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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #1 
Here are before and after pics of my Minnesota New Model A project.  We decided not to really repair anything.  I just wanted to try to get it back to its former glory and get it working again and we will set it up as a working display.  The first photo is in the condition we found it in.  Machine wouldn't budge at all.  I took the machine off the base, cleaned it a little bit, used some PBBlaster to get the parts to move and replaced the leather belt.  Also took the treadle off, greased the treadle and the pitman arm.  Machine moves like a champ now.  

20190106_205522.jpg 
Second picture is after months of sanding by hand and applying a stain.  Not sure if I want to use a shellac or a polyurethane to give it a glossy shine.  I have an amber shellac on hand.
20190512_152245.jpg 

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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #2 
Very Nice.

I vote for shellac, especially for this vintage of machine.

Janey

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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you. I decided not to replace any of the original wood. The one piece with veneer was pretty messed up. I managed to glue it back down a little, then used wood putty for some of the other danage. The first picture is the before.

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jpeg 20190215_215706.jpg (113.79 KB, 19 views)
jpeg 20190511_223831.jpg (79.93 KB, 19 views)

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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #4 
WOW!! I don't do wood work, but I do appreciate those that do.

Janey


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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you! It has been a long process.
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Friar_Tuck

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Reply with quote  #6 
Back from the grave!
Excellent job, your investment of time has paid dividends.
I would say shellac and wax.
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #7 
You did a pretty darn good job on that Minnesota Model A.  I currently have custody of a Minnesota Model A which I bought about 4 years ago for my cousin.  The head itself is in pretty good shape, but the treadles and the cabinet are going to require some work.  I think my cousin is looking for another cabinet, one which she can use the Ram's Head drawer pulls on.  The treadle on the old machine she still has, and I think she wants to use that if she can.  I haven't worked on the machine a lot, but the head has great movement responses.  If I ever get to make a trip to Arkansas again, maybe I can deliver the machine to her and turn her loose with it!


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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thank you. I love the fact that the machine was in working order. I didn't want to replace anything because the machine doesn't belong to me. ItTook some PB Blaster, elbow grease, and a new belt but, the baby runs. Next step after getting a gloss is to take all of the iron off, give it a good cleaning, and paint it. Will post more pictures after she is completely done.
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #9 
Please be cautious what you use on the machine head.  Skipper has some great tutorials about re-working the shellac on these old machines which I suspect are posted somewhere on this forum, i.e., finger polishing, etc.   Those tutorials are invaluable.
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #10 
The tutorials are now on Pinterest as well...
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanette Frantz
Please be cautious what you use on the machine head.  Skipper has some great tutorials about re-working the shellac on these old machines which I suspect are posted somewhere on this forum, i.e., finger polishing, etc.   Those tutorials are invaluable.


I am not really intending to do much to the machine head except for some soap and water.
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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pslaght


I am not really intending to do much to the machine head except for some soap and water.


It is really recommended to use sewing machine oil to clean the decals.

Soap and water are sometimes too harsh and will frequently ruin decals.

Janey

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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thank you. I will keep that in mind.
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #14 
Water will silver the decals, it penetrates the top coat and the fine cracks in the top coat. After all the effort you've put into this project, please don't risk it. A soft cloth and sewing machine oil is the safest, surest way to proceed.
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #15 
Thank you for that information.  I will definitely not be using soap and water to clean the machine!
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WI Lori
Water will silver the decals, it penetrates the top coat and the fine cracks in the top coat. After all the effort you've put into this project, please don't risk it. A soft cloth and sewing machine oil is the safest, surest way to proceed.


Thank you. I haven't applied any soap or water after hearing that it could ruin the finish. Gonna try to use sewing machine oil and a eag.
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #17 
It'll look great!
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thank you. Basically I just wanted to restore it to its former glory and have a working conversation piece. My wife wants to sew on it.
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WI Lori
It'll look great!


Here is a before and after of the front piece.  I used a rag and applied the shellac french polish style.


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jpeg 20190215_215706.jpg (113.78 KB, 5 views)
jpeg 20190520_172337.jpg (155.77 KB, 6 views)

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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friar_Tuck
Back from the grave!
Excellent job, your investment of time has paid dividends.
I would say shellac and wax.


