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Thread: What to do with a treadle cabinet.

  1. #1
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    What to do with a treadle cabinet.

    I thought this was a very cool idea:
    https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...79&oe=5D02E922
    Nancy in western NY
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  2. #2
    Junior Member charley26's Avatar
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    No, no and no.

  3. #3
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charley26 View Post
    No, no and no.
    I have to agree. I have my grandmother's treadle in it's beautiful oak cabinet in my living room. Everyone asks me if it's a wine cabinet.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

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    I think it's a great idea for an old stray cabinet!
    Just have to make sure you've got a waterproof finish on it.
    Very very cute. =)

  5. #5
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    I saw that one earlier this morning. Please... No! It can be so hard to find a nice treadle cabinet with the wood in good shape! I have yet to find one for my orphaned treadle machine, but I hope I do one day...
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I’m with you Cari. It is very tough to find a good treadle to put an old machine into. Some of them have no motor boss so can’t be hand cranked no electrified.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  7. #7
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    Holy Molly...no way could I do that.

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    I thought this section was for Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts. That picture has no place here, maybe a moderator can move it to the general discussion section.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes....make sure it's worth watching!

  9. #9
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Some people are enthusiastic to make use of their treadle cabinet when they do not have the machine. It's better than sending the cabinet to the landfill. There have been many such discussions in this forum similar to this one.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  10. #10
    Member Treadle&Gears's Avatar
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    Noooooooo! I recently saw the exact cabinet I need for my Free No. 5 in near perfect condition at a shop. Opened it to look at the mechanicals and found it had been converted to a liquor cabinet/portable bar. I have been looking for a cabinet for over two years. So I repeat: Noooooooo!

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    You're right Quiltnnan there have been threads about this and it seems those who put a lot of time and effort into restoring old machines don't agree with repurposing but I guess to each their own. Just like it wouldn't be a problem to use your quilts to catch the oil drips under my old car as many objects can have multiple uses and it would be much better than taking them to the dump.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes....make sure it's worth watching!

  12. #12
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    I meant to say old quilts. I use mine for dog beds. Maybe we should start a thread about repurposing quilts.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes....make sure it's worth watching!

  13. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Finding a machine to go in a treadle is much easier than finding a nice treadle.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    Some people are enthusiastic to make use of their treadle cabinet when they do not have the machine. It's better than sending the cabinet to the landfill. There have been many such discussions in this forum similar to this one.
    I think if I had such a beautiful cabinet with no machine, I would try to find someone who has a nice machine and needs a better cabinet. Although the setup is beautiful, I couldn't enjoy it, knowing that a wooden top like that probably wouldn't last, and someone else is dying to have it for their sewing machine.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

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    Sadly, around here treadles aren’t of value. I’m fine with this repurpose and now it gets used everyday. I’m betting the top is not original. This house is small & my dear Grams treadle is in basement now so I’m just storing it. In fact i’m in favor of repurposed anything.

  16. #16
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    That was a very good condition, fully functioning treadle cabinet used in a manner I do not agree with at all. It sure seems like a shame to abuse a cabinet in this way. I was sorry to see this conversion. I certainly am a vintage & antique machine enthusiast.

    I also disagree with taking an antique quilt in very good condition to use for a moving blanket or to catch oil drops.

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    It looks to me as if the top and front are most likely new wood.....if you notice, they are much lighter than the drawers.
    So yes, I would say it has been repurposed....nothing wrong with that...
    Most of the treadle's I see at estate sales are in pretty sad shape with the exception of the iron.....the wood is usually pretty rough looking; broken drawers, split veneer, etc...

  18. #18
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NT66 View Post
    It looks to me as if the top and front are most likely new wood.....if you notice, they are much lighter than the drawers.
    So yes, I would say it has been repurposed....nothing wrong with that...
    Most of the treadle's I see at estate sales are in pretty sad shape with the exception of the iron.....the wood is usually pretty rough looking; broken drawers, split veneer, etc...
    Agreed, I think everyone definitely sees the new wood on top and front center drawer. Often the irons have broken/missing pieces also, but this one seems intact. I guess I would need to see the original front tilt drawer and top/s to evaluate their condition but the remaining original side drawers and hardware seem to be in great condition.

  19. #19
    Super Member OurWorkbench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NT66 View Post
    It looks to me as if the top and front are most likely new wood.....if you notice, they are much lighter than the drawers.
    The top would have to be new, as none are shaped like that, but I have noticed many where the drawers appear different. One I know it was just an age thing as it was the treadle my sister learned to sew on. She really enjoys sewing with it. The treadle I have one of my 27 heads in has had some new wood work done to it (not by me) as some of the previous pieces were still in the drawers. I would have not known they weren't original if the pieces weren't with it. The parlor cabinet for one of my 15s isn't in the best of shape, but still is functional. Both are very fun to sew on. (I didn't think I would ever say that, based on my first experience with a treadle.)

    I think it is foolishness to put an antique wood treadle in a bathroom or put polyurethane on an antique piece of furniture. There are better ways to preserve the surfaces.


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

  20. #20
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    I have one in great shape, sadly the 66 it contained was not in the same condition. I wanted a 66 to convert to a hand crank. While I found one in near perfect condition on eBay; it did not have the necessary hole on the side to attach the hand crank. So I swapped the 66 in the treadle cabinet with the 66 I bought. Now I have a beautiful treadle and a usable hand crank.
    Aurora

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  21. #21
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    What a great idea! Wish I would have seen it before we remodeled my bathroom!

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    eeeekkkkkkkkk!! Where do you put the toilet paper????

  23. #23
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    One downside is that people will see this cool idea on the internet and possibly want to do something like that themselves, which creates a market that wasn't there before, competing with those who want them for their original purpose.

    I have frequently seen the treadle bases with no tops at antiques/junk stores. They sometimes also have the drawers being sold with no cabinets. The reality is that many of the cabinets have gotten completely delaminated after years of storage, and most people are not going to realize that there are some who might treasure the old thing. I can't say I've ever seen a complete treadle cabinet offered without a machine in it. The triangular shape that they needed to fit the vanity into the corner means that they had to have used a different piece of wood. Probably the original top was in very bad shape, if it's any consolation to those who would have liked it for a sewing machine.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
    One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  24. #24
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    I've seen a lot converted sewing cabinets offered for sale - in most cases, the restored treadle cabinet would have sold for more than the converted item is selling for.

    The best (worst) item I encountered was a necklace using part of the embroidery control nob from a Pfaff 130 embroidery attachment (it kind of looks like a skull) . They were selling the necklace for $25, the part (unaltered) would have sold for $50.

    And the necklace made from welding treadle cabinet keys together - about 30 key total. Individually they sell for $5 - $10. This necklace also had a $25 price tag.

    And then the Featherweight table that someone had epoxied the lift out portion in place- again taking something worth about $150 as it was and creating something worth about $10.

    Most of the problem with this stuff is location - I have several treadle cabinets I'd give away to someone that didn't want to re-purpose them. But they need to be picked up.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

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    Question: Many of you disapproved of what was done with this treadle. I have to ask if you would attempt to save any treadle machine regardless of condition?

    Here is the treadle machine that I am asking this question about. Would you try to save this??

    Name:  treadle-1.png
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    Name:  treadle-2.png
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    Name:  treadle-3.png
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