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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #1 
I removed the first layer of crud.  Things found so far:
  • The cam lobe for the presser foot lift looks like it's pinned onto the needle bar shaft.  Is it possible that they didn't have the ability to machine a cam out of steel back then, or was this a repair?  This lobe lifts the presser foot when the needle is down.  Once lifted, it springs back and down to feed.

DSC07721.jpg  DSC07720.jpg 
  • The source of the stiffness appears to be the replacement pin in the primary gear shaft.  It appears to be side-loading the bearing surface.  With that gear out the hand wheel will freewheel for days.

DSC07723.jpg 


Timing marks on the gears:
DSC07711.jpg  DSC07712.jpg 

There is some original gold paint on the base!  I love that.

DSC07714.jpg 
The top of the base is pinned on.  Pretty cool. The machine itself just sits on the base. Guess it's so heavy there wasn't any concern that it would fall off.
DSC07715.jpg 

Part of the "G" in "Singer & Co." is broken off [frown]  Or maybe I have a one of a kind "Sincer" machine lol

DSC07724.jpg 

With a cotter pin the correct size I may be able to treadle this thing soon!

Greg

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Reply with quote  #2 
Greg, looking at this #2 and thinking about how over built it was and it's still around ready for use.  Seriously doubt few if any new machine today will be around 100 yrs from now. 

I'm enjoying your discovery process!

Regards,  Dan 

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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #3 
Dan,
It's a serious piece of machinery.  Yet it has one of the most beautifully designed hand wheels I've seen on a Singer.

Greg

DSC07713.jpg 

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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #4 
She stitches and feeds!  I'm not happy with the axial play in the primary gear, but it moves easily with foot power and is quite fast.  Maximum stitch length seems to be 3.5spi.  Now I just need to learn how to thread it.  There's no upper thread tension adjustment that I can see other than a series of loops to feed the thread through.

Greg
DSC07725.jpg  DSC07727.jpg  DSC07730.jpg  DSC07731.jpg  DSC07732.jpg 

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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #5 
that last image is the top tension.  I believe it may be in wrong. (I have never played with a #2...

Here it is set up and working on my Letter A 
The amount of rotation you apply to the winged bit controls the resistance.  (there IS a reason they evolved...)

20170903_220401.jpg


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Reply with quote  #6 
Steve, the A looks intimidating.  Awful lot going on with the tension.  Whats the doohickey sticking up on the needle bar?

Dan

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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH-VSS
that last image is the top tension.  I believe it may be in wrong. (I have never played with a #2...

Here it is set up and working on my Letter A 
The amount of rotation you apply to the winged bit controls the resistance.  (there IS a reason they evolved...)

20170903_220401.jpg


Thanks Steve.  I was thinking that winged bit had something to do with it.  Very helpful though, thank you.

Greg


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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Ladies and Gents,

  I have two Singer model no 2's and a third one that has been waiting pre-pandemic to be picked up and shipped here (I'm oustide of USA so patience...and lots of it along with persistance.....is the way we get the antique machines here).  Both of my "here on site" no. 2's are vastly different.  The shuttles are a huge difference in size.  Both are from the 60's.  One is made for heavy work and has the wax pot that is like the one in your picture.  I have only sewn mine with ticket 30 gold thread on denim and once on my daughter's band boots to sew some ruffles on.  It works pretty good in both cases....both machines but I'll pass on my recommendation(s).  

  First, it is very important here on these two machines to shine and polish smooth the "bits" that make up the tension device.  I had to play around with both and after it is up and running if it sits for any long length of time I have sometimes needed to shine things up again on the tension with a dremel polishing wheel.  I tried and tried then set aside the project to get it to do reliable felled seams on denim.  I will need to get a folder made by a gent who makes his own folders in a factory setting then likely I'll just be fine there.  Stitches are beautiful but again it has a bit of a tendency to wander on the straight line of stitches.  A warning on the wooden piece that is in these beauties.  If not assembled properly with it's "brake" it will never feed properly.  Luckily had I had some really good pic's sent with the machine before it was dis assembled.  

  One of my no. 2's has a four motion feed of some type. The other has a 5 or 6 inch diameter feed wheel which is where the wooden part with brake is.  Very primitive but very cool feed.  This 5 or 6 inch (I seem to remember 6) wheel has knurled machining in it!  The other has a big presser foot.  My one machine has a shuttle so small that i literally (it was missing) made/modified a Singer no 12 shuttle to work in it.  We had to weld/grind/weld/grind etc to bring the tip to the right spot with stainless rod and then it worked fantastic albeit with a tiny bobbin.  The other is an "Imperial" with the largest shuttle.  I was told 5 or 6 shuttles were made I just can't remember the number on that also.

