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pgf

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Reply with quote  #1 
Just brought home a new machine.  I've been playing Facebook Messenger tag with the seller (2 hours away) for months -- I'd ask a question, a long time would pass, I'd either get a one word answer, or none at all.   I was promised more pictures, but none appeared, etc.  But finally I asked a question for which a one word answer worked:  "I need to be in your area sometime in the next couple of weeks -- can I see the machine?"  Answer: "ok".  Managed to pin down a time, and a day.  Jeez, it was like pulling teeth!  The deal was finally completed on the sidewalk in front of a Home Depot.  The world is getting weirder and weirder.

But it was worth it.  It's in pretty good shape.  Tension parts are missing (so what else is new?), and the crank axle bolt has been replaced with a modern 1/4"-20 bolt which of course doesn't fit, but at least it kept the machine together!  I'll figure something out.

I know Steve did a bunch of research on his when he got it a few years ago.  I need to review his thread and see what I learn.  I've never seen a picture of a Home Shuttle with this type of faceplate.  Pipe up if you have opinions, Steve!  In addition to the faceplate and presser foot lifter mechanism, the bobbin winder is different, as well as the thread guides.

The slide plates don't move yet, so I don't know about casting numbers underneath.  There's no hint of a serial number, yet, on either slide plate.  I can see there's a shuttle, but don't yet know whether there's a bobbin.

I love this stuff.   Nice detail:  the machine belonged to the seller's great grandmother.

paul

Attached Images
jpeg home_shuttle_10.jpg (105.16 KB, 34 views)
jpeg home_shuttle_12.jpg (82.62 KB, 34 views)
jpeg home_shuttle_15.jpg (96.86 KB, 34 views)
jpeg home_shuttle_14.jpg (114.18 KB, 33 views)
jpeg home_shuttle_16.jpg (74.52 KB, 33 views)
jpeg home_shuttle_17.jpg (86.19 KB, 32 views)


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Reply with quote  #2 
The picture of the front of Paul's machine can be found at https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1310670960&postcount=5202&forum=501752

Janey

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Reply with quote  #3 
I can see why you kept putting in the effort.
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Reply with quote  #4 
So. Cool!! Based on the fact that the front slide plate is perpendicular at the tail end rather than at an angle this is one of the earlier ones. That's very interesting face plate
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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks -- from reading your previous threads on your 1868 machine, mine is quite similar to yours, but there are also a lot of differences.  The same question-mark flat spring for the feed dogs,  the perpendicular joint between slide plates, and "Patented 1868" on the rear plate.  Mine shows no serial number that I can find, nor any casting marks.  (Happily, when I got things open, I found that my shuttle does contain a bobbin!  Whew!)

The bobbin winder is a slightly different design -- yours appears to be fixed in a single position, and the tire is pushed into contact with the crank by the insertion of the bobbin.  On mine, inserting the bobbin pushes out the left end of the holder instead. As far as I can tell, the screw needs to be loosened and retightened to move the whole assembly to the right when winding.  This seems like a step backwards.

The faceplate seems pretty unique, as far as I can tell from every search I've done, and requires a different casting.  The hidden presser foot spring is a brass coil, instead of the big "safety pin" style spring, like your machine has.  Foot pressure is adjusted using a familiar threaded adjuster concentric with the presser bar.

At first I thought that something should have protruded through the little slot in the faceplate -- perhaps part of a takeup mechanism? -- but I think that slot is just for oiling, and to access a pair of screws that hold the needlebar to the cam mechanism.  The little leaf tension spring at the bottom of the face plate is the same as this one, on a flat faceplate, at Askaroff's site:  https://sewalot.com/images/johnson_&_clark_home_shuttle_sewing_machine_sewalot_hand_painted.jpg  .

At some point I'll probably ask you for the dimensions of your tension pulley, and also the thread pitch and diameter of your hand crank axle bolt.

Anyway -- this is a picture thread.  I'll stop now.  :-)

paul

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Reply with quote  #6 
Yeah, as I kept typing, I was realizing that.  Any chance you could make that so?  Would it be easy for you to move everything from my post with pictures onward, into a new "oddball home shuttle" thread?

I'm sure I/we will have more to say about it.  And I'm sure to have more pictures.  Took it apart yesterday afternoon.  No surprises (except that the base was painted after it was partly assembled -- didn't take that part apart), and no numeric markings have turned up.

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #7 
I recently picked up an 1870-ish Home Shuttle machine (made by Johnson, Clark, and Co., in Orange MA.  (They and Gold Medal were precursors to New Home.)

