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Thread: MUTT (Multi-Use Traveling Treadle)

  1. #1
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    MUTT (Multi-Use Traveling Treadle)

    Taking a treadle along to remote locations can be fun, but can be hard on the treadle, the cabinet, and the person(s) that have to deal with loading, unloading, and handling it. I started gathering parts and pieces for one a little over a year ago, and now Iím getting close to having one. I got the idea for my MUTT from the discussions about multiple top inserts in one treadle over at the Treadle-On Group, but I wanted a treadle that I could interchange tops on for different sewing machines, and could transport it easily. I started out with a Singer Industrial treadle stand, but soon realized that there are lighter treadle stands that would serve the purpose just as well. So now, I guess that I have two MUTTs in the works, since I still have the industrial stand, and I still think about the potential uses of that large flywheel, but Iíve switched to a Singer straight-leg (household use) stand for the time being.

    The stand is a Singer tubular straight-leg with the original wooden cabinet removed. I also removed the skirt guard around the flywheel. Top #1 that Iím using for the common Singer heads is from a Singer Model 56 (electric) Economy Cabinet. Top #2 that Iím using for a Bernette 3-thread serger is the fold-out extension from the Model 56 cabinet, inverted to use the best surface, with a belt slot cut near the front edge. These two tops are attached to the stand with 4 screws. Iím working on a Singer 3/4-sized top, but havenít gotten it going yet, and want to eventually have tops for several different machine heads, including a free-arm machine. Iím planning on using a folding L-shaped accessory table to provide an extension for all of the tops when needed. Itís in the planning stages.

    Iím still working out the details of belting for each machine. The Singer 306W (zigzag) machine and the Singer 66 Redeye can both use the same regular leather belt, although itís a little snug on the 66. Iíve been experimenting with oxygen tubing on the serger, but I donít think Iíll use it for permanent belting.

    Is anyone else experimenting with a stripped-down traveling treadle?

    CD in Oklahoma
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  2. #2
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    They all look very nice and more portable than a regular treadle. When my husband and son brought my treadle in the cabinet into my sewing room, they asked me where I wanted it. I had a nice spot against the wall all planned for her. After sitting her in her spot, they asked if I wanted to move her. I said, "that's where I want her, and that's where she'll stay" She is just too heavy to move. I could see moving one of your mutts.

  3. #3
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    My MUTT stand with serger top weighs about 35 pounds.

    CD in Oklahoma
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  4. #4
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    Very nice looking rig and so light. You could move it outside for better light to see while sewing or load it up and travel to wherever you want and be able to sew when you get there. Great work.

  5. #5
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    I like this! I had thought about putting together a talk about the history of quilting/vintage machines.....for local groups etc. It would be cool to be able to take a treadle along.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I made a table for my Singer 401G by taking just the top part off an electric cabinet base and putting it on the treadle base. No drawers and it is a bit smaller but it does move around a bit easier.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
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  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Too bad we couldn't get someone to fabricate us a base from aluminum. That would reduce the weight considerably.

    CD, I like your idea a lot. But the idea of sacrificing my old straight leg treadle makes me tear up. So I'll have to wait till I find one with out a top and machine.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    ... the idea of sacrificing my old straight leg treadle makes me tear up. So I'll have to wait till I find one with out a top and machine.
    Joe
    Hi Joe,

    This treadle came along just in time. I had been struggling with the idea of loading, hauling, and unloading the spare industrial stand that I originally had ear-marked for this project. I came up with another straight-leg cabinet in excellent condition during this time, but it’s much too nice to use for a MUTT.

    My MUTT stand has paint issues up toward the top of the legs. The paint is peeling and the metal is rusting. The rust and the brown paint nearly match each other in color, so I didn’t even notice it at first. The cabinet top is not very good either, so I decided to use this stand for my base. The treadle had a Singer 15-91 in it by the way, so that head won’t miss the treadle stand at all.

    I’m planning on re-painting the MUTT stand flat black, even though I don’t think that they ever came out that way. I really don’t think that I need to worry about keeping it “original”, when I’m putting tops and heads on it that don’t match it anyway. I like black treadles more than brown ones, and I like the flat black better than the glossy black. I’ll highlight the “SINGER” name on the crossbar with gold paint to give it a little pizzaz. If I’m going to have a mutt, it might as well look like one.....

    CD in Oklahoma
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  9. #9
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about this possibility, too, after seeing another discussion about multi machine tops on treadle bases. When I went to the Gold Country TOGA last year, I started thinking about how we could bring our treadles up there without breaking our backs!! I have 4 treadle machines now, but no good way to transport them. When you get all the issues worked out, post a tute.

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    CD,

    Just to be different I think I'd paint it black crinkle paint. LOL

    Joe

  11. #11
    Senior Member greywuuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Too bad we couldn't get someone to fabricate us a base from aluminum. That would reduce the weight considerably.

