Wednesday, September 19, 2018

River Rats TOGA Third Edition

We had a good weekend with the treadle aficionados in Lake City, MN, despite the heat and community celebrations. Coming from the Twin Cites to the southwest area of Minnesota, there were all kinds of motorcycle conventions and corn fests along the way to keep me focused on the road and get there on time. As per last year, I only attended on Saturday but it was great fun learning how to clean metal parts, heads with decals, how to identify feed sack prints, solving tension troubles, and the ever famous raffle late in the afternoon. I managed to bring three sewing machines and not take a single one home again. Oh wait, I did bring two in for repair consultation that did come home with me but that was the plan.

The Davis vertical feed came to me completely frozen up so the first thing was to get things moving again. With very patient cleaning and oiling it finally broke through and had complete movement. I continued to clean and put parts back where they belonged until I decided to thread it up and stitch. There was a part missing, just the first thread guide, but it looked odd. Since I have another Davis I looked at it only to find there was a small disk, just like the ones found in a tension mechanism held in place with a screw and spring. The bag of parts that came with this machine did have a small screw with spring but no disk. There was no solution at the TOGA and no additional parts but when I got home I looked in my boxes of parts and think I found one that would work:

Davis with top thread guide added
Next up was the little Ruby sewing machine head. She was a freebee given to me by a neighbor who is also a co-worker. It started with not knowing how to thread it, then finding a needle, so Cathy and Bill both worked on it with me:
Cathy and Bill debate how the tensioner should be functioning
There was something wrong with the top tension mechanism so it was taken apart and put back in the correct order.
Ruby with repaired tensioner
Cathy knew how to thread it but it would take a much longer needle. She showed me a neat little trick in lowering the needle to the right length and how to make a small guide to use each time the needle needed to be replaced:
Needle positioner
Once we had it all threaded up it kept jumping out of the take up lever so it was decided it needed some surgery. Cathy made up a new ring to replace the broken part using jewelry wire and her handy tools for making jump rings:
Ruby has some surgery

New ring in place
With only a small amount of tweaking it did stitch. The shuttle bobbin was adjusted until the stitch was perfect, at least for black bobbin thread, always a no-no when testing out stitch tension:
Ruby Stitches!
Now I need a table to put little Ruby in and I think that's going to be very hard to find. It's a standard small treadle opening but the back pins are spaced wider than usual. It did come with the wood top and tray so I can hope to replace the top of a standard treadle with this topper. Maybe?

I did go to Cindy's storage shed and came back with a cool machine but that's going to be another post since it is waiting for a belt: to be continued!

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