All crazy here ... I have only recently started collecting. Like a potato chip ... it started with one, and less than 2 years later I have 4 and I'm STILL looking (currently also watching hubby's PC right in front of me as he is searching for irons!).
One of the machines I purchased had good irons, a decent head that needed cleaning, and a cabinet that had decent drawers ... but the top is rotten. We sand blasted and repainted the irons, cleaned the drawers and we're going to fix a new top on it and we purchased an old coffin top to put over the head (instead of trying to build a top that will let the machine drop).
IOW ... the important part are the irons. If you have a complete set (and parts for those can even be found), with no cracks, then clean them up and work from there.
Go for it and good luck!!
i love your new machine! i'm in crazy land with you - it's a horrible affliction! hahahaha. i'd have probably taken it for the challenge as well.
your machine reminds me of the vintage 1940's airplanes, somehow. just has an appearance of that era, although as a treadle it might be older than that. i think you're going to have a wonderful time tinkering with your new toy!
The only crazy thing about you or your story is the price! Look on Gumtree and see what people are charging for treadles...so well done. Despite how it's been stored it doesn't look too bad at all...sure the cabinet will be in need of new veneer....though if not too much is missing it can be carefully removed, dampened slightly, squashed down firmly under a heavy weight, then re-glued and given a top coat. I have done this with furniture with reasonable results. The vintage forum part of the QB is full of helpful tips for refurbishing vintage treasures. Of course if you get stuck...there are plenty of people who will help. So fellow Aussie...do not despair...smile and surrender to the thrall of vintage!
The treadle looks promising. It seems to have the bobbin area in tact. It will need cleaning.
Thanks Jennb! I can always try to answer dressmaking questions, although it's funny - I don't know much about a lot of techniques anymore unless they relate to bridal or eveningwear, but you never know, you could strike it lucky ;) Your machine collection sounds amazing! ...and it sounds like I need a subscription to one of these quilting mags, too.
Originally Posted by jennb
Hi Muv, thanks for your reply and I greatly enjoyed watching your instructional on how to clean and oil the machine. I feel brave enough to try now, even if it doesn't look much like one of those beautifully ornate Singers. Can I ask you, what is the metal polish you usually use? Most of the polishes I've used before are liquid and yours looked like a tube of cream(?) I'm also curious as to what's best to use to remove the surface rust from some of the parts. Your advice would be fantastic :)
Originally Posted by Muv
I have tried to join Needlebar but I think they rejected my intro. Must have been because I said I was a dressmaker, even though I emphasised that I was there to discuss the machines. Sounds like they're fairly particular (read: grumpy) about the type of people who are allowed to join, which is a shame because I would really like to share images and manuals etc of the machines I have and discuss their history with the NB members. Funnily enough I found out about NB from my original Google search for the Phoenix 250 - they were the only people who had it listed. I don't know how I was able to access the link, as I can't access anything from the main page, but here it is.
Thanks! The irons aren't the traditional type with vertical supports. The cabinet forms the entire base support for the machine and the treadle irons, which consist only of the pedal and wheel. It's a very austere design, so I'm not sure if that's what you mean, but it seems different to the other treadles I've seen.
Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
Can I ask, what was the reason for sandblasting? Is that standard practice for cleaning up treadle irons? It sounds very aggressive, but I can't think how else to clean them, so maybe I've just answered my own question - haha!
Thank you Earthwalker - nice to hear from a fellow Aussie :) I wasn't sure about the price - but I thought it was very reasonable. I didn't post a pic of the cabinet all closed up, but there were two strips of veneer about 8cm wide on either side of the front panel (of which I have posted a pic). The pic of the rippling veneer is of one of those strips. Half of it was already missing on one side, so I decided just to remove it all. So there are two 'clean' stripes down both sides, but all of the other veneer is intact. There is a very large and unsightly patch of bubbled/rippling veneer on the table top when the lid is closed, but after watching YouTuble videos on repairing veneer, I understand that you can feed glue underneath and either hot iron or clamp these flat to refix the veneer. Seems like a nice, simple concept - I wonder if it will be simple in practice. But I will certainly give it a go (and post about my results).
Originally Posted by earthwalker
That's amazing Joe! Well done. I'm not sure whether I should replace the missing strips of veneer, or just sand and polish/paint... I was even thinking that a couple of mirrored panels would look pretty amazing, but not sure how easy this would be. Just a question about matching veneer though - the process of putting it on seems straightforward enough, but how do you know what to buy so that it matches the existing cabinet? Would I have to take it somewhere to get expert advice do you think?
Originally Posted by J Miller
Thanks again Vintagemotif, great advice. I am very curious about pitting in the finish where it seems quite deep, as I have this in some places on my Jones Family CS as well. Do you repaint them with black japan? It's very intriguing to me as we have used black japan on our floors at home (huge mistake BTW... but that's another story.) I have heaps left over, but still can't work out what you would do to make it match the surface of the rest of the machine, as it seems the intact paintwork is probably at least 0.25mm thick and any new paintwork would be fairly flat to the metal...
Originally Posted by vintagemotif
Anyway, I'm sure as I trawl more videos and threads I will find my own answers to these questions. Please don't feel obliged to answer!!
I am so grateful to everyone for your generous and thoughtful replies and for making me feel so welcome here. It's so lovely of you all! :D
I took a blood test last week it came back normal. I wish I had done that years ago... You might try taking a blood test.
I love those old machines - they follow me home more often than not, too.
If you are crazy- you're in good company here! Machines will start following you home. I'm trying to barricade the door, but no luck.
Welcome! I love the machine you just rescued! Soon they will be following you home... And you are I good company, we are all afflicted with the same "craziness".
I use Peek metal polish, from http://www.tri-peek.com (but I get it from our local shop). It's a polish, so won't get rid of rust that has set well in. I've never really done a serious rust removal job. Peek will get rid of superficial rust.
It might be worth having a second go to get on to Needlebar. I had to join twice because for some reason I couldn't get onto the site for months on end on our computer, but I could on my son's - all very puzzling.
If the irons are in bad shape, yes sand blasting can be the best way to remove old rust. We do it just because we happen to have a sand blaster and my husband thinks it's great fun :)
Originally Posted by frudemoo