I started using shellac on one piece.  So far, I really like how it has turned out.  Here are before and after pics.  The veneer was in really bad shape, water damage, peeling, and missing in places.  I decided not to replace it, instead, I glued it back down as best I could and used wood filler to fill in the missing pieces.

20190215_215706.jpg 
20190520_172337.jpg 

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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #21 
I love how you're bringing out the beauty in this survivor!
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WI Lori
I love how you're bringing out the beauty in this survivor!


Thank you. This is my first time trying to refinish anything! I was amazed at the machine as soon as we found it and found myself wondering how it must've looked brand new.
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #23 
Last Summer I got a treadle on Craigslist, a Damascus Rotary (by National) in a really cool compact treadle cabinet. The cool part was that the seller practically begged me to take an "old treadle" that he had also that was "all there, just needs work". I agreed, mostly because I figured it couldn't hurt and also I didn't want him to possibly let the treadle I wanted slip out of my hands in case someone else was willing to take them both. I'm glad I did.

The treadle was so filthy and ugly, I could see the problem - it was a treadle almost no one would want - an old Minnesota A by Sears Roebuck. Long story short, I packed it home and stuck it in my shed until I got the Damascus settled in. Then I decided to clean up the head (the cabinet looked like hell) and see what I had. The more I cleaned, the more decals I found under the layer of black crud. As it turned out, it was a Davis-made machine that looked right presentable. At that point, I decided to take photos - head cleaned, cabinet untouched. 

When I got it out in daylight to take photos, I also did a good inspection of it and found that the veneer work was in remarkably good condition, with just some damage over the years by people closing it with the needle bar all the way up and with the slide plate not closed all the way, it being a tad loose, and one piece of side molding missing (just a straight piece of half-round-like oak strip). The whole cabinet had been gone over with some purplish mahogany varnish, even over the hardware. 

So, I stripped it and refinished it with Early American Minwax and a top coat of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, a hand rubbing varnish for gun stocks (illegal in California, naturally) and it came out pretty good. I found it needed the Davis Long needle, not the 20x1 that was in it (short-shanked, no doubt), but I have other Davis machines and I can make them from Pfaff industrial needles MTx190 or use them as is (round shank) with the needle rubbing the side of the needle hole on the left. I prefer to use my Dremel tool and flatten the shank backs. It makes them just like the flat shank Davis Long needle. 

Here are photos of the Minnesota A (1903), made the same year they changed from calling it the Burdick to the Minnesota A. Photo of it with head cleaned and cabinet still untouched, and then the after photos (a sampling - not the full set). 

Pslaght, keep up the good work on your Minnesota A. These machines are good ones. I made a flannel bath robe on mine and I honestly like it better than most of my treadles!  1. Minnesota Model A - front.jpg  2. Minnesota Model A - front, machine up.jpg  12. Minnesota Model A - drawer side detail.jpg  1. Minnesota A - 1903 - front, closed.jpg  2. Minnesota A - 1903 - front, open.jpg  7. Minnesota A - 1903 - drawer detail.jpg  15. Minnesota A - 1903 - left side (center trim replacement).jpg 

- Bruce, 
Bremerton, WA 



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Treadle&Gears

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Reply with quote  #24 
Wow.
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #25 
Wow Bruce, nice work. That is beautiful.

Cari

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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #26 
Real work of a wizard Bruce.  I always enjoy hearing about how you overcome and make your parts and restorations with tools and techniques anyone can obtain for their garage sized workshop.  It is amazing.  Best regards, Mike
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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #27 
Bruce, What a Nice Job you did.

As far as needles, I'm impressed you can flatten a shank with a dremel.

   When I got my first Davis (a VF2) ~11 years ago,  it had a 20x1 in it, which worked fine dropped down, but I wanted to find an alternative as I couldn't get 20x1 
   nor Boye 10 readily, inexpensively or in many sizes.

   I bought 3 Boye 10, and then set on a mission to discover an alternative to use. I was so excited when I finally discovered one that would work, the MTx190. .
   In my Davis VFs, the needle plate rotates to an option for a larger hole, so it doesn't rub.
 
   Actually, I kept my discovery to myself (save for a few folks) for at least 6 months..until someone asked at Treadleon if anyone knew of an alternative.
   Then I let the cat out of the bag, and got both appreciation and criticism; and one of the guys who asked me offlist about what I found, and then had told me it couldn't work,    even though I was using it, later said he had discovered it ?! (after his wife confirmed it does work). Meanwhile, another reader started selling them without letting her buyers know which needle it was. (The same seller from whom you buy your Singer 12 alternative (POx1 ?)  on Etsy).

