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Sewing and Quilting: Treadle sewing machines

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mcrochet
Marilyn Glen st. Mar, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 20, 2010
2:37 AM

Post #7573091

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.
Mojoquilter
Wichita, KS
(Zone 6a)

February 20, 2010
3:22 AM

Post #7573191

dmail quilter_gal. She's got a lot of refurb experience.
mcrochet
Marilyn Glen st. Mar, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 20, 2010
12:26 PM

Post #7573889

thanks so much. She's not in the address exchange, where do I find her dmail?

This message was edited Feb 20, 2010 7:34 AM
Mojoquilter
Wichita, KS
(Zone 6a)

February 20, 2010
1:51 PM

Post #7574022

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!

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1065945/

This message was edited Feb 20, 2010 7:53 AM
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

February 21, 2010
4:33 PM

Post #7576870

She did get in touch with me and boy, does she have a nice old back-clamping 66-1. :)

I thought I would gather up all my links for refurbishing these babies and put them on this thread for future information hunters.


Getting started: model identification, serial numbers and manuals:

Here's a great way to identify an old Singer - just look at the pictures and answer the questions as you come to them and when you get to the end, you will probably know what model of Singer you have: http://www.sandman-collectibles.com/id-singer-machines.htm

If you can read the serial number on a Singer machine, the Singer records are usually correct about the model number and the date that it was commissioned: http://singerco.com/support/serial_numbers.html

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/

The Smithsonian has a huge collection of antique trade literature, including sewing machine manuals, attachment manuals, heirloom machine work instructions, etc:
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/

Search their site here: http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/CF/search.cfm If you want to actually see the images of the items they have in their catalog, you will want to tick the box next to "Display Only Results With Images" or you will get a huge long list of items in their collection which haven't yet been scanned.

Here is their scan of the old "puzzle box" set of attachments for use with the model 27, a machine that was made from the 1890's through the 1950's: http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/0528/



Hope these will be interesting and helpful. More links to refurbishing resources later. :)




Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 21, 2010
6:21 PM

Post #7577087

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.
Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 21, 2010
6:32 PM

Post #7577109

I booked marked this thread on the Tip & Techniqes main post so it won't get lost along the way.
Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 21, 2010
6:45 PM

Post #7577142

Good idea...thanks!
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

February 21, 2010
7:43 PM

Post #7577259

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.")









Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 21, 2010
8:39 PM

Post #7577359

Thank you for the good info! I'll investigate this asap.
Canadianchicken
Wakaw
Canada

February 26, 2010
8:48 PM

Post #7589854

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'

Thumbnail by Canadianchicken
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Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 26, 2010
9:15 PM

Post #7589908

I think using a treadle actually allows greater control.
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

February 26, 2010
9:29 PM

Post #7589957

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.
mcrochet
Marilyn Glen st. Mar, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 27, 2010
12:10 PM

Post #7591619

Haven't started on it yet Quilter_gal,,,but I will.
mcrochet
Marilyn Glen st. Mar, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 27, 2010
12:11 PM

Post #7591621

Haven't started on it yet Quilter_gal,,,but I will. did do some research, it was made in Elizabethtown, N.J. , in September of 1918,,,how cool is that? :)
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

May 6, 2010
8:57 PM

Post #7771084

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. :)

Thumbnail by quilter_gal
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quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

May 6, 2010
9:03 PM

Post #7771095

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.

Thumbnail by quilter_gal
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barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2010
10:16 PM

Post #7774311

I am jealous!
and the table looks to be in great shape too, wow !! lucky you...what a find!!!
I would def. have to go ith a small motor added...my old knees could not take the action...
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

May 10, 2010
8:32 AM

Post #7780141

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! :)

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2010
9:26 AM

Post #7780308

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!!!
Yuska
San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 10, 2010
10:21 AM

Post #7780507

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.
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

May 25, 2010
7:40 AM

Post #7825584

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.

Have fun!
Elizabeth
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

May 25, 2010
7:42 AM

Post #7825590

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 fun!
Elizabeth


helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 8, 2010
1:36 PM

Post #8145236

http://www.quiltingbargains.com/daintydarlings.html

just beautiful

Kizmo

Kizmo
Marietta, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 9, 2010
11:28 AM

Post #8146598

those are just adorable... the first set has needles that move!
AnnieRose
Interlaken, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2010
7:22 AM

Post #8171098

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.

