Sunday, July 8, 2018

White Treadle

As promised, here's a post about the White treadle sewing machine I have been working on. It came to me as part of the haul I wrote about in  Overloaded but it did not appear in my garage until early summer. I finally started to take it apart to find out how very, very dirty it was and how I needed to spend some serious time with it.

Beside the head coming out for total cleaning, there was a metal pan that served as a drip pan to keep any oil on the machine from getting on that lovely housedress. You are spared from seeing the before since I didn't take any photos but it took much cleaning and soaking in Lestoil to get it clean again:
White treadle drip pan: all cleaned up
After the wood of the cabinet was thoroughly cleaned and waxed with Howard's Feed-N-Wax, I used the same saturated sock/rag to wipe down and clean out the metal base. That stuff really does a nice job but it's a lot of scrubbing so it really does come clean. I've tried to actually wash a treadle base but concluded old ironworks like this just don't like water and it's best to scrub with natural products and a toothbrush. This time I replace the drip pan with screws and it is nice and solid. Returning the head to the base and cutting a new leather belt, she spun around and seemed on the road to recovery:
White treadle, VS-IV
This really surprised me because when I was working on the head it was not moving smoothly but over time the oil should seep in and get things moving again. The first stitches were too loose and then I remembered there were missing parts on the tension mechanism. It doesn't sew very well so I do more research and finally write to Katie Farmer, the White sewing machine expert. We can't wait for her book to come out! In the meantime I'm just hoping I can even find the missing pieces or figure out a way to cobble together enough pieces to make this work.
White VS-IV missing tension unit?

The cabinet is the type where the sewing machine does not fold down into the base and has a "coffin" top to cover the machine and keep it clean and safe. Mine had been left behind and I retrieved it last night. Although it is in excellent cosmetic shape, it is missing the hooks that help to keep it anchored to the table. Another hunt is on but at least the lock mechanism seems to be present and working. Isn't it handsome?
White treadle with coffin top
Along with the White VS treadle, I worked on other cabinets, deciding which ones needed Howard's Restor-a-Finish and which ones needed complete stripping. There were two bentwood cases that needed to be stripped but they are pretty easy and give such good results.  Sales are slow right now so that gives me time to work on what I have and to get those cabinets in the garage ready for sale. I did manage to get a project done last weekend: recovering a sewing hassock. I've really like this one for seating and storage but the original plastic cover had to go. With no vision for a new color or style it continued to wait. Then I bought a sewing basket at a thrift store that contained a wealth of goods, including Gingher thread snips, multiple packages of new Schmetz needles, and a large piece of upholstery fabric. The basket is going to my granddaughter who is learning to sew but most of the pieces were stashed away except for that fabric. I set it aside and one day I glanced over and when I looked at it I thought about the bench seat. It was meant to be:
It's not exactly striking but it is clean and new with a bit more of a classic look rather than retro plastic. It functions the same, holds the same white cotton fabric it had before but is updated to fit my sewing room.

What's up next? A super deal on a New Home Memory Craft 7500: I'm very excited!

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