  Our other no 2 not yet arrived is oober rare.  It is an 1859 no. 2.  I've been told by the expert(s) it is the only remaining no.2 from the "50's".  Even more rare is that this one has a no. 1 base on it.  I was told the only other surviving no 1 base is the one in the Smithsonian.  I hope this machine makes it here ok !

  When assembling the other two bases they only go with pins one way.  Of course we got it wrong the first time then figured out the puzzle and assembled it right.  I've been told by ladies treadling the no 2 when visiting they like this machine better than the other treadles (White for example).  Singer just has a legendary name here and nobody has heard of any new fangled machine like a White FR in twig cabinet (which by the way does an amazing job treadling felled seams on denim without any folder but just a little expertise).  

  I'm hoping to get our two Grover and Baker no 1 improved lock stitch machines going soon but we have all attention on other projects for the operation here.  I need to make missing part(s) and make a shuttle for one of them.  Luckily I have an example with the other one.  I gotta say the shuttle on the Imperial and the remaining shuttle on the G&B no 1 are humungous shuttles which is a pleasant surprise.  

  I know you'll enjoy your no 2's.  They are awesome machines just need to be given TLC in our case(s) here before use then they are just fine.  According to Ismacs the production run on no. 2's was a long one.  Likely so long because they had not yet gobbled up Wheeler and Wilson with their amazing factory and industrials.  Once Singer gobbled up Wheeler and Wilson everything changed for Singer industrials.

Best regards,
Mike
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #9 
Mike,
Thank you for the information.  Could you post or send a picture showing the upper thread routing of the No.2 you have that is more similar to mine?  I'll take your note about polishing the tension mechanisms.  I haven't gotten to cleaning that part of the machine.

Mine doesn't have any wooden pieces in the feed mechanism.  The part that contacts the feed wheel is steel.  I adjusted the feed timing last night; the feed wheel would start to rotate forward before the needle was out of the fabric.  I did that by rotating the feed cam on the lower shaft about 3 degrees.

I'm enjoying tinkering with it so far.  Ordered some needles.  Now I have to do some more cleaning, figure out how to wind the bobbin and thread it!

Thanks,
Greg
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Greg,

  On the needles, I just use 45k1 needles (214 x 1) at least one  unit....I cannot remember if it was 45k1 needles or 135x17 in the other but I'm fairly certain the other is using 135x17 just haven't checked recently. I do have some pictures for both no. 2's on V.S.S. threads I started for each machine:  

https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/1864-singer-imperial-heavy-duty-shuttle-model-no-2-10259915

https://www.victoriansweatshop.com/post/singer-model-number-2-circa-1869-10256427?pid=1309428017

  I'll be honest with the pandemic my attention has been completely absorbed with the new buildings we are making (for production lines) and a massive solar upgrade.  We already have 250 solar panels and now need to install another 97 of which 3 are repair panels from people being McGilla Gorilla instead of going in like a surgeon while working on the roofs.  I will someday feel I have enough complete to post pictures but as of today we are building a genset pad for our newly arrived Denyo 25kva (with Isuzu c240 same as our Owner Jeep) that will run off b20 bio diesel during extreme heavy rains or brown outs (rare) at night...we recently did some work on our 5kw air cooled diesel genset which has maybe 1 to 2 hours on it and is pretty much never used until now.  We are working on our lower cutting structure wiring today with 27 outlets and soon with the vacuum steam table another 3 outlets there minimum maybe 4 or 5 and when we finally get to installing the CCTV in this structure and the 36ft long cutting table we will make then another round of outlets.  We have an industrial 20 position breaker box with 13 soon to be 15 pieces of 15 amp GE breakers.  And....we need to wire up the upper building in similar fashion.  There are so many ongoing projects here it is controlled chaos.  I'm still undecided on a room for antique machines as mostly they are in the house except some industrials in the studio that are antique Singers and Union Specials (not antique by V.S.S. standards with exception of a few over 100 years old so maybe I should just say "vintage").  The 1800's machines need to find a happy place where they can congregate together.  I'll try to look into another photo.  It is about 9:15pm now and I"m kind of starting to wind down for the evening.....doing planning on our new power room for all the solar electrical/electronics.  Please let me know if you don't see the right photo on the two threads....I have allot of pics from when it was sold to me and I might be able to hunt those down on the computer and send your way.