Kizmo

Kizmo
Marietta, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 23, 2010
8:20 AM

Post #8171194

quilter_gal would be the machine expert here, a picture would help too, if you could post one. Welcome to the Group!
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

October 23, 2010
11:37 AM

Post #8171473

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!
Elizabeth
AnnieRose
Interlaken, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2010
2:19 PM

Post #8171711

Here is one picture, I have a couple others I will post. We believe the machine was made prior to 1913. We think the serial # is A311196. Any ideas you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Peggy

Thumbnail by AnnieRose
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AnnieRose
Interlaken, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2010
2:30 PM

Post #8171719

Another picture. There does not seem to be a bobbin, instead something called "looped rocker". Can post or d-mail pictures from manual.

Peggy

Thumbnail by AnnieRose
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AnnieRose
Interlaken, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2010
2:50 PM

Post #8171742

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.
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

October 23, 2010
3:08 PM

Post #8171774

I know absolutely nothing about this type of sewing system, but I think this style of machine might date to even earlier. It has a patent date of 1870 embossed on the irons, so it could be that old.

Is this manual like the one that came with yours?
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/NMAHTEX/0469/

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.

This message was edited Oct 23, 2010 4:15 PM
AnnieRose
Interlaken, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2010
3:24 PM

Post #8171809

Yes, the manual is the same as the link you cite. Good to know that it won't be of much use in quilting; well, disappointing - but I can save my son some work now! LOL Thanks so much.
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

October 24, 2010
9:54 PM

Post #8174273

I don't want to discourage you - these machines made garments for decades and garments had to stand up to a lot more stress than quilts. :)

Some of these chainstitchers are in demand among treadle collectors and users because of the ability to baste with them, to embroider, or to add growth tucks to childrens' clothing.

You might want to join the treadle-on mailing list and search the archives for other peoples' posts about quilting and sewing with these machines.

Have fun!
Elizabeth
AnnieRose
Interlaken, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 25, 2010
3:14 PM

Post #8175742

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.
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

October 29, 2010
5:46 AM

Post #8182716

This link was posted on treadle-on this morning - it's a source for needles for your Willcox & Gibbs:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kpinkert/5124094631/

Apparently, someone has found a modern substitute needle that works just as well as the original (hard to find) needles - and they come in a variety of sizes, instead of just one. :)

Have fun!
Elizabeth
AnnieRose
Interlaken, NY
(Zone 5b)

October 31, 2010
10:52 AM

Post #8186768

Good to know - thank you.
kitgary
Springville, IA

November 1, 2010
6:01 AM

Post #8188102

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?

Kit

Thumbnail by kitgary
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quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

November 1, 2010
6:54 AM

Post #8188159

How fun! Do you know how old it is?

There's a manual here on the ISMACS site:
http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/manuals/singer-12k-manual.pdf and according to the manual, the machine takes a 12X1 needle - and those are as rare as hens' teeth.

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.

Good luck!
Elizabeth

Quilter5bdsr

Quilter5bdsr
(Barb) Hillsboro, NH
(Zone 5a)

November 1, 2010
10:58 AM

Post #8188541

Smetz needles can be ordered from their website. Just google smetz needles to get to it...

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 1, 2010
1:19 PM

Post #8188747

Elizabeth your the mostest with these oldies.

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.

housse301
Lexington Park, MD

November 1, 2010
4:37 PM

Post #8189098

I like the idea that there is so much history behind the old machines and they are pretty to look at. Drooling here also.

Quilter5bdsr

Quilter5bdsr
(Barb) Hillsboro, NH
(Zone 5a)

November 2, 2010
6:32 AM

Post #8190010

Here is the correct site and spelling for the Schmetz needles --- http://www.SCHMETZneedles.com

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...

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 2, 2010
6:43 AM

Post #8190023

W0W Helene
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

November 2, 2010
7:11 AM

Post #8190075

Trying to find anything on the Schmetz sites (schmetz.com or schmetzneedles.com) is just a hair-pulling experience.

Their search function is one of the worst I've ever seen - it appears that the company doesn't sell the 23:51 needle. (according to their own search engine, anyway)

I would call the company or email them and see if I could get an answer that way. Hopefully, that is much less frustrating than trying to find info on their web sites. ;)

Have fun!
Elizabeth
annabelle15
Niles, MI
(Zone 5a)

November 23, 2010
4:29 AM

Post #8226559

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.

Model B5 Extra
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

November 23, 2010
6:02 AM

Post #8226711

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. :)



annabelle15
Niles, MI
(Zone 5a)

November 23, 2010
9:55 PM

Post #8228099

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...
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

November 24, 2010
7:54 AM

Post #8228500

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! :)

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 26, 2010
4:56 PM

Post #8231922

elizabeth you are beautiful too. I just got here on top by accident again and then read the whole thing again...

