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lholzhu

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello to all,
Just looking for some help. My mother purchased this machine a few years ago and I will be the recipient of it. I did a good look over yesterday and got some pictures. I believe it is a VS111 probably dated 1920’s. I have the serial number and will call company later. It is in excellent shape, decals pristine, no visible rust, bobbin and case present. Manual is present and excellent condition. Box with pristine attachments. Also Good Housekeeping sticker in one of the drawers. One unused sewing needle for the machine. It sees and moves very easily, but just needs a little TLC. We are moving in a few weeks and once settled I will bring it to my house. Few questions for you all..
1. The leather belt will need to be replaced. I am not seeing anything to disengage it. I know singer there is a lever but not seeing anything like that here. But I am thinking the only time you would disengage would be to clean/oil/grease bottom of machine. (I did not look at this as I wanted to keep belt on for now.
2. There is a silver plate on the top near the right back than gains access to treadle iron work, does not stay open. Wondering what this is used for?

I have learned a great deal from YouTube videos and some message boards. I believe that this is an oak tiger cabinet. I have not seen one like it, two drawers inside of door on left and pretty fancy legs and door curvature.
If anyone has any thoughts or information ..thanks

Purchased in Waupaca WI, currently in Wautoma, WI relocating to Neshkoro WI.
Purchased for $ 50-100 they don’t remember the price.

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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nice White!  Welcome to the forum.  When you get a chance you may want to post something in the introductions thread so we know a little about the person we are helping.

Now, on to your machine.  Congrats!  These are solid and reliable machines.  The leather belt can just be removed by hand.  it will stretch a little so you can "pop" it off the pulleys.  The belt ends are connected by a metal wire staple like thing.  Needle nose pliers work well, but they do actually make "treadle belt pliers" specifically for the process.

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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #3 
So disappointing to see the "pin sock' on the arm. This will mean that underneath the decals will be badly scarred no doubt. This pin rag should be removed. Use a pin cushion that you can sit on the table top. Aside from the obvious damage that will be done by the pin rag, it looks to be in excellent condition overall. 

The metal plate on the back of the top is just an access plate to help with putting on a new belt, inspecting to ensure the belt is engaging the drive wheel, etc. 

The belt on a self-rising White is easy to remove. When lifting, before the machine comes all the way up, just slip the belt off the end of the hand wheel. The belt can be replaced by bending out the wire staple that joins the ends and taking the belt apart. Putting on a new belt is easy and there are plenty of sites and Youtube videos to show you how. I'm sure there is one on this forum somewhere, just type it in the search box. 

The treadle cabinet you have is a bit rare. I have a variation of this treadle cabinet for my White Family Rotary (it is a Family Rotary, not a VS III, by the way - it also has the FR prefix on the serial number). Here is a manual that will pretty much explain everything you need on this machine. The White Family Rotary is one of the best classic sewing machines ever made, and one of my personal favorites. 

- Bruce


 
Attached Files
pdf White Family Rotary sewing machine manual - Book 11.pdf (7.90 MB, 6 views)

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lholzhu

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for sharing the manual and your comments. The sock pin rash is really not bad. I have not done any cleaning. I have removed it and will just keep it in the drawer. Very excited to sew on it in the near future and follow this forum.
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #5 
Beautiful machine!  White FR's rock!!!  Especially in a treadle.  Best regards, Mike
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PatriciaPf