 In the end, I reckon the important thing is that folks can use/enjoy their machines.

   Soon I'll have to find that Davis VF as well as a bunch other treadles and machines now being stored new homes. It's hard cuz I really like them all.
 Stacy
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #28 
Thanks, Stacy! How I flatten the backs of round shank needles to make them like the originals is to use a cutoff wheel and "wipe" the side of it down the back - side away from the long goove - until it's worked down enough (only takes a minute or so) gauging it as I go to be sure it's not canted one way or the other. When flattened sufficiently, I use a sharpening stone to smooth out the "cut" and it's ready to use. I usually do several at a time. This works for the Davis needles and also on the UYx138GAS coverstitch needles I use as replacements for the 20x1 needles. 

The plain round shank needles can be used as-is on many machines, but they do move the points and shafts to the left. This can be a problem if accuracy is really important, such as quilt piecing, and on some machines the needles will either not clear the hole and hit the needle plate (such as my New National hand crank) or rub on the side of the hole, such as my Minnesota A. It's not a problem on my Davis Vertical Feed needle holes as a rule, since we have the large needle hole there, but flattening them allows the use of the small hole with the proper size needle, which is nice. 

Speaking of Davis Vertical Feed machines, I have an 1890s hand crank, with the tension disc on top of the arm, Eagle and Shield decal on the bed, and a 1902/3 treadle I just picked up last Fall on Craigslist for only 40 dollars! 

Funny thing about that, I had seen it on Craigslist, but ignored it because I could see Davis on the arm and just thought it was the Davis model E and like the Minnesota A I have. They were asking 50 dollars for it, but I didn't need another one. Then a friend told me they had dropped the price to 40 dollars, so I looked at it again, this time opening the listing and looking at it. What's wrong with this picture? The stitch length control was not on the bed like my Minnesota A, but on the back of the head. Then I could see the needle plate - hard to see in the page thumbnails - and realized it was a vertical feed treadle. Needless to say, within an hour I had it home, as it was close by. 

With 3 machines using the Davis Long Needle, I guess I will be flattening the backs on some MTx190 needles for a long time. 

Here are the Craigslist photos of the treadle as listed. I haven't done much of anything with it yet, but will this Summer. 

- Bruce, 
Bremerton, WA







00O0O_4r2x7G8VVhm_1200x900.jpg  00O0O_f5ZnmJJylVh_1200x900.jpg  01212_hn0IsjpcjFq_1200x900.jpg 

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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #29 
Thanks Bruce,

That is a thing of beauty. I thought about taking the cast iron off to clean derust, and repaint, but it looks like they built the cabinet around it. So, now, i will probably be taking the treadle, the wheel, and the back off, and just leave the sides attached. Btw, I used to live in Bremerton in the early 70's!
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #30 
The cabinet mounting screws come in from underneath as do the drawer frames. You can lay it upside down and get it all apart. 

The pitman rod on my machine is wood, and I had to clean and refinish it as well, plus take the drive wheel bearings out and repack them. They are caged ball bearings with a 1901 patent date stamped into them. All the irons got cleaned and repainted, plus the missing wheels were replaced with modern high impact plastic ones that look almost original. I robbed them from a set of modern caster wheels, tossing everything but the wheel itself. They're rated at 40 pounds each, more than enough for the treadle and they won't mar or stain a hardwood floor. 

You used to live in Bremerton in the early 1970s? Remember it fondly, because it's nothing like it was then. Nearly all the businesses are gone, the parking spaces are all full and numbered and you pay nearly everywhere for parking, they've torn down a lot of buildings and put up condos (that nobody lives in) and parking garages. All of the businesses next to the Navy yard were taken out for "security" since 911 and a bunch of ugly "art" statues and a fountain are there now. They have rebuilt most of the downtown streets with brickwork crosswalks and planter boxes, etc., lots of make-work government projects to keep the public sector unions happy while driving all the businesses out. A huge monolithic building, the Norm Dicks Government Center was built across from the old Post Office that is largely empty. The desire was to move a lot of the government offices from Port Orchard to Bremerton, but they got sued by a citizen's group. Court agreed that they were trying to make an ad-hoc change in the County seat, so it's largely empty too and last I read, it's only open about 3 days a week. All of the main part of 4th Ave. were city hall was is now all city hall almost and the rest has been converted to apartments - no offices, not businesses. There are rarely any people on the streets at any given time. Traffic lights are mostly gone, they have 4-way stop signs now. It looks like the best of the soviet socialist dream. If you want to shop, you have to go to Port Orchard or Silverdale now, which is all built up big time. Even East Bremerton is largely empty of businesses except small operations. 

