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Thread: 1916 singer

  1. #1
    Member hazelnut's Avatar
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    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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    Lori

  2. #2
    Senior Member emmah's Avatar
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    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
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    Lucky you. And best of all your new girl comes with a history.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
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    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.

    Pat

  5. #5
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    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
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    What a great thing to have--it looks well loved!

  7. #7
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    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
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    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.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...v-t167789.html
    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
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    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.

  11. #11
    Super Member Surfergirl's Avatar
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    My husband and I always maintain all our vintage machines, cleaning, oiling and repairing. You can buy parts online. You have a beautiful machine...
    Lynn

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    With the help of the internet you CAN clean, oil and repair your vintage machines. If someone is wanting to go vintage, may I suggest that you scout around the vintage sewing machine area of this board awhile before you buy. Most of the older machines will last a very long time and are very easy to use. If nothing else run it by us before you spend money on one. They aren't as likely to break as the newer plastic machines. Even the repair shops won't repair a plastic machine and there are no manuals or parts available for them. There is no point filling up a land fill when perfectly serviceable old sewing machines are out there to be had for not too much.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  13. #13
    Senior Member olebat's Avatar
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    Hang on to that beauty and use it. So many of us have resorted to buying machines which were like the ones in our families back in the day. Having the heirloom and stories is priceless.

  14. #14
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    We have a treadle machine in our family too. My father traded a shot gun for it in 1917. My daughter has it and my job is to clean and oil it this Christmas when I go there. I will take a belt with me when I go as I know this one is fried. The cabinet has 6 drawers in it. I am excited to clean this one up and I know you are thrilled to get this one also. Send us a picture when you have finished "beautifying" her (or him). Glad your husband has a task to keep his mind occupied also. Blessings on you both.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazelnut View Post
    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.
    How do you look up serial numbers for the old Singer Sewing Machines? I have a hand crank one that I would like to know more about. Bought at a Flea Market.

  16. #16
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    Think I posted in the wrong place LOL New at this. How do you look up serial numbers for the vintage Singer sewing machines? I bought a hand crank one at a Flea Market several years ago.

  17. #17
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueF View Post
    Think I posted in the wrong place LOL New at this. How do you look up serial numbers for the vintage Singer sewing machines? I bought a hand crank one at a Flea Market several years ago.
    Sue, you can go here:
    http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...-database.html

    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  18. #18
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Be careful the products you use on the old finishes, may of them had shellac as the final top coat, and it is very vulnerable, no alcohol, saliva, or that type of cleaners. Use machine oil on a small corner it should loosen grime an restore the shine, be sure to wipe down with a very soft cloth afterwards. Be careful to not use any abrasives. Once you are done a good coat of turtle wax will do wonders.
    pat design

  19. #19
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    I'm thrilled for you. I'd like to see her all cleaned up. Do you have pictures of any of your grandfather's quilts? And of him with them and/or the machine?
    Please post your pet's - past and present -pictures at http://www.quiltingboard.com/general...ds-t32280.html

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