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Help Needed with Minnesota Model A Bobbin Winder and Tension Nut

Help Needed with Minnesota Model A Bobbin Winder and Tension Nut

Old 09-13-2020, 06:28 PM
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Question Help Needed with Minnesota Model A Bobbin Winder and Tension Nut

Hi everyone, I'm new here so let me know if I'm messing this up in some way. I recently got my hands on a Minnesota l model A treadle sewing machine. For the most part, it seems to run great but there are two issues. The bobbin winder works except for that the teeth of the gear and bolt don't mesh, so the gear doesn't engage when the belt runs.
On top of that, loosening the friction nut doesn't disengage the machine. What I mean is that when the friction nut is turned to the loose setting, the whole machine still engages and the needle still goes up and down. I know this isn't supposed to be the case. From what I can gather the inside might be gummed up, but I don't know how to get in there to clean it, or even if I should try! The serial number is D3541666 if that helps!
I'm still trying to figure out how on earth to attach Pictures and videos but it's not working atm. So, I'll add them in replies as soon as I can manage. Thank you all in advance.
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:36 PM
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Welcome. Have you oiled the machine and bobbin winder? Do you have a manual for your machine? I have had machines that would continue to move the needle, after loosening the clutch knob to wind bobbins. Sometimes it is because it has gummed oil and doesn't work properly. If I put a little bit of upward pressure on the take-up lever when it starts, it will stop and wind the bobbin properly. There are other times that doesn't work and there is more cleaning and oiling to be done.

According to http://ismacs.net/sears/sears.html "For instance, there were five major versions of the Minnesota Model A" (emphasis by me). I believe you have a Davis, which was made about 1910. Hopefully, Jon will see this and verify if your machine uses a different system of needle. A picture would help identify.

We like pictures. In order to post pictures on Quilting Board, you will probably need to reduce or compress the picture to a file size that is smaller than 2MB. How to post images can be found at https://www.quiltingboard.com/attach...020-01-17-.pdf
Don't forget to scroll over to the far right to find and click on the "Upload" button.

I have found that only the big red "Reply" button or "Quote" work to give me the paper clip icon to work for adding pictures.

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Last edited by OurWorkbench; 09-13-2020 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:57 AM
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I've been using this manual. I'm aware that there were a bunch of different versions of the Model A, but this one's pictures look similar enough and nothing seems to be missing. According to the serial number and this website, I think it was produced in 1919, so nearer to the end of Davis manufacturing for Sears and Roebuck. As for needles, a modern needle seems to fit in perfectly, although I would love to be corrected on this. As soon as I got the machine I oiled every spot as indicated in the manual and let it sit for a day. Putting upward pressure on the take-up lever doesn't seem to help. I'm still working on the pictures, unfortunately, it's mostly an issue on my end and something or another about security tokens.
Either way, I wanted to get this reply in in case it helps and say thanks for your response!
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:17 PM
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Alright, I've compressed my jpegs, so this should work. I'm working on making a couple of gifs so I can show the bobbin winder not engaging, but I hope this helps.
bobbin-winder-small.jpginner-workings-small.jpgtreadle-wheel-tension-nut-small.jpgwhole-machine-small.jpg
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:45 AM
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That looks like the right manual. I see what you mean. I had a 27 that the gears had rusted together and after derusting, that area didn't want to mesh like it should. It seems like I could turn it so that it would mesh with the unrusted area. I don't remember if there was an adjustment to get it closer, or if the spring was what positioned the gears to mesh together. If I remember correctly, I took it apart and put back together several times to even come close to working correctly.

As far as preventing the needle from moving, I'm thinking that there is some dried oil in the clutch knob (friction nut) and hand wheel. I would probably take it apart and clean and oil.

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Old 09-15-2020, 06:12 AM
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Thanks you Saltquveen for the great pictures. And welcome aboard.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:25 AM
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" even if I should try!"

Yes, you should try. There is a stop screw in the clutch knob, loosen it, but be careful if you take it out all the way, they get lost easily. The clutch knob should spin off and there will be a washer underneath with at least one tang on it; note how it is positioned so you put it back on the same way. The hand wheel should spin freely on the shaft, yours likely isn't at all. Remove the hand wheel from the shaft, you may need some force to remove it. clean thoroughly the inside of the hand wheel which was on the shaft and the shaft itself. Most people use only sewing machine oil to clean it. On these parts I have taken very fine grit sandpaper, at least 220, and cleaned the shaft and the inside of the hand wheel. When reassembling oil the shaft first and then see if the hand wheel spins before any other reassembly.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:57 AM
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Just a quick note, before I dash off to work. There is a picture of a hand wheel that I believe is like yours and as Joe said "there will be a washer underneath with at least one tang on it." It looks like it only has the one. I usually clean out the inside of hand wheels and the shaft with 0000 steel wool and usually metal polish, being careful not to get any on the painted portions of the machine. Take lots of pictures, if you should decide to try. You might want to oil with Tri-Flow in the joints and let it set overnight. It seem to work well to loosen things up.

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Old 09-15-2020, 05:05 PM
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Regarding your bobbin winder not engaging, I was just working on Singer 27 with the same problem. I ended up taking off the large gear and cleaning out all the surfaces underneath. There was what I will call a spring washer underneath which I turned over, put it back together, and it started working again. Something to consider trying.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:09 PM
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I just wanna give a quick update. Thank you to everyone. I took apart the bobbin winder, put it back together and it works! It looks like it has something to do with two different screws and I'll just have to keep an eye on them. I haven't gotten around to the wheel yet, but I'll ask more questions I'm sure!
just for clarification, the needle has no issue going up and down, I can't disengage it. The manual, and other resources warn against running the machine when winding the bobbin and such, but she does run! I honestly think its a matter of getting in there and cleaning her up.
again thanks for all the help!
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