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Thread: 2015 - End of the year "weigh in"

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    2015 - End of the year "weigh in"

    All in all - 2015 was a lot better than 2014 - no major catastrophes but I was informed a month or so ago that I hadn't closed the loop on a project I'd been working on and that made me realize that it's a bit of a habit.

    I figured, rather than necromancer a ton of threads, I'd just make a progress report.

    So here we go:

    The link I couldn't remember to Singer's furniture operations info:
    http://www.core77.com/posts/22760/So...achine-Company - written by Rain. Thanks to Sandy for the personal email to remind me of where I'd read it.

    Wood bases take 2: We were talking about making wood bases (I think it was this year?). I don't recall the thread in particular at the moment. This month, I spent some time working on bases for 4 machines that have no bases of their own. I'm sneaking up on the original Singer design. This has been the beginning of an attempt to develop my very rudimentary wood working skills to eventually be able to build the cabinet 68 reproduction from B and D Design - the plans of which DH got me for my birthday this year. I can post the measurements I've been using for the boxes if anyone else wants to try this too. The spartan box needed an adjustment that I did after this photo. Fir is not going to be my first choice going forward though - too much tear out and finicky issues with staining. I will be making at least one more, closer still to the original dimensions and I still have to wax these ones.

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    Applying decals to my newly painted FW - body shop doesn't want to clear over them?

    "Project Wee One" - In the end, we've decided to have her repainted - she has drip lines and she was not properly prepped. I had a guy I wanted to do it last year but DH had a contact at the dealership he works for. The guy I'd originally wanted to do it has said he'd do the paint job if I remove the existing paint. I decided this after I realised that the paint was far too soft and marking just by handling it and he confirmed that the clear was mixed wrong and wouldn't harden much more than this. It wouldn't be suitable for sewing on. This one is a "to be continued".

    Fixing Bubba's work

    This featherweight became a parts machine and has resurrected 2 machines so far. I swear that screw was cemented in. Short of completely destroying the set screw and re-tapping, it wasn't going to come out.

    Recreating this, only bigger - Oops! A 2014 project!

    Some of you might remember me trying to recreate this:
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    This was what I finally came up with:
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    It's a piece of stair railing, some wood insert nuts, a set screw and a piece of threaded rod. It performs the same function on Lucey as it does on a vintage machine, only in reverse.

    Victorian aged Gritzner - I should go back and get it, shouldn't I?

    This beautiful Gritzner is teasing me. I have the tiniest bit of movement out of her - the needle bar and shuttle both wiggle a tiny bit when I play with the handwheel but it's still stuck solid. The bolt that I could take the handwheel off with is beyond seized and I'm starting to think it may only be a show piece. Because there are no decals already, I'm so tempted to dunk it into a 5gal tub of evaporust. I'm resisting so far.

    You got what?!?!? for your birthday!?!?

    The 201 hand crank - Finished. We had a setback when I put the tub of BriWax on the bed weeks after it was supposedly dry. Some light sanding and a few more coats later, it's fully functioning and the circle is mostly gone. It's the second from the left in the photo above. Based on that photo, it needs another coat of wax apparently.

    Cracked japanning - can anything be done?

    My 15 with the RAF decals - It cleaned up well and I'm learning not to see the cracks. I think the shellac re-flowed a little because it seems that since the cleanup (using a couple of go arounds of Glenn's linseed oil and alcohol prep) that the cracks are slightly less noticeable. That's it - the second machine from the right in the photo above.

    Vintage machine that does a blanket stitch?

    This is on hold pending my discovery of a machine or that I even do applique on my embroidery machine. I opted against the Pfaff I posted about there and managed to resist all of the sales for Black Friday and Boxing Day (so far). I keep reminding myself that a blanket stitch is only one way of doing applique and I must prove that I like to do applique to begin with.

    Purchased patterns - where do you prefer to get them and how?
    This one was outside of the vintage area and I can't really elaborate on it much because it will likely get the thread deleted. All I will say is that it's vintage machine related and if all goes well, there will be an announcement on Friday on FB and my site about why I wanted to know.

    And finally:
    Dropped my featherweight tonight but I got lucky. Show me your bags! ;)

    I have 2 interim bags that I made. One for each of my currently assembled featherweights. I found that with the seams I made on the first one, the dimensions were too narrow for the 222K case on the first bag, so I made a second for the 222k. The shorter pockets were an afterthought that lead to me ripping practically the whole bag apart. There's a removable stiff bottom (Pellon but I think I'm going to use coreplast from here on out. Cheaper and stiffer.) and the webbing is one piece with one seam all the way around. The fabric is also one piece - the only seams are the sides and where the corners are boxed. In theory - it should be impossible for this bag to come apart and release a machine without permission.

