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Thread: Stiff Treadle

  1. #1
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    Stiff Treadle

    Hello, thought I would tackle getting a treadle working. I have oiled it thoroughly everywhere and the is a severe stiffness. The pedal is smooth, the hand wheel with the small wheel set to bobbin runs smooth. The only place I can't access is under the plate at the front of the machine. It doesn't come off like my singer 15 and 201. It is like the tension knob and plate coexist together. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If I could get it off, I am sure I would find something in there all rusty making it stiff...the tension and front plate look suspect.....

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    Arghh. Got it off, oiled it...still stiff. I think I made it worse but fiddling with taking the hand wheel apart. Can't even move the needle now I give up..I am packing it away and sewing instead.

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    OK, so you screwed it up. Been there, done that. Now post a picture so we can tell what model this thing is. Also did you clean and oil the treadle? The plate pivots need to be cleaned occasionally, the pitman arm top and bottom, the big wheel bearings or pivots too.
    That will make a big difference.

    As for the machine, lets start with .... what brand is it?

    Joe

  4. #4
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    OK, so you screwed it up. Been there, done that. Now post a picture so we can tell what model this thing is. Also did you clean and oil the treadle? The plate pivots need to be cleaned occasionally, the pitman arm top and bottom, the big wheel bearings or pivots too.
    That will make a big difference.

    As for the machine, lets start with .... what brand is it?

    Joe
    I think the machine is a singer 27?

    Yes I gave up Joe I feel bad. I tried to use process of elimiation... I oiled the treadle everyplace it had moving parts and it runs nice and smooth so that is good to go. So I think it is with the machine. When I disengage the small silver handwheel within the larger one as if to wind a bobbin, it also runs smooth.

    Just turning the handwheel as if to sew regularly is super stiff. Like I have to use 2 hands to turn it.
    The tension knob and needle holder have rust on it...but when I took off the scrolly plate, and scrolly round back plate...all the parts look unrusted.

    Maybe I don't need to sew in a power outage

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  5. #5
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    Could the belt be too tight?

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    It looks like you have nice looking 15-30. I need to see a pix of the bobbin area to make sure of that.

    The needlebar can get frozen up from varnish / old oil, so make sure that is well oiled.

    Cathy

    Quote Originally Posted by vanginney View Post
    I think the machine is a singer 27?
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  7. #7
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    I forgot to add to the post - I had taken the belt off for all the handwheel turning. I think the belt is too loose....I plan on cutting it slightly & resizing, but don't what to make the cut unless the machine works smoothly.

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    vanginney,

    Pull off the face plate, just loosen the screw at the top, lift it straight up and pull it off. Then clean and oil everything in there.
    Also if you see a hole without threads oil it. Pull the plate off the back and oil everything in there. Pull the hand wheel off, just one little screw too loosen then take off the stop motion knob and the clutch washer and the hand wheel will come off. It might need oil and encouragement, but it will come off.

    After that, tilt the machine up on it's hinges and oil everything underneath that moves. Lots of little oil holes under there, but if you can't see them oil it all. You can let the excess drip off or wipe it off. Put a couple layers of folded up paper towels under the machine to catch drips.

    It didn't get gummed up over night, so it can take a while to free up. Just be patient and keep working on it.

    As for the belt, don't make it too tight. I should be just tight enough to not slip. Make sure there's no oil on the belt grove of either wheel, they'll slip like crazy if there is.

    Oh, I'm not bragging but my treadles are so easy to turn I can belt them up and turn the machine and treadle parts with one finger through the hand wheel. Easy is an understatement.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    Didn't look at the treadle til this morning...I was ready to work through all of your suggestions. When I took it out of the cabinet everything was smoothly running. It must have taken time for all that oil to work!!! Got the bobbin wound on the beast thanks to you tube! And got it sewing. The needle has to be inserted right facing unlike my other ones. The only thing I have to figure out is stitch length...because there are no numbers.

    Thanks again for all your help. You realize...I am hooked. My DH doesn't know what he is in for! Got all 3 vintage machines working now! And I originally just bought them as decoration until you gave me the confidence to tackle these machines! Best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vanginney View Post
    Hi All,
    I originally just bought them as decoration until you gave me the confidence to tackle these machines! Best.
    It's a great feeling to get them working again isn't it.

