answer to sewing machine question : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Subject: Response to source of information on old sewing machines

Thank you Juno! I just picked up an old White and it needs work. First question - what's the best way to clean up the finish without removing the silver writing and design? It's just old dirt and old, turned a light golden brown - nothing too nasty. Also, where can I find a replacement treadle belt?

HI Deb! i sew on a white treadle myself. best treadle ever made in my opinion!. if the design is silvered someone already cleaned the machine with too harsh of a cleaner. the original designs were gold green and red. the colors have been dissolved and you're down to the lead undercoat, the silver. old sewing machines were painted black, then decalled with beautiful colored designs, often floral, egyptian or Art Deco, then topcoated with a shellac coat which will fail if exposed to moisture. a lot of old machines have cracked and alligatored finishes, or just a strange powdery brown gunk all over them. there is no way to my knowledge to restore a failed shellac/ varnish coat. what i do is to get as much of the gunk and dirt off with an old cloth diaper soaked with sewing machine oil or light mineral oil lots of time and rubbing. then i put on a coat of good quality car wax (maguires is one brand) to seal and protect what's left of the finish. never use harsh solvents, acetone, alcohol on a sewing machine. it will destroy the finish quick!. Treadle belts come in one size; 72" with a heavy staple at one end. you measure how much you need, cut off the rest poke a hole into the free end with an awl or thin nail and put the other end of the staple through and bend it over with pliers. put it on pretty tight at first, it will stretch out after a bit of use. if you don't have a good indepented sewing machine dealer in your area, you can get belts and other old sewing machine parts from Chris Vagtborg at great guy, honest and reputable, and loves old machines.

-- Juno redleaf (, July 07, 2000


I use to buy & sell treadle sewing machines, if they were especially good looking and I wanted to clean them up I would spray them with WD- 40 and wipe them clean, sometimes I uses 409, once cleaned I would spray them with clear enamel.

-- Hendo (OR) (, July 08, 2000.

I bought a new belt from Lehman's Catalog. But, you can check on their website. ( I love that catalog! Sears Christmas Wish Catalog my foot!!! Lehman's is the place where homesteaders dream of birthdays and Christmas and somedays...

-- Pam Pitts (, July 09, 2000.

hi deb caught your need for belt if you dont find one e mail father started in sewing mach buss. 1902 he passed on in 1959 and left me the buisness as i worked with him in sales repair we used to service several shoe and harness shops also schools and home.aside of that it is a hobby now i still have many hard to find parts and needles for any make still have several bobbins all from real old to new hope i can rescue someone don

-- don summers (, July 10, 2000.


-- JULIUS WEINSTOCK (, September 01, 2001.

Hi Don,

I have a Domestic Rotary electric Sewing Machine Series 153.

I could use any parts/foots/needles available. I have one extra bobbin, and the motor works but there was no needle in the machine when I bought it.

I you have any parts for it or any of the extra feet for it (its supposed to be able to do all kinds of different things with the extra feet), let me know because I would be willing to buy them.


-- Stephanie Nosacek (, September 01, 2001.

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