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Restoring an antique sewing machine cabinet

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Branwyn

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My father gave me this sewing machine a few years ago. I forget where he said he got it, someone was throwing it away I think. He doesn’t sew but he saved it for me. At the time I loved it but didn’t have a space to work on it, so it went into storage. Now I finally have a good place to work on it.

334924E5-1A83-4010-8E39-666E8749B0DF.jpeg
This top piece of wood is delaminating and obviously needs to be replaced.
8DF907A6-5882-47E2-A94D-5767B74E2345.jpeg
But the rest of the wood is not bad, mostly just needs to be sanded and stained and refinished.
CB74747D-5A8A-40D3-8F41-28CB747E7CE5.jpeg
All I did with the sewing machine was wipe off the crud and spider egg sacks and then give a thorough oiling. I don’t have the manual but I found one from a nearly identical model that someone had posted online. Threaded it per instructions and gave it a try. I just did a few test stitches but so far it works great!
8F823442-8CEF-4ADA-90F6-BAC8F9DC1F39.jpeg
F0113E81-8396-464C-BCA3-00992EBB69A1.jpeg

It’s missing a spring for the clasp and the light bulb. The spring should be no big deal, and even if I don’t find a replacement it works fine without the clasp, as you have to lift the whole sewing machine to lift the wooden panel under it to fold it inside the cabinet. I am not good with electrical but I’m hoping I can learn enough to retrofit some sort of light in the spot, since I’m not sure how to find the right kind of bulb or if they still make them.

I’ll take pictures as I go and update this thread as I make progress.
 

Bacpacker

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Nice sewing machine. Cabinet shouldn't be too bad to fix up. The machine looks like it is in really good condition.

My parents have a treadle machine handed down from one of my grand parents. Not sure if sis or I will end up with it. But I surely love to have one.
 
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SheepDog

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I was surprised that it has a handwheel instead of a pulley, then I remembered that the pulley was mounted to the inside of the handwheel.
That way you can make it into a treadle machine. Mom had a treadle machine that Dad replaced with an electric. Mom liked the treadle machine more but used the electric out of respect for Dad. I know that one of my sisters got the treadle machine but I haven't seen it in years.
 

Neb

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My sister is a seamstress as was my mother before her. She has a collection of old sewing machines including tredle driven. I also have a spare stashed in the loft of my shop. They are just too pretty for me to toss. Add to that the fascination as a future engineer as a kid watching my mother work with one. It would be a cold day in ... Before I would give it up.

Do some research on the delaminating top. There may be ways of just replacing the lamination alone and keep it more pristine.

Nice machine!

Ben
 

LadyLocust

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My father gave me this sewing machine a few years ago. I forget where he said he got it, someone was throwing it away I think. He doesn’t sew but he saved it for me. At the time I loved it but didn’t have a space to work on it, so it went into storage. Now I finally have a good place to work on it.

View attachment 54204
This top piece of wood is delaminating and obviously needs to be replaced.
View attachment 54208
But the rest of the wood is not bad, mostly just needs to be sanded and stained and refinished.
View attachment 54206
All I did with the sewing machine was wipe off the crud and spider egg sacks and then give a thorough oiling. I don’t have the manual but I found one from a nearly identical model that someone had posted online. Threaded it per instructions and gave it a try. I just did a few test stitches but so far it works great!
View attachment 54209
View attachment 54205

It’s missing a spring for the clasp and the light bulb. The spring should be no big deal, and even if I don’t find a replacement it works fine without the clasp, as you have to lift the whole sewing machine to lift the wooden panel under it to fold it inside the cabinet. I am not good with electrical but I’m hoping I can learn enough to retrofit some sort of light in the spot, since I’m not sure how to find the right kind of bulb or if they still make them.

I’ll take pictures as I go and update this thread as I make progress.
You can still get the light bulbs. There are typically two kinds that were used. One is essentially the same as is currently used in night lights. The other slides in and “locks” into place. Last I checked Hobby Lobby carried both. Also, as far as the spring- I can’t see what brand it is but many oldies were Singer wanna bes so used many of the same parts. Most Singer parts even for antique machines are still available. (I have several oldies- they just follow me home 🙄). One very important thing you forgot to share- what’s her name?
 

Branwyn

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You can still get the light bulbs. There are typically two kinds that were used. One is essentially the same as is currently used in night lights. The other slides in and “locks” into place. Last I checked Hobby Lobby carried both. Also, as far as the spring- I can’t see what brand it is but many oldies were Singer wanna bes so used many of the same parts. Most Singer parts even for antique machines are still available. (I have several oldies- they just follow me home 🙄).
Thanks. It looks like just a generic simple spring of about 1/4” diameter will work. Finding a compatible light bulb will probably be trickier, it’s good to know you can still get them. I have a vague memory that when my father gave me the machine a few years ago it had the bulb but was burned out, and I took it out to try to find a match and then got too busy with other things. I’m still hoping I put it somewhere logical and can find it again. That would make it much easier.

One very important thing you forgot to share- what’s her name?
Great question. She hasn’t told me yet. I’m leaning towards Dorothy, after my grandmother, but I’m not sure yet.
 

Weedygarden

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I have stripped, sanded and refinished a few pieces of furniture. I have also had someone else help with replacing parts and repairing some of my family heirlooms. That part that is delaminating on your machine, I would have repaired or replaced. Maybe you can do the job. I probably could but it is one of the things that I prefer to have someone else repair. I have my grandmother's treadle machine and the cabinet is in much worse shape than yours. It is in my basement and I should have someone repair it for me.
 

Grimm

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Light bulbs are no problem. If it takes a push in you can still find them. If it screws in they still make those too!

 

Branwyn

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I managed to find the old burned out light bulb!
1A4557E2-62E3-4D15-9FAC-F06E8DABBDE2.jpeg
I found a visually nearly identical one on Amazon for a few bucks, hopefully it will work. The threads and the filament look identical, only the glass has a slightly different shape, but still looks like it will fit in the same spot. I’ll know in a few days.
 

Meerkat

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I managed to find the old burned out light bulb!
View attachment 54692
I found a visually nearly identical one on Amazon for a few bucks, hopefully it will work. The threads and the filament look identical, only the glass has a slightly different shape, but still looks like it will fit in the same spot. I’ll know in a few days.
Looks a little like a Christmas lights.But I'm sure you'll find a light made for thatkind of lighting.
 

Meerkat

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