and redwork-type embroidery. I don't think you would find much use for it in quilting - chainstitching uses only one thread and it's made to come out with a pull on one end of the thread. You can lock the end of a line of stitching to make it secure. The space under the arm would be very limiting, though. You could quilt placemats or piece squares on it - but your seam line will be wider than one made with a straight-stitcher machine.
I think we may take a serious look at the machine to see if we can get it running. I think it would be nice to make each of the granddaughters a small quilt on it. Thanks for the information re: treadle-on, I will look into it.
My hubby gave me a beautiful old Singer 12K treadle a few years ago. I cleaned it and it works very well. I have always wanted to use it but do not know where to get needles for it. The ones I have are rusty and brittle and dull. Can anyone help?
You can sometimes find equivalent Boye 23 needles on that auction site, but they're going to be expensive.
Schmetz 23:51 needles (LAX339) are a modern substitute, but they're very hard for the consumer to find. You can ask a shop to special order them for you. Not every shop will be able to order from every distributor and not all distributors carry them, but you may eventually find someone who can get them for you.
I emailed Jenny at sew-classic.com to see if she has the ability to order them.
Now I am on Craig's list looking- and actually saw one the other day for $30.00
who needs a Bernina 440...
Barb I did see your Janome is it the 6600 or is it 4800?
I don't need a machine - but reading all this, having had 2 oldies before, new friend tells me she has 8 old machines. Am I chump change?
The only draw back - you can't get a machine past your DH, fabric yes, yarn pckgs. yes, books yes, not a machine. So I think I will just drool here. Watching all the machines go by. Ella, my amish quilting Guru, has a whole shop full of these oldie singers, now that is one nostalgic sight.
Helene, my Janome is the 6600 and I love it. The long arm is a Husqvarna/Viking. Now Norm is taking me to our Janome dealer to see about an embroidery machine. I love their products and the fact that service if needed is close by...
Ok, has anyone were heard of the Bartlett Treadle Sewing machine? I have the one that belonged to my Great Grandmother, I learned to sew on it, and it still workd great. Internet search doesn't produce much information. I would like to find out where they were made, when, and is there a source for replacement parts.
How wonderful to have a bit of your family's history! :)
Unfortunately, it looks like information on the Bartlett is truly sketchy. The company appears to have made sewing machines from the early 1860's to the late 1870's. It could have been later, (and probably was) but the latest documented date is in 1876.
You might want to join the TreadleOn mailing list and ask there. If you could put some pictures up on picturetrail.com or a similar site, people will do whatever they can to help you identify its birthday and to find replacement parts.
Do you know what parts you need and what size needles and bobbins it requires? One of the members recently put together an exhaustive list of sewing machine needles and their specs, other needles made to the same specs and possible substitutions.
I would love to see pictures of your Bartlett - the pictures on the internet of other Bartletts show some amazing wooden parts. :)
There are no wooden parts, except the cabinet, standard #11 singer needles work. and the bobbin is the long spindle/shuttle type. the manual says to use size 00, 0,1,2,3,4.needles, 00 is for silks through 4 for heavy wool. I have the narrow heming/felter foot. Setting next to my new Singer with all of the whistles and bells that came with it, the Bartlett seems bare bones, but when the power goes out, I can still sew...
I found an ad on eBay for a Bartlett machine from 1917, and if your machine is from the early 20th century, finding more feet and bobbins for it may be much easier than for the earlier Bartlett machines.
After the holidays, if you will take some close-up pictures of the felling foot, the shuttle and the bobbin, I will dig through my repair parts and see what I have. I know that I have at least one full set of top-clamping attachments that might work and if your machine takes standard side-clamping attachments, I'm sure I can help you with those.
For the attachments, I will need measurements from the bottom of the foot to the center of the slot into which the side-clamping screw fits (or to the bottom of the top-clamping thumb-screw on a top-clamping attachment. Also the distance from the center of the needle hole to the back of the foot. For the shuttle, I'll need pictures of both sides of the shuttle and overall measurements of the length and the diameter at the open end. For the bobbin, I'll need a picture and the measurement of the distance between the inside of the spool ends and the distance from outermost tip to tip.
