Sewing Machine Work Stand

Old 11-12-2015, 05:26 AM
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I haven't posted anything here for a while, but development continues. I took a picture of all the baseboards that we have so far. It was for another purpose initially, but I thought I'd post it here too. It helps to show the versatility of the workstand to date.

(Set of Five Boards)
set-five.jpg


S-1 This universal board accommodates more machine heads than any other. Singers, Brothers, and many other brands conforming to the same mounting measurements may all be mounted with it.

S-3 The three-quarter size baseboard fits the Singer three-quarter standard machines. A few other manufacturers used this three-quarter size, as well.

W-1 This baseboard fits White Rotary and some similar size and contour machine heads. Not common, but we happen to have three White Rotary machines.

VS-2 We recently acquired a Singer VS-2 and this board accommodates it. SteveH would know more about compatibility between early machine cutouts. If you happen to read this, I'd like to know. My intuitive guess would be that the cutouts were fairly unique from machine to machine way back then.

FW-221 With the bottom cover removed, a Featherweight may be mounted in the workstand, allowing easy access to all areas.

I know very little about it, but I find it interesting that so many brands elected to follow compatible standards for mounting (S-1 baseboard) while others, such as White and Kenmore did not. I'm curious about the thinking regarding inter-compatibility versus proprietary interest.

Anyway, I still need to make a baseboard for Kenmores, which have slightly different measurements and sharper corners. As I recall, the Kenmores are some of the heaviest machines that we have. I'll post pictures when I get it done.

John
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by OurWorkbench View Post
VS-2 We recently acquired a Singer VS-2 and this board accommodates it. SteveH would know more about compatibility between early machine cutouts. If you happen to read this, I'd like to know. My intuitive guess would be that the cutouts were fairly unique from machine to machine way back then. John
Yes, they are pretty unique. There was not enough standardization yet to make a certain size or format more desirable than others. In fact many went out of their way to be specifically NOT compatible with competitors
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:01 PM
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John, I've found it seems to be more an "age" thing than anything else. So the earlier the machine, the more likely it will be unique to that Mfg - or even model.

As more machines started being outsourced, they got more and more uniform.

One interesting development was when Sears decided they wanted to sell a machine that "looked" like a Singer and used the same size shuttles/bobbins and needles. That is where the first uniformity started.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:33 PM
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I had been thinking yesterday about this, glad to hear an update. On the treadleon.org Dick in the workshop area has some pics and info about different cut outs he has used for diff machines, may be interesting reading for you.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:20 PM
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Unexpectedly, we recently acquired a very old machine, the oldest we have. It's a Weed sewing machine, which Janey has been posting about on a separate thread. I wondered if I could get it into the workstand. Having doubts initially, I was finally able to make a baseboard for it.

(Weed Sewing Machine)
weedfrontview.jpg

The handwheel is centered slightly below the bed. In order for the wheel to clear the metal swing frame, the rear feet extended slightly over the back of the frame. The feet are 1-1/8" deep, requiring a baseboard at least that thick. So I added an extra frame of wood around the bottom, as can be seen in the picture below.

(Weed Baseboard Bottom)
weedunderside.jpg

Janey has really done wonders with the machine so far. The needle movement lever now gleams, but initially it was black like the rest of the machine. The underside, now shiny, had been covered with an oily fuzzy stuff.

I'll let Janey explain more about the progress of this Weed sewing machine in her thread at:
http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...e-t272132.html

Please check it out there.

John
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:37 PM
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I have talked to several people who are interested in having one of these workstands for themselves, both on QuiltingBoard and locally. If you are one of the QB followers that I have communicated with, I will be contacting you again soon.

There are a few improvements that I think I would make. After having used it for a time, these are things that, if building one again, I might do a little differently.

The first is the wood used for the base of the stand. The base of the first stand, the prototype that we have, is made from an ordinary 2 x 4. It had been around here for a long time. It just happened to be probably the driest 2 x 4 that I have ever seen. It is so light in weight that the odds of finding another one this dry are slim to none.

I have decided to try redwood for a stand base. It is a very loose grained and lightweight wood. It is also stable, resistant to warping and is easy to work with. Anyone building one of these might consider redwood for the base of the stand.

Secondly, I would use 5/16" bolts for the pivot shafts rather than the 1/4" that I did. I made the classic mistake of using what I had on hand rather than what was right and best. While the bolt size I used worked, it is loose in the holes of the square tubing. If a little off, the lock pin won't quite line up with the top and bottom holes of the stop disc that have to align with the holes of the upright.

This will make the pivot shafts a little stronger, too. A slightly larger piece of pipe would be used over the larger bolt at each end and the notches in the ends of the stand would be made slightly larger, to accommodate the larger pivot shaft (pipe) when rotating the metal frame and machine.

Lastly, one might consider making the wooden discs at the ends of the swing frame the same size. Janey has had occasion to want a machine on end, but with the handwheel down. The current size disc on the right is too small to hold the frame stable on the white circle. I didn't design for that and it is a change I am going to make to our workstand. Then it will stand a machine on end, either direction desired.

No pictures this time. When I get the redwood stand done, I'll post pictures of how it turns out.

John
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:12 PM
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This workstand is well-conceived and skillfully executed, explained, and illustrated. Thank you, John.
Also prompted my first post after having read thru at least 500 pages in this forum in less than a month since found.
What a wonderful group of knowledgeable, capable, kind, patient, caring, and sharing people.
I have 10or12 machines, all needy in some way or another, so you're sure to hear from me again. With photos even! Semi-retired sort of but spending way to much time acquiring and researching instead of actual repairing.
Phil in SE PA.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:35 PM
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Glad to see you decided to sign up. Welcome! You'll find the people here to be helpful and friendly.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:41 PM
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Phil, welcome to the group, great people here and lots of info, loved your last sentence.
I think most of us are like that.

" Semi-retired sort of but spending way to much time acquiring and researching instead of actual repairing."
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:41 PM
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Thanks for the PM John and other welcomes.
Please consider the pros and cons of mounting the uprights of your steel frame offset to the rear of frame centerline. The machine being worked on could be 2" closer to you and you'd have straight-shot, unimpeded access to the face plate and handwheel. But it wouldn't sit well on end on the middle block of the horizontal bar of the wood frame. Just a thought.
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