Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A Sweet Little Ride

So we were out and about on Sunday and sitting under a table at a flea market, was a slightly battered bentwood Singer case.  Inside was a little 99k handcrank sewing machine which I've since dated to 1934.  I've wanted a hand crank sewing machine for years but not only are they difficult to find here, they're either in perfect shape and way out of my price range, or so beat up, rusty, corroded and broken that they'd never work again. 

I did a quick check of this little machine and the needle bar went up and down, the handcrank mechanism sort of worked and it had a complete bobbin race assembly.  I decided to take a chance on this little girl.  I offered $65 for her and my sweetie lugged her to the truck.  For a portable sewing machine, she does weigh a fair bit.

I found my little container of tools for cleaning vintage sewing machines.  Really, it's a tube of metal polish, some soft cotton rags, 2 nasty toothbrushes, tweezers, toothpicks, cotton swabs and a bottle of sewing machine oil.   This girl was remarkably clean for being born in 1934.   She was well used though.  There are lots of wear marks on the machine and bed.  Some of the gold decals are worn in places and the Singer badge is bent.  There is a bit of corrosion on some of the plated pieces too.  The underside though had hardly any oil build up and other crud to clean off.   All the parts moved and after cleaning, I gave them all a really good oiling.
The outside was a bit more work.  Between the sewing machine and wooden case, I spent a lot of time scrubbing.  The sewing machine itself was cleaned with sewing machine oil, to keep from damaging the gold decals.   I might hunt through the hardware store for something to protect and polish, but since it's a holiday weekend here, I was limited to what was on hand.
Murphy's Oil Soap was what I had to clean the woodwork.   80 some years of gunk came off with a bit of scrubbing.. icky....

I need to pick up a few little cork pieces to replace supports inside the base.  Right now I have pieces of folded paper, because today's a holiday and I'm still limited to what is on hand.   However, this little girl is a charmer!   Definitely not built for speed but the handcrank and slower speeds are very relaxing.  It's easy to get very accurate stitch lines with this baby.  Curves are going to take a little practice, but they were pretty good right off the bat.  This is a stress free way to sew.  I just need to remember to stop reaching for the foot pedal when I sit down to sew.

1 comment:

Leigh said...

Wow! What a find! And just the person to give it the love and attention it needs. :)