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Thread: Finally....

  1. #1
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    Hello! I have lurked around this board for awhile....I learned to sew on my gramma's treadle machine in the '50's, and have always hoped to own one. Recently retired, I have been catching up on some furniture restoration projects as a complete novice. Anywhooooooo.....driving home last evening, ( we live out in the country), I spotted this on the curb....did a really fast u-turn....went to the door to make sure they didn't leave it there for someone, and got a little history. Was the owner's grandmother's machine, and her mom had told her to " hold onto it"....which she had, for several years, but she does not sew and decided to clean out the basement....she was glad it's going to someone who appreciates it....I told her I will bring her pictures when it's all pretty'd up! My DH has offered to restore cabinet and machine, but I told him not to touch it until we research this process a bit!
    Words of wisdom for newbies will be greatly appreciated! There are parts, bobbins, a shuttle, needles, feet in the drawer.....Minnesota model A....
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  2. #2
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Centralia, WA, USA
    Nice save!
    There's a sticky at the top of the column here on how to clean older machines. It's a very good place to start.
    I don't know much about Minnesota machines, they may be an old Sears brand. Others here can tell you far more.

    Use sewing machine oil or Tri-flow-a light synthetic oil to clean and oil it. Other oils can be too thick, damage the finish, or both. Don't use products like WD-40. They're not a good long term lubricant and some may damage the finish.
    The black finish is actually japanning, a type of baked on finish with decals applied then a top coat of shellac to protect the decals. Strong solvents will destroy your decals. Water might too if the top coat is damaged.

    Your best bet for the missing drawer handles would be new drawers from ebay or possibly members here. You can also get new treadle belts there.

    Glenn has a tutorial on restoring the finish on the cabinets in the tutorial section of the forum.

    I think you have a very good find and I expect it will clean up very well for you.
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  3. #3
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Millville, NJ

    Nice find. You have a 1908 "Old Style" Minnesota A made by Davis SMco. out of Dayton Ohio and sold by Sears Mail order catalog. Link for similar "New Style" A owners manual. Main difference between the two is the Old A has a flat needlebar and the New A is round and the styling is a bit different. Sounds like you have everything needed to start sewing once she / he is cleaned up and oiled. Enjoy.



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  4. #4
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Thank you both for the info, and for the links! And I can already see how collecting these can become a hobby!

  5. #5
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Very nice, looks like it should clean up well.
    Sweet Caroline

  6. #6
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    chicago, IL
    Great find! Enjoy the process in fixing her up....
    Tink's Mom (My name is really Susie)

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Homosassa, FL
    Good for you and lucky machine, you saved her from who knows what kind of an end. Look forward to seeing it when you get it all cleaned up. It will be beautiful and it can be addicting.

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