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  • questions about two vintage machines.

    Old 07-16-2022, 09:49 PM
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    Question questions about two vintage machines.

    Hi. hope this isnt a duplicate but it looked like my first attempt didnt go through.
    I (perhaps foolishly have just bought (25 dollars each) a windsor improved high arm machine (number under plate is 1678 416) and a "the bartlett" (under plate is L and 1893952) .
    love sewing and tinkering and have a couple of vintage machines that work but this will be my first time trying to fix one that is iffy. both are treadle machines, but just the bodies, no cabinet no treadle. when i turn the wheel manually, the machine motion feels smooth, but there is a lot of surface crud on both. both take the older pin bobbins and the windsor is missing its bobbin and case. the windsor is missing it's stitch length adjust knob. I believe the windsor is a montgomery ward branded National machine. the windsor has a top plate tension adjustment, and it seems to be a vibrating shuttle machine? The bobbin winder on teh Windsor is front mounted and swings from front to side of the machine. the one on the Bartlett is fixed on the front.
    Looking for general advice/resources on cleaning, fixing, testing, outfitting, mounting and operating these machines. In particular the bobbin winder is a new beast to me and I have no idea about sourcing parts, manuals, etc. Also, since these are not attached to their treadles, what's the best way to get them running to see if I can get a stitch out of them? is a crank an option, a kluged motor?
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    Old 07-16-2022, 10:30 PM
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    Also, I can probably find a treadle base, but not specific to these models. is it possible to use other brand treadles with a machine.
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    Old 07-17-2022, 08:54 AM
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    Welcome. I gather you have been doing some research on these machines, so part of what I will post are things that you have already found. I will also include a quote of how to post pictures on Quilting Board.

    I believe the Bartlett may have been made by National, also. I am basing that on something I found at https://www.fiddlebase.com/american-...wing-machines/ Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Co was much like Sears, Montgomery Wards and Penney's that contracted for items to be sold with their name on it from outside sources. I found a catalog for them which has images and descriptions of the Bartlett sewing machine beginning on page 833 of the pdf that can be download from https://archive.org/details/HibbardS.../n831/mode/2up I'll give you fair warning that it is over 500MB.

    As for the shuttles, I'm not sure quite how to ID the ones that will work on your machines. I didn't see any for "National" listed at https://ismacs.net/shuttleidentifica...ification.html There are many different pages with a lot of different shuttles. It looks like https://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollec...es/image34.htm has image of shuttle for the Bartlett along with some other machines that use that shuttle. https://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollec...es/image35.htm has a shuttle for the Vindex, which I think is similar to the Windsor.

    I'm thinking that the Brunswick and maybe one of the Minnesota models would be similar to the Windsor which can be seen at https://ismacs.net/sears/sears.html I'm thinking that perhaps the manual found at https://www.woodlandquiltworks.com/s...ining-manuals/ might be close. You will have to click on Minnesota and then on MN-_L_-Manual-smm145apdf to download the manual.

    Originally Posted by OurWorkbench
    ....
    I'm fairly certain that your machine was made to use 20x1 sewing machines needles. Many have dropped a 15x1 needle down a bit. There is Sometimes you can find 20x1 needles on eBay. Many have used the modern needles on machines like this by dropping the needle a bit from the stop. Someone, on another forum (titled "15x1 rather than 20x1 needles"), used a sheet magnet cut to fit inside the needle bar in order to have the 15x1 needle stop at the proper position....
    As for cleaning stay away from solvents when working on and near the Japanned and decal surfaces. It is recommended to use sewing machine oil and cotton balls or old cotton t-shirt rags.

    One of the best posts I have seen about taking care of antique machines is
    Originally Posted by SteveH
    The key with older unknown stuff is to be patient and observant.

    Gently try each shuttle with the bobbins to see what fits what.
    Pair them up and zip lock bag them for future reference(my method)
    Then try each shuttle in the carrier and cycle the machine gently.
    Watch for how much "slop" or "rattle" they have. it should be very clear quickly which is correct.

    The nice thing about older machines is the threading is usually self explanatory.

    Rule one:
    The bobbin goes into the shuttle so that the thread makes a direction change as it enters the slot (usually at an angle on the edge)

    Rule two:
    The thread has to pass through a tension on the shuttle before it is picked up

    Rule three:
    Threading the top path is generally some variant of
    Spool, guide, tension, guide, take-up, guide, needle

    Rule four:
    The side of the needle with no groove must face the hook when lowered

    Rule five:
    The needle thread direction is generally from the no-groove side to the groove side

    For Needle choice:
    In reality any needle that is of the correct general type (curved or straight) and long enough can be made to work.

    Step 1: Move unit until the needlebar is all the way down.
    Step 2: Continue movement until the needlebar has lifted approx 3/32 of an inch
    Step 3: Set needle in correct direction and height so that the eye of the needle is 1/16 inch below the point of the sewing hook.

    This can get most machines sewing....
    I sincerely doubt that a modern crank would work on either of these machines. When John was working on the Work Stand and making templates for the different machines he found quite a variety of 'footprints' for the different machines. While several had rounded corners, he found that some had a different radius. I know that frequently (when working with really old machines) that the hinges had different dimensions from center to center and also for the post. I would suggest possibly tracing out the footprint with the hinge pin placement marked and measure the pins or diameter of hole where the pins are to go and having it as a reference for looking for a treadle. Or a motor could be kludged as Chris and Cheryl did at https://www.quiltingboard.com/8430113-post201.htm

    Originally Posted by OurWorkbench
    Welcome MissTerri. You have what is considered a badged machine. Montgomery Wards was able to buy machines made by National. I believe you have what would be considered a model named VB-TT Type 3 as seen at http://needlebar.org/nbwiki/index.ph...uttle_Machines

    National machines are hard to date, but, if I were to guess, I would probably around 1900 give or take a few years.

    I'm not sure if this machine would have the hand wheel go in the opposite direction than modern machines.

    I'm fairly certain that your machine would use a 20x1 needle. Some have used a modern 15x1 needle by dropping it a bit.

    To post pictures on QB they need to be smaller than 2MB - my stock post about posting pictures:
    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.
    https://www.quiltingboard.com/attach...p-location.jpg

    Some additional info regarding reducing images at post #4 and images for the scroll and upload button can be found at #5 of quilt block ID?

    Or simply - Make sure pictures are smaller than 2MB
    Click on red "Reply" button
    Click on the paper clip icon
    Click browse - choose picture/s. (only 5 allowed per post)
    Once they show up as being loaded, Scroll over to the right side and click on "Upload"
    After the pictures show up as being attached, you can close that window and go back to the screen to finish posting your post.
    ...
    Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
    Not affiliated with off-site link(s)

    Last edited by OurWorkbench; 07-17-2022 at 09:02 AM.
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    Old 07-24-2022, 11:48 PM
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    Question parts?

    one more thing (for now) I'm working my way through all of this information and trying to keep my nerve up. I found the first (of many, I"m sure) missing pieces. the knob or screw that one would use to slide the stitch lengthe adjustment up and down is missing. there is a metal part running down inside and a loos part with a screw hole in it, that is flopping around. I am tempted to find a screw that fits, maybe a small machine screw, butmaybe that is a bad ideaa.

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    Old 07-25-2022, 04:49 AM
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    Most sewing machines were made in a time before standardized screw threads came about, so many made their own. I had a Singer that was missing a screw that adjusted the stitch length and found it was the same thread as the presser foot screw but was longer. I was able to find one and it works, just doesn't look like the original as it had a different head.

    Sure would like to see some pictures of your machines.

    Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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