As you can probably guess, I got this baby home and hooked up a belt and discovered it wouldn’t sew. The treadle wouldn’t power the head, indicating it was gummed up somehow. The handwheel wasn’t completely stuck, so I figured “how hard could it be?”
Tools and tips:
The best advice I read, besides the obvious “take pictures from every angle, and take more than you think you could possibly need”, is to keep screws in their taps as much as possible. Some of these babies are tiny, and doing this helped me keep track of them.
This project mat from ifixit was invaluable. It helped me keep track of parts while I was working, and because I took pictures, I have a labeled record of all the parts.
There are a lot of good manuals and instructions online, so I won’t give a blow-by-blow here other than specific trouble spots I encountered. (If you use the manuals from Tools for Self Reliance, please consider making a donation.)
Tension mechanism: this just didn’t look right to me1, and once I found a manual online with images I could actually pick up details from2, I realized it *wasn’t* my imagination, the spring really wasn’t in the right spot. And thus began the extraction of the tension housing: Every few hours I’d drip a little more PB Blaster in the set screw hole, and tap it gently with a mallet and block of wood. Finally, on day 3 of this, I got it to move. A few more cycles of PB Blaster-tapping-waiting, and I smacked it right on out. To get it completely loose, I pushed it almost completely inside the machine by hitting it with the mallet & wood block. Then used the handle of a plastic toothbrush to pop it out from the inside.
Bobbin winder: this was coated with enough grease and dirt that none of the parts would spin and the spring-loaded stop latch wouldn’t even move. This required a complete teardown, cleaning, and relubing. A camera is the most essential tool here. The rubber bobbin wheel is much easier to remove/replace when the bobbin winder is not attached to the machine. It’s so much easier that it’s worth taking off the entire bobbin winder just to replace that little wheel, even though it is a major pain in the kiester to reattach the winder.
Bobbin and hook area: I tried for quite a while to remove the bobbin latch, because I’d read “absolutely do not remove this screw”, then found out that there are two different styles of bobbin latch – one needs to be unscrewed, the other doesn’t. They don’t actually look all that different. Use the manual from Tools for Self Reliance to figure out which one you have; you could break the bobbin latch if you do this wrong.
Underneath: I took this as far apart as I dared; I didn’t want to mess with the timing, because the machine would stitch when cranked by hand. PB Blaster and sewing machine oil were the key here. This was probably the easiest part of the whole refurb. When this was back together, I could give the handwheel a little flick and it spun freely for at a few full rotations.
Next: the treadle!
1 – it helps that I know my way around a sewing machine.
2 – a lot of the manuals available now are scans of photocopies of originals. The TFSR are the best I’ve found, as they are not reproductions.