Lets buy a bernina,what was it 440 QE, or Janome... Happy holdiay season to you and yours. Helene
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

November 28, 2010
10:03 AM

Post #8234447

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... ;)

Happy holidays!
Elizabeth



Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

February 8, 2011
10:33 AM

Post #8360936

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...
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 20, 2011
9:30 AM

Post #8382388

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.

Thumbnail by podster
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

February 20, 2011
11:33 PM

Post #8383568

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
annabelle15
Niles, MI
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2011
10:30 AM

Post #8384483

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

cheriffic

cheriffic
(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

March 15, 2011
5:37 PM

Post #8429155

This is my 1940's Singer it is a beauty sews like a dream too.
Cher

Thumbnail by cheriffic
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cheriffic

cheriffic
(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

March 15, 2011
5:42 PM

Post #8429161

a closer view

Thumbnail by cheriffic
Click the image for an enlarged view.

quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

March 15, 2011
6:52 PM

Post #8429318

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. :)

siliolegma

siliolegma
(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI

March 15, 2011
7:30 PM

Post #8429443

Beautiful Cheryl, looks like new. It's what I started on.
denimangle
Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX
(Zone 8b)

March 16, 2011
4:55 AM

Post #8429821

WOW Cheryl that is beautiful,

Elizabeth, I also watch craigs list in the DFW area for old machines :)
Cheryl

cheriffic

cheriffic
(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

March 16, 2011
12:39 PM

Post #8430723

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.
Cher

Kizmo

Kizmo
Marietta, OH
(Zone 6a)

April 1, 2011
7:17 AM

Post #8464646

got this today from the Quiltshow newsletter, would like to spend some time in here, just looking! NY store that has walls of vintage sewing machines for decoration..

http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/blog.php/blog_id/3684

This message was edited Apr 1, 2011 6:45 PM
Donnaspins

(Zone 6a)

May 26, 2011
10:06 AM

Post #8588468

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?
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

May 26, 2011
5:31 PM

Post #8589356

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. :)

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 26, 2011
5:49 PM

Post #8589405

I love it! I am a person that can entertain myself easily ~ with or without power. Lucky you that you didn't even have to hear them whine ~ lol

I recently ordered a rubber belt for my treadle. It was an impulse purchase as I am constantly having to tighten my leather belt. I love the rubber one. Easy to install and it gives great traction.

Donnaspins ~ how lucky you were to find a store that stocks the belts. And lucky to come home with more than your husband bargained for! * )
Donnaspins

(Zone 6a)

May 27, 2011
9:07 AM

Post #8590629

LOL yes, well I usually come home with more than my husband bargined for!! LOL

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 6, 2011
6:45 PM

Post #8919322

beautiful machines in that store!! but sorta sad that they are not being put to use...

cheriffic

cheriffic
(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

January 1, 2012
12:34 PM

Post #8950198

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.
Cher
annabelle15
Niles, MI
(Zone 5a)

January 1, 2012
2:03 PM

Post #8950310

Cheriffic, do a search on the internet, I found parts for my treadle machine a Barrtlet

cheriffic

cheriffic
(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

January 1, 2012
7:24 PM

Post #8950731

Thank you annabelle15 I will. I have wanted to work on it for some time now Thanks so much
Cher

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 2, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #8951261

e-bay is a good source for parts of old machines...
greenwidow
Fort Wayne, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 15, 2012
5:33 AM

Post #9007338

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.
star619
Stonewall, LA

March 26, 2012
7:14 AM

Post #9057365

Green Widow,
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.
star619

Tallulah_B

Tallulah_B
(Susan) Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 16, 2012
8:53 AM

Post #9084627

Here's a 1920's Singer treadle machine for sale on kijiji.com
http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-other-antique-side-table-not-just-another-sewing-machineNEW-PRICE-W0QQAdIdZ313804928

It's a beauty, and has a larger throat great for quilts... wish I could get it... siiiiiigh

Catbird423

Catbird423
Odenton, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 1, 2012
9:08 AM

Post #9105518

I stopped in an antique mall on my way to Richmond, VA on Friday and saw this machine. It is an old Singer Treadle machine for sewing shoes. Thought it was quite interesting.

Thumbnail by Catbird423
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kizmo

Kizmo
Marietta, OH
(Zone 6a)

May 1, 2012
11:11 AM

Post #9105718

That's pretty cool! Seems like there were machines for almost everything!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 1, 2012
4:47 PM

Post #9106192

That really is cool... do you recall seeing a price on it? Or did you buy it...

