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Rebuilding/repurposing an industrial treadle base and top

Rebuilding/repurposing an industrial treadle base and top

Old 10-28-2013, 09:17 AM
  #1  
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Default Rebuilding/repurposing an industrial treadle base and top

NO, I AM NOT making it into a table......

I have a Singer 13 "Medium". It is just like a Singer 12 but about 25% bigger.
2013-08-27-21.44.56.jpg

I was lucky enough to be able to by the bonnet lid that went with this machine.
(it is way wider than the standard Singer top)
bonnet.jpg

What I was missing is the "tailor" style treadle unit. Cathy (Mizkaki) to the rescue!!!
Cathy had a tailors treadle base and top that was in need of a new home and restoration,
This is a picture of one similar to what this unit looked like originally
singerindusttable001.jpg

The Tailors top is the one that has a left side lifting extension AND a back extension that lifts and slides to the left to make a large work surface.
singerindusttable002.jpg

singerindusttable003.jpg

singerindusttable006.jpg

The only 2 negatives is that this table was made in 1889 (10 years after the 12) and it was originally made for a Singer 31 (with a knee lift no less).

The 10 year difference is no big deal (yet) but Meant that time base and top MAY get replaced someday with a more correct unit. Because of that I am trying to make sure that it can be "restored" to a 31 treadle is need be.

The main differences are:
  1. Hole for 31 is HUGE, Hole for 13 is smaller (actually helps)
  2. The belt holes for the 31 are way further apart than on the 13
  3. The machine hinges are completely different (13 uses flat rectangular hinge screwed to the machine, the 31 uses the round two holes to the top with a peg to the machine)

The veneer of the treadle top was damaged and lifting badly so I am removing it.

I have purchased a supply of oak veneer, but may have to buy something different to be able to match the coffin lid. I am working with a local woodworking supply place to get the best option on that.

The process of removing the veneer was interesting to say the least.

First I lifted off all I could without affecting the material underneath.
Second I needed to use a utility knife blade to get under the stubborn bits.

Once removed a quick sanding of the edges and these are ready for the new skin (when it arrives)

The construction of the core of these tables is cool. They used soft cheap wood in the middle with hardwood edging that when combined with the veneer makes it look solid hardwood
2013-10-27-14.44.22_sm.jpg

2013-10-27-14.44.04_sm.jpg
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:23 AM
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boy, Steve, you are going to have a great machine w/table when you are finished. Don't have too many woodworkers around here, so no way to do that with a machine that I have. The one I got from you is going to go into a base someone made that fits the irons. no foot feet or the wheel attach. just a table. then I plan on putting it out on display in my new room when it gets done. Amy
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:46 AM
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My great grandfather's 31 is in that table. I don't think I ever knew the back flipped up too. Hummmmm
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:22 AM
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It always amazes me when I see the great inventiveness of the early sewing machine makers. That fold down top is fantastic. I sure could use something like that when I'm quilting a big quilt. Very cool.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:21 PM
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Very cool ... keep us posted.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:46 PM
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So interesting. Never have seen anything like that table. Love it and love your beautiful Singer.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:31 AM
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so, regarding main difference #1.

The hole that the Singer 31 went into has an unusual shape. The material is 3/4 of an inch thick total. The upper half is rectangular with rounded corners. The lower half is rectangular with 45 deg angled corners and is 1/8" narrower than the top half. like so..

2013-10-28-22.12.45.jpg

I want to do as little "damage" as possible to the treadle and I have delusions about being able to return it back to a 31 if the need be. I could just finish it and then make a 13 "insert" but i want it to look as close to original for the shows, so "semi-permanent" insert it is.

first I patterned the top and bottom shapes (top is on top in pic)
2013-10-28-22.12.27.jpg

Then I pulled out my Singer 13 base pattern (shown here in the approximate final location)
2013-10-28-22.13.27.jpg

Last edited by SteveH; 10-29-2013 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:40 AM
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I am making the "plug" out of pine. no reason to use hardwood here.
I did find a board with the heartwood in it.
Here you see the plug with the Singer 13 hole marked (actually it is cut in this pic)


2013-10-28-22.14.45.jpg

Here is the plug with the Singer 13 hole.
2013-10-28-22.15.05.jpg
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:42 AM
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Here is the plug with it's first test fit.
2013-10-28-22.18.58.jpg
2013-10-28-22.19.45.jpg

now I need to carve the top and bottom profiles into it.
2013-10-28-22.15.50.jpg
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:44 AM
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Here you see the top and bottom profiles traced to the wood. You can also just make out the center-line that will divide the two profiles

Top
2013-10-28-22.36.08.jpg

Bottom
2013-10-28-22.36.20.jpg

I will work on carving that tonight.
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