Singer 27 or 127 Restoration Attempt

So, uh, it’s been awhile, eh? I guess you could say that life kind of got in the way. I’ve thought about restarting this blog a time or two, but it just felt awkward, you know?

I’ve had two old treadle machines in my garage for several years now, and in the great garage cleanup of 2021, they just kind of kept being in the way, especially because their stupid casters only roll one way. One belonged to my great grandmother and while it’s cosmetically ok, she’s locked up tighter than Fort Knox. It’s not a Singer though, it’s a Montgomery Ward or something. The second machine, and subject to my clumsy restoration attempt is a Singer 27/127 from 1901. It’s the Sphinx design, and while I’ve seen them beautifully restored, this one is a sad, sad machine. Everything moves like it should, but the bed paint is missing in large chunks, the decals are worn away, and it’s missing the front needle plate. The cabinet is a wreck too, but we’ll get to that later.

Since the Singer is basically trashed, I figured I couldn’t make it worse, so it could be someone’s parts machine if I couldn’t make it look good. I’d also like to make it sew, but one step at a time and all. I’ve got some pics of my progress so far, they are more for my reference, so they’re not aesthetically pleasing or anything. And yeah, this old girl is FILTHY.

I found a blog that has several posts that seems like they might be helpful to myself and anyone who is doing machine restorations. It’s called pungoliving, I’ve tried to link to it below.

As of right now, I’ve got her nearly completely disassembled. I tried to leave components that were grouped together (i.e. the bobbin winder assembly) together for now so that I don’t have to keep track of any more hardware than necessary. I also broke one screw that I think was already cracked. It looked like a poorly made Phillips head screw when everything else is a flat head. So that might be fun. I found the Singer Adjusters Manual for this machine online, and I’ll try to link to it too, if you’re interested.

I used some Simple Green and some Goop on the paint to see about getting most of the gunk off. Even though I plan to try my hand at painting it I don’t plan to paint the other one, so I am testing out what works best on this one without removing the decals any more than they already are. It looks better, but there is still a lot of sticky discolored spots, and also parts where there the paint (or decades of dirt/oil) crackled.

Until I get an ultrasonic cleaner or something to finish getting all the gunk off, that’s all for now!

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