Catbird423

Catbird423
Odenton, MD
(Zone 7b)

May 1, 2012
6:37 PM

Post #9106353

I can't remember the price, did not buy it, no room for it.
greywuuf
Moose Creek, AK

May 9, 2012
12:26 PM

Post #9117433

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.

Dan in Alaska

Thumbnail by greywuuf
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kizmo

Kizmo
Marietta, OH
(Zone 6a)

September 19, 2012
9:20 AM

Post #9279977

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...

Thumbnail by Kizmo   Thumbnail by Kizmo   Thumbnail by Kizmo   Thumbnail by Kizmo   
Click an image for an enlarged view.

cheriffic

cheriffic
(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

September 23, 2012
8:32 PM

Post #9284474

ooooo a little TLC Kathy and you will have some fun. Great find enjoy!!!
Cher

Kizmo

Kizmo
Marietta, OH
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2012
5:35 AM

Post #9284638

have been reading articles on cleaning old machines and cabinets. Now to just find the time to start on it!
Thanks Cher!
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

September 24, 2012
5:50 AM

Post #9284654

Kizmo looks just like the one I found there a blast from the past

Kizmo

Kizmo
Marietta, OH
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2012
7:55 AM

Post #9284787

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?
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2013
8:12 PM

Post #9480798

If I may, I'd like to add a link or two that I just read.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/tips-treadle-sewing-machine-zmaz75mazgoe.aspx

Tips on Buying, Restoring, and Using Treadle Sewing Machines

&

http://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/treadle-sewing-machine-zmaz75mazgoe.aspx#axzz2Q9c9dDm2

How to Care for a Treadle Sewing Machine



This is a great thread and I enjoy rereading it on occasion. Thanks to all... Kristi

kooger

kooger
Oostburg, WI
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2013
5:06 AM

Post #9481012

me too! I bought a 1927 Singer treadle at a yard sale for $15 and had it serviced. Works like a charm!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
5:16 AM

Post #9481019

Once we have treadles, we are hooked... that makes these links even more valuable.

kooger

kooger
Oostburg, WI
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2013
5:58 AM

Post #9481063

I learned to sew on a treadle and as the second daughter, did not inherit it, so had to find my own. :)
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
8:02 PM

Post #9482032

This resource has a lot of valuable information.


From here ~
http://www.treadleon.net/

to here ~
http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/index.html
http://www.treadleon.net/woodshop/index.html
http://www.treadleon.net/whitesm/whites.html

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
5:29 PM

Post #9748026

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.

Thumbnail by barefootT
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 14, 2014
5:54 PM

Post #9748047

Very sharp looking machine! What a treat for you...

I still love reading back through this thread ~ thanks to every time it is revived.

kooger

kooger
Oostburg, WI
(Zone 5b)

January 14, 2014
7:05 PM

Post #9748110

It is particularly lovely! ...I too enjoy rereading this thread.

Quilter5bdsr

Quilter5bdsr
(Barb) Hillsboro, NH
(Zone 5a)

January 15, 2014
4:23 AM

Post #9748233

How wonderful Thunder and how thoughtful of hubby! You will enjoy your new toy I'm sure.

siliolegma

siliolegma
(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI

January 15, 2014
6:57 AM

Post #9748320

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.
denimangle
Oakwood (Butler,TX), TX
(Zone 8b)

January 18, 2014
5:50 PM

Post #9750838

nice find Thunder .. where are you ordering parts from ?

barefootT

barefootT
(thunder)Wildwood, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 22, 2014
7:09 PM

Post #9753775

Cindy Peters from Stitches in Time stitchesintime@earthlink.net
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 !!!
Stoppbonnd
bhopal
India

February 8, 2014
10:16 PM

Post #9765349

hi ,
welcome this forum site . I suggest you.
sorry i am not able to answer your question . i suggest you to take advice from expert…….

---------------------------------
[url=http://www.alladsclassified.com] Top Ten classified website [/url]
mittsy
Cicero, NY
(Zone 5a)

February 25, 2014
5:45 AM

Post #9776307

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 usasewingmachine@juno.com or try the website http://www.usasewingmachinerepairflorida.net
dvorah
Tzfat
Israel

June 11, 2014
1:57 PM

Post #9865504

Podster, where did you buy the rubber belt for your treadle?? Lehman's carries them, but they won't be in stock again until July. I've read about some that attach by the ends fitting inside one another...and some that attach similarly to the leather belts.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 11, 2014
9:24 PM

Post #9865886

I had ordered mine from Lehmans. Theirs is hollow tubing with a peg to lock both ends into. The length of the tubing can be cut to fit. I have never seen a belt like that anywhere else, sorry. July isn't far away and I think this belt is worth the wait.
dvorah
Tzfat
Israel

