Saturday 7 February 2015

Maintenance and a Moral Tale

It was high time I lavished a bit of tender loving care on my stalwart 1945 15K treadle, which serves me so well for all my free motion quilting.  The last time couple of times I have used it I haven't been sure whether it has been me feeling a bit slow and creaky, or the machine. Probably a bit of both. 

The first job was to remove the faceplate to clean out a great accumulation of fluff, and tip the machine back and clean out the fluff from underneath.

Next, I oiled it at the various points shown in these photos of my 1949 Singer 15K hand machine.  I made sure that I had removed the foot, because oil seeps down the presser bar and can take a while to clean off the foot.  I could have removed the needle and needle clamp too, but I wasn't feeling particularly organised and methodical.  I also oiled underneath the machine.

Once oiled, I gave it a quick spin, and then left it for a couple of days with strategically placed tissues under the wheel and round the needlebar and presser bar to catch and absorb excess oil. 

All the old manuals recommend that after oiling a machine should be run hard, so the oil is well distributed.  So yesterday I gave it a fast and furious spin - terrific fun with the face plate off so you can marvel at the movement.  A table lamp was trained on the machine, the camera was resting on top of a tin, I had my finger on the shutter, and I was sitting at completely the wrong angle for treadling.  I rather chuffed with myself that I managed to get a mini video done.

And here is one I made earlier...

While making this video the machine made a big bang, which sounds less than half as loud on video as it did in real life.  I jumped out of my skin.  For a split second I thought I had broken the needle.  Then I realised that the presser bar had sprung itself down as a result of the vibrations and I had managed to record it on camera.

Moral of the story - run the machine hard with the foot off and presser bar down.  Better for the machine, and for owners of a nervous disposition.

Linking up with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday


  1. Now that IS funny that you caught it on video. Those old ladies do like the lint cleaned out and a drink of oil every now and then - then you better stand back she's ready to do some serious work.

  2. I enjoy watching all your video's. As they are an encouragement to me to oil and maintenance my machines more regularly. :) Keep them coming!

  3. Hey, thanks for the little tips, like removing the foot, needle, etc., and leaving tissues in for a couple of days. Very soon I'll be giving my "new" Featherweight a complete cleaning/lube/oil overhaul, so those are greatly appreciated. :)

  4. I just love these old machines! It never occurred to me Muv to leave the faceplate off so I could watch everything go to work when I take my machines for their first after oiling spin. Neat!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...