Monday, March 19, 2012

1951 New Home Rotary restoration

This weeks restoration project included another New Home Rotary, model NLB.
I was informed by the owner that this machine was bought "New", by his mother  in 1951.
Standard clean up of old, yellowed oil and dry caked grease brings these old machines back to near mint working order. In this case too, some re-wiring was needed. Usually the wire inside the machine is fine.
The power wire outside is what needs to be replaced.
Soldering the splice and then sealing with shrink tubing does a nice job that should last another 50 years.
As you can see, all steel gears above and below.
 Clean out that old grease and re-lube with a lithium based grease.
I use a cordless "Dremel" rotary tool with a small, carbon steel brush to polish up all the yellowed, metal parts.

The original friction pully is usually dry and brittle and usually has at least one dent in it where the rubber sat against the hand wheel for years. Once I got the motor re-wired, cleaned and lubed, I held a piece of 120grit sand paper against the "rotating" rubber to bring it back to almost new condition. It makes a mess but it works.

A couple hours, a little elbow grease and this baby is back in business.

Remember, these hand wheels run clockwise which is backwards to what we are used to.

After a short sew test with regular cotton fabric to set the tension,  I did end up re-setting the hook timing. Now I wanted to see what this machine could do. 6 Layers of denim wasn't a problem for this machine. (That was all that would fit under the foot) What a great old machine that should last another 60 years!
Sew test VIDEO: Watch

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The 1907, model 66 Singer restoration.

I am still amazed at what was available 105 years ago. I recently had the opportunity to work on this very old machine and after a lot of cleaning, oiling and polishing, it sews beautifully. Singer continued to make the model 66 for years. They even made a re-issue in the 80's. There were several things that were obsolete and irreplacable on this machine.

The bobbin winder had changed and parts are no longer available. The needle plate is different than the norm along with the feed dogs. The bobbin case holder has changed from the "normal" model. I have been able to get every thing back in working order. It did take some fabricating but nothing extreme. This is a "Lotus" decal set available from 1907 -1920.

It was obvious that this was a treadle machine. It did not have a motor mount screw hole. Singer made an attachment that made "electrifying" an older machine possible.
The screw on adapter includes the light mount.
Even though this was an upgrade to the 1907 machine, I still needed to rewire everything.
This adapter could also be used to mount a handwheel. 
I finally found a bobbin tire that would fit the oversize winder wheel, but it was too thick. 
I spent some time with the belt sander which makes it look like a racing tire and now it works perfect. The distance from the tire to the hand wheel is not adjustable on this model bobbin winder.
My first sew test and a small amount of tension adjustment produced some acceptable stitches for any machine, not to mention one that is 105 years old.