Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Feeling a Bit Cranky

"When you feel cranky you might as well be sewing."  No one ever said that but it seemed to fit today's mood and the results were not sour but sweet! I wanted to know what all the fuss was about hand crank sewing machines and why would anyone even want to bother? Then I saw a photo of a 4 year old with a hand crank Singer, not a child's toy model, and it started to make sense. Children can't reach pedals and motors are too fast and injury prone so a hand crank would slow the speed down and give them control. I had a Singer 99, dated Oct. 22, 1925 that came with a broken motor mount but I only wanted the bentwood carrier anyway. I ordered a spoked hand wheel and a crank to come up with this:

A bit beat up but just the right size!
Here you can see the crank attached to the machine.
This sewing machine should be in a wood box base but it's now on my electric Singer 99 that I adore. You do need a spoked hand wheel because part of the mechanism needs to grip onto a spoken space. Of course, as luck would have it, I didn't have a single spoked wheel I wasn't using but it was only $12 so I added it onto the order for the hand crank, also only $12.

After I had placed this order and on the day it arrived, I found a Singer 66 for only $20 and it had a spoked wheel so I jumped in and brought it home. It needs a slide plate and looks a bit rusty inside the bobbin but without its slide plate to keep it covered maybe it was more vulnerable to rust. I cleaned it up, oiled it up, attached the hand crank and she started to loosen up, too.

Singer 66 (full size of the Singer 99 above)

She's a "Red Eye" with the red decoration in the center of the bed, dated September 20, 1921. Once I get the box cleaned up and recovered, this is going to be a very nice hand crank. It came with the motor and electric cords but they were too scary to even plug in:

The light was even worse so it was best to find an alternative plan and either a treadle or hand crank were going to work this time. It is really fun to turn the handle! It might be a novelty but it's one way to have a people powered sewing machine without the huge treadle mechanism. As some would say:

Treadle on!

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