Two years ago I purchased a Singer 66 with the treadle at an Estate sale. It looked wonderful and I could not see any rust at all, the treadle was completely intact, and the cabinet had no signs of delaminating. I purchased the whole thing for $50.00, the thought to have it as an ‘art piece’ for the living room.
Fast forward to today…..
I have always wanted to learn how to sew on a treadle. What endears them to me is the memory of my Mom sewing when I was very young. While Mom had an older Singer, I don’t think it had a treadle, mostly because I don’t think she had the patience. While Mom was a great sewist, she did not have the passion, patience, nor love of the craft. Even so I fell in love with the art of sewing early in life. So seeing a complete package, that appeared to be working, only cost $50.00, it had to come home!
As I began to research the history of my new purchase, using the serial number found on the bed, I learned that it was built November 6, 1925 and is a model 66 with an oscillating hook. My machine had 49,999 siblings when it was released! It was built in Elizabeth Port, New Jersey. I was able to learn about the history of this Singer Factory on a wonderful British website that is dedicated to the history of older Singer Machines.
My other love and passion is building, designing, and tinkering. My Dad was a mechanical design Engineer. I grew up loving Math and Science, despite the fact that girls my age were not encouraged to excel in these sciences. Working with my hands, tearing things apart, making them come alive again, all remind me of my time with Dad.
As I looked at my treadle, I wanted to give it back a life. It has been alive for almost 100 years and I want it to have another 100. I only wish it could tell me all it has seen and experienced throughout it’s existence. So how do you service, check, rebuild, and/or repair a 100 year old treadle? The answer for me – a visual, auditory, and kinestic learner – YouTube!!!!
I found dozens and dozens of videos servicing and rebuilding older Vintage Singer sewing machines. The person’s videos I subscribed to is Bob Fowler. He is very good at explaining how to fully service, clean, adjust, and repair vintange machines. Below is all that I serviced, using his videos. The best part…. it is fully functioning as originally designed. I am torn between having the body fully restored or leaving it in it’s current state. I think it is still beautiful, even if the bed is missing the original decals.