Getting some extra bobbins and a few more feet will give you a lot more functionality and versatility. These old straight-stitchers can't be beat for piecing quilts. :) And how lovely that you can sew on the same machine as your great-grandmother - just beautiful! :)
Awwwww, thank you, Helene - the same and better to you! :)
Son #2 just left with his fiance' and two of my refurbished sewing machines. A 1900 Singer 28 hand-crank and a 1937 Singer 15-90 that sews like a dream. I bought it for the cabinet, but once I cleaned it thoroughly and replaced all the electrical components, it was just too beautiful not to use. Not a scratch or ding to be seen in the clear coat. Both of them have full sets of attachments and run as smooth as silk.
Fiance' wants to learn how to make quilts, so I sent her home with a stack of books, 40 batik fat quarters and a bunch of patterns.
I've got to thin out my "herd," because really, I have too darn many sewing machines - if I don't have the time or projects to sew on them and keep them exercised, then it's kind of defeating the purpose of refurbishing them. I've given away three in the last two weeks, so that's a start. If I can find homes for 20 more, I'll be happy.
*And* I'll have room for new project machines and a place to set up my industrial 31-15. Ulterior motives... there's a method to my madness... ;)
Hello - holidays have come and gone, and here I find this thread - Wow - what beautiful machines you all have!
Ann - did you find pics of your machine?
My memories of a Singer Treadle was when my grandmother (mom's side) broke her hip, she was told to use the treadle and that would help. It sure did! Great exercise
After my g-mother passed, my mom got it, and I remember sewing doll clothes on it. I know she doesn't have it anymore, but not sure where it went...
Awww... Tallulah_B ~ I am sorry your Mom didn't pass it on to you.
I just stumbled onto this thread and have enjoyed it much. Thanks all. I really appreciate the links and intend to pass them on.
I looked up the serial number on my Singer treadle and found it was also made in New Jersey and that series began in 1904. I have a dysfunctional Adobe Acrobat so can't pursue the precise date but that is fun information. Wish all these cool old machines could talk.
I also have one of the "puzzle boxes" but not all the accessories are intact.
wow - what a beautiful machine!
I suppose my mom didn't pass it on to me because I was always moving - from one rental to another... My ex never liked to stay in one place for long, for some reason - probably because he was a trucker, always on the move lol
Quilter gal. I have all of the attachments that came with the machine. Grandma was very careful, at least 6 long bobbins and 4 feet. When my
Grandfather had the machine converted to run on electricity, she made sure that it would still function with the treadle. Every time I use it I feel close to her. I contacted the Smithsonian, they are sending me information that they have on the Bartlett sewing machine, they said they do not have much.
The model is the B5 Extra, #671156. The needle sizes range from 00 to 4, and singer 11's work well.
so I'll see waht the museum can telll me, thanks Ann
Oh, and I love that Queen Anne style cabinet, too. :)
I gave my daughter a Rocketeer to take home and then I started watching craigslist in her area and a gorgeous Queen Anne with bench showed up with a different machine in it for $100. She popped right over to get it. None of these have showed up in my area, yet, but I keep hoping. :)
Thanks it is in great shape. One of my DD teachers had relocated to the Boston Area and his wife (young Couple) needed to down size and make some money. So my DD knew I would jump on that deal so that is how I got that one. The machine I started on was an old blue thing that was a knee lever I can't remember the name of it but it was great I loved it. Used to make clothes for school at least once a week I made something new. They don't make them like that anymore.
I have an old treadle that I picked up at a yard sale for $5.00. It is a "Free" I believe that is who singer bought when they started. I have had it for years and made several quilts for my Nieces with it. The belt started slipping and finally broke but my husband found a sewing store that had a belt for it and that lead to me getting a embroidering machine. Funny how life works sometimes isn't it?
