Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cabinet Debate

There is no debate: we are going to get our cars back in the garage and sooner than later! We started out mid-summer with over a dozen cabinets in the garage, mostly on my side so only my car sat out until we started to have work done on the house. It was garage related so there was equipment and materials stored in the garage to begin with. Then there was work done in the basement so big bags of debris were stacked up on the other side of the garage. During all of this my car was in an accident and totaled (can you just hear the cash register ringing up the totals on all of this?). With a new car we would really like to get it in the garage, maybe just to see how it will fit!

In all of this I've had various progress reports about how many cabinets were in the garage and various stages of refinishing but now we are getting down to the wire: we could have snow any day here in Minnesota. I've worked hard to get sewing machines ready and into cabinets, posted on Craigslist, updating on CL, and it has finally paid off with three sold in the last ten days. Now I only have a Singer 306W in a fantastic cabinet that still need some work and the beloved Pfaff 130 that is getting repainted while the cabinet sits patiently waiting. I really, really don't want to bring any of those cabinets back inside but they cannot stay out in the cold garage over winter.

The Singer 306W is a fantastic sewing machine but it came from a rehabbed home in St. Paul that was occupied by a horder. A friend bought the house and cleared it out, finding three Singer sewing machines. The newest one, probably 40 years old, ended up with a rusted interior so it became a parts machine; the treadle head was kept but the base was given away since it was badly warped and rusted, so the 306W has all of my hopes pined on it. The art-deco cabinet was in fair shape with those wonderful curved front drawers but one was missing! It finally showed up, completing the desk/cabinet, but now I had to take it seriously.

There's a Singer 306W hiding in there
The top was in terrible shape but the inside was pretty good except for right where you would lay your hands to sew, along the front edge. While waiting for other projects one day (probably watching paint dry) I stripped to top surface but didn't get around to doing anything else until this week. The top surface took a stain and 3 coats of polyurethane quite well but that inside strip along the front edge? It took a small amount of sanding then a light stain and those three coats of sealer just like the top. It looks great! Yes, I know all of the wood doesn't "match" but this is an old piece with original finish and sometimes it just ages like this. The one lost drawer is the darker toned one; I have no answer to the darker wood in front of the sewing machine bed. It's a mystery!
Front edge doesn't look any different!
Now the bench needed to be finished and that has a happy ending, too. The veneer was peeling back so I got some wood glue in there and clamped over night, sanded down the leg edges, stain and only two coats of polyurethane have brought it into acceptable condition. There was no top seat cushion, no wood, no frame bracing for a seat, so I cut a piece of wood to fit, added a slab of foam, stapled it all down with a new piece of fabric, and it's very acceptable now. The whole thing got a wood furniture wipe down to look it's best.
Singer 306W art deco cabinet with bench

What about that sewing machine? I plugged her in and did some sample sewing with her and she's a bit slow but I think that could be due to being outside for several months. One cool thing about this set-up is the foot control is at the back of the cabinet, all built in:

Foot control on a stick: works quite well.

This Singer uses flat disks for cams to make the decorative stitches. Here's her nice selection of stitches from the six cams that are with this sewing machine:

And about that Pfaff 130? Tomorrow...

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