Best regards,
Mike
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #11 
Mike,
I just read through those threads and found pictures of what I had questions about.  Interesting stuff, and really cool to see your machines.

Thanks again,
Greg
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #12 
You can see where the top spring for the take up popped out and it still worked....




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pgf

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks for posting that video.  All that bent paperclip superstructure makes no sense until you see it in action!
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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf
Thanks for posting that video.  All that bent paperclip superstructure makes no sense until you see it in action!


Yes Steve, thanks for the vid.  I agree 100% with Paul.  

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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #15 
Well, she stitches!  This is my first run of stitches; size 138 thread top and bottom, original needle (new ones aren't here yet), 8 layers of 1000D Cordura.  What fun!

Greg

DSC07743.jpg  DSC07744.jpg  DSC07745.jpg 

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #16 
Congratulations!     That tension mechanism is an excellent example of the transitional engineering creativity that I love about early sewing machines.
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks Paul.  I took Mike's advice and polished the tension bits with a wire wheel in my Dremel.  It works pretty well.   I also lowered the feed wheel a little.  It was quite a bit higher than the needle plate and made stiff material do funny things.

Greg
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hello group,

  The 3 loops that are in bar/thick wire that goes up and hits the leather piece really threw me off.  The obvious is that the thread does not go through it.  My conclusion is that it must act like a "sideways" spring as the bar travels up to it's stop where the leather piece is  (that piece is adjustable in height that the bar/thick wire hits with the leather at the top of it's travel).

  I noticed in the picture that this is a machine with a larger shuttle.  One of my machines has a shuttle that I used from a Singer 12 with modifications on the tip and works great.  The tensioning on the two is identical just the race of the shuttle and the size of it.  Also, the feed mechanism is different between the two.

  I know that with ticket 30 and denim this tensioning system does work.  What I did wonder about is how well it works with the finer threads.  I would think that it works well if the tension remains consistent and that may be dependent on how well the thick wire is shined up.  Just like other high quality steel from that era it is amazing how it resists rust under normal use.

  The Singer no 2 is most definitely a machine that grows on somebody after some use.  It is a very unique machine that was used for a long production run.  I was surprised to see the production run lasted at least a decade after the Wheeler and Wilson no 12 first went into production.  The W&W no. 12 was a modern machine by many standards and an excellent one ahead of it's time.  I have learned that there is merit to the punching power behind large/heavy hand wheels and at least some mechanisms used with shuttles as well.  I do not own a Wheeler and Wilson designed for leather work so cannot compare but again I'm speculating that the ability for heavier material such as canvas combined with the extremely large shuttle/bobbin kept it around through it's production run.  The Singer no 7 was also a heavy hitter and I'd sure like to own one some day.  The Singer no 7 had successful production runs long after the acquisition of Wheeler and Wilson.  The only problems with Wheeler and Wilson machines prior to the no 12 were the tiny bobbins in many cases which were not supportive of high volume/fast production environments.  There was an advertisement in the newspaper in 1873 in San Francisco for when Levi's patent was approved finally after multiple attempts and failures because the similarity to military items with rivets.  He hired a patent lawyer to finally get it approved.  In the 1873 advertisement in the "want ads" was a request for 50 "first class ladies" to bring their Singer no 2 or Grover and Baker no 1 (improved lock stitch).  This is why I sought after these machines.  I believe the later G&B no 1 is much more geared up towards denim and canvas work.  As many layers of cordura in the test however......the Singer no 2 in that config (I'm guessing it is an Imperial model for leather by the pictures in the thread but no expert just a guesss) is superior to the G&B no 1 for the heavy work......but not superior to the Singer no 7 :-)  I remember reading about one variant that was semi portable in that one could stand after it was moved into place and was designed for work/repair on canopies for covered wagons.  Now that is a cool image to imagine a Singer with a treadle that someone is standing to treadle and repair a canvas cover for a wagon that is being used to go across America prior to the coast to coast railroad.....kind of a tailor on the go in some town that sprouted up to support the movement of people expanding the edge of the frontier.  

Best regards,
Mike
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #19 
Very interesting Mike.  Thank you for the the info.  It's interesting to think about the life of this machine, what it was used for, repaired over the years, and survived 100 years after it was "obsolete". 

