Colorado get-together?

Old 05-06-2020, 10:44 AM
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More cast iron is gone. Hey it will be lighter now. right?
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Old 06-08-2020, 05:57 AM
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Default June 2020 Colorado Get Together, Part 1

This is the third virtual first-Saturday-of-the-month get together for Colorado vintage and antique sewing machine enthusiasts. This way of meeting is a lot different for everyone. We're getting the hang of putting it together this way, but its a different presentation than simply recounting conversations that were had over a pleasant breakfast.

It should be noted that some in our group have gone to considerable effort doing write ups and taking their own pictures, which we assemble into the virtual meeting. The written text is much more detailed and the pictures are probably a lot better.

But it doesn't replace the experience of getting together and talking with each other face to face. Consider this extra effort by our group members to show that we like our group and want to keep it together, even through temporary challenging conditions.

With that said, let our show and tell begin.

Courtney

Courtney writes:

I have been playing with my quilting frame that I showed last month but things are not going great. The frame seems fine but it is tough to teach OLD dog new tricks. I will keep playing around. I will have an interesting machine to show next month but I haven't worked on the machine because I have been working on a quilting project. About a year ago I purchased about 250 five inch denim squares for $5 from the thrift store. The squares were cut from various pieces of old denim clothing (mostly jeans) using scissors. I decided to use them and have put together a bed top sized denim quilt. I used most all of the squares just as they were to give the quilt some character. I was able to use the large transparent tables I discussed a couple of months ago to work on the quilt and tried something new for me. In the past I have always spray basted my quilts but I figured the heavy denim would cause me problems so instead of spray basting I tried pin basting. I was quite pleased with the result and will probably try it again soon. I decided I didn't want to try free motion on such heavy fabric so I just did straight line quilting. I think it came out quite nice (see picture.) Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

Courtney
PS - just finished the quilt this afternoon!


courtney-denim-quilt-small.jpg

James

As you recall last time I was in the process of using JB Weld to repair the broken off hand crank assembly for a 1907 Singer 28. This is the complete repaired assembly.

james-image1a.jpg

I then installed the replacement tension assembly that came from a parted out 1906 Singer 28. The tension spring on the machine side was stretched out a bit too much like an abused metal slinky toy so the spring does not have the proper tension play when thread runs through it. A replacement spring is easy to locate as you can get new Singer 27 tension springs so I plan to order it. Currently it is set at a 45 degree angle and the stitches look good. Because of the “tired” spring I have to press farther on the tension release “spoon” to get the plates to open. Here is a stitch sample.

james-image2a.jpg

Next on the agenda was to make a simple temporary base. I chose to use some sawdust pressed boards that came from a macrophotography mineral photography rig that I built that came came apart too easily. After hand sawing and glueing the boards, I chose to use chalkboard black spray paint to dress it up a little. This is a photo after it was dry enough to place the machine on it.

james-image4a.jpg

There was still a bit of rust on the hand wheel so I took coarse then fine steel wood to polish it up a bit. There are still some things left to do such as touching up the bare spots with engine black paint and carefully softening up the old shellac to clean off the grime that did not come off with sewing machine oil and recoating with new shellac. A good quality wood base will also be built but as I think the chalkboard black paint looks really well paired with this machine it will be used again. The slim foot print of the base will be the same with just side handles to transport the machine. Since you can actually use chalk on it I may put some Singer style lettering saying something like 1907 Singer 28K. Then put a clear coat over the lettering to protect it. Here is what it looks like after cleaning the hand wheel. The day was overcast so it does not pop out as well as the earlier photo.


james-image3a.jpg

To be continued...

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Old 06-08-2020, 06:07 AM
  #173  
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Default June 2020 Colorado Get Together, Part 2

Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris have been beautifully refurbishing a Singer 66.

