With my magic knowledge box (computer and YouTube) I have figured out how to fix up the 1930’s treadle sewing machine I inherited from my father’s house after he died. (If you recall, YouTube helped me fix my lap top too.)The poor sewing machine was a mess with congealed oil, dust and masking tape. I cleaned up the head as best as I could but it will never be lovely as it has fine cracks (crazing?) all over it. I used kerosene and I think if I do it a few more times, some of the yellowing will improve. I don’t want to remove the decals so I will have to be gentle. Better a bit of yellowing be left than the decals removed.
The next step was to clean out the feed-dogs. Past due, I’d say.There was enough fluff in there to fill a small stuffed toy.Better. I picked it out, brushed and vacuumed. After this photo, I got some of that rust and congealed oil off with kerosene.
Then I flipped the machine over to look at the bobbin.
More yellowing. I didn’t spend too much time on that as it isn’t a moving part or a part that is typically visible. I took out the bobbin. I brushed out some of that dust, vacuumed and oiled with sewing machine oil…not with WD40 which is a great cleaner and rust removed but not a good lubricating oil. I think some of that congealed stuff is WD40. The video showed a newer model (1950’s I think) so there was nothing to dismantle here like they were doing but I was able to figure out where to put the oil…where the parts slide together…based on what the video showed for the newer model.
The face plate was the next thing to come off.
More crap on it. I cleaned it up some but I think next time I will take some kerosene and a toothbrush and that should get the stuff stuck into the recessed parts. I also disassembled the tension unit and made sure it was smooth enough for the thread to glide through.
Here is what is under the face plate.
More kaka! The needle still moved not too badly but it took the presser foot a minute or so to lower once the lever was lowered because of the goo on the post. More kerosene and more gentle scraping and rubbing. I didn’t work too hard on making it pretty but I got it working. There were literally globs of goo around the post for the presser foot…nearly made me gag…it was like old snot! But I got those two posts silver again and now they work great. I almost heard the machine sigh when I oiled the posts…like Rusty the Tin Man.
Here it is all reassembled, oil in all the correct holes, and needle changed and threaded. I had to YouTube how to do that as well! Quite different than all the other machines I have ever used! This photo should be a good reminder for the next time I need to thread it.
As you can see the face plate is shinier but it is still yellow in the groves and corners. It does look better though. Next I had to re-attach the belt. No problem! I was worried that after all this time, it would be stretched but it still fit! Now to see if it works!And see if I still remembered how to do this!Grandma’s voice came back to me…hand on the wheel to bring the needle down…when ready, turn the wheel towards you…pick up the rhythm in the foot plate and away you go.The first try was too tight but a quick turn on the tension knob and it was perfect!
So now on the to-do list….several more sessions of rubbing to get more of the yellow off, clean the greasy dirt off of the legs and peddle end, learn how to work some of the attachments that came with the machine, make something with it and its attachments and finally, re-stain the wood. I probably need to get the smug smile off of my face too!