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Reply with quote  #6 
I have the Family Rotary, too, it's a bit older than yours and in a mission-style cabinet.  I replaced the leather belt with a rubber one so I wouldn't have a problem with slipping.  It works like a charm though it isn't traditional.  I love the machine!  It runs beautifully and makes a fine stitch.  Enjoy!  
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #7 
Here is my family rotary in our front porch.  I can get umbrella material for 1 dollar a yard here so we will make a cover in the next week approximately along with one for some other machines....quick work on a 4 thread Juki MO-3300 series.  The foot pedal was missing as someone converted it to some cheezy electric motor (our other has an original Hamilton Beach motor that I'm not taking off).  Took motor off and converted back to treadle.  Also the part that locks machine bed to table was missing.  Took a stainless thumb bolt (opposite of wing nut) and matching quarter-twenty thread stainless wing nut, spring from broken portable umbrella (telescoping type that will fit in a purse has amazingly long spring inside) and used a metric nut as a "jamb nut" on other side of wing nut.  Works like a charm and only needs to be turned 180 to release bed.  Because the foot pedal was narrower had to make stainless (then paint black with epoxy paint and epoxy primer) rectangle to make it all fit and work right.  They now sell a rubber belt that looks like leather here so the best of both worlds.  Oh by the way, recommend not ever mentioning rubber belts on the treadle-on group.  That was my first brow beating I received from Helen Hunt when I first joined and was very impressionable as a new to sewing person.  We have a "pleather" rubber belt now (plastic leather/rubber).  I love this machine.  It rocks!!!  That is an 1869 Singer no. 2 sitting next to it now.  I'm days out from receiving my second no 2 head and then will receive two more crates for the table, legs, hand wheel.  The other is from 1864 making it a Civil War machine and it is an Imperial with heavy duty shuttle.  Can't wait to get them both running but will make a pitman arm from the second as a pattern for the first.  We just finished work on this able in the last 1 to 2  weeks.  Next will be our "Asian" table for the other Family Rotary that is going in the tree house.  I have the hardware for self retracting head and other needed parts from eBay auctions.  Thinking to use abaca woven mat into the wood surface and epoxy for the design.  Entire table will need to be completely waterproof just for longevity unlike this one that is a twig design. Best regards, Mike.   White FamilyRotary11AugPic4.jpg  WhiteFamilyRotary11AugPic3.jpg  WhiteFamilyRotary11AugPic2.jpg  WhiteFamilyRotary11AugPic1.jpg 
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lholzhu

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks for information. Where did you get your pleather belt?
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #9 
I am in the Philippines.  These belts and many other parts are available in the city here in the province dirt cheap.  I can also buy leather belts and buy leather belts off internet.  These belts have ridged sides to them and flat on the other two sides.  They grip incredibly well.  Little stretch.  It is some type of synthetic rubber it seems but I'm uncertain so it might be real rubber and when I look at them with a magnification lens I can see more than one layer of tiny cords in them which I'm assuming is nylon.  Pretty amazing for such a small belt like this to be a corded one.  Very high quality imho and obviously made by some big manufacturer of belts that decided to perfect a treadle belt.  They are new on the scene here in the last year and before were not available but quickly are replacing the leather ones.   Best regards, Mike
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #10 
sigh.......I LOVE the #2.....
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Steve,  In the cue to come here for machines....another Singer no 2, 1858 Grover and Baker no 20 long bed portable, two Grover and Baker no 1 improved lock stitch (two different versions), four Wheeler and Wilson no 7 machines with two treadles and the other are heads only, Wheeler and Wilson no 12, three Wheeler and Wilson no 8's with one hand cranked (we already have one no 8 hand crank here already), Bradbury A1, mix of twenty Merrow m-4d-45 and mostly mg-4d-45's machines with entire spare parts inventory from factory and a smattering of other industrials not worth mentioning here like a Singer 269w12 (no big thing) and other 1900's industrials.  If I was to guess we have 30 machines in the cue to come here and over 5 dozen industrials on site now. Somehow they multiplied  exponentially at some point.  Best regards, Mike 
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #12 
Fantastic!  I am still looking for a #1 or #2.  I have one each of W&W #6 & #7

I'd love to take a Merrow of of your hands if you get tired of having that many...lol

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aircooledaddict

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lholzhu

2. There is a silver plate on the top near the right back than gains access to treadle iron work, does not stay open. Wondering what this is used for?


I have this same cabinet but mine is an electrified treadle. The motor and light plugs into a socket just to the left of that trap door. The power cord then comes up through that door to energize the socket. You disconnect it when you aren't using it. My guess is that they just used the same cabinet for the electrified and non-electrified treadle.