It's like a scene out of Back To The Future when he goes into the new world where Biff is in charge, only here it's real. 

Go to Google Maps, zoom in to Bremerton and click onto street view. When you are on street level, you can use your cursor and leap ahead to the next street arrow and take a virtual drive through Bremerton and Kitsap County. It's all changed nearly completely in nearly 50 years. 

-Bruce, 
Bremerton (Bremergrad), WA, USSA


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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #31 
I should add to what I said about downtown Bremerton, most of the parking places are taken by Navy Yard workers after they kicked nearly all of the cars out of the Navy yard, which expanded and took some of the area south. Montgomery, Callow and Wycoff avenues are gone - they made the "Gateway project", a massive landscaped entry into Bremergrad that houses the huge Kitsap Transit center. Buses usually run mostly empty. The old Manette Bridge was torn down and a wider, modern bridge was built. Much more. Go to Google Maps and see for yourself. Business and Occupation Tax was repealed to "bring businesses back to Bremerton" but they aren't coming and our property taxes went up 50%. Safeway on Callow Ave expanded and is still there (with a parking lot that is still hard to get in and out of), otherwise about the only grocery store in West Bremerton is the new Winco (about 3 or 4 years now or more). I;m glad I live close to the highway so I can get in and out for shopping. At present, a lot of Burwell Ave. is torn up for re-bulding the sidewalks in the Neo-Soviet fashion, probably with more bricks. Big scandal in the city administration and some public works people were demoted and fired for corruption. Sounds Soviet to me. 'Nuff said. I won't rant anymore. If I could leave, I would have left 30 years ago. 

Bruce, 
Enjoying the Progressive life in Bremerton (Bremergrad), WA, USSA
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #32 
I lived at 117a Sheridan Ave. Was a short walk to the pier to go fishing but, a long walk to Armin Jahr elementary school. I remember it fondly! My grandmother lived on Wheaton way. We used to walk to the Dairy Queen from her place all the time.
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #33 
I know that area well. I lived on the corner of Sheridan and Lebo in the apartments there. The old Coal Docks were right across the road and the Port Washington Narrows. Cold in the Winter! Wind and rain blew hard there. I used to walk down Lebo, up and across the Warren Ave. Bridge to Olympic College. The old Roosevelt Field baseball structure was still there. It's gone now, a parking lot takes it's place and Olympic College expanded, taking all the homes on Broadway. 

I got my first antique sewing machine on Callow Ave. in 1978, a 1929 White 1X in cabinet with attachments, the model that has the black crinkle finish and the cast-in decoration. Very cool machine. Now I have a huge collection and am selling some as I get them restored, keeping the best for myself, of course, but each time I find a treasure, something better comes along that I like more!

- Bruce, 
Bremerton, WA


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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #34 
This isn't even my machine. We moved out to a house in the country here on Kansas and found it in the basement. I asked the landlord if I could fix it up and he said sure. It was his grandmother's machine and hadn't been in used in 40 or 50 years. Just sat in the wet basement being used as a paint table and other things. My wife wants to sew on it, so i cleaned the machine and bought a new belt for it. I am just trying to bring it back to its former glory.
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jon

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Reply with quote  #35 
"(The same seller from whom you buy your Singer 12 alternative (POx1?)  on Etsy)."

Stacy, I think the 12x1 sub is 459R.   The POx1/ 46x1 would probably work but it is getting near 13x1 territory and it has a very long distance from the eye to the point..  The best sub is 94x5 which is near perfect but they are as difficult to find as 12x1.  The 459R was only 80% to 90% succesful so I stopped keeping them.  The MTx190 Davis sub is ideal. Thank You for thinking of it.  