Cheryl writes:

I spent some time cleaning up a Singer 66 head and put a crank on it. Chris made a nice box for it using treadle hinges since we have quite a few of them. It may get loaned out to a 13 year old who liked another hand crank I had for a while.

cheryl


cheryl-1a.jpg

Dianne

Looking back over our get togethers, you can see that Dianne has a liking for cute little sewing machines. Others of us like them, too. Dianne has another one, this one with both chain stitch and chain drive. She writes:

A recent acquisition is The Little Comfort toy sewing machine. Who can resist one in such wonderful condition? The chain drive is distinctive and appealing. It was manufactured by Smith & Egge Manufacturing Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut probably between 1900 and 1910. This is a small machine, about 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide, but reasonably hefty because it is cast iron. The ads for this machine appealed to traveling adults, but also said it was ‘easy enough for a child to operate.’ This one came with its original clamp and shipping box, 3 little packets of Willcox and Gibbs needles and two sheets of disintigrating paperwork which I will attempt to consolidate and preserve.

dianne-1a.jpg

It is a little too tall for the photo tent my husband purchased for mineral photography, so it needed to be carefully set to avoid edges of the background paper and the exact positioning of parts was ignored. Yes, the cloth guide is inverted, but it might work better that way and obviously I’m not going to do much sewing with it anyway. It came looking so nice I didn’t even want to touch it! Nothing needed to be done, and I did nothing.

dianne-2a.jpg

The paperwork is going to be a big problem, as it was poor quality paper, probably acidic, and is disintigrating. A full free day will be needed before messing with it. The threading for this machine, which came in several versions, seems to involve an unusual thread path that goes under the bar across the front. As this bar rises, it pushes against the tension spring and moves that mechanism, so it makes sense for the bar to be involved in the thread path, timing when the thread advances and then is stopped. Several photos I’ve seen show that. Of course, they could all be copying an incorrect photo posted somewhere! The stitch length adjustment is different from many, and might actually work. Hopefully the papers will can be conserved enough to make a scan.

The W&G needles are in sizes 1, 2 and 3 and the packets have never been opened. They are labeled “Howard Machine Needles” and around a center circular photo of a man with a long gun and a log cabin with smoke coming from the chimney are the words “The Pioneer House Established 1857” They are labeled at the top: “Wilcox & Gibbs and Smith & Egge”. Willcox with one ‘l’. It feels like only one or maybe two needles in each packet. I wonder what the correct pronunciation is for ‘Egge’?

Dianne


dianne-3a.jpg

Dorothy

Dorothy emailed us about what she has been doing albeit not with a vintage machine. She writes:

I have done nothing but sew up one linen shirt from the Style Arc Jules Woven top and did that mostly on the serger.

For those who don't know about "Style Arc," it is an Australian pattern company that also sells PDF patterns that can be downloaded.

Seb

Seb won't be able to "join" us this time around. However, he and Janey have been emailing back and forth earlier this past month. As it turns out he has come into possession of a treadle that is not a Singer. He had an electric machine that he had let go of, as he couldn't get the machine to work properly. As it turns out, the treadle and the electric are the same "brand." He had sent some pictures and Janey noticed the cute European oil can

seb_resizedoilcan.jpg

The electric was/is a DD model and the treadle is a FF model. Hopefully, when things settle down, he will start a new thread about his Excelsiors. We'll let him tell you about how things have come together with these machines.

Closing

We are taking this month by month. We look forward to being able to meet as we did. One way or the other we will post again next month.

Last edited by OurWorkbench; 06-08-2020 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:09 AM
  #174  
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Default July 4, 2020 - Colorado Get Together, Part 1

Our Colorado get together coincides this month with the 4th of July. It was a beautiful Saturday morning with clear blue Colorado skies.

Several of our members have sent pictures and descriptions of their activities over the last month, which we are posting here. Thanks to all who contributed. We all look forward to our regular get togethers as soon as they can resume.

Paula

Paula sent some pictures from a shopping outing.

Hi. I found this at goodwill last weekend. I'm not sure on age, but it is totally cute.

paula.jpg
Carol

Carol writes:

I really miss the actual meetings too.

