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.
Click on the headings to go to the relevant pages
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,
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This section shows a nice little shelf that hold extendable
lights, so that you don't have to clamp them to your treadle.
Doug Spriggs sent me some pictures of his work
on a White cabinet. If you need inspiration, here it is.
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 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.
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
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.
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
When we convert arch-top electrics to hand cranks, the case no longer fits.
Cathy Tyler's father modified hers for her.