I started the conversation in another thread -- I'm hoping Steve can move the posts here.  (Thanks Steve!)

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Reply with quote  #8 
Done!
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Reply with quote  #9 
Something interesting I noticed:   When Stephen French filed his patent for the mechanics of the shuttle drive, his drawings showed a fore/aft transverse (TS) shuttle action.  But what they built was a VS.  I'd love to know what made him change his mind.  Did he read about another machine?  Did it just occur to him while taking a bath?  Did someone on his team point out that it would mean fewer moving parts?  Did they get the capital to buy a new machine capable of milling the arc-shaped raceway?

I'll attach the original 1868 patent, as well as the 1880 reissue (signed by a lawyer -- French had moved on by then).

paul

 
Attached Files
pdf US80345.pdf (237.22 KB, 8 views)
pdf USRE9450.pdf (274.71 KB, 5 views)


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Reply with quote  #10 
Very Cool!!  So it was originally designed as a Linear VS machine like the Howe's??  Interesting.  (The T in TS is specifically side to side motion, not about Arc, so the first design is still a VS machine.)


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Reply with quote  #11 
Really?  TS only means side-to-side?  <spock>Highly illogical!</spock>   Yes, like the Howe.  It's clear in the patent drawing that the end of the vibrating shaft is slotted, so that it can drive the shuttle carrier, which has a pin in that slot, along its linear track.
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Reply with quote  #12 
So now I'm curious:  who else was making a vibrating shuttle in 1868?   Wikipedia only talks about White, in 1876.
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Reply with quote  #13 
And...   are there other examples of boat shuttles in VS machines?  The "Home Shuttle" and the Gold Medal "Home" both have boat shuttles -- not surprising since they were both designed by French.  They're mechanically very similar.
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Reply with quote  #14 

In the US:
Singer #1,2,3
Davis Vertical Feeds are VS
Grover & Baker #9 lockstitch
American (although the VS in in a vertical arc, it is still VS)
Florence Curved needle

Several Canadian and European makers as well

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Reply with quote  #15 
Am i being tripped up by nomenclature again?  I guess I should have said "swinging shuttle" VS machines (as opposed to "linear travel").  The Singers were linear, weren't they?  And the Florence?  But the others, at least, were the ones I was looking for.   Thanks.

paul

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Reply with quote  #16 
Well, as long as I have my own thread going I might as well keep going.

I mentioned that the crank axle bolt is missing, and had been poorly replaced with just a 1/4"-20 screw.

I did some more investigation today, and found that the missing axle bolt is (or, should be) identical to the crank axle bolt on a Gold Medal chain stitcher, which I have.  The two machines were made by the same folks, around the same time, so it's not too surprising.  Manufacturing tolerances being what they were, I can't just use the chain stitcher's bolt, since it only gets about halfway through crank wheel before binding up.  It's a couple of thousandths too thick.  But it did let me verify other dimensions, including the thread diameter and pitch.

And true to form (for a machine that's 150 years old) it has 21 threads per inch.  Not a typo:  21.  <hangs head>

Until I can find or make (?) a replacement, I need a way of holding the crank on.  So I took advantage of the fact that a 1/4"-20 screw gets about 3 or 4  threads of purchase before binding up in the 21 tpi hole, and made an ersatz shoulder bolt of the right length, using some aluminum tape to build it out to the right thickness (about 23/64").

Attached Images
jpeg hs_axle_dim.jpg (124.37 KB, 9 views)
jpeg hs_temp_axle.jpg (80.18 KB, 9 views)


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Reply with quote  #17 
I've finished cleaning all of the metal parts, and they all look good.  The metal parts are always pretty easy.  I've finally discovered the magic of using metal polish to get the last of the brown stains off of plain steel parts.  I'd always thought that if steel wool wasn't taking a stain off, that it just wasn't coming, and was a permanent part of the finish.  But I think what I've been doing is simply burnishing the tarnish (rust?) to a dull glow.  I've used metal polish on brass parts before, but had never really tried it on steel.  This time I tried it, and...  Magic!   (Getting that gear really clean exposed the poor quality of their castings.  Pits like that show up on some other pieces as well.)

Cleaning paint, as we all know, is a lot harder.  Most of the machine wasn't too dirty, and using Orange Glo (thanks for that tip, Steve) brought out quite a bit more color in most of the decoration.  But there are large areas, mostly in places that have probably seen an oil sheen over the years, that are covered with brown crud.  You can see what I mean in the picture.  It's a relatively thick layer -- I chose a spot that's normally hidden by the cloth plate, and scraped a bit.  The crud sort of chipped off, and theres paint underneath, probalby well-preserved.  But the Orange Glo doesn't seem to touch it.  I'm guessing it's hardened sperm oil.  Since it's mostly in places that don't matter too much, I could just let it go, but some of it on the lower areas of the base does cover the gold decoration.

