Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just for the Legs!

This is the tale of a poor treadle cabinet, turned electric!

At some point in time, the foot pedal and the fly wheel were removed to make this cabinet work with  an electric machine…..and somewhere in that time frame this Singer 328k, manufactured in 1953, found a permanent home in the cabinet.

I picked them up, as is, at a local Salvation army about 5 years ago.

The 328k is a nice machine….but I really REALLY have wanted to get this cabinet back to original ---which is where this story begins.

I removed the 328k from the cabinet thinking I could just pop a treadle head in there at some point…..but what to do about the missing pedal and wheel?

Craigslist of course!

Last Saturday I found an ad for a very beat up cabinet that still had good looking legs and I emailed the advertiser.  I didn’t hear anything for a couple of days.

Monday I got an email back…..and I recognized the email extension on the address ---the same place my DH works!

This could be a good thing ---gives me some leverage  "Do you know Dave Hunter, he's my husband"----or this could be a bad thing ---no way can I keep this purchase from DH!

The seller agreed to bring the machine to DH’s office which is only 6 miles from the house – otherwise I was going to have to drive about 45 minutes each way to drive out to HIS house---so this is GOOD, right?

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Cabinet! in the back of the sellers pick up truck!

If I saw this thing driving down the road I would want to stop and adopt it right there on the spot!

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The front drawer had nice detail, but the cabinet TOP is in really bad rough shape.  You can’t tell it from the picture, but the veneer is cracked, grain raising up, peeling away, missing parts,  is really SERIOUSLY would take a lot of work to fix.  But remember, I want this just for the irons. ((All the metalwork underneath the machine is referred to as "the irons."))

**Side Note** It is extremely rare to find a treadle cabinet without at least SOME water damage ---many sport the obvious symptoms of "potted plant disease" as machines folded down into a cabinet in a living area were often adorned by plants requiring water from time to time ---BIG MISTAKE!

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The drawers are in okay shape….but what will I do with them?!

((This could be bad...but could this be good?!))

And then there is THIS issue:

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It came with a MACHINE!!
((is THIS Bad or Good?!?))

It’s not even a frozen up rusted out hunk of junk like I kind of hoped it would be.  It’s missing the bobbin slide plate and shuttle and bobbin ----BUT….

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C6565165 dates this machine to 1908-
This machine is 105 years old!

I already have a Singer 27 with Sphinx decals.  I bought it on My Birthday, remember? This new one is almost too pretty to make it a parts machine, though it does have a lot of good working parts on it….

But on the other hand…..could I turn this one into a hand crank?

And just how many hand cranks do I think I need?

This could be bad!  ((But then again, this could be GOOD!))

But back to the cabinet issue…….the irons from this damaged cabinet will fit the old  “electrified” cabinet top I have….and I’ll finally have a home for my Singer 115 with the Tiffany decals:

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This is the Tiffany ---in the poor electrified cabinet – I’ll also have the belt spring from the trashed cabinet to fill the gap where the belt goes on the right side of the machine ---and with the new "old" legs….perfection!

This machine and cabinet are up in the guestroom --- come visit me and you can treadle in the middle of the night all you want! :c)

But then there remains the question of what to do with the "electrified" irons?!?



  1. Bonnie, That front piece with the decorative trim on the old damaged cabinet is the piece that was missing from a treadle cabinet I bought eons ago to house my Singer Golden Touch and sew.(no old machine) Nothing else was missing or has since been removed. A woodworker replaced that missing piece with a plain piece of oak but I'd love to find an original piece with the trim intact. Congratulations on such a find!

  2. You had me laughing out loud this morning...too funny! Can't wait to see how you solve the good/bad dilemma! Really...it's all good!

  3. what a find! and my mom has a 328k, a work horse of a machine but it's in a modern, meaning 1960 era, cabinet....which is still over 50 years old....but 105 years old, terrific find...btw when is next quilt cam?

  4. In this age of "repurposing," I would bet there are many crafty types who could make something out of the spare parts. For instance, I could see those drawers remade into shadow boxes and hung on the wall. Maybe you could entice one of your sons to start a business with your castoff pieces? :)

  5. You are so lucky finding so many great machines! I read this, went to Craigslist to see if I could find a cabinet for my 60's era White. No luck today, but I will check periodically.

