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Thread: EARLY Elias Howe sewing machine

  1. #1
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    EARLY Elias Howe sewing machine

    Ok folks,

    I was lucky enough to get an Elias Howe Sewing machine for Christmas.

    To quote Heather "Only you would get a 20lb box of rusted metal for Christmas and be ecstatic.."

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  2. #2
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I believe that this is a Model A.

    I am a member of NeedleBar, and even THEY do not seem to have a picture of this version.

    Here is a Model B in glorious condition.
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  3. #3
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    The key element so far appear to be:

    1.) The treadle wheel position - Mine is below the deck, the Model B is "peeking out above"
    2.) The bobbin winder - Mine is not equipped with one and no mounting points are evident.
    3.) The tensioner - all of the Model A drawings and pictures so far show a "corrugated" tensioner disk, mine is brass and smooth
    4.) The tensioner - the later models have a little extra wheel on the side closest to the spool holder mine does not.

  4. #4
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I paid them a little extra to make sure it was well packed...
    Name:  2012-12-29 10.42.09.jpg
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    They really did a good job
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    Sigh....
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    My first groan... The Take up arms is SHOT. I get to make a new one.... joy.
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    ONLY in the flash picture can you see the upper hole and screw, barely.
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    Sorry this picture is not well focused, but it shows the machining of the bed. (NO paint left)
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    There was one hinge, and it was frozen TIGHT.
    About 30 minutes after these pictures were taken every joint and seam was sprayed with PB Blaster. (Knowledge gained from restoring old cars). Twice a day for 3 days...
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    The underbelly. I LOVE how simple these are. EVERYTHING runs of the single shaft.
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    The front
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    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by SteveH; 01-04-2013 at 04:34 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    It's going to look so great when you get it cleaned up! And Heather is so right, we get go excited when we get something like this. LOL
    You can get older, but you never have to grow up! Tomorrow's just a future yesterday!-Greg Fergerson

  6. #6
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    After a few days of PB Blaster, the hinge has begun to move....
    Attachment 385861

    Free! It is basically a lathe turned post with a cross hole drilled and a pin shoved in.
    Attachment 385862

    The bugger came off but the tip is missing. The coil spring is actually made of square wire... too cool
    Attachment 385863

    and as you will see in the next shot the take up arm lost a lot of material to corrosion
    Attachment 385864
    The color is off because i did not use flash, but here is the hinge wire-wheeled clean. note cross pin "peened in"
    Attachment 385865
    The face... the dark color is due to the oil and rust removers.
    Attachment 385866

    She's had a rough life..
    Attachment 385869

    again... sigh.
    Attachment 385870

    Starting to remove the needle bar
    Attachment 385871

    Note, i still do not have the foot separated, it "looks" solid, but I know they are removable
    Attachment 385872

  7. #7
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    Steve,

    Post number 6 did not have any pictures, just an attachment number after each sentence.

    Cathy
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  8. #8
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    yeah weird, I did the same process as far as I know.
    i'll try again. These are the "teardown" shots.

    After a few days of PB Blaster, the hinge has begun to move....
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    Free! It is basically a lathe turned post with a cross hole drilled and a pin shoved in.

