Friday, December 23, 2011

Admitting the Problem

Hi. My name is Kim and I'm an addict.

They say the first step to recovery is to acknowledge the problem. Well, consider it acknowledged.

In my defense, one of my best friends is a total enabler. She's not exactly my supplier, but did call me up and let me know where to find it. Even offering to put down a deposit for me and drive me to pick it up.  I have no willpower and was unable to resist. See? It's not completely my fault. Really.

The funny thing is, I don't feel bad about it. Isn't there supposed to be some kind of guilt, or remorse? Concern for what my family is going through? I have none. Just that endorphin rush which, I suppose, is part of the addiction.

My substance of choice is cast iron, and in this case, a wooden cabinet and treadle.

Yes, I did it. Another machine. I swear, this one is my last. (I know, that's what I said after the featherweight, but this time I REALLY mean it)

How could I resist? A 1904 Singer 66 treadle machine with Egyptian Lotus design on it- stunning! Mary found it tucked in a corner of a musty smelling antique shop, a bit dusty and in need of a good cleaning. Still working, according to the shop owner, it had belonged to a 92 year old woman who had just died. Clearly, it has seen a lot of use, and at some point was converted to electric with a motor and light.

After heaving it into the back of the car and getting it home the stripping began. I wish I had taken a 'before' photo but I was in such a hurry to clean her up I didn't think of it. The ironwork base and treadle were quite rusty but cleaned up fairly well with a liberal spray of WD-40. The cabinet was in decent condition but definitely needed stripping. Have I mentioned how much I love my hand-held sander? It was fairly quick work and I was able to get the top and large drawer sanded down to bare wood and stained all in one afternoon.  I need to do the 4 side storage drawers but they shouldn't take too long.

I removed the machine from the cabinet and will clean and oil, and wax it. The decals are in fairly good condition for their age. After a few days of oiling the exterior I'll use some nice caranuba wax on it to give it a shine and protect the finish.

The shop owner gave me the name of a man in Salem who used to work for singer who is a good source for antique machine parts. The machine will need a new belt for both the motor and treadle as well as a rubber ring for the bobbin-winding mechanism but otherwise seems to be in good working order.  I can't wait to finish the cabinet and take her for a test sew!  

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