  6. I had a hand crank crank with no base and found a green sewing machine cabinet I loved, so I put my hand crank in the sewing machine cabinet. That would be an option for you, or since it is missing the parts needed to make it usable you could put a regular table top on it and use it as an end table.

  7. take it the cabinet came home with you, lol, who would have guessed. The cabinet can be fixed by injecting glue under raised places and clamping a board down over it until it drys. DH fixed mine that way. where the veneer is missing, new veneer can be glued in and stained. You may already know this but just in case. My brother lives in west Tx and he said he had treadle base parts he would give me, so if you want I can get them and when you or family come to see your family here,Longview, you or they can pick up. let me know because my sister is going to west Tx this weekend and can pick up. Got to save these old beauties . When I see one that hasn't been loved in a long time I want to take it home. I would have emailed you but that seems to be a prob for me.

  8. Too funny. Can't wait to hear "The Rest of The Story". A continuing saga. Fun

  9. Use those drawers for display. Our LQS fills theirs with fat quarters. Hang one on the wall and use it as a shadow box. You can put a vase or other memorabilia in it. Put one in your dresser drawer and use it to hold your folded socks. Use them as organizers. Sell them. Lots of possibilities. What a great find and a lovely cabinet front.

  10. LOL. Its all good. You got the irons. You got a bonus machine whatever you decide to use it for.

  11. I'd say have hubby put a table top on them and use them for the legs of cute little desk! Above all, enjoy all the fun you're going to have figuring it all out! You have the best luck you know.

  12. Here's a link for turning a treadle into a quilt rack. It's on pinterest as well.

  13. If you decide you want to get rid of the drawers, I would be interested in buying them. I use them as part of a display in my booth when I vend at shows. I currently use some that are out of a cabinet that I have here, and would love to have drawers that were just dedicated for my booth!

  14. Lol! You are so funny!! Anyway, it's all good!! Whatever you decide to do this new treadle has brought you joy, a challenge and a way to keep your brain working! Have fun with it. That's what life is all about!

  15. Bonnie my daddy took the treadle drawers (machine cabinet had disappeared by the time I discovered sewing) and put two stacks of three and put a top on the thing and I use it all the time to hold sewing treasures. It helps me remember my grandmother and is so useful. Many who come into my sewing room ask me if I want to sell it. It's quite handy and I know where my rotary cutters are now. just a thought.

  16. You are a hoot, Bonnie. And how has DH responded to the parking lot transaction at his workplace? Almost sounds like you were doing something illegal! : )

  17. The empty treadle drawers are a GOOOOOD thing. I have bought some on ebay just to store and display folded fat quarters (in the top one if you don't put a lid on the stack), pencils and pens, rotary cutters, etc. However, you need to carefully remove the rails from the cabinet in order to stack the drawers so they will still pull out. This is a GREAT blessing--in my opinion, of course.

  18. I have a cabinet in my kitchen that holds our k-cups. It's made from two stacks of three drawers, side by side, with a solid wood top made to fit over them. It all looks like it came that way. Just have a good woodworker make the top. It looks awesome and I'd sure do that with the drawers if I had them!

  19. Lucky that he knew your DH anyway, but what was Dave's reaction?? Love the 105 yr old machine. The decals are so nice! I need to make a list of Antique Malls in Portland to look at while I'm there.

  20. What a fun problem to have! Treadle drawers are great for storing thread and little sewing gadgets in.

  21. Oh what a dangerous web your are weaving ! Lol

  22. You totally crack me up! I think it is all good :) those machines, cabinets and irons are so lucky to have found a good home with you!

  23. Bonnie I have a se of drawers in thier portion of the cabine, not sure what its called but hey can be removed from he main section so you have jus the drawer frame work. I put a nice oak top on the frames and made a drawer cabinet from them. I can send you a picture of mine of you'd like.

  24. I just LOVE reading your adventures! Missed your QuiltCam tonight. Had a birthday party to attend, my grandson turned 3 today. He is the youngest of three (all boys). Each time he would open a gift, he would say "MINE". He probably feels like you do when you gift yourself with a "new" machine!

  25. You make me laugh! Most people would scratch their head at what you said. Ive read enough of your blog/watched QuiltCam I understood!

  26. My treadle has the same decals, but they are much more worn out. It had all the necessary parts though. It's serial number is K554858 from 1902. My cabinet also has some ares of raised veneer, but I'm not going to refinish it, it's not too bad and after all she is 101 years old.


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