Any tricks I should know about?

Attached Images
jpeg hs_shiny.jpg (59.00 KB, 15 views)
jpeg hs_crud.jpg (130.45 KB, 15 views)


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Reply with quote  #18 
or it is the old shellac...
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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH-VSS
or it is the old shellac...


Ding ding ding!    Thank you.  It just looked so thick and mucky, I didn't go there at first.  I think it was very unevenly applied.  But it does indeed dissolve with alcohol.  And a little tiny test tells me that the alcohol also turns the the decorations (painted?  decals?) green, so I won't be doing any more of that!

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Reply with quote  #20 
Those are hand painted, not decals.  The Orange Glo can clean that, it will just take some time.
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Reply with quote  #21 
You're saying the Orange Glo will remove that old shellac?  That doesn't sound likely, or desirable in most cases.  I'm only interested in further cleaning in order to uncover the little gold leaves that are completely covered in some places.  (And there aren't that many of those.)

In the meantime, here are a few "cleaned up" pictures.  I'm going to pick up the parts needed to recreate a tension mechanism today at the h/w store.  It's the same tensioner as on the Gold Medal chain stitcher, so I already know how to recreate it.  :-)

Oh -- looking at the second picture reminded me -- the U-shaped painted bracket that holds the stitch length control lever?  On mine it was installed before the machine was painted, so I didn't remove it -- I didn't want to break the paint on the screws and elsewhere.  I'm guessing yours was painted separately, otherwise you wouldn't have removed it.

Also, earlier I said that my bobbin winder looked harder to adjust than yours.  That may not be the case.  It turns out both ends are spring loaded.  There's a very lightweight spring on the right that lets you set the winder up just shy of the crank wheel.  Pressure from the other spring easily overcomes it when you insert the bobbin, so it makes contact.  It seems overly complex to me, so I'd suspect it came earlier, but I find both types when I search for images of Home Shuttle machines, perhaps more of my style, so it's hard to know which might have come first.

paul

Attached Images
jpeg home_shut_21.jpg (207.33 KB, 16 views)
jpeg home_shut_24.jpg (155.99 KB, 15 views)
jpeg home_shut_26.jpg (202.78 KB, 16 views)
jpeg home_shut_23.jpg (231.09 KB, 15 views)


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Reply with quote  #22 
"The Orange Glo can clean that" not remove it.
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Reply with quote  #23 
And....   it sews!  I thought I'd read that the Home Shuttle takes a 12x1, but it ended up taking a 15x1, lowered in the clamp.  This is like my earlier Gold Medal chain stitcher, and my much much later 1906 New Home machines, but unlike my contemporaneous Gold Medal Home, which takes a 12x1.  So it could easily have gone either way.  (I'm curious: when did Singer create the 15x1 needle?  Did the IF machines use it, or did it come along with the first "real" model 15?  I'm sure Singer didn't realize they were creating a truly "universal" needle, but it sure is convenient.)

Threading the shuttle was exactly per the manual.  Pictures attached.  First you run the thread under the brass bar and out the hole behind, then back in, above it.  That's a lot easier than trying to feed it from underneath if they hadn't provided the hole! Then you run it out the rearmost hole on the other side, in through another, and out through the central hole below the slot.

Attached Images
jpeg home_shut_40.jpg (234.07 KB, 11 views)
jpeg home_shut_41.jpg (290.40 KB, 11 views)
jpeg home_shut_42.jpg (283.99 KB, 12 views)
jpeg home_shut_43.jpg (154.02 KB, 11 views)


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Reply with quote  #24 
LOVE IT!!!
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Reply with quote  #25 
Thanks Steve!

If I recall correctly, you really like sewing with yours -- is that right?  You have a couple of "vintages" of Home Shuttle, I think, so maybe it was a later one?  In any case, I'd have to say that this is a really sweet machine.  Whatever it was, exactly, that Stephen French patented, it certainly worked.  :-)  I believe he used the same mechanism on the Home.  I need to play with it again for comparison.

I stole the tensioner from my G.M. chain stitcher to get this one to sew.  But I'd already bought the pulley I needed from the hardware store, so after sewing those stitches I busted open the pulley housing, made the requisite mods, and hung it, and my new thumbnuts, above some vinegar vapors to take off the "I'm brand new" sheen.  ("Requisite mods" mainly means deepening the pulley's valley, using my drill press and a round file, to better recreate the shape of the original.)

