Again, disassemble this into its component parts so it’s easier to work on. This was the perfect excuse I needed to replace the Honkin Huge Screwdriver that disappeared with my ex-husband. A lot of these bolts were stuck pretty firmly; PB Blaster wasn’t helping, so I used the old trick of using a crescent wrench to turn the screwdriver. Voila.
My original plan was to scrub the rust and paint off of “the irons” (as they are called) and then spraypaint it black. I spent a couple of hours just on the screws, and when I discovered how much rust there was under the paint that was covering the pedal, well… when my sweetie suggested (again) “You know, you could just take this to the powder coaters that is right around the corner“, I agreed. Best $100 I spent this year.
It’s a simple machine, but again, take lots of photos when you’re taking this thing apart. There is a pretty good text guide here.
Order of reassembly:
- attach belt control to dress guard, to minimize the number of pieces you need to keep track of.
- attach the belt guide to the center brace
- attach center brace to legs. It’s easier to do this if it’s upside down. Put the bottom bolts in first (they’re at the top if you’re doing it upside down), then the top bolts. The side pieces are interchangeable so there are two sets of holes for the top. You want the center brace angled toward the back. (This is where photos of the disassembly come in handy, especially if it’s been 3 weeks since you’ve had it apart & have just gotten the big pieces back from being powder coated.)
- like any other project involving multiple fasteners, get each bolt threaded just a bit before you start tightening them.
- connect the pitman to the drive arm.
- attach drive arm to center brace
- attach dress guard. I don’t have the belt thrower reattached correctly yet; the spring has lost a lot of its spring over the past century.
- attach pedal to center brace & adjust the cone bearings (put those bike maintenance skills to use!)
- connect pitman to pedal
Connecting the pitman to the drive arm was the hardest part; the bearing housing + bearings had to be reassembled in place around the drive arm. This requires very sticky grease and/or an extra set of hands to help chase bearings around the workbench.
So! This machine is up & running new, and I sewed actual fabric (a quilt block) with it this week. I spent a good amount of time learning to work the treadle without thread in the machine, and then stitching on paper, before I tried to work on a project. It is a lot like learning how to drive :).