Friday, 7 December 2018

Elderly Underwear

Preservation is a wonderful thing, but this interesting waistband with its label was surely not the only piece of cloth that could have been left under a blameless 99k

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Sunday, 21 October 2018

No, and Definitely No

It amazes me what people will consider plugging into the mains.. Don't they know that electricity bites?

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Today's Things...

Sorting time...

Been Suffering from Heaps

Rather better than Piles...

This lot (plus about the same number again) arrived in July, as the weather was at its most enervatingly hot, and just as I was attempting to get the yard tidy for the Sculpture Trail
My local OSMG had been storing these for up to 30 years in his rather damp garage, and now wishes to park his car.
So, 8+ car-loads and a deal of backache later...

Now, all are disassembled - even the most unpromising machine seems to have at least a few re-usable parts - and the parts bagged, labelled, and sorted into buckets. Only one machine had to be rejected outright. My Scrap Man thinks it is Christmas

A bit like so. And, in the meanwhile, the database needs work, the website needs more work, and my heads and thumbs hurt..

Sometimes the evidence makes me quite sad - this machine (a magnificent Wheeler and Wilson 12 industrial) came along separately as I was dismantling. On looking behind the bobbin case, I found this little mungle of thread - a lovely machine consigned to oblivion in a damp Welsh shed for 50 years because of removeable string?

So, anyway, having rejected this sort of stuff

Yes, that is a bobbin winder tyre, carefully preserved in a toolbox (in case it comes in useful?) If I had two, perhaps they would breed?...

...I have started again, again, on cataloguing, sorting, photographing, and tearing-out-of-hair..
This time, in Alphabetical Order, so last night's was Bobbin Cases

And, this morning, several of them need removing, as sold overnight.. Here We Go Again..

And I'm revitalising the somewhat moribund Email Newsletter
Sign up from this page to join in..

Saturday, 18 August 2018


... there are unusable leftover bits of sewing machines.. While I detest upcycled sinks and stupid lamps, I do hate to waste good metal

This is Raveningham School- Fish Rising, our little unofficial part of the Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail.
More details HERE

Monday, 16 July 2018

Cor, Blimey...

This happened
I bought 12 machines on eBay, all described as "worse than the pictures" and "with free woodworms"
Drove to get them, 20 miles. Man who sold them turned out to have lived in my current house 22 years ago..

So, I spent a day-and-a-half taking all the good bits off, labelling, little baggies, lots of oil and PlusGas and dirt (particularly dirt) and now I have three buckets of good spares and a corpseyard...

...which makes the scrap man happy

Then I got an email from my friend-and-collaborator in the Other Local Sewing Machine Shop
"I have been clearing out the garage and have about 50 wrecked machines, when can you collect?"
This is the First Installment (26 machines) - we brought another lot back today and have at least 2 more car-loads tomorrow

Two deep and two back, plus these Big Boys

(Probably the best ones, but Oh! the cases...)
This is what happens to a Viking case left on a wet floor

And this, surprisingly, is the pedal we removed from that case - not even dirty..

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Still stocktaking, and comparing treadles...

Now, counting plates is all very well, but life has to continue unabated, and in spite of the snow. And, I was asked to compare the regular domestic treadle and the industrial types, and thought this might be a useful idea.
I have used a Singer 15 class domestic treadle for over 40 years - it's precise, fast, slow, and strong, and it sews chiffon at least as well as canvas. I actually think a machine that sews chiffon is superior, of course. Straight stitches in the Forward Direction only. Here it is (excuse the mess)

The irons are 21 inches wide, and the top is 29 inches from the floor. It's not very clear in this photo, but mine has a "big" drive wheel, which makes it faster. I have long ago lost the table-top, and it is set under and on top of a standard kitchen worktop about 8 feet long. This is useful. I have also set it a little further back than is standard, as the extra space in front of the needle is very useful.
And here's an Industrial one - this has a Singer 31k15 in it

Now, you will note that this machine is much bigger - it's not a "heavy-duty" machine, being designed for the tailoring trades, so fast and precise. 
It needs a longer treadle base, or your knees hit the left side of the irons, and this is done by adding a spacer top and bottom to a regular set of irons (this one also has a "large" wheel)
Apart from the spacers, and sometimes a set of pieces to raise the top, this is much the same as a domestic treadle. The width of the irons is 26 inches, and the height is still 29 inches. I have had electric (clutch motor) machines - they almost always seem to be taller, and I have been known to cut them down. I have a modern machine (a Juki ) but it still has (and needs) only those ever-so lovely straight stitches. Mind you, it does go backwards. And it's robust in many ways, but not like these two old ladies...

The 31k is for sale, by the way, see here for many other types and shapes of treadles from 1880 onwards

Now, back to the Plates Pages. Ho, hum...