They did something clever for the foot pedal on the electrified treadle. The controller is mounted below the surface of the cabinet top and a chain with a hook connects the controller to the treadle foot peddle. Push forward on the peddle and it pulls the chain and activates the controller.
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #14 
Sorry if this is off topic....
Hi Steve,  As with collectors of vintage machines the Merrows are absolutely no different.  I always follow on eBay by doing a search for "Merrow machine" as the word Merrow alone is not going to narrow it enough and have been doing this for years now (going on 3 years).  These machines are almost the same for the last 100 years with minor improvements along the way (like oil pumps at some point instead of drip oil systems).  The cams (upper and lower main not the stitch length eccentrics) are talked on their site to last 30 years 24 hours 7 days a week before failure (with proper oil and filter changes etc).  I just won a m-3u patch emblem sewing machine for 130 dollars.  I could hardly believe it.  A new patch edge sewing Merrow is currently listed for 3.5k (seller said they can't figure out how to use it and only has 1 hour on it paid over 4k new).  It is the older grey "M" machine not the green "MG" machine.  The curved needle is superior in an overlock just more expensive.  More precise placement of stitch and easier to adjust (and coupled with their cam system rock solid reliable).  One thing about a Merrow is that it better have sharp knifes on it.  I learned this on our 3 thread m-3dw-4 we also have.  It arrived frozen solid but I freed it enough by hand then poured in kero and ran a belt off the chuck of my 10 amp dewalt drill for about 10 minutes then changed back to oil....ran like new.  The 20 machines (plus) I bought are designed to close the toes on socks.  That is old school and all automated now.....however it is essentially the same machine (mostly but so close it doesn't matter so much) as their blue 6k us dollar active seam machine.  I will use these machines to make/sew sportswear.  I'm using all three threads.  Here is a picture of 1mm neoprene sewn with ticket 120 thread in three colors.  The white neo is just under 1mm thick and the grey is an honest 1mm.  We will set up with servos and have a factory line.  Maybe some day I'll buy a blue one (if I find myself getting rich off a clothes line in production) but for now not.  The Union Special 39500QA sub class can be re configured for same active type seam with parts swapped out.  We have three 39500s but they are "rf's" or heavy material 3 thread sewers.  I will be changing out parts so 1 or 2 of them will be dedicated for jeans zippers and already have the parts list to do it.  overlock industrials are soooo not the same from machine to machine.  We have other U.S. (Union Special) sergers that are a far cry different than the 39500's and also we have 5 new old stock Singer 1842u092's that are really made to sew jeans.  I've found without the right seam off the serger the FOA (feed off the arm) just will wander all over the seam (ex when using a 5 thread off a U.S. 39800 we have being narrower).  Picture attached of our recent test samples that made me decide on buying the rest of them. Note this is a butted seam called a break apart seam in the industry.  It also did well on wovens (denim or maong in local dielect).  Now I want to get a shell stitch 😉  Best regards, Mike edited to add I have a 20 stitch per inch eccentric for front part of differential feed dog and 30 stitch per inch for rear feed dog of differential feed dog.  These are size 2 Merrow needles.  Devil's in the details.  They changed out their needle bar on later blue active seam machines to allow ball point needles.mg-4d-45Seam16AugPic2.jpg  mg-4d-45Seam16AugPic1.jpg  StitchTestFront7Aug.jpg  StitchTestBack7Aug.jpg

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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #15 
NICE!  Totally NOT off Topic.  It is a sewing machine!  Thanks for the details!  I am just trying to figure out which one I need to hunt down that is pre-1900
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Steve,  

  There are lots of links about the history on the Merrow machines but this one is a pretty good one below.  Note how they talk about the landmark court case between Wilcox and Gibbs and Merrow in 1905 and how Merrow won as the inventor of the overlock machine.  However, I read another link to an obituary for Wilcox and Gibbs where it talked about the invention of the cutter/trimming knife with a patent awarded to Wilcox and Gibbs.  Also, there is a web site for Billabong thin type wetsuits that use an active seam and how Merrow, they claim, invented the flat seam/ flat lock stitch.  I've never seen a Merrow flat lock machine but plenty of older Wilcox and Gibbs flatlock machines.  I think it is a bit muddled just like the invention of the sewing machine the final product in it's full glory was the result of multiple advancement/inventions.  Wilcox and Gibbs is not making machines anymore in USA but Merrow and Union Special still are (they both make excellent overlock machines).  So, if one was looking for a pre-1900 overlock machine I'd think either Wilcox and Gibbs or Merrow might be viable options.  I've seen several 100 plus year overlock machines from Wilcox and Gibbs.  The model 60 overlockers I'm not certain if they were made prior to 1900.  I'm still researching that one myself as I would like to get one myself (but I also want to get a working Reece model J from the 1800's 😉  If you find out more please share about the actual models pre-1900 and serial numbers as I also would like to buy one.  Best regards, Mike   https://sewvacoutletblog.com/2012/04/06/the-history-of-the-serger/   
     