The Choctaw Nation of OK, of which we are members, has a full regalia but for other festive occasions or even every day women wear ribbon skirts and men wear ribbon shirts. My daughter and her fiance Luke were scheduled to get married on the 26th. Since that was postponed, they got together with their friends to celebrate. She had asked me for a ribbon skirt and shirt for the rehearsal dinner, so I sewed them for this party. She picked the colors. And I sewed this month! Getting back to normal.

carol.jpg

Carol



Courtney

Dear All,

This month has been busy. Each year the Boulder County Museums has a day of "Crafts and Trades of Olden Days" in Longmont. I take several of my old machines and show them off. Rather than just sit there and talk I take quilting squares and have people sign them. Each year I then make the signed squares into a quilt. Since last month I have finished 2019's quilt.

Unfortunately I do not think they will be having the outing this year in September. I guess I will have to wait until next year to show it off.

courtney-quilt.jpg


I have also been playing around some with a strange little sewing machine. The machine plus motor weighs about 12 lbs. The machine, motor, foot control, and case weigh about 18 lbs so I am sure it was designed as competition for the "Featherweight." The machine has been designed around standard "model 15 parts." The motor and foot control are standard for the time. The upper bobbin is the same as a clone "15" bobbin plate. The lower bobbin assembly is also the same as a "15" clone. It is rather funky looking.

Originally I thought that the top (front and back) was stamped steel but it appears to be thin cast aluminum. The one part (and weakest part) is the table. Since this was just stamped steel, it had gotten bent in a couple of places. I have tried to gently get it back into the original shape. The interior has a cast skeleton of some kind. It is not aluminum or steel. I think it is some kind of pot metal similar to a number of toy machine I have seen. Other than the bent top plate, the machine was in good (but dirty) condition. I took it apart and gave it a once over cleaning and oiling and it does seem to work. The machine had easy to use oil ports. I don't think it gave the Featherweight much competition.


courtney-machine.jpg


Courtney also sent links to several YouTube videos that are sewing related. We have included them in a .pdf (Adobe) file, for any who would like to look at them.

Courtney-Videos.pdf


He continues:

Hope every one is doing well and staying safe. Until next month....

Courtney


to be continued...
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:20 AM
  #175  
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Default July 4, 2020 - Colorado Get Together, Part 2

Cheryl & Chris

Cheryl and Chris sent some pictures of their activities this last month. Cheryl writes:

I've mostly been sewing shirts using my quilting stash, but I've also been cleaning up this VS2. The shellac on it was terrible - brown and pealing, plus lots of pitting. Some of the decals were obscured by the darkened and dirty shellac. I've cleaned that up some and smoothed it out a bit using clear shellac, but some of the imperfections such as deep paint chips will still remain. I don't need it to look brand new, but the decals are far brighter and are now protected with a new coating of shellac. It needs a bit more shining up now.

cheryl and chris


cheryl.jpg

Dianne

From Dianne:

The Johnston Ruffler Company of Ottumwa, Iowa was early to enter the sewing machine attachments business. This ruffler, made of brass, has patent dates going back to Jan. 21, 1863; another Feb. 14, 1865, and several more in 1870, 1871, 1872, 1874 and 1888. The seller had tried to fit it on 1871 and 1875 Howe machines with no luck, but had contact with a woman on Facebook who had a similar ruffler that fit her Wheeler and Wilson sewing machine.
dianne1.jpg

There's no doubt about who manufactured it, with information stamped in four places. Oddly, it is marked "Licensed for Family Use Only" in one spot. An online search found "Manufacturing, Agricultural and Industrial Resources of Iowa" by H.S. Hyatt who wrote this about the company (misspelling the company name): "Johnson Ruffler & Co. - Too much cannot be said in regards to this enterprising company. The energy manifested on their part, and the interest shown in developing the resources of our city, merit the confidence of every citizen. In two short years they have from a limited capital brought their business into general notice, and placed it upon a safe basis financially. They employ 50 hands at an average salary of $2.00 per day, all of which is thrown into circulation amongst the businessmen of our city. Their building is 45 by 90 feet, two stories high, furnished with first class machinery suitable for running their business."

