The Sewing Machine Shop
Welcome to TreadleOn's Sewing Machine Maintenance and Repair Shop. The pages available here will
provide the information you need to select, restore and use treadle and hand
crank machines. For information on restoration of cabinets or projects that
involve wood working, such as installing new treadle tops and building hand
crank or display bases, go to The Wood Shop.
Click on the headings to go to the relevant pages
This page is a guide to cleaning up that grungy, sluggish machine
head you just brought home from the garage sale.
The 31 Series Singer
industrials are quite popular. They are very strong, heavy old machines and
turn up on treadles from time to time. Their one drawback for quilters is
the lack of an available walking foot for serious quilting. Here is how to
modify a walking foot that is available so that it will work with them.
This is the first example I have seen of an actual pedal drive
Singer. Looking at the drive system, the ratios are set for tremendous power
to handle heavy leather.
Early Singer Model 66's had back-clamping feet, which
are rather a bother. They can be converted to the standard short-shank foot
quite easily. Here are the instructions.
not uncommon to find machines that have been converted to electricity, or
to find electric machines you would like to put into a treadle or hand crank
base. This page tells you how convert machines for treadle and hand crank
crank conversion process described in the previous link requires that the
machine selected has a motor mount boss. This link will show you a picture
of that specific feature and describe its function.
For years, it was assumed that we needed to change from a
solid to spoked hand wheel to convert an electric machine to hand crank. Susan
and Terry Bentley came up with a nice set of instructions on making the conversion
using the existing solid hand wheel.
Making the little beauties go
How to install a new belt for optimum operation.
Modern reproduction handwheels often don't
fit too well. Here is the solution.
This page provides a discussion of factors
to consider in selecting a treadle machine for regular use, as opposed to
Covers treadle adjustment to total disassembly of the treadle
How to pack and ship sewing machines shared wisdom from
Treadle On subscribers
Adjusting the fit of a shuttle in a VS machine
Tension adjustment is the most common single problem
with sewing machines. Alex Askaroff, a sewing machine repairman in England,
has provided a very thorough and clear explanation of how to deal with this
problem. He has kindly allowed us to reprint his advice here. Alex is also
the author of some charming books on his experiences in the English countryside.
You can go obtain his books from him directly via his home page at: http://www.sewalot.com
I know, I know, what is this doing on the Treadle
So many of our folks mess about with the old electric
machines as well as the people powered ones, that there has been demand for
this information. Since I had to work it out, I figured it only made sense
to post it where it could be found.
This is certainly not a project
for the faint of heart or mechanically inept, but it is fascinating that someone
White hand wheels are very difficult to remove.
Here is a set of instructions.
People have often commented that White face
plate removal is difficult (actually the getting back together). It isn't,
if you know how. Here is an instruction page.
In the fall of 2004, Janome announced a new
multi-stitch treadle sewing head. I was able to obtain the first one sold
in the Northwest, and this page records my comments and experience with it.
Obtaining an old vibrating shuttle
machine is often a collector's first exposure to this mechanism. Period manuals,
if present at all, are not very clear on bobbin winding and shuttle threading.
These pages should help.
We often find many odd looking attachments in our sewing machines, usually
without instructions. Here is a complete Singer 27 attachments instruction
manual. Basic instructions should work for similar attachments for other machines
It is pretty common to find treadles
and hand crank cases with no key. Here is some help in identifying the key
needed and possibly making a substitute.
I got to play with a 20U, but I had to adapt a top to accept it. The project
became more wood working than sewing machine head, so it is posted in the
Wood Shop, but I put this link here to take you direct.
Fiddlebase Singers have an odd hinge system.
The issue of replacing or restoring them came up and here is the explanation
that was provided.
Whether you can use the
repro Singer hand crank on non-Singer heads is a recurrent question. Usually
you can't. However, here is a very nice application of that crank to the popular
and common Wilcox & Gibbs chain stitch machine.
If you're assembling a treadle frame from parts and happen to end
up with a treadle platform meant for a wooden pitman but a drive wheel with
the ball bearing crank and metal pitman, you have a problem. Here is a clever
adaptation system to make these two mismatched parts work together.