Monday, March 2, 2015

Aquarium Treadling

In my collection of vintage sewing machines, I "only" have two the run on people power, know as a treadle.There's my Singer 66 Red Eye in a traditional four drawer cabinet and my Minnesota S in a parlor cabinet:

Minnesota S

Lowered down into the compact parlor cabinet

This is a nice treadle, a smaller cabinet and it feels somewhat easier to treadle but it's always such a pain to put a new leather belt on let alone having to adjust it. Then I heard about using a belt that is made out of rubber tubing and how easy it was to hook up and make adjustments. Sounded great so I ordered one but it got backordered and then just cancelled. I was disappointed yet my current belts were working on both treadles. Then the Minnesota's belt broke, the metal staple putting right out and ripping the end off. I would have to make new holes and struggle and...I was just not up to it. The poor Minnesota S sat idle.

Note belt: brown leather before it broke
Reading the posts on Yahoo groups I found out the others used tubing from medical supply so I asked my husband about it since he was a respiratory therapist. Sure enough, that would work fine he said but where would I get it and what would it cost? It went to the back burner until I had a moment of inspiration: fish tank pump tubing! It's readily available, cheap, and worth a try. On my last trip to Walmart I bought the smaller package of tubing, about 12 feet, for less than $2. At home it seemed to be the right diameter so I went ahead and measured, cut, and stitched the ends together. Actually, I stitched two ends together for practice to see if it would hold, type of needle and thread, etc. and then, when it worked, I tried it on the real thing. Easy, quiet, and perfect:

The noise is coming from the vibrating shuttle, always a bit noisy, but the belt is smooth and silent. It's even easier to fold down because it is so pliable. This seems to be a marriage of old and new that I find perfect!


Michelle said...

Your video is not visible. It says it is private.

BarbaraShowell said...

I love listening to sewing machines on video. Your video is playing fine. Brilliant solution!