http://kickshawproductions.com/blog/?p=13844  This is the Wilcox and Gibbs I've been seeing mostly coming out of Europe....patent date 1892:  https://www.ebay.ph/itm/1912-Industrial-3-thread-overlock-sewing-machine-by-Wilcox-and-Gibbs/254175683288  Another vintage (color black) overlocker that is fairly good is the Union Special 39200.  We have a 39200at that has a plate where it was imported into Belgium.  The seller told me he rescued it from the attic of a textile museum and they were claiming to be getting rid of it.  This is a much newer machine but I bought it because of a Heddel's link that discussed vintage jeans machines with the 39200 being described. Best regards, Mike
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #17 
Wow!  I'm getting a great education about these industrials.  Mike - do you have a hemstitching machine?

Your operation in the Philippines is intriguing - what do you or do you plan to manufacture?
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lholzhu
Hello to all,
Just looking for some help. My mother purchased this machine a few years ago and I will be the recipient of it ...




A lovely machine with all the fixings! Hope you can get it up and running and please keep us updated.
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hello Chaly,

  I am building now....have not yet started to manufacture.  Mostly construction work at this time.  Stuff like a short road and upcoming building(s). We are set up for work pants/jeans but with the recent addition can do sports wear within certain boundaries.  Also we have heavy leather machines on site as well.  If I wanted to really jump into that I might want a flatseamer as well which is about a 4k additional investment but if the correct materials are used no need with the current purchase(s).  Interesting you mentioned a hemstitcher.  I don't have a need for one now but have researched them learning they have two basic types with one for curtains and one for pants essentially.  They also use them for sewing wetsuit material over 3mm thick adjusting the depth so that the stitch does not completely penetrate the material then on the other side a hot air machine with a heat activated glue.  There is a "how it's made" video showing the use of the hemstitching machine.  High end wetsuits use them but nowadays there are ones that are only glued as well.  The glue is always the secret sauce in the recipe.

Best regards,
mike
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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #20 
Mike, I think you mean a blind hemmer.. I left a industrial US Blind hemmer 718 a few years ago, didn't even have time to sell it or its industrial stand with clutch motor. You don't need that for jeans anyway. "Hemstitchers" are a different beast, eg. 72 w ..19?, 12?, makes a nice treatment for. eg. linen hems on handkerchiefs, napkins, skirt hems.. you probably don't "need" a hemstitcher for your factory either, although they Are cool.
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hi Stacy,

  Yes I meant a blind hemmer and yes I don't have a need for one except if a rare project comes up which likely just never is going to happen to justify one of those machines.  Was typing in a hurry after dinner and got my names mixed up.  To answer Chaly's question I did buy a hemstitcher and it's in the cue to come here.  I was offered both a Singer  131w103 triple needle lockstitch machine and a  Singer 72w12 hemstitcher and to help out the person selling them bought them both.  They were not on my list of machines I was acquiring but bought them to help the seller out.   I think the 72w12 is a less common version of the hemstitchers available.  

  Some time back I posted on V.S.S. about the hemstitchers trying to find out more about them.  Both of these machines take rare needles it seems although I see packs of Organ 130x3 on eBay now I would be concerned about availability of some parts.  I tried contacting the folks on hemstitcher.com a while back and never received a response.

  edited to add.....I will blame my mistake and hurried response on basically not feeling all that well today and not paying attention to my answer as a result....

Best regards,
Mike
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #22 
Thanks for the update, Mike.  If you ever get your hemstitchers running let us know how they work and what you will use them for.  You certainly are busy with all your machines - it must be a full time job just to keep them all in repair and running.
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