A very different ruffler, as well as a Tuck Marker, also made by the Johnston Ruffler Company, came with a 1898 hand-cranked New National sewing machine by New Home acquired several years ago. The pair are in a burgundy case, and only stamped with company name and town on the ruffler, and a patent date of Nov. 21, 1876 on the Tuck Marker. Directions are in the lid, along with additional patent dates.

Cleaning up this Standard SewHandy and getting it ready to sew has taken some time. These were manufactured between 1928 and 1938. This one needs a new power cord, and although the present one tests OK with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, it is disintegrating and unsightly. The machine sews nicely. Two books by Darrel P. Kaiser were helpful in working with this machine, "Before the Featherweight Sewhandy" Volume 1 is History, Volume 2 Maintenance and Repair. The books overlap and there is repetition, but they were nevertheless very helpful. To get to the lower gears to grease them, one removes the bottom plate with motor and wiring from the entire top of the machine. The base is aluminum, but the pillar and arm are cast iron. Still, it weighs about the same as a Featherweight, Singer 221. The bobbin is wound on that little stub where the handwheel should be. The later General Electric badged Sewhandy is all cast iron, and that adds about four pounds to its weight. The cases for the Sewhandy and Featherweight are nearly identical.

dianne-2.jpg

Dianne


James

James shared the following with us:

I keep losing out on machines I am bidding on so have not acquired anything lately. I finally got my replacement shuttle and bobbins from England that fits my Vickers VS sewing machine. The first shipment never arrived and the seller kindly resent the parts.

I was able to wind the bobbin fairly well even with the missing parts on the winder. Currently I am having problems forming stitches as the top thread keeps breaking off. Interestingly there is quite a bit of variation between the shuttles after comparing the one I got to the other Vickers and Frister Rossmann compatible shuttles. Mine does not have the carry notch near the pointed end but my machine has a different shuttle cage design that does not require the notch. I also noticed that the machine is pretty picky about the thread placement when placing the shuttle in. If I do not place the thread directly to the front of the machine, the needle will not catch and bring the bobbin thread up.

I have included some photos of the replacement shuttle and bobbin. Notice the hole in the bobbin that fits over a pin in the bobbin winder to hold it in place while winding.


james.jpg

to be continued....

Last edited by OurWorkbench; 07-06-2020 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:36 AM
  #176  
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Default July 4, 2020 - Colorado Get Together, Part 3

Leon

Leon, from Kansas, shared some pictures from a recent trip out. He writes:

Saturday I did a bit of traveling. I found these machines at an antique/junk shop. I have an industrial 29 that needs some pieces. Maybe this (1890) can be a donor. The 88 Lotus is one that I had been looking for for a while. One afternoon of cleaning and oiling had it working again (1906) I had been looking at the Western Electric for three years, and they dropped the price to lower than half of the original. I jumped on it. (1917 ish) The Western Electric (badged National) came with a bentwood case.

leon-machines.jpg

Also here are pics of a treadle belt cutter and pliers punch. Not all may know these.

leon-pliers.jpg

Leon


Dorothy

Dorothy has been busy sewing tops. From an email excerpt to Janey, she shares:

I have done little sewing other than work which has been interesting. Production plants closed, but design efforts keep moving forward.

I have been looking for natural fabrics, as synthetics are hot on me. Ordered in a woven hemp cotton blend (55/45) to dye. Linen in light weights. A splendid discovery is a Batik print knit- all cotton and 72" wide from Maggie's Sewing in Longmont! Absolutely a great find in a quilt store. Maggie's purchased the store in the last year and have expanded into another section, which includes a small display of vintage machines!

I attached a photo of the fabric. It is teal & navy with the leaf pattern slightly lighter blue. I suspect it is a Batik wax on an initial light blue ground. Then a 2 step - I can not tell if it is Tie Dye or some sort of splotchy 2 tone print but there is no cracking on the leaves so 2 tone print it is.