I was thinking that the three loops in the take-up lever could be used if you ever needed more tension.  I don't think I can get any more tension on the bobbin thread though.   I have some leather I'm going to experiment with next.  I wasn't able to find any leather needles yet, so I'm going to sharpen round point needles into wedge point and put a little bees wax on the needle.

It's definitely fun to use.  I have to figure out how to wind the bobbin.  The manual mentions putting a belt around the hand wheel to the bobbin winder and holding the thread back 15" while you treadle. I think I have a small leather belt around to try that.

Greg
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #20 
This is a 3/16" belt.  It works great!

Greg

DSC07746.jpg  DSC07747.jpg 

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jplowrey

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Reply with quote  #21 
Good deal.  Congrats on getting it stitching!  You'd think Singer would have grooved the hand-wheel to keep the belt from walking off...  I use a small diameter elastic cord to drive the bobbin winder on my #3.  Maybe the leather 3/16 belt has less tendency to walk. 
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #22 
John,
I was surprised the belt doesn't walk off either.  The surface of my hand wheel is just slightly concave which may help.  I'm just glad to not have to hand wind the bobbin like I did yesterday.  That bobbin can hold a lot of thread!   My arthritis is still bothering me for it.

Greg
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #23 
Hi Greg,

  I also just use a 3/16 inch leather treadle belt with fine results.  Very easy to take off the hand wheel of the number 2.  Maybe if it wasn't the right tension it would have different results.  I guess a flat belt may work better and have better results but once I had success with the 3/16 inch treadle belt which I've got plenty of that I keep in stock there was no going back.  For me I have to order the 3/16 inch leather treadle belts as they have mostly gone to synthetic in the sewing stores in the city here (and I believe are better performers) and the ones that are still leather are smaller diameter and I am not very partial to the smaller leather treadle belts.  A gent who owns a machine shop and in his 70's once told me that his mother sewed together scrap pieces of denim to make her treadle belt.  My mother-in-law in her later part of her 70's (sexagenarian as sung about in the rock and roll song) uses a piece of medical tubing that was supposed to go to an IV and it works great for her.  Likely many ways to do it but on the Singer no 2 I'll stick to leather on the winder for the bobbin.  Other machines I just don't care much.


Best regards, Mike
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #24 
Testing some of the new needles I received today.  They're Groz-Berkert 129x1.  The Thread Exchange has them in size 14, 16 and 22 only.  All round point with a scarf. Here's a test with some old (dry) leather 4-6oz with 138 poly thread top and bottom.
DSC07748.jpg  DSC07749.jpg 

I'm trying to find some that don't have a scarf.  The #2 doesn't require a scarf and the scarf weakens the needle.  I ordered some 135x17 (SD point) to see if those work in it as well.  In all reality I'll probably use this on heavy fabric more than leather, but I used the leather as a test because it's probably the toughest thing I'll sew.

Greg

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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH-VSS
You can see where the top spring for the take up popped out and it still worked....





I added a torsion spring on the take-up today.  Like you said, it worked better without it.  With it the upper tension was inconsistent and overly taught.  Played with it for a bit and couldn't get a good stitch.  I think the spring I used was exerted more tension that the original one, but I'm going to stay with no spring for now. 

Greg
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #26 
Hi Greg and group,

  We have made our own springs here but we used a very thick stainless steel wire we had some on hand.  As a result the spring was a weaker tension.  For an interim fix on the first no. 2 I used a plastic handled spring that looked horrible until we made our own.  Grainger has a huge selection of springs and spring stock of different types.  I've also seen them on eBay.  We have ours working pretty good with ticket 30 thread which is what we mostly sew with here.  On occasion I'll use ticket 50 in an overlock mixed with ticket 80 and of course we have the much lighter stuff made for serging that is insanely low cost but needing a size 11 needle.  The Mrs mostly uses size 11 needles with the serger size/ticket 120.  

  This forum thread really makes me want to pull the covers and dust off the two no. 2's on hand here and put them back in use until after the pandemic when we finally can receive the third one.  

  I think the no 2 is truly a machine that grows on you and with the need to keep the tension all polished up it craves consistent attention from the owner/user :-)  Kind of like letting a classic car sit un used for too long compared to taking it out for Sunday drives.  