    Left to do is bias binding for the inside seams and I'm contemplating a zippered flap top. The next bag will have some sort of embroidery on the pockets to personalize it. I'm loving the turquoise bag - it has a Pellon stiff interfacing in it and it's become my shopping bag. When I go out all of my purchases go in there to make it easier to bring everything in the house. If I run out of space - I guess I'm finished shopping for the day.

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    Anyone else want to weigh in?

  2. #2
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Wonderful update. Enjoyed hearing about and seeing your progress.
    Alyce

  3. #3
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    That turquoise bag is Ooh la la! The bases are making me jealous ad what a lovely team of machines! I wish I were as organized as you to weigh in but I am having a hard time even recalling my progress this year!

    I know I had a commitment to buy less and work on machines that I already had in the hoard. I had planned to re-home at least 12. One a month seemed reasonable. That went well through July and then life got in the way! I am not even sure how many followed me home this year, but I believe it was less than 10. I am getting choosier so that is good!

    My main project is still the #68 Featherweight table and I am moving extremely slowly with it.
    My Craigslist find this weekend

    It took several tries to find the right stain color and when I finally had it matched in, hubby had an oopsie do and the table top tool damage so I was back to stain again. After several coats of Shellac I tried to rub the shellac out and get a nice smooth coat and it is not as smooth as I want so I have more choices to make. The plan right now is to lightly sand and see just how smooth I can get it without burning through the stain ad then consider more coats? Or can I put poly over shellac? I don't know. I only know that I will continue to work on it until I am happy with it.

    The Little Gracie II frame is up in my front room and I eventually decided to give up on the old style carriage and use the upgrade. I bought a 17" Bailey Home Quilter and am learning to do my own quilting. Little Gracie II
    This isn't the best photo but my son was doing his best to old up my Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt from last year. This is queen sized quilt and I quilted it with the Bailey. The front room is currently the staging area for Christmas decor, but once we have a chance to clean up I am hoping to get another quilt loaded on the frame and try quilt number two!

    For 2016, I have many of the same goals, to be choosier abut what machines follow me home.
    To clean and re-home and try to reduce the hoard.
    To learn more about quilting and to get better at it!

    Maybe branch out and try a bag for my Featherweight too! I keep seeing these lovely bags!
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

  4. #4
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    Uh, just wanted to state that I learn a lot from reading your posts, Archaic. And that until I zoomed in and took a good look, I always thought your avatar was Batman in his cape, turned a little sideways. Swear to goodness this is true. I do have to say though that I'm starting to have vision problems in my left eye....keep on posting in the New Year.

  5. #5
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Tammi you're going to be far happier with even the cheapest hardwood you can find for making bases. Hardwood plywood works well too if you don't mind the edges showing.
    Sometimes you can even use pallet wood if you can tell it's a hardwood by looking and the boards aren't too dirty. It doesn't take much ground in dirt to mess up your tools.

    Singer's design and even the generic cases from the 50s and 60s before plastic bubbles took over aren't as easy to reproduce as they look. There are a lot of little things that make the original cases so nice.
    I'm trying to come up with my own easily produced version too. The biggest issue for me is keeping the weight down on them.

    2015: I haven't kept track of the machines I've acquired and when. The Streamliner that Macybaby gifted me is the most memorable though. I do know I've slowed down on purchases since this summer. I've also given a couple machines to kids in our 4 H group and plan to give up a couple more.

    The most memorable thing would be the 2 quilts that were given to me when I went in for surgery.
    Big Thank Yous again to everyone who participated in those projects for me.

    I did build a simple work station for fixing sewing machines. I'm also working on a tutorial for repairing the rubber friction drive wheels that White and National used on their machines. Won't be ready till next year though.
    I'm also starting a blog. I hope it's ok to mention it. No content yet but I plan to use it to post some how-to stuff around woodworking and vintage machines. There will also be stuff about our 4 H group and simple sewing projects.

    Oh yeah, here's a big one. We finally have our camera situation straightened out so I can start posting pictures again.
    It's about time.

    Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a safe, healthy and happy 2016!
    Rodney
    Last edited by Rodney; 12-31-2015 at 11:40 AM.
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  6. #6
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. SewNSew View Post
    That turquoise bag is Ooh la la! The bases are making me jealous ad what a lovely team of machines! I wish I were as organized as you to weigh in but I am having a hard time even recalling my progress this year!
    I know I had a commitment to buy less and work on machines that I already had in the hoard. I had planned to re-home at least 12. One a month seemed reasonable. That went well through July and then life got in the way! I am not even sure how many followed me home this year, but I believe it was less than 10. I am getting choosier so that is good!

    My main project is still the #68 Featherweight table and I am moving extremely slowly with it.
    My Craigslist find this weekend

    It took several tries to find the right stain color and when I finally had it matched in, hubby had an oopsie do and the table top tool damage so I was back to stain again. After several coats of Shellac I tried to rub the shellac out and get a nice smooth coat and it is not as smooth as I want so I have more choices to make. The plan right now is to lightly sand and see just how smooth I can get it without burning through the stain ad then consider more coats? Or can I put poly over shellac? I don't know. I only know that I will continue to work on it until I am happy with it.


    The Little Gracie II frame is up in my front room and I eventually decided to give up on the old style carriage and use the upgrade. I bought a 17" Bailey Home Quilter and am learning to do my own quilting. Little Gracie II
    This isn't the best photo but my son was doing his best to old up my Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt from last year. This is queen sized quilt and I quilted it with the Bailey. The front room is currently the staging area for Christmas decor, but once we have a chance to clean up I am hoping to get another quilt loaded on the frame and try quilt number two!

    For 2016, I have many of the same goals, to be choosier abut what machines follow me home.
    To clean and re-home and try to reduce the hoard.
    To learn more about quilting and to get better at it!

    Maybe branch out and try a bag for my Featherweight too! I keep seeing these lovely bags!
    LOL! I didn't realize that I'd posted the old photo of the bags.

    This is the photo with the smaller pockets.
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    I'm not organized. I just went back through the threads that I started.

    Choosier is good. I'm finding that I'm doing fewer machines as well but spending more time on each of them - french polishing for instance.

    If you watch some of the french polishing videos on YouTube (I think most of the ones I watched were of guitars) you'll see that many of them sand to get a smooth finish. It's not unlike getting the orange peel out of automotive paint jobs. It takes a very light hand and the ability to recognize when there's a risk of going through the clear to the base. Because I did some body work before I french polished - both of the FP machines in my first photo (the 15-91 on the left and the 201) saw sandpaper to level. It's one place that I deviate from Glenn's process. I don't tell people about it often and I don't "teach" it - with video or a post - because I can't support it when people have questions. Glenn is amazing that way - in how he helps anyone who asks on a thread that's been years in the making.

    Mmm,... frame quilting. I think that these frames are basically in their,.. well maybe not infancy but toddlerhood. Whenever there are upgrades for them, I think they are well worth looking at. We're still learning so much about how to move smoother and more easily (which is easier on our bodies) and building longevity. As for quilting ability - doodle. Trace. Dance. Those are my main suggestions.

    I'm going to be writing out the pattern for that bag - in both sizes. Once I do, I'll need someone to test it. Did you want to??

    Quote Originally Posted by Pudge View Post
    Uh, just wanted to state that I learn a lot from reading your posts, Archaic. And that until I zoomed in and took a good look, I always thought your avatar was Batman in his cape, turned a little sideways. Swear to goodness this is true. I do have to say though that I'm starting to have vision problems in my left eye....keep on posting in the New Year.
    I'm glad I can help out!
    I giggled when I read your batman comment.

    How's this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    Tammi you're going to be far happier with even the cheapest hardwood you can find for making bases. Hardwood plywood works well too if you don't mind the edges showing.
    Sometimes you can even use pallet wood if you can tell it's a hardwood by looking and the boards aren't too dirty. It doesn't take much ground in dirt to mess up your tools.

    Singer's design and even the generic cases from the 50s and 60s before plastic bubbles took over aren't as easy to reproduce as they look. There are a lot of little things that make the original cases so nice.
    I'm trying to come up with my own easily produced version too. The biggest issue for me is keeping the weight down on them.

    2015: I haven't kept track of the machines I've acquired and when. The Streamliner that Macybaby gifted me is the most memorable though. I do know I've slowed down on purchases since this summer. I've also given a couple machines to kids in our 4 H group and plan to give up a couple more.