Interesting, the selvedge is a rolled hem on both sides! It is a heavy knit, already cut into a tank top ready to sew.

dorothy.jpg

Happy sewing to all!

Dorothy


In Closing

We look forward to what the coming month will bring and hope for good news. We will share the activities of our Colorado group (and other welcome visitors) here again next month. Everyone be safe and stay well!
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Old 07-06-2020, 03:02 PM
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I'm going to attach a .doc (Word) file of Courtney's list of Sewing machine videos.
Courtney-Videos.doc

John can open the pdf videos from his computer. I cannot open from the pdf file, but I can for the doc file (If I hold the "Ctrl" button and click on the link). I did have a problem with one of them, but it can be found at the bottom of http://stagecoachroadsewing.com/

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
Not affiliated with off-site link(s)

Last edited by OurWorkbench; 07-06-2020 at 03:04 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:31 AM
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Today I took enough pieces off,so that the hand wheel will now spin the crank. The cylinder presserfoot and needlebar assembly is disconnected. but progress is being made. And the presserfoot will do the 360 turn with just a bit of reluctance. 130 year old screws on the 29 were a bit snug. I love a puzzle.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:48 AM
  #179  
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Default August 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together - Part 1

Our group is again meeting from a distance, sharing activities and pictures via email. The descriptions and several pictures are presented here for others to see.

As an aside, we are sizing the pictures differently due to the fact that the site(s) reduce larger pictures. We wished that the sizes of some of the pictures last month were larger. We don't quite have a handle on the sizing rules yet, so we're experimenting. Any feedback is welcome.


Leon

Leon, located one state away in Kansas, has been out looking and found the following:

This 1899 oddball came my way a week ago. Obviously rebuilt and given a crinkle finish. Delco motor by GM was added with a 2 screw mount under the access plate. No boss for a conventional motor mount. Quick release tension lever was a big surprise too. It will turn, but I have not cleaned or oiled it yet. Came (with) the shuttle and one bobbin. Case is way too new and rectangular. Not pretty. Hope all are well.

leon-vsm-great-eastern-front-c.jpg

leon-vsm-great-eastern-reconditoned-badge-id-c.jpg

leon-vsm-great-eastern-quick-no-boss-two-screw-mount-c.jpg

leon-vsm-great-eastern-quick-release-tension-c.jpg


John & Janey

Some years ago, Janey and I were in a thrift store and discovered a pink Atlas. We brought it home. It had a variety of small issues, some of which we worked on, after which we wrote up and posted the results of the new find.

More recently Janey discovered a pink carrying case about the same color. We have put the pink Atlas in the case and the resulting color-matched machine and case are shown below.

j-j-p1010001.jpg

to be continued....
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:58 AM
  #180  
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Default August 2020 Colorado Sewing Machine Get-Together - Part 2

Seb

Seb, who lives in France, sent us several pictures. Interesting as well, Seb recently moved to a new home, the French flavor of which may be seen in the backgrounds. Seb writes:

Hello!

This month, I have not done much in terms of sewing machines; I bought the lovely Singer 15 with Tiffany decals but I've already shared the pictures. So I thought I would share pictures of the room I rearranged to house my small collection of sewing machines and use as a workspace for everything sewing and arts and crafts. The machines are not really on display; I need to find a solution (sturdy shelves?) for the ones on bases but I don't think I could really display those which are in cabinets... If anyone has ideas or suggestions...
I've also taken pictures of the two sewing tables / cabinets; I don't really know the name for such pieces of furniture in English but they are called "travailleuses" in French.
I've not been in the sewing room much these days; the room is upstairs and the weather is really hot (40°C / 104°F in the afternoon not much under 25°C / 77°F at night).

I hope everyone is doing fine!

Take care and stay safe,

Seb


seb-img_20200731_082643_resized_20200731_082958244.jpg

seb-img_20200731_082612_resized_20200731_082956408.jpg

seb-img_20200731_082724_resized_20200731_082957083.jpg

to be continued....

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