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Thread: 1916 singer

  1. #1
    Member hazelnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Mesick, MI

    1916 singer

    Hi everyone I just inheritated my grandfathers sewing machine that he made quilts on. He made hundreds as I remember and would put a sign out by the end of the drive advertising his quilts for sale. People from all over would stop and by them. Anyway I have his machine and I looked up the serial number and it is a 1916. I think this is what people call a red eye. The machine is loosing paint and I don't think i should do anything to restore it. The cabinet is not in bad condition I did clean the would with old english cleaner and the cast iron I cleaned with just a little oil. I have a belt for it and was wondering if I should take it in to be cleaned and have the belt put on? I will post pictures of it. Thanks for looking.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member emmah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Groton, NY
    You can clean it yourself--check out tutorials for vintage machine restoration. Go easy around the decals, the gold comes off. Just a little damp q tip is good there. How fortunate you are to have a family heirloom! Enjoy and use it. I have one like it and it sews so smoothly...once you get the hang of treadling!

  3. #3
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Lucky you. And best of all your new girl comes with a history.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    western NC
    It's a lovely machine and even more precious since it is part of your family history. I love old machines that show some wear. Just think of the miles of thread that machine has sewn. You should be able to find most of the information you need on the web. Happy sewing.


  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Shiner, Texas
    I just bought a 1916 treadle sewing machine with 7 drawers. The decals are silver but it isn't a Red Eye, but I am so proud of it. I have cleaned the machine and now my husband is remving the old varnish which had beaded up badly and going to leave the natural wood showing (as the drawer were a lot lighter than the top) and going to put a light coat of polyurithian on it and then going to spray paint the iron black. I can just see it in my minds eye. I am so excited. This has gotten him back our in his workshop as he has been battling esophagual cancer for 2 years now and he is tring to gain by some strength. This has been wonderful theropy for him. Sorry this is so long, but once I started tying I couldn't stop. Congratulations on your family heirloom.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    North TX
    What a great thing to have--it looks well loved!

  7. #7
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Blog Entries
    I love your story! So happy that you have your grandfather's machine. You can clean the machine yourself, just follow the tutorials on cleaning from MUV. I just clean my machine's with sewing machine oil only to protect those decals.
    The belt is easy to put on and tutorials can be found on you tube. Instead of the metal clip to attach the leather belt, I use dental floss to hold it together, just sew through the two holes and finish off with a half-hitch knot.

    Are you going to name your machine after him?

    Please post your first project that you make using this machine at quilts made using vintage machines. I love seeing folks' projects.

    Thanks for sharing and Enjoy!

  8. #8
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    PNW (I wish it was the Ozarks!)
    Blog Entries
    Lori, if the machine moves freely and will make a stitch, then there's no need to tear it down, or to take it in to be cleaned and serviced. Clean the outside of the machine with sewing machine oil, oil the machine, wash the cabinet down with Murphy's Oil Soap.
    Go to a hobby shop and purchase a "paint pen" to at least coat the parts of the machine where the paint is missing, and then give her a good coating of car wax. (Stay away from the cleaning types, they're too abrasive). Use a good paste wax on the wood.
    Belts are easy to put on and off...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.


  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Blog Entries
    How to Clean Up and use a vintage sewing machine - videos by Muv and Fav
    a link for Muv' & Fav's videos - grab a good cup of tea and enjoy!

    Love your well loved machine. I don't know why you would want to paint it - just think about grandpa and love on it some more! Iris and I cleaned one yesterday in under an hour - got the lint out and then used machine oil to shine it up and some Tri-flo to oil up the moving parts. Turns like a champ! Be sure to stay away from 3 in 1 oil - it will gum up a perfectly good machine - regular Sewing Machine oil is good.

  10. #10
    Senior Member coloradosky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Vintagemotif, you are so clever! I hate the metal clip because I can never burry it in the belt far enough. Always afraid of scratching the paint on the wheel. I am definitely going to use dental floss the next time I have to tighten the belt.
    Last edited by coloradosky; 11-19-2011 at 12:46 PM.

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