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The Wood Shop

In The Wood Shop, you can watch projects such as building display boxes for your sewing machine heads, building working bases for hand crank machines, or putting new tops on treadle frames to fit different machines or provide larger working surfaces for quilting.
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Universal Treadle Tops

Having a treadle with a "universal top" enables you to use adaptor or filler boards to accomodate those odd heads you acquire, for which you have not treadles. It also cuts down on the number of treadles you need to have around, saving space.

Multi-top Treadles and Reproduction 3/4 Republic Treadles

There have been other presentations about treadle tops here. However, it does keep coming up and I recently encountered a nice multi-top made by Cathy Nelsone and agreed to document the making of one. Simultaneously, interest arose in 3/4 size treadles and I decided to try to put together a replica of an original Singer I once owned and provide it with a multi-top. The project got very large and ended up covering two different multi-top approaches on three pages. The first page explains the project and shows the finished products. It has a link to Page 2, which covers the first day's work (mostly on Cathy's multi-top) and ends with a link to Page 3, which covers the second day's work (mostly on the 3/4 treadle). There is a wealth of material here if you care to study it... over 70 photos! I hope it helps a few folks and generates still more ideas

Building Display Boxes and Hand Crank Bases

Collectors usually have a space problem. Exhibiting machine heads on shelves in attractive display bases is one way to solve the space crush. This page will show you, step by step, how to build a nice oak display box, and then how to build a slightly different base that will function well as the working base for a hand crank machine

Restoring Finish

Many, if not most, old treadles and bentwood cases come to us bone dry, with flaky finish, scratches, water marks, etc. This page will teach you how to restore the wood finish on an old cabinet without stripping it.

Installing a Whole New Top on a Treadle

Sometimes you can't save the cabinet, and you find yourself with a treadle frame, and a head you'd like to use. This page shows, step by step again, how to install a new top on a treadle frame, and fit a machine head into it.

Resurfacing a Treadle Top

Often, the veneer on a treadle top is beyond saving. Re-veneering is possible but takes a bit of skill. You can resurface with plywood in many cases. Here is an example.

Treadle Runners

Putting a treadle on carpet can be a problem, both for the treadle and for the carpet. These easily made wooden runners can be a big help.

Treadle Risers

Not to be confused with Treadle Runners, above, Treadle Risers will actually increase the distance between the treadle pedal and the top, eliminating knee bumping for tall treadlers.

Making a Replacement Wooden Pitman

Old pitman rods are fragile and break, and you cannot buy a new one. However, you, or a modestly skilled woodworking friend, can readily make one.

Building a Light Shelf

This section shows a nice little shelf that hold extendable lights, so that you don't have to clamp them to your treadle.

Example of a Fine Refinishing Job

Doug Spriggs sent me some pictures of his work on a White cabinet. If you need inspiration, here it is.

Instructions for Molding Replacement Carvings

Mary McMasters sent us a set of pictures of the technique she uses to mold replacements for the glued on carvings that are common to old treadles.

Setting Up a Hand Crank Table

Setting a hand crank on a regular height table can make cranking uncomfortable. Here are some suggestions for solving this problem and enjoying your hand crank more by adapting a portable sewing machine table for hand crank use.

Using a Standard Singer Electric Cabinet as a Hand Crank Base

Often, we come into older Singer electrics in cabinets. We may not want to use them as electrics, but many of these cabinets are attractive pieces of furniture. This set of instructions will show you how to adapt one of these cabinets to a convenient hand crank machine base.

Making an Adapter Plate to Use a Machine for Which a Treadle Wasn't Designed

Here's a set of instructions I came up with when I needed to use a 3/4 size machine head in a full size treadle. It shows how to make a very simple adapter plate. With a little modification, the process may be useful for using different brands of treadles in the same base.

Adapting a Top to a Modern 20U Industrial

I managed to get my hands on a 20U Singer and needed a top for it to sit in. Here's how that went and something I learned along the way that would be useful in adapting singer 31 series treadles to accept a home machine

Extending and Modifying an Arch Top Case to Accommodate a Hand Crank Conversion

When we convert arch-top electrics to hand cranks, the case no longer fits. Cathy Tyler's father modified hers for her.