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[personal profile] femkes_follies
Would anyone like to proffer advice for sourcing/purchasing/restoring to useful function a treadle sewing machine?

Best brands for a USABLE machine that's still pretty to look at?

What to watch out for?

What elements to inspect specifically?

Best places to source them?

How/where to find parts?

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Date: 2012-02-26 09:32 pm (UTC)
pearl: Black and white outline of a toadstool with paint splatters. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pearl
Sorry, I've been away from the internet...

Best brands for a USABLE machine that's still pretty to look at?

Probably a Singer - they're plentiful, so you can wait around for one with nice decals to show up, and you can often buy less-pretty-looking models and take them apart for parts. Vibrating shuttles are cool (I love mine), but for ease of parts, a rotating shuttle is probably best.

What to watch out for?
If you're going through craigslist (or similar), where you can inspect the machine before you buy. I'd look to see if anything obvious is missing that may be difficult to replace - the bobbin case, the screw that clamps the needle in place, if it is in a lockable case, does it have a key?
Rather importantly, (since it's harder to replace) you need to check what state the treadle itself is in. Do things move freely, is the wheel warped? The pitman rod might be made of metal or wood - is the wood rotted?

Easier things to replace (particularly Singers) are slide plates that hide the bobbin case, the take-up spring on the tension knob, the little felt disks that sit at the bottom of the spool pin(s). The tension knob (and all of its tiny parts) itself, however is bloody expensive to replace.

How/where to find parts?
Online, my favourite seller is Sew Classic (http://www.shop.sew-classic.com/), but there are more casual sellers on ebay who also sell random parts if you're looking for replacement parts from a vintage machine instead of modern reproductions. They are mainly dealing with Singers though.

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