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Thread: How do you treadlers do it?

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    How do you treadlers do it?

    I just finished on of my Whacky Bags using my Singer 66-1. The machine works great, but I had trouble with the belt slipping, slipping, slipping ..... I shortened it by an inch and that didn't help much. It's an aquarium tube experiment belt so I'll get a real one tomorrow. That should take care of that.

    OK, but how do you treadlers do the parts where you need to keep going and go slow????? I can go good on straight sections and gentle curves, but when it comes to start, stop, start, stop like I have to do with my bags it's a pain in the xxx. When I get to the point of going slow the machine want's to stall and spin backwards. Can't have that it screws up my work.
    I'm hoping a new belt cures most of that.

    I'm not a complete novice, but I could use some tips. Oh, and please no Youtube videos, I can't watch them with this sloooooow dial up I'm on.


    Joe

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I want to know that too - I have better luck with a hand crank
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  3. #3
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    its not easy....i have one too. My friend has one and she makes it look so easy. I guess its like everything...practice, practice. I do not have any problems with the belt slipping. I do have the leather belt. They are pretty cheap. Be sure to oil everything and clean it out well. It did make a huge difference once I cleaned and oiled. It was clean on the outside but disgusting on the inside.

  4. #4
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    I have a similar problem - once I stop for any reason, when I start again, I am sewing backwards! Any hints for the treadle challenged?
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I want to know that too - I have better luck with a hand crank
    No kidding. I put the hand crank we got on the 127 on the same 66-1 and it worked great. It took a long reach to get to the crank but I could sew sooooo slow if I wanted. One stitch at a time if needed. But the hand crank is destined for Mr. Rusty, as soon as I find a case for him.

    I think, but am not sure that 90% of my problems was the home made belt. No matter how tight I got it, it slipped. I could not even wind a bobbin with the tubing belt. Just that extra load of the bobbin tire brought things to a halt.
    Once I get a new belt I'll see what I can come up with.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Linda, do you stop with the treadle horizontal or at the top/bottom of the stroke? I realize you can't always stop with your feet in a specific position but when I can I try to stop with the treadle horizontal. My legs (I'm actually getting the two foot thing down at last) seem to remember which way they were going and I almost always start up again going the right direction. In fact, with that revelation I'm going to try the 9W (opposite throw of the hand wheel) again since I won't need to help start it by hand as often.

  7. #7
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    This is a very good question. I have 2 treadles that I haven't tried yet, but would love to. I was told that I need an older lady that owned one to teach me how to treadle. Is that really neccessary? Or can one just get on board and treadle?
    A time to tear, And a time to sew;
    A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    try 'sewing' with it for about 45 - 60 minutes with no thread - sew how you do
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I think, but am not sure that 90% of my problems was the home made belt. No matter how tight I got it, it slipped. I could not even wind a bobbin with the tubing belt. Just that extra load of the bobbin tire brought things to a halt.
    Joe, I finally have the tubing belt working on Colette. At first I was having terrible slippage problems but once I cleaned the track on the flywheel most of it went away. Then I shortened the belt a couple of times until it seems it finished its stretch in period.

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmom View Post
    This is a very good question. I have 2 treadles that I haven't tried yet, but would love to. I was told that I need an older lady that owned one to teach me how to treadle. Is that really neccessary? Or can one just get on board and treadle?
    I just sat down and jumped in. Took me a bit to get the rhythm of the thing. Once that was done I can do pretty good. Except for the start, stop part.
    No matter what someone else tells you, it's your body that has to learn the motions.

    Joe

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkCastleDH View Post
    Joe, I finally have the tubing belt working on Colette. At first I was having terrible slippage problems but once I cleaned the track on the flywheel most of it went away. Then I shortened the belt a couple of times until it seems it finished its stretch in period.
    While I was fighting with this thing last night, that is what I did. Cleaned the big wheel grove and the belt. Then shortened it.
    Didn't seem to help any. I might just try cleaning it some more. That can't hurt. And I think I could shorten the belt a bit more too.

    Joe

  12. #12
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    If I have a tricky part, I just use the hand wheel instead of treadling.

  13. #13
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    While I was fighting with this thing last night, that is what I did. Cleaned the big wheel grove and the belt. Then shortened it.
    Joe, what did you clean it with? I think I ended up using alcohol and that stopped the slippage - I probably had some oil on there somewhere.

  14. #14
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    The leather belt will probably help you a lot. When you first get it, take an end in each hand and stretch it across your shoulders. If you stretch it enough, you probably won't have to adjust the belt for a good long while afterward.

    Then, practice. A lot. Sew without thread or chain-piece blocks or whatever you want to do. After a couple of days, you'll be able to sew one stitch at a time using only the treadle.

