What a relief to find the parts I needed for our family's Singer Redeye Treadle sewing machine just a ways down the road. I bought a replacement for the rotten ring that fell off the bobbin winder, plus a red felt to sit under the thread spool, at Sew Unique Fabric
. Turns out, Helen at Sew Unique has restored a few treadles of her own and knew exactly what I needed.
At home, I unscrewed the entire bobbin winder mechanism in order to pop on the new rubber ring. This runs counter to the hand wheel, causing the bobbin to turn.
Once I reattached the bobbin winder, I loosened the stop motion screw in the center of the hand wheel. My challenge then was finding just the right tension and rhythm for the bobbin thread, which I ended up holding gently in front of the winding bobbin. This machine is a great way to demonstrate simple gears to a child, because you can see how they work with amazing precision, after all these years. When I pulled the hand wheel toward me and got the rhythm of foot treadling just right, and gently held the thread that I had started on the bobbin, I could see the metal guide gently rotate on its screw from right to left and back again, filling the bobbin.
As Donna Kohler mentions in her useful book, Treadle Sewing Machines: Clean and Use an Iron Lady
, you should ideally find an owner's manual for your specific model of treadle. I haven't done that yet. Chances are, unless you have the exact model of Singer 66 Redeye that I have, your bobbin winds somewhat differently. What's most impressive to me is that, with gentle care, these machines are able to work so smoothly. They seem like they were made to run forever.
Unsticking the treadle machine
Next step for me: treadle-stitching some Christmas ornaments...
Labels: crafts, frugal, sewing, thrifty, with our own hands