    CD, I like your idea a lot. But the idea of sacrificing my old straight leg treadle makes me tear up. So I'll have to wait till I find one with out a top and machine.

    Joe
    Hmmmm,
    might just be time to dust off the TIG welder and tackle a real project. Keep hammering away you might just shame me into doing a treadle in Aluminum.

    as for the table surface.... I have been doing some vacuum infusion molding with Carbon Fibre. I wonder if it would be to "hollow" sounding and loud? it certainly would not be traditional ;-)

  12. #12
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    I like your MUTTs.

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

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  13. #13
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    I have a 1941 Singer 15 in a wood straight leg cabinet. Have you considered making a treadle stand out of wood? I can take more pics of how the cabinet is constructed for you. Stripped down with just a top it should be very light in weight. It is the lightest cabinet machine that I own.
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    Sweet Caroline

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    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Also have to find a way to lighten the treadle irons mechanism. How about a stretchy bungee cord for the belt that would stretch to fit various machines? I've already been thinking about this for my treadles, and may give it a try soon.

  15. #15
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    CD, I like what your came up with as a MUTT. I like that you have taken some of the weight off the treadles.

    My favorite treadle belt is the aquarium tubing. Using a small 1" piece for the adapter works well and is quick for assembling. I have found that this is the fastest method for setting up any treadle belt, since no sewing or metal clip is needed.

    Thanks for sharing info and photos!

  16. #16
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif View Post
    CD, I like what your came up with as a MUTT. I like that you have taken some of the weight off the treadles.

    My favorite treadle belt is the aquarium tubing. Using a small 1" piece for the adapter works well and is quick for assembling. I have found that this is the fastest method for setting up any treadle belt, since no sewing or metal clip is needed.

    Thanks for sharing info and photos!
    Monica, then you could have a separate tubing set for each machine that goes on the MUTT. Very interesting!!

  17. #17
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jljack View Post
    Monica, then you could have a separate tubing set for each machine that goes on the MUTT. Very interesting!!
    Exactly! The tubing doesn't cost very much either. I found some at a Daiso which is a dollar store.

  18. #18
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif View Post
    Exactly! The tubing doesn't cost very much either. I found some at a Daiso which is a dollar store.
    Can you post some pics of the tubing and the connection? I am such a visual person.
    Sweet Caroline

  19. #19
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Can you post some pics of the tubing and the connection? I am such a visual person.
    Here you go! Hope that helps!

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  20. #20
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    ....a wood straight leg cabinet. Have you considered making a treadle stand out of wood?
    Hi Caroline,

    Nice cabinet. I have one of those wooden straight-leg treadles, but the flywheel and foot treadle were removed back during electrification, so I canít make a weight comparison with the tubular metal stand until I replace the cast iron parts.

    Iím thinking that the metal stand may take the unintentional abuse of traveling better than wood, but I donít know if that would prove true or not. Also, the wooden stands are a little harder to come by than the more recent metal stands, so Iíd hate to break something.

    BTW: My MUTT stand is now flat black with gold highlights on the SINGER names.

    CD in Oklahoma
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  21. #21
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif View Post
    My favorite treadle belt is the aquarium tubing. Using a small 1" piece for the adapter works well and is quick for assembling.
    The belts for the three machines that Iíve gotten ready for the MUTT so far all have a different length belt requirement. Right now, Iím leaning towards using a leather belt on all of them. My thought is to cut a ďtoo-shortĒ main belt, and then cut an additional section of leather belt for each machine that can accompany that machine. The belt runs just fine without completely crimping the metal clip, so I can use them sort of as a chain link to hook and unhook as needed. The leather belt will have two splices in it rather than one. Iím going to try it and see how it works.

    CD in Oklahoma
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  22. #22
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    This project is moving right along. I'm excited to see what you all come up with.

  23. #23
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThayerRags View Post
    The belts for the three machines that I’ve gotten ready for the MUTT so far all have a different length belt requirement. Right now, I’m leaning towards using a leather belt on all of them. My thought is to cut a “too-short” main belt, and then cut an additional section of leather belt for each machine that can accompany that machine. The belt runs just fine without completely crimping the metal clip, so I can use them sort of as a chain link to hook and unhook as needed. The leather belt will have two splices in it rather than one. I’m going to try it and see how it works.

    CD in Oklahoma
    CD, Please post a photo of this. I think I can picture this.

  24. #24
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    CD, Great idea and I have been wondering about this prospect also. Just have not taken any action. Our guild does a presentation at the local library for National quilt day. I was thinking about taking a treadle this year. But may just have to get a hand crank to take and wait until I have figured out something like yours.
    Lisa

  25. #25
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    CD,

    Just a thought: in another thread somewhere about treadle belts someone mentioned using a spring belt. If you set one of those up for the smallest belt, it might have enough stretch for the longer machines too.

    Again, just a thought.

    Joe

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