    The 66-1 has no reverse, so to strengthen the ends of seams, either turn them 180 and sew back for half an inch or (as my grandmother taught me) just pull on the fabric to slow the feed for the last half inch - this puts the stitches very close together.

    Honest, you'll get the hang of treadling very soon with a little practice. I love using the treadle when I need to pay attention to where every stitch will go.

    Or when the power goes out. Last time we lost power for a few hours, the other humanoids in the house were whiny and bored but I couldn't hear them - I sat and sewed with my iPod in, listening to old radio shows from the 30's & 40's.

    Have fun with it and don't be discouraged - you feel like you have a couple of extra feet at first, but that goes away pretty fast.

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkCastleDH View Post
    Joe, what did you clean it with? I think I ended up using alcohol and that stopped the slippage - I probably had some oil on there somewhere.
    Denatured alcohol. I used the last of my bottle on it.

    Joe

  16. #16
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    thepolyparrot,

    I'm not quite that much of a novice. I've been using treadles for a bit over a year now. So I've got the basics down. This one and the start, stop just got to me last night.

    Joe

  17. #17
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkCastleDH View Post
    Linda, do you stop with the treadle horizontal or at the top/bottom of the stroke? I realize you can't always stop with your feet in a specific position but when I can I try to stop with the treadle horizontal. My legs (I'm actually getting the two foot thing down at last) seem to remember which way they were going and I almost always start up again going the right direction. In fact, with that revelation I'm going to try the 9W (opposite throw of the hand wheel) again since I won't need to help start it by hand as often.
    I guess I never paid attention to the position of the treadle when I stop. I will have to try that and see how it goes. The only thing I have actually made on my 66-1 is a quilted grocery bag holder. It came out really nice, but I ripped out a lot of "backwards" stitching! I will pay attention to where the treadle is when I stop and practice some more. I really do like using it. Such a feeling of connection to the past.
    Thanks for the advice!
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Linda, one of the things I usually do is watch carefully and as I come to the end of the seam, I'll reach over and grab the hand wheel and stop it before it goes too far.

    Also when you start again, turn the hand wheel to get the machine going then take over with the treadle. Some of my machines I can start them by the pedal and they'll go the right direction. The one I was working with last night was being a cranky so and so and wanted to stall and turn backwards. So I ended up using the hand wheel a lot more than normal.

    pinkcastleDH,
    I haven't paid any attention to where the foot pedal is when I stop either. I'll pay more attention to it when next I use a treadle.

    Joe

  19. #19
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Linda, one of the things I usually do is watch carefully and as I come to the end of the seam, I'll reach over and grab the hand wheel and stop it before it goes too far.

    Also when you start again, turn the hand wheel to get the machine going then take over with the treadle. Some of my machines I can start them by the pedal and they'll go the right direction. The one I was working with last night was being a cranky so and so and wanted to stall and turn backwards. So I ended up using the hand wheel a lot more than normal.

    pinkcastleDH,
    I haven't paid any attention to where the foot pedal is when I stop either. I'll pay more attention to it when next I use a treadle.

    Joe
    Thanks, Joe. I hope to have some time this evening to practice. If you hear screaming coming from Ohio you will know it is not going well...
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  20. #20
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Linda,

    I'm glad you didn't hear what I was saying last night. I'm glad my wife isn't timid cos I think I embarrassed myself.

    Joe

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    I think once you get your rhythm, you will be fine. I treadle with my right foot forward and my left foot back. When I want to stop I press the treadle completely down with my left foot and the machine stops on a dime. I've been working on the fans for a dresden plate and haven't had a bit of trouble. You'll get it!

  22. #22
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    MimiBug,

    What is a "Dresden plate"?

    Joe

  23. #23
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    While I was fighting with this thing last night, that is what I did. Cleaned the big wheel grove and the belt. Then shortened it.
    Didn't seem to help any. I might just try cleaning it some more. That can't hurt. And I think I could shorten the belt a bit more too.

    Joe
    I'm using oxygen tubes for belts. I cleaned the treadle wheel and the machine head wheel with alcohol (vodka). I kept the dampened cloth against the wheel surface while treadling the machine. I was amazed at the gunk! I repeated until the cloth remained clean.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    MimiBug,

    What is a "Dresden plate"?

    Joe
    It's a quilt pattern that has little "spoked" pieces radiating out from a center circle. It's very vintage and one of my favorites. You have to sew across the little ends of the spoke pieces, so it's lots of stopping and starting. DH wanted to know why I was doing it on that machine instead of one of the electric ones. I just felt like doing it on a treadle. Yes, he thinks I'm nuts.

  25. #25
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Sorry, Joe, I wasn't paying any attention to who was asking for help.

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