Davis Vertical Feed

Old 02-20-2014, 06:54 AM
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Default Davis Vertical Feed

This is my Davis Vertical Feed treadle sewing machine that has been sitting in my garage/storage for the past 18 yrs after purchasing for $20 at a thrift store in KCMO. I thought I needed the hardware for the lid that the chain fastens to for lifting the head up out of cabinet for sewing. Little did I know I had the hardware, just needed someone to repair where it had been ripped out of the wood. My neighbor recently did that for me and now I am cleaning up the machine, but it sews really good and I am using it. I am am slowly getting the dirty film off (slow process) without injuring the decals. Plan to get some Tuff Stuff people have spoke about and see it that helps. The bed part has a very bumpy texture on it, so not sure it will clean up. I really like the feed system of this mach as it does not have feed dogs. Can't figure out why other brands didn't use this system 100+ yrs ago like the Davis did. I now have two treadles going, this one and the White Rotary. Loving both of them.
davis-vertical-feed-sewing-mach001.jpgdavis-vertical-feed-sewing-mach003.jpg
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:42 AM
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That is a really nice machine. I've never had the chance to work with one. Not yet anyway.

I would be very careful about cleaning that machine. You are already down past the shellac in most places. The filmy areas is the old shellac.
I wouldn't use any chemical cleaners on it either. Just sewing machine oil and cotton pads or balls.

After that read Glens tutorials on cleaning the finish on the old machines. { http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...s-t186522.html }

Oh and that green pseudo antiquing .............. ugh. I do hope you're gonna eventually get rid of that and put a proper finish on it. It would be soooooo much nicer.

One more comment, be careful how much weight you put on the cover when it's open, too much weight will pull the screws out of the wood.



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Old 02-20-2014, 08:19 AM
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so you are saying where it is shiny I've removed the shellac? I was trying to get it all to look like that. Thanks for the link about cleaning, I will try that. And I don't like the green, but don't know about stripping the entire thing. What about finding a nice brown paint & cover up the green? I know I have to be very careful with the lid. I've been cautioned by my neighbor who fixed it. I put the plastic on it to make smooth for sewing/moving fabric across it. For the time being I will keep it open as I don't want to ruin what he fixed. Apparently a previous owner had a problem opening/closing it and yanked it so hard it pulled the hardware out of the wood.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:11 AM
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no, he means the shiny spots are the only place the shellac is still there. The whole machine was "shiny" like those spots at one time.

You'll have to add a protective coating if you want to get it shined up again.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:37 AM
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most of my old gals are shiny where the clear has been removed and the black has been french polished... the rough yellowish brownish film was the old clear shellac that had gone south...
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
no, he means the shiny spots are the only place the shellac is still there. The whole machine was "shiny" like those spots at one time.

You'll have to add a protective coating if you want to get it shined up again.
but it didn't have any shiny spots when I started cleaning and the more I clean the larger the shiny spots are getting.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:50 AM
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Please, only clean this machine with sewing machine oil.

I own two Davis NVF. One was cleaned before I got it, and the decals are the green color of your cabinet now.

You shiny spots are where the shellac is being removed.

I just clean up my machines with sewing oil to removed the dirt and shellac that was ready to be removed.
Sewing machine oil only for the Davis!

Monica
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:44 PM
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I meant exactly what I said. You've gone through the shellac in many places. The shiny places is now devoid of shellac.

I did this exact same thing trying to clean a 66 red eye and ended up ruining some of the decals. As it ages shellac takes on an amberish color and can become filmy. You've got to clean the machine till it's clean, then switch gears and use Glenn's methods to restore the finish to protect what's left of the decals and original finish.

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Old 02-20-2014, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Watson58 View Post
I really like the feed system of this mach as it does not have feed dogs. Can't figure out why other brands didn't use this system 100+ yrs ago like the Davis did. I now have two treadles going, this one and the White Rotary. Loving both of them.
Attachment 463489Attachment 463490
I don't believe the Vertical feeds were all that popular in their day, perhaps only in a few local regions. Davis SM Co. went over to Underfeed sewing machines, bicycles, castings and large machine tools when they moved from NY to OH in the early 1890's and the VF's only made up a small percentage of their business during this time. Singer and others made walking foot machines for the industrial market but not any domestic machines. Some inexpensive domestic walking foots were made but nothing of high quality like Davis.

Less than 200,000 NVF's were made from 1912-1924-under 20,000 per year. Davis made on average 100,000-125,000 sewing machines per year and slightly more bicycles per year during this time period.

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Old 02-20-2014, 01:16 PM
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1. Vertical feed still exists, we call it a "walking foot" now. Most use an attachment rather than full time. Some upper end machines have walking feet still.

2. If you look into the head of a Davis VF it is like a Swiss watch compared to a Singer of the same period. Complex & expensive. more skills required to service as well.

3. This machine was introduced during the heyday of the industrial revolution when the goals were to invent a new and marketable thing but very quickly standardize to take advantage of mass production. Accessories for this are not like accessories for other machines.

4. people fear what is new...
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