For the Gold Medal chain stitcher tensioner I made a little "nut" out of a piece of cellular PVC, and let it form its own threads as I screwed it onto the oddball tensioner shaft.  But I realized that if I bought a h/w store thumbnut of the right size, and drilled away enough of the existing threads, I could do the same thing with brass.  It took a little more work than that, but I was able to come up with two brass thumbnuts that convincingly fit the tensioner threads on these two machines.  Not even close to authentic, but a lot closer than I'd get otherwise.

Attached Images
jpeg parts.jpg (168.20 KB, 15 views)
jpeg vinegar.jpg (67.46 KB, 15 views)


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Reply with quote  #26 
FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf
Am i being tripped up by nomenclature again?  I guess I should have said "swinging shuttle" VS machines (as opposed to "linear travel").  The Singers were linear, weren't they?  And the Florence?  But the others, at least, were the ones I was looking for.   Thanks.

paul


I've been looking for one of the Japanese machines that use this lateral VS mechanism, which AFAIK is properly referred to as a Hengstenberg-Anker Wittler mechanism, usually just shortened to Hengstenberg. There have been a few pictures of the White-Universal-KADZ 620 zz on the Web that was probably one of the last machines that used this shuttle mechanism, and I think a couple may still live at Thayer Rags...

Here's a link to pics and some info on one of the German versions...

https://vintagesewingmachinesblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/hengstenberg/

(Edit) Read your description before the pictures loaded and see that this is a VS in the more common front-back orientation. Not sure how the travel arc of the carrier became 'vibrating', as I have seen lots of conflicting explanations of this, including the rattling of the bobbin in the shuttle when in use.

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Reply with quote  #28 
Here's a shot of the completed tensioner.  That coloring was deemed dark enough after about 4 hours suspended above the vinegar.  The original parts were steel, I think, and not brass.  Oh well.

Also, if you've ever looked at the warnings about running the machine empty with the presser foot down, and thought "no worries", well, it certainly used to be a worry, even if we've since developed better steel.

paul

Attached Images
jpeg home_shut_tensioner.jpg (70.60 KB, 15 views)
jpeg home_shut_presser.jpg (52.49 KB, 15 views)


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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwhalley


 Not sure how the travel arc of the carrier became 'vibrating', as I have seen lots of conflicting explanations of this, including the rattling of the bobbin in the shuttle when in use.



I think it was just a different usage of the term "vibrating" 150 years ago.  The inventors needed words to describe the things they were building, and our rich engineering vocabulary hadn't yet been developed.

On that subject, it felt so wrong to me to call a linear motion "vibrating" just because it goes front to back that I had to do a little more research.

I'm not sure Steve is right. While I was wrong to call French's linear front/back patent-drawing design a "TS" (since that implies side-to-side), I don't think it's a "VS". I think the right term is "reciprocating".

Needlebar is pretty explicit that an action like the Howe or earliest Singers is "reciprocating", and if it's like the Model 12 it's "transverse", and with an arc it's "vibrating":
    http://needlebar.org/nbwiki/index.php?title=Reciprocating_Shuttle
    http://needlebar.org/nbwiki/index.php?title=TS_Transverse_Shuttle
    http://needlebar.org/nbwiki/index.php?title=VS_Vibrating_Shuttle

In the ISMACS Singer model list, they seem to be very consistent in referring to the linear mechanism as "reciprocating" (though they seem to also call the side-to-side version "reciprocating", e.g. on the Model 12).  The first Singer they describe as having a vibrating shuttle is the VS1.
   http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/model-list/classes-1-99.html

paul


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Reply with quote  #30 
I'll buy that.
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Reply with quote  #31 
Steve -- do you have your Home Shuttle sewing?  This is the second wheel tension I've made (the first was for my Gold Medal chain stitcher), and on both I've had trouble with the thread simply slipping around the wheel, instead of turning it.

On the chain stitcher wheel, I actually scratched up the bottom of the pulley trough with the side of a spinning drill bit to try and give it more "grab" for the thread.  I still had to wrap the thread around the wheel about 5 times to get the wheel to turn, so I'd decided the scratches hadn't helped.

But on this (H.S.) machine, it doesn't seem to matter how many times I wrap the thread around, it still slips.  So maybe I need the scratches after all.

If you examine the tension wheel on your machine, is there any obvious scratching/marking/deformation that would give the thread more grip?  Do you need to wrap the thread multiple times to get it to work?

paul

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Reply with quote  #32 
I'll look tonight.
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