Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1925 Singer model 66 treadle gets a face lift

My wife heard me wishing "Out Loud" for a sand blasting cabinet back in early December. Being the super trooper that she is, Christmas Day included a totally unexpected large box, hiding in the guest bedroom with no name on it. I hope it was for me because I immediately claimed it as my own and no one said any different. Over the next several weeks I learned about "Sand Blasting" and just how big a mess you can make. After completely covering the entire garage with a fine, white dust, I have decided that this will be my last Sand Blasting project until it warms up in the spring. Cabinet or not, It should be done out side. Here is what the
cabinet looks like.
Just pour in some special sand, hook it up to your air compressor and commence to making a huge mess. I did have a project in mind. It included a 1925 Singer treadle machine which had a horrible finish. I had bought it for parts and really didn't have anything to lose if I destroyed it. I couldn't take the machine totally apart so I had some prep work to do before it went into the "Blast Cabinet".
I still think that Duct Tape is one of the greatest inventions ever. The sand just bounced right off of it. It worked out well. Below is the naked Singer after 4-1 hour treatments in the Blast Cab.
Now I have to get this primed as fast as I can to protect it from rusting in the 90%, Indiana  humidity. I used standard, spray can paint. A bare metal primer, an automotive gloss, and a clear enamel. Below is several coats of primer and a half dozen coats of the gloss. You may be wondering why I chose WHITE for the Face Lift/restoration project...........
The decals that I am able to produce with my home computer and printer require a white background. It will not work on Black.
In between all the paint sessions, I was looking for ideas for borders and graphics. I also had to match the standard Singer fonts (lettering). I ended up spending quite a bit of money downloading high resolution graphics that I could plug into my Corel Draw program I used for making the "water slide" decals. You can buy ink jet decal paper and it does work if you have the patience. It does not always want to cooperate.
I finally got my decals on but it was a struggle. I had to use some lacquer thinner very carefully to get them to stick. Now for the clear coat. I had a good 8 coats of clear and then I had to "wet sand" the decals with 1200 grit sand paper to get rid of the hump due to the thickness of the decal itself. Then another 6 coats of clear coat, 24 hours of dry time and a day of re-assembly....

 I spent another day just making every thing look right and adjusting it so it sews a Perfect Stitch!

The first sew test.


  1. Absolutley stunning Dan I love it in white, what a great job you have made of this.

    1. Thank you for your positive feedback. I wasn't sure how the world would react to a "White" model 66.

  2. Wow! It is absolutely stunning! I cannot believe how beautiful it is. I was speechless when I saw it. I would die to have a machine as beautiful as this one. Well done. You should VERY proud of your handy work.

    1. I just can't believe all of the favorable feedback. Thank you again. Hey, maybe you should buy the Mister a sand blasting cabinet for his birthday.......

    2. Funny you should mention that, his birthday is just round the corner and I was stuck for an idea. ☺

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks,
      You are the best wife ever!

  4. Wowzer! The sewing machine is fabulous!

  5. Are you going to be selling this?!?!?

    And if you do, you'd have to ask a CAH-ZILLION bucks, to try and get paid for your labour, eh?

    Oh wait... I forgot! This has GOT to be a labour of love, right? *VBG*

    BEE-UUU-TEE-FULL machine! I would never, in a cah-zillion (there's that word again) years thought it would look like this! LOVE IT!!!

    Tks for sharing pics and explanations!

    Rosa Robichaud
    Saint John, New Brunswick
    *your wife's blogging friend*

    1. Thanks for your wonderful comments Rosa!
      I did figure that if I paid myself $5/hour,
      and added in my material expenses, I would need to get
      $325 to break even....I don't think that is going to happen......It must be a Labor of love thing indeed!
      Receiving all the compliments is priceless.....
      I wish I could get a Cah-zillion for it.

  6. I have incorporated a standard sewing machine motor and a after market, hand crank that works very well. I will be posting more pictures soon. I am new to the "Hand Crank" thing......

  7. Wow - what a great thing to do to give the machine new life. I just got a 1920's 66 converted to electric, and will be following your instructions to rewire it.

    This is gorgeous! It gave me ideas - my favorite color is cobalt blue - how interesting might that be! Or how about candy apple red with black detailing?

    Another idea for decals might be to go to a sign shop and ask about cutting out metallic vinyl that they use on signs into patterns you want. It probably wouldn't be too expensive. Maybe even see if any friends have a Cricut machine which is just a home version of what a sign shop has, although I don't know if you can import your own designs.

  8. Gostaria que você fizesse uma postagem sobre a aplicação de decalques

  9. Hi! Looks awesome! Did you just cover the Gold badge with tape while working on it? I am trying to remove mine, with no luck. Hope taping will produce nice results like yours.

  10. Great blog,I read your article and giving useful information about one stitch facelift by you...a lot of thanks...