1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Fun project!

Post in 'The Green Room' started by EatenByLimestone, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    (And not insulation related!) :)

    I had to move everything out of the kneewalls when I was working back there and one of the things I pulled out was my Grandmother's WWII era White Rotary 43 sewing machine and cabinet. The wife liked the looks of it and asked me to get it working. The last thing my Grandfather and Grandmother had said about it was that it was broken. They never said why, only that it was.

    So I started playingwith it and it would turn over so I figured that was a start. It was loud and vibrated pretty badly though. A $2.77 bottle of sewing machine oil from Walmart quieted it down as I worked from one end to the other oiling as I found joints. I also pulled a lot of dust balls out of the 70 year old machine.

    The only spot where I found anything wrong was in the bobbin area where there was a mess of thread wound up in there. After it was cleared I felt I was close to getting it to work right, but it just wouldn't do it for me. I couldn't figure out what the issue was and finally decided to try to use different thread when I read a blurb about thread and needle pairs in a offbrand manual made for Sears. I grabbed a few old bobbins and put one on the bottom and used the other on top figuring that they were the threads that my Grandmother used last. It worked! A nice clean stitch! Then I switched back to the old thread I was using and I ran into the same frustration that I had earlier.

    Now I have to figure out how to ID the various different thread types to go with the one needle I have in a 70 year old machine. I can probably buy replacement needles, but then I'd have to figure out how to put them in.

    So, the question is now why did my Grandparents both claim it was broken when it was some easily cleared tread caught up in it. Neither one was the type to give up on something like that. My only guess is with arthritic fingers my Grandmother got frustrated with it and told my Grandfather it was broken to keep him from bugging her about it. By this time my Grandfather couldn't see to clear it so it never got fixed.

    The green angle? A cool sewing machine was brought back into service and we didn't have to buy a new one.

    Here is an image of the same model, I need to take pics of mine, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    [​IMG]

    Matt
    milleo, ScotO, Jags and 1 other person like this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. brogsie

    brogsie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    254
    Loc:
    eastern MA
    That's pretty cool Matt. I wonder how much stuff gets discarded that only needs a small fix.
    ScotO likes this.
  3. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Cool thread, Matt. On a separated note (not to sidetrack the thread), but aren't old machines (like your sewing machine) sexy looking? What ever happened to making stuff with some class. Most stuff from the bygone years had looks that will last forever........
    brogsie likes this.
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I bet a lot of it does. It takes a lot of time to figure out stuff when you have no idea how to troubleshoot it. I was getting pretty frustrated until I decided to try the old thread on the bobbins. I was pretty close to bringing it in to a repair shop to do some 20 second adjustment for $80 and make it all better.

    I imagine if a person never really developed the skills to troubleshoot (like my wife for instance) they might be perfectly happy putting a plant on the cabinet and going to Walmart to buy a new machine that does 50 different stitch patterns. 49 of which they will never use.

    Matt
  5. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I like the old machines. Most of my woodworking machines sport Art Deco styling. Heavy cast iron does wonders to cancel out vibration. It's often cheap too! I've never really had to do any major work other than lubrication, new belts, and removing rust on any of them. Maybe sharpening cutting edges, but that's more like general maintenance. I imagine that is the same for any machine made to actually do work.

    Matt
    PapaDave and ScotO like this.
  6. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Yessir.....stuff nowadays is made to break or throw out after some service. Take for instance my newer Craftsman table saw.....almost all plastic with an aluminum table. Cheesy at best. My WWII Craftsman table saw is heavy duty, cast iron table and motor mount, etc. Built to take a POUNDING. It will long outlast that newer one....

    Same for my antique lathe.......and they look way cooler than the new stuff, to boot.
    brogsie likes this.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Ahh, somebody I can post pics of old 'arn for! :)

    I used to love going to estate sales when I had the time.


    http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u124/EatenByLimestone/IMG_1692.jpg

    http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u124/EatenByLimestone/IMG_0746.jpg

    Odd vise/anvil/drill designed and made by the guy who designed the high lift jack. I've since restored this, but I need to do it again since I screwed up and used lacquer while trying to replicate japanning. http://s167.photobucket.com/user/EatenByLimestone/media/IMG_0647.jpg.html?sort=3&o=107

    http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u124/EatenByLimestone/P4110118.jpg

    I should stop now, I could go on for hours like this. I have too much crap.

    Matt
    ScotO likes this.
  8. Where2

    Where2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    South Florida
    My wife has more than half a dozen old black Singer machines around the house. One belonged to her 80+ year old mother, or my wife's grandmother (don't recall how that story went). At least 2/3 of them will stitch vinyl and leather if you ask them to. No plastic gears, all metal parts, and beautiful machines if you take the time to clean them up (as my wife has done to several).

    My wife pointed out something about the White you have when I showed her the photo and read her your story: she said many of her old Singer machines only like OLD bobbins. She said newer bobbins routinely foul up some of the old machines. She said the bobbins may look alike, but there is something slightly different about them. If that bobbin that gave you grief gives you grief with different thread, it might be the bobbin's fault, not the thread.

    Having just finished sewing my first boat cover over the weekend on my father's industrial sewing machine, I will suggest removing your needle and finding replacements before you break the one you have. It's much easier to find replacements when you have one, then when you have pieces. I went through 3 needles sewing the boat cover for my 15' Boston Whaler. I blame part of that on being a novice seamstress. (My dad is a novice seamstress as well, but he has such a collection of boats that having them all fitted with covers and tops was getting so expensive that he decided to buy an industrial machine [Sailrite] to make his own stuff).

    Hope you enjoy the machine. My wife and I have a collection of art deco "retro" small kitchen appliances. They are mostly chrome, made in USA, and still work 40-50 years later.
  9. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Good point on the needle. I'll have to pull it out before we really start using the machine.

    Thank you,
    Matt
  10. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
  11. Havendalefarm

    Havendalefarm Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Loc:
    New Haven ,NY
    We have an old Singer of that vintage. My wife does use it sometimes. She would use it more but all it does is straight stitch.She only uses that one when she sows my work jeans or my Carharts. There are still quite a few of the old Singers as they made a lot of them.
  12. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I've chatted with the guy who owns that site on my regular woodworking board. That site has helped me id the model number of more than a few tools.


    Matt
    PapaDave likes this.
  13. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    I've got a singer of that age in the tie-up of my barn....
  14. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    We've got a newish (last 5 years or so) craftsman table saw at work.... AL table.... what a POS.... I had to fabricate a stand for it (it has legs) to keep it from tipping over while ripping a sheet of plywood. *My* table saw is the ubiquitous 10" craftsman belt drive.... iron table... I love that saw.... (The bessemeyer fence doesn't hurt). the only thing I wish it has was a dual voltage motor like my dad's 10" belt drive...
    ScotO likes this.
  15. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I make do with a Dunlop 8" tilt table. I try not to break down sheet goods. I have a couple friends with unisaws and such that I can use also. When I finally get the inside of this house done I'll be able to focus on putting a shop together again.

    [​IMG]

    The miter gauge walked off when I was trying to sell the house that the saw was sitting in. Grrrrr....

    Matt
  16. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    unisaws are awesome... if you've got big enough wire in the shop to start that big baldor motor....
  17. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    The garage is the future site of the shop. I ran a sub panel out into it so it will be a quick and easy wiring job. I have it set up mostly for hand tools, but ran a double box every 4 feet down the wall where the tools are. Each set of outlets in the double box is on its own circuit so I could run something like a router and task lighting from the same spot. It's nice when I need heat out there also. I can set a space heater on the bench right beside me.

Share This Page