    The most memorable thing would be the 2 quilts that were given to me when I went in for surgery.
    Big Thank Yous again to everyone who participated in those projects for me.

    I did build a simple work station for fixing sewing machines. I'm also working on a tutorial for repairing the rubber friction drive wheels that White and National used on their machines. Won't be ready till next year though.
    I'm also starting a blog. I hope it's ok to mention it. No content yet but I plan to use it to post some how-to stuff around woodworking and vintage machines. There will also be stuff about our 4 H group and simple sewing projects.

    Oh yeah, here's a big one. We finally have our camera situation straightened out so I can start posting pictures again.
    It's about time.

    Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have a safe, healthy and happy 2016!
    Rodney
    I had it in my head that D Fir was a hardwood. It comes from an old home inspector I knew. He looked at an old house for me and told me that yes, the rafters were a little bowed but they'd never go anywhere because they were fir. Likewise, I'd never be able to brace them back into place because they were fir. I guess I just assumed from that it was a hardwood. Now I find out that it's almost like grass in the way it grows - hence the staining issues. I'm going to look at Windsor plywood in the new year and see what they're carrying that I can use for the boxes and for a bentwood - which is my next project. The last time I was there for the wood for the spool pin thingy - I amused the guy helping me by sniffing the woods I was wanting to buy. I LOVE the smell of maple.

    I agree that the Singer cases aren't easy to replicate, especially for someone new to wood working. Eventually, I may get steady enough with the router to do some of the detail but even the basic construction of the box is more complex than it looks at first glance. I spent a couple hundred on tools to even be able to get close to some of the things they did. We should start a thread on reproducing them, or I can start a basic post on my site or you on yours once it's up where we can discuss at will with no restrictions.

    The QB allows "passive advertising" - like the link in my signature. I don't think mentioning that you're starting a blog is an issue at all. Of course, I get my hands smacked fairly often even though I'm not selling anything and don't have a funnel page, don't try to get people to sign up for anything, the link is directly relevant to the discussion and would probably solve the issue someone is having, etc so I may not be the best advisor.

    I'm not at the stage yet where I can tell one wood from another unless it has a sticker on it saying "D Fir" or "Oak" I am finding resources though who are teaching me bits here and there.

  7. #7
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    LOL! I didn't realize that I'd posted the old photo of the bags.

    This is the photo with the smaller pockets.
    Name:  IMG_5089[1].jpg
Views: 314
Size:  515.5 KB

    I'm not organized. I just went back through the threads that I started. .......

    Mmm,... frame quilting. I think that these frames are basically in their,.. well maybe not infancy but toddlerhood. Whenever there are upgrades for them, I think they are well worth looking at. We're still learning so much about how to move smoother and more easily (which is easier on our bodies) and building longevity. As for quilting ability - doodle. Trace. Dance. Those are my main suggestions.

    I'm going to be writing out the pattern for that bag - in both sizes. Once I do, I'll need someone to test it. Did you want to??
    I would love to test it out! I don't have a 222 but would like to try a bag for a 221 and yours look great!

    At some point I'd like to try the french polish too. I haven't given that a try yet. The priority now is to finish cleaning up a table I just picked up to make ready for a friend. Someone cut new hinge holes and cut the opening larger to fit a Kenmore. I have a Kenmore for it that I think would make a great machine for her and I need that table gone so I have space to work in the shop again!

    In an effort to be more organized to made a folder and a text doc for 2016. I'm ready.
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

  8. #8
    Senior Member greywuuf's Avatar
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    Weigh in on 2015? Ugh, started the year sewing and painting an old white........got the paint done and the irons painted, but stalled out then.... It went to storage. I switched gears and built a Kayak...then I bought two old semi trucks to restore (I mean who DOESN'T need an all wheel drive class 6 truck sitting around) then I took a blacksmith course at the local folk school and ended up accepting a request to teach a sewing course for them, so now I am trying to put together a pattern a course description and a "curriculum"... .2016 is going to be interesting.
    " one should endeavor to keep ones straight pins from the floor whilst treadling barefoot" .... me 2015

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    My life is on hold. I'm still taking care of my parents at their house. Nothing else really matters at this point.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Find me at Victorian sweatshop discussion group

  10. #10
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    My life is on hold. I'm still taking care of my parents at their house. Nothing else really matters at this point.
    Hugs to you Miriam. It's a hard thing to do putting your whole life on hold to care for your parents. I hope you find bits of time for yourself and moments of joy this year.
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

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