June 12, 2014
6:31 AM

Post #9866078

I've searched wherever I can find on the net and I think you are correct. Nothing else like it on the market. There belt is 66". I have to measure what I will need. I think I'll run a nylon clothesline of approximately the same width as the belt through it in order to know if I need to order one or two belts. I read somewhere that some have needed to buy 2 belts.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 12, 2014
6:46 PM

Post #9866591

I had the old leather belt to measure from and my treadle is a standard singer so I only needed one. Putting two of these together should work fine. Good luck!
dvorah
Tzfat
Israel

June 13, 2014
3:02 AM

Post #9866768

I used to have an old Singer Treadle. Sold it. Now I have an old Pfaff 130. It is built like a tank.

I purchased a New England Queen treadle at a local antique store for a decent price, complete with the head and the lovely, carved "coffin box" cover. Very ornate stand, but it has some wooden parts where the Singer stand is all iron. I plan on making a "frankentreadle" by de-electrifying the Pfaff soon, as soon as I get that Lehman's rubber treadle belt(s) and putting the Pfaff 130 on it. People power!!

This machine still has the original external motor, came with the case, which has a built in portable stand. I don't know what Pfaff was thinking when they made the machine "portable". Maybe Germans aren't just good at engineering and machining...maybe they are a lot stronger than the rest of us?? This could hardly be considered a "portable machine", weighing 38 lbs for the machine alone. It also came with many of the original Pfaff presser feet, has zig-zag, accepts both twin and leather needles, has excellent punching power for a domestic machine. They pop up on CraigsList occasionally for a modest price.

My Bernina sewing machine tech said it has industrial machine punching power, but the timing belt is not industrial quality, only because it couldn't operate for 8-12 hours a day 7 days a week like an industrial machine is designed to do. Thus it is considered "semi-industrial". The timing belts are nylon, and, from what I've read, if the machine is over oiled -- which is a common problem for many domestic machines, even techs often over-oil their machines -- the belt eventually disintegrates from the oil dripping on it. The timing belts are hard to find, expensive, and difficult to re-install.

The biggest problem with the Pfaff 130 is finding replacement parts, although, since it's a low shank machine, one can find a lot of presser feet that are compatible. I used an old Elna darning foot with modest success on it...didn't quite press down on the fabric enough, so I couldn't get the tension set correctly, but it was good enough for some mending.

I'm not purist on non-electric machines, but do have a fascination with them. Turns out, I'm a tool geek, especially sewing machines, and non-electric stuff. Would love a non-electric washing machine, but wouldn't want to pay the shipping, and have no place for it anyway. Still, they are so cool. Lehman's of course. I also love the Lehman's food processor. When I was a beekeeper, my favorite tool was my non-electric drill with very large drill-bit, for putting entrance holes in the boxes. I don't know what happened to that little item, but I loved it.

To illustrate my lack of consistency where non-electric machines are concerned, I have another Pfaff 130 on an industrial stand with an industrial motor -- a Sailrite MC-SCR. Unlike industrial clutch motors, the MC-SCR adjusts to go nice and slow and still punches through many layers of heavy canvas or denim, since it is designed for canvas work. I wasn't 100% sure the Pfaff would work well with the MC-SCR. It does, but I'm always tempted to put safety glasses on when I use it. I keep imagining a needle busting into three pieces and flying up in my face when I'm sewing the corner of a coat pocket or the hem of jeans...ouch.

I have been warned by both Matt at Sailrite, and Jay at Zeus Machines (a specialist in restoring vintage machines, especially the Pfaff 130) that the biggest danger with my MacGyverized Pfaff 130/MC-SCR set up is possibly damaging the hook if the needle gets jammed.

Also have a couple of beloved Bernina mechanicals (1000 series) and a little Singer 301A that was my grandmother's, top of the line in it's day. I think vintage machines must multiply while I'm out shopping or something. Someone saw my collection and gave me their Singer 404, which needs to be restored. I am in process on that one too. Where I will put it? Who knows...

With all that said, I don't get why people think treadles have some amazing amount of punching power. There is no way a treadle can punch through 8 layers of denim or canvas better than an industrial motor. The belt wouldn't permit it...it would slip. I'll try mine out once it's set up and I'll get back to this thread and let you know. I'll have to see it to believe it.

I can understand why people enjoy sewing on a treadle though. Quiet. Peaceful. And when everyone else is twiddling their thumbs during a black-out because their iPods, iPads and smart phones can't be recharged, they will learn to read an actual bound book...I can continue to sew.

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