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Need help with treadle sewing machine restoration

Need help with treadle sewing machine restoration

Old 03-30-2021, 10:43 PM
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Default Need help with treadle sewing machine restoration

Can someone advise me about getting a treadle belt to move the handwheel? I bought a Brunswick treadle sewing machine with a vibrating shuttle for a bobbin. I have taken apart what I knew I could put back together, cleaned the gunk and rust, took off the brown paint from the sewing table (it is a beautiful dark oak with carvings on the drawers) and just stained it to show the grain. I cleaned the base. So now I replaced the belt. It works for the bobbin winder but when I tighten the handwheel, the pedal won't move. When I turn the handwheel, the pedal moves but not the other way around. Help!
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:15 PM
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Default Picture of the Brunswick

Here's a picture of the machine. I still have to put knobs on the drawers and waiting for the stain to dry on the leaf extension of the sewing table.
Attached Thumbnails 20210330_234703.jpg  

Last edited by regencynut; 03-30-2021 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Forgot to write something
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Old 03-31-2021, 03:58 AM
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Sorry I can't help you but am sure someone on board here will be able to, I just want to compliment you on the beautiful machine and cabinet.
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:11 AM
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Welcome. What a beautiful machine. I am not sure that I understand. If you turn the hand wheel and the pedal moves, but not the other way around, does not make sense. If you turn the hand wheel does the needle bar move? Are you moving the hand wheel in a anti-clockwise direction? Does the needle bar move when you wind the bobbin?

I also think that the Brunswick takes a 20x1 needle, but there are some that will use a 15x1 by dropping it a bit.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:32 AM
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With the handwheel clutch tightened, does the machine turn freely? Does the needle bar move up and down when turning the handwheel by hand?

With the handwheel clutch loosened, does the handwheel spin freely on the shaft? Does the needle bar move with the handwheel clutch loosened while turning the handwheel by hand?

When operating the pedal, does the large pulley move freely?

If the machine turns freely with the clutch tightened, and the pedal moves the large pulley freely, then put the belt on, sized correctly (hopefully Janey will post the link about sizing a belt, but you should be able to find that easily). When you are ready to start operating with the pedal start the machine with your hand turning the handwheel towards you from the top (counter clockwise when looking at it from the handwheel end of the machine). I have owned only 3 treadle machines and on all 3 I had to start the machine moving with my hand, not just trying to push on the pedal.
If you make it this far and have cloth under the presser foot, the cloth should move away from you with the handwheel moving counter clockwise; if the cloth moves towards you then the machine operates with a clockwise spin.
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeJr View Post
...(hopefully Janey will post the link about sizing a belt, but you should be able to find that easily). ...
Actually, the link for belt measurement would be for electric motor v-belts and is at https://www.quiltingboard.com/8436654-post13.html

Treadle leather belts pretty much come in 72" lengths, unless you get a roll of belting. There are other things that can be used besides leather belting. There are many sites and youtube videos as to how to install a treadle belt. My go-to is actually https://www.treadleon.net/sewingmach...eadlebelt.html I know that it needs to be a little looser than one would expect. Also, it will frequently need adjusted after some use. In the link to treadleon it will mention stretching the belt, before putting it on.

I didn't think I would ever treadle, let alone enjoy it, but it really is fun. I haven't done a whole lot, but enjoyed it once I played a bit on it.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:20 PM
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I tested what was suggested and found....
1. if the handwheel is not locked, it runs freely, like for the bobbin winder.. AND the pedal works freely to control the speed. AND the needle does NOT move up and down.
2. if the handwheel is locked and I move the handwheel, the needle goes up and down. The handwheel is a little stiff but it moves the needle up and down
3. BUT when I use the pedal, the handwheel will NOT move even when I tried to start the movement by rotating the handwheel counterclockwise the pedaling. And the belt starts slipping. It doesn't do that when the handwheel is not locked.

I oiled the handwheel. I oiled every hole I found. What am I missing? The belt i got is the leather belt that is 3/16. It seems to work fine with handwheel unlocked for the bobbin winder and moves that perfectly. But once I lock to sew and the needle moves with the handwheel, the pedal and the belt won't coordinate. Could it be that my handwheel is too stiff? I dont know how it should feel (as loose as when it is unlocked??).
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:57 AM
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Have you moved the bobbin winder out of the path of the belt? According to the treadleon link : "The key thing is not to get it too tight. It will cause the machine to be sluggish and your foot to get tired. The treadling should be easy and the belt just tight enough to sew, but not to slip"

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:13 AM
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[QUOTE=regencynut;8472660]I tested what was suggested and found....
2. if the handwheel is locked and I move the handwheel, the needle goes up and down. The handwheel is a little stiff but it moves the needle up and down

With the belt off and the handwheel locked in, the machine should cycle freely with no stiffness at all. On older machines in can multiple rounds of oiling to dissolve old dried up oil and gunk that are slowing things down. In addition to the oil holes, remove all covers and put sewing machine oil everywhere you see metal moving on metal. It will help to cycle the machine as you oil; you will find small oil holes inside of the covered pieces.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:35 PM
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I'm oiling everything again. There's a hole in the back of the machine close to the handwheel, approximately in line with the spool holder. It seems to help loosen the handwheel somewhat.... still a little stiff but less than before. Im going to work on that for a while and then I'll check the belt and see the options like you guys suggested. Im hoping to get this iron lady back in service. Can't wait to treadle. Wish me luck.
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