A people-powered machine and a computerized machine in the same trip! Woohooooo!
We had about a six-hour power outage a few weeks ago and daughter and hubs were going crazy with boredom.
I was piecing a quilt with a treadle machine and a crank-type LED lantern and a battery powered "headlight" hanging around my neck. I didn't even hear them whining because I had my iPod stuck in my ears listening to old radio shows from the 30's and 40's. :)
I bought an old Free treadle from a garage sale. The owner said it worked well it does not work and it is hard to find parts for that machine. I am sad to say that one is holding a TV at the moment maybe I will someday find somewhere that sells parts for it.
For those wanting to loosen up "frozen machines", find a pan just bigger than the head. Remove the head from its case and sit it in the pan. Fill pan with white kerosene to just below the bed surface. Let sit for several weeks in a flame free area. An outdoor shed or garage would be a good storage area. Occasionally, try to rotate the flywheel. Eventually the wheel will move freely. At that point remove the machine from the bath and responsibly dispose of the kerosene or it may be used on a second head. Wipe down the base of the machine with disposable cloth or paper towels. Review all connections under the machine. Use tweezers and quilter's pins to pick out thread and "gunk." dispose of cleaning rags, responsibly. Remove the foot plate and clean out the area. If you find a "felt" pad, it doesn't belong there. It is a collection of compressed lint. Try to find a user's manual for your machine. Locate the oil holes on the topside of the machine. These need a good drenching before the machine is put into use. Test sew for a few minutes before you put an project of value under the machine. Lightly, oil the machine every time you sit down to use it.
I have several old machines, & have read that the pieces of "felt" were placed there to absorb oil & dispense it. My favorite reference is http://www.Featherweight221.com by David Mc Callum.
He has a wonderful book that takes you from an introduction thru refurbishing you old machine. You can also access his website to acquire replacement parts.
Just curious if Quilter_gal is still around, I just bought and am working on an industrial of my own. It looks as though hers is a model 31 ( I assume a 31-15) mine is one no one has ever heard of a 103, smaller arm but still has the larger vertical bobbin and a table with the large treadle wheel. Cant wait to fix a few things and report back on how it all works out.
Found this at a sale, everything moves freely, but needs a belt. The dealer said it had been sitting in storage since they got it, so all the 'little treasures of the past' are still in the drawers and underneath. Key, extra attachments, etc are in one of the drawers along with those little spools of thread...
I'm hoping to set it up downstairs to sew on at night after Hubby goes to bed. My sewing room is upstairs in a spare bedroom at the moment, next to our bedroom, and I'm a nightowl anyway. Do you sew on yours?
About a month ago I found a Red Eye head at an antique mall. A few days ago hubs surprised me with a wonderful treadle cabinet. We spent the better part of yesterday cleaning them. I have a belt , bobbins and needles on order. Waiting most impatiently for them to arrive.
Oh T that is just wonderful!. Looks to be in very good shape too. While in TN I saw a machine like the one I learned to sew on at a yard sale site. It was in very good shape and only $35. but no room to bring it and no place to put it once I got it here. Very reluctantly I passed on it. I hope the person who got it will enjoy it for a very long time.
Cindy Peters from Stitches in Time firstname.lastname@example.org
she has a bunch of parts and stuff for vintage machines, and if she does not have it she may be able to get it. actually found her through treadle on link above.
she helped me out very nicely. I was lost with what I needed. I told her what I had and what I wanted to do, and she was very good. reasonable prices, and very fast delivery.
I now have a 66 class red eye July 25th,1916 in treadle, a 127 class sphinx August 5th 1920, with a hand crank. yipee !!!
We have a local dealer (with reasonable prices). I have been buying necessary supplies for my Singer Featherweight machine. They are wonderful for piecing. I just bought 80 bobbins to get a better price. The name of the shop is U.S.A. Sewing Machine Repair Center.
The phone number is 321 952-8591 or email at email@example.com or try the website http://www.usasewingmachinerepairflorida.net