Monday, February 22, 2016

Hand Crank Sewing Machine

Last week we got a hand crank sewing machine at the friends of the Oakland Museum White Elephant sale.  It's the head off a Singer 127 treadle machine removed from its treadle base with a hand crank screwed onto the end.  Simple.  Works.  It still runs smooth in spite of being close to a hundred years old.  We already have a number of sewing machines but we wanted to have one that we could take on the road and use in camping spots where there was no electricity.  We probably could have simply brought needles and thread, but a machine offers some speed advantages.  Plus the fact that the machine has already lasted a hundred years speaks well for its ruggedness.  The main downside of the machine is its weight, an unavoidable consequence of its cast iron body.  But we'll see how it works in the field once we start using it there.  The other thing that speaks well for the longevity of this machine is that it's still possible to get spare parts for it.
Report on use of the machine in the field to follow.
Here's the machine sitting on its base.  

The hand crank is attached to the body of the machine near the base.

The crank is linked to the hand wheel by a little tab that sticks between two spokes of the wheel.

One of the front plates pulled out to expose the shuttle which holds the bobbin.  Unlike modern machines where the shuttle is round, this one is bullet shaped and swings back and forth in an arc instead to going in a circle like the modern ones.  Actually, both kinds oscillate, only this one goes through a smaller section of a full circle.

Here's the shuttle freed of the machine.  The bobbin slides into the body of the shuttle from the left.

The bobbin winding mechanism.  The thread guide travels on the heart shaped cam and wags back and forth, distributing the thread evenly along the length of the bobbin.

The bobbin in place on the winder with lovely blue thread being would on it.

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