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    The bugger came off but the tip is missing. The coil spring is actually made of square wire... too cool
    Name:  2012-12-31 18.41.31.jpg
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    and as you will see in this shot the take up arm lost a lot of material to corrosion
    Name:  2012-12-31 18.41.40.jpg
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    The color is off because i did not use flash, but here is the hinge wire-wheeled clean. note cross pin "peened in"
    Name:  2012-12-31 19.06.16.jpg
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    The face... the dark color is due to the oil and rust removers.
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    She's had a rough life..
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    again... sigh.
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    Starting to remove the needle bar
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    Note, i still do not have the foot separated, it "looks" solid, but I know they are removable
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  9. #9
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Cool old square head screw
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    Removed... but ewwww
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    Since EVERYTHING is times off of this shaft, and it was set at the factory, I'm removing it but leaving it intact
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    Here you see left to right, drive movement arm and shaft bolt, Driveline (Belt,Needle bar cam, shuttle cam, feed dog cams on the right)
    P.S. the little iron hammer to the right was the only tool my great grandfather brought with him from Sweden
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    Here is a closeup showing the underside, with the square head bolts,and the drift pin secured shuttle drive arm. (note the blob of solder, that is what secured the brass dist on the front)
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    One of my favorite discoveries, the feed dog bar is pivoted on mini cone bushings, like you see in treadles
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    The shuttle carrier mechanism
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    The removed body from the back (the Before shot...)
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    Ok then.. Note the back side of the drive arm is "lightened" (cost reduction) oh yeah, I did a little cleanup...
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    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by SteveH; 01-04-2013 at 10:30 PM.

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Wow! Wow! Wow! What a cool Christmas present - one year we got our son a bag of coal - he LOVED it - he's a blacksmith...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  11. #11
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quadruple WOW. I am so impressed with the drive movement. Keep the pictures coming Steve. BTW, like the pic with your fingers. They look as if they are from a mechanic's hands.
    Sweet Caroline

  12. #12
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    I am Sooooooo enjoying your thread...keep em' coming!

  13. #13
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    That's cool. You don't see square head bolts very often anymore. I think they went out with the Titanic.

    Joe

  14. #14
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Very cool that you have your great grandfather's tool! I'm enjoying your thread very much.

  15. #15
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    This is amazing! Please post more! Thank you!

  16. #16
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    This is so interesting! Remind me, the Howe is dated from when? I'm ready for the next installment of pics.

  17. #17
    Senior Member grayhare's Avatar
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    Totally awesome! Enjoying this thread, Thank you!
    "A change of feeling is a change of destiny."
    -Neville-

  18. #18
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Sorry, I'm making a suit of body armor for a person who competes with Team USA in the Battle of Nations (it's on the web) so it slow in the sewing world.

    I did do some painting tests and determined that flat black primer, satin lacquer looked best... (grin...)

  19. #19
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Do you agree?

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    Name:  painted 2.jpg
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  20. #20
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    Thanks for your pictures. It is very informative. Looks like quite a job you have started. I am sure you will show pictures when you finish.

  21. #21
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Hmmm, flat black primer and satin laquer. That would work for treadle irons very well. Did you use spray cans or paint gun?
    Sweet Caroline

  22. #22
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Steve how awesome to watch you tear down that little Howe piece by piece! I agree the flat black looks great! How long have you been interested in sewing machines? The task you have taken on would just blow most people's minds! Most people wouldn't do anything with a completely rusted/fused up machine - they'd just leave it as is - give up on it! You are amazing!

    Nancy

  23. #23
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Black is elegant. And I want to see that machine completed. It's interesting.

    Joe

  24. #24
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I wouldn't give up on that Howe machine - more modern machines can be used for parts - that one is way too unique - keep up the great work
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  25. #25
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    thanks folks for all of the great words and encouragement...

    um, to put "fear of fixing things" in perspective. It's 1970, i'm 9 years old. I live 1/2 the time on my grandparents farm in Western NY (the other half "in town" with Mom) I have a derelict 1957 Chevy in the weeds as my favorite toy. My Grandfather sees me "working" on the car with imaginary tools (pre internet) and hands me a set of wrenches, a socket set, an old card table, and a "Motor" manual (factory tech level service manual) says have fun, but if you make it run you can have it... Now it's 1972, in two weeks I'm moving to California with Mom and Step Dad, My grandfather in the passenger seat, I'm driving the car down the driveway, onto the dirt road, down the block and back. It was my going away gift. (Two years later we sold the chevy to a local racer who included a "lifetime" pitpass for me.

    I blame Grandpa for this issue.. hehe

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