Jon  


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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #36 
I've seen some really nice machines show up on here.  Good Luck!  It may need some refinish work, but you've got a lot there to work with.
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanette Frantz
I've seen some really nice machines show up on here.  Good Luck!  It may need some refinish work, but you've got a lot there to work with.
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pslaght

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Reply with quote  #38 
It's been a long process! I have it in a room that has no heat or ventilation. Sanded off and on during the winter. Finally started to warm up and i got it stained. Been applying the shellac but, started working 60 hours a week; so.i didn't work on it for three weeks. Had surgery a little over a week ago and just started shellacking again. Will pist pics when it is all done. She is a thing of beauty though!
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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #39 
["(The same seller from whom you buy your Singer 12 alternative (POx1?)  on Etsy)."

Stacy, I think the 12x1 sub is 459R.   The POx1/ 46x1 would probably work but it is getting near 13x1 territory and it has a very long distance from the eye to the point..  The best sub is 94x5 which is near perfect but they are as difficult to find as 12x1.  The 459R was only 80% to 90% succesful so I stopped keeping them.  The MTx190 Davis sub is ideal. Thank You for thinking of it.  

Jon 
]

 Jon, The hard part then was physically discovering one, but I scoured the garment district and lucked out. When I found it, and it worked I knew what to order.

 As to subs for skinny shanks, and the POx1,  I remember I had asked how much "head room" (space above the needle in the clamp) there was.. I think it was for a Singer 12, thinking if there was enough, the POx1 might fit.
IIRC, Bruce had mentioned the specs on his etsy purchse and they were the same as POX1, and they fit in his machine.

 Of course, there's a variety of machines which take the 12x1, so they may have different clearances. Even within manufacturers of SMs and needles, there may be variances in specs.

 Not so long ago, when someone else was looking, I did notice the 459R might work, but didn't order any as I use POx1 in my Pfaff B, and it can also take (thicker, longer) MY1014.

 It can be hard to tell folks which needle will definitively work in there machine, as I noticed, before getting bobbins and POx1, I managed to squeeze an Organ dbx1 in my Pfaff B, but a GB wouldN't fit. Yet another member at TO had a variant of Singer 12 which Did allow GB dbx1 to fit, ..her GB dbx1 has a smaller diameter than mine,= "1.58mm - (could be between 1.57 and 1.59),  and  she has a variant of Singer 12 with a different clamp from others' Singer 12s.

 Stacy
 
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jon

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Reply with quote  #40 
Stacey,  I took a look at the Etsy 12x1 sub and would have to agree it is 46x1 or POx1 rather than  459R needles.  

Jon
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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #41 
Jon, have you or anyone else measured how much you drop your needle when setting it? That would determine the max length from butt to eye that it could accept.

 (I don't have a Singer 12, just its nice table that I should've tried to coordinate with Steve to pick-up.)

 Stacy
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jon

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacy
Jon, have you or anyone else measured how much you drop your needle when setting it? That would determine the max length from butt to eye that it could accept.

 (I don't have a Singer 12, just its nice table that I should've tried to coordinate with Steve to pick-up.)

 Stacy



Not me.  12x1 has a short Boye version, Sys 257(?) and a longer Sys. 339.  I suppose it would depend on which 12x1 is being used and if there is a reference point  to drop the needle.  LOL, it shouldn't be this confusing.

Jon
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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #43 
Stacy: re skinny needles, eg. for Singer 12
"Jon, have you or anyone else measured how much you drop your needle when setting it? That would determine the max length from butt to eye that it could accept."


Not me.  12x1 has a short Boye version, Sys 257(?) and a longer Sys. 339.  I suppose it would depend on which 12x1 is being used and if there is a reference point  to drop the needle.  LOL, it shouldn't be this confusing.

Jon"

 Hi Jon, There IS a reference point. On both the Pfaff B and Singer 12 (and likely most TS sms).
There's an engraved line on the needlebar. It's set when the needle's eye is lined up with the throat plate and the marking on the needle bar is flush with the arm's top. 

 Whichever needle I use, I could mark the needle once set, and also make a mark with it all the way up in the needle bar; the difference would be how much extra space there is with that particular needle, thus I'd know the max length needle (butt to eye) that would work. I could do this for Pfaff B, but don't have Singer 12.

 Stacy
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jon

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Reply with quote  #44 
Gotcha

Jon
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