    Clare

  11. #11
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    It sure is...I just can't figure out why my beast does reverse on its own? Sometimes...maybe I am treadling work..and can't figure out stitch length...but I am getting there!

  12. #12
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Treadling and suddenly finding going backwards is due to your feet position and lack of rhythm. When the machine gets really free from cleaning and oiling it will reduce this. But you have to develop a rhythm while treadling and that means a smooth rocking motion past the top and bottom dead center of the pitman arm to keep the wheel turning. It's harder to do going slow than fast, but you'll get there.

    What I did on my treadles was make an index mark on the stitch length knob with a Sharpie, then turn it all the way in and sew a length. Mark the fabric. Then turn it 1/2 turn out, sew a length and mark it. And so on till it quit feeding the fabric.
    Then I used a magnifying glass and counted the stitches and marked that on the fabric with a Sharpie. It's not precise and it's a pain in the butt, however it does work.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    I usually us the same stitch size for all my piecing - so the goal is to find that and then I won't touch it. Think I figured the treadle out. Thanks for the explanation. If I kinda guide the wheel in the direction I want and let my feet take over - it sews a beautiful SS. Now if my ADHD kicks in I can bounce from 1 machine to another when I sew

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    OH LORD, don't mention ADHD .... I once took care of an 8 year old girl with that and she about killed me. I think she could out bounce, fidget, and squirm a Mexican jumping bean on steroids. Loved that little gal, and last I heard she's growing out of it a bit. But oh man what a hand full.

    I think ...... oh wait, that gives me a headache ..... I once made a stitch chart on my #1 66 treadle ..... I'll go find it ..... don't go anywhere ......
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    OK, I'm back, you still there?

    With the knob all the way in I got 7 1/2 stitches per inch
    One turn out was 8 1/2 SPI
    Two turns out was 9 1/2 SPI
    2 1/2 turns out was 11 SPI
    3 turns out was 12 SPI
    4 turns out was 15 SPI
    5 turns out was 20 SPI
    6 turns out was 28 SPI
    7 turns out was 49 SPI
    and at 7.5 turns out it quit feeding.

    How that will equate to your machine I don't know. But it's something to check out.

    Joe

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    Joe,

    What a wonderful chart!! It will be very useful.
    I just measured my 99 from 1922. It is different than the 66.
    all the way in= 6 stitches/ inch
    one turn= 7 1/2 stitches/ inch
    2 turns= 9 1/2 stitches/ inch
    3 turns= 12 stitches/ inch
    4 turns= 18 stitches/ inch
    5 turns= stitches too close together to count

    Cathy


    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    OH LORD, don't mention ADHD .... I once took care of an 8 year old girl with that and she about killed me. I think she could out bounce, fidget, and squirm a Mexican jumping bean on steroids. Loved that little gal, and last I heard she's growing out of it a bit. But oh man what a hand full.

    I think ...... oh wait, that gives me a headache ..... I once made a stitch chart on my #1 66 treadle ..... I'll go find it ..... don't go anywhere ......
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    OK, I'm back, you still there?

    With the knob all the way in I got 7 1/2 stitches per inch
    One turn out was 8 1/2 SPI
    Two turns out was 9 1/2 SPI
    2 1/2 turns out was 11 SPI
    3 turns out was 12 SPI
    4 turns out was 15 SPI
    5 turns out was 20 SPI
    6 turns out was 28 SPI
    7 turns out was 49 SPI
    and at 7.5 turns out it quit feeding.

    How that will equate to your machine I don't know. But it's something to check out.

    Joe
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  16. #16
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Cathy,

    I've done a couple other machines like this, but not as complete, and they vary too. I should do one with my 127 and maybe my 66-1 just to see what I find out.

    Joe

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    Joe,

    Great idea. I'm looking forward to seeing your results.

    Cathy

    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Cathy,

    I've done a couple other machines like this, but not as complete, and they vary too. I should do one with my 127 and maybe my 66-1 just to see what I find out.

    Joe
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

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