  We have patchers here and will some day get our Bradley so we will have an 1800's patcher.  It is much more difficult when running lines of stitches requiring care in use to get consistent stitch in comparison on a patcher than a no. 2 but that is of course a large flat bed but the tension really can be dialed up high on the patchers with exception of our 29k72 clone which is no where near as capable of heavy work as the patcher clones we have other types of.  And it is up for debate if even the 29k patcher was ever even an industrial but some of the German ones were and still are used in some shops for production use reading on leatherworker.net threads but be ready to pay several thousand dollars more for them new than a 29k clone new.  The model 17's and 18's with their long beak shuttle (first made 1905?) IMHO are more suited for a consistent stitch when needing a free arm for medium heavy stuff like canvas and light leather in most cases except the most extreme tight spot to get the stitches into.  I've gotten really good results from my little "hot rodded" hand cranked China Leather Shoe Patcher but at same time dial up the tension very high and sometimes cheat using the HMWPE fishing line that is much stronger.  Once I sewed 16 layers of medium weight denim as a test using the HDPE fishing line and high tensions dialed in hand cranking the CLSP.  Our other, larger, clone patchers are capable of even more heavy operation.  Problem is that the metal is so soft it is ridiculous unlike the work horse the no 2 is for certain.  We have four "U" made in Japan by Seiko Singer 18u322 free arm and have not touched the aggressive feed dogs with any modifications like many do with tool dip to not mark the leather on the bottom and where the rollers go.  So what I'm trying to say is that even in the 1800's industrials (which the no 2 was as well as the patchers and model 17/18 and model 7) were specific for specific tasks.  Maybe some day in the future I'll be lucky enough to own a model 7 :-)  That machine was so well designed and made it was made/used from the 1800's until at least 1951 according to ISMACS.  

  So the two no. 2's here have different feed arrangements.  The one with the much smaller shuttle has a drop down roller feed that drops from the side.  I have to wonder if this was the first machine model ever in production in large quantities to have a drop down roller feed foot like this.  Our other has a very stout presser foot that is nice and the much larger shuttle.

Best regards,
Mike
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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ke6cvh
Hi Greg and group,

  I have to wonder if this was the first machine model ever in production in large quantities to have a drop down roller feed foot like this.  Our other has a very stout presser foot that is nice and the much larger shuttle.

Best regards,
Mike


Mike,
Does the drop-down roller feed act as the presser foot as well?  I'd be interested to see that in action.

Thanks
Greg
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #28 
Hi Greg,

  Well this is an embarrassing picture as it showed the temporary springs I used to sew initially with it a while back.  The "orange hobby clamp" was taken off after we made our own spring material from stainless.  The picture does a good job of showing the roller foot that replaces the presser foot normally.  This machine has the feed dogs replaced by the large diameter wheel so it has two wheels essentially.  This machine is from 1869.  My other, not yet arrived, is the 1859 that I'm told is the only surviving no 2 from the 1850's so crossing my fingers when it does finally ship.  I honestly don't remember right now the year for the third no 2 and feeling too lazy to look it up.  I've also included a pic of it sewing on demin sample stitches both front and back.  Made my own cover on this machine from black upholstery vinyl with red vinyl at the seams wrapped around 3/16" rope to give it that boat upholstery look on the cover.   Last, I included a picture of the Canadian Ash pitman arm I made for it with a modern bearing in it around the stainless steel end.  That pitman arm was an unused piece off a LeClerc loom part that I have and is great.  Best regards, Mike1869SingerNo2BackSide1.jpg  1869SingerNo2Backside2.jpg  1869SingerNo2CanadianAshPitmanArm.jpg 
Best regards, Mike 1869SingerNo2TempTorsionSpring1.jpg

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stitchntime

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Reply with quote  #29 
I spent the evening grinding and polishing out the grooves worn into the upper thread path as Mike suggested.  I had polished them previously, but when I tried running 207 thread I discovered the well-worn grooves were shredding my thread.  a cone shaped grinding bit in the Dremel followed by a wire wheel followed by polishing with jewelers rouge seemed to leave a good result.  I felt a little nervous about grinding away pieces of a 150 year old machine, but it was necessary to get a good stitch and not tear the thread to pieces.  This machine is becoming one of my favorites, although I doubt my neighbor feels the same (it's really loud; no stitching after 7pm is my new self-imposed rule).

I also discovered that the presser foot cam is screwed onto the upper shaft, not pinned as I had thought.  The screw is really beat up, but I think I could get it out if I had to.  The cam lobe is worn, and may need to be replaced at some point.

Thanks Mike.

Greg
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