Something New for Something Old

BASE 003.jpgBASE 004.jpgBASE 002.jpgBASE-001.jpg
My daughter, Sarah, asked me to build this for her. The sewing machine is a Singer Model 66, manufactured September 9, 1919 that was originally on a treadle base. It had been left sitting outside so when she got it all the original wood parts were falling apart or gone. My son-in-law made a nice side table from the base and the sewing machine has been sitting for a while. She didn't have anything special in mind but I couldn't resist the opportunity to upgrade the design a little bit. I had planed some walnut down a year or so a back and that just seemed like the perfect material for this project. I originally was thinking I'd do thru dovetails but I thought the blind dovetails would look better with the rounded corners. Everything else is pretty straight forward. I did cheat a little on the joinery for the top. I was going to use mortise and tenons but I decided to use the Kreg jig to speed the process up a bit. I have a good bit of sanding to do and I need to make an insert and a lid for the cubby and finish it off. By the way, she is pretty happy with what she has seen so far.
I’m not sure what the plans are for this. There was some talk of making it into a lamp but I don’t know if that’s what she really wants to do with. She has a couple other old machines, one is a White treadle and the other I can’t remember. She sews a good bit and has a newer machine but still likes to sit down at one the old ones now and then. I could see this one possibly being restored at least to working condition and a motor added.

Don Baer

Staff member
I'm so old I remember my Mom using one of those old treadle machines. We also had neighbor who was a a shoe maker in the town I grew up in and he had a treadle machine for sewing leather.....god I am showing my age.

Great job BTW on the restoration. That is way more practical than trying to salvage the older wooden base.

Jim DeLaney

Staff member
Austintown, Ohio
I refurbed a 1938 Singer model 218 a few years ago. Bought it at a garage sale, mainly for the Art Deco cabinet it was in. As it turned out, the machine itself was pretty pristine, and only needed some new wires, and a good cleaning/lube. The old wiring was rubber insulated and had gotten cracked and brittle. Unlike most, it's gear-driven, not belt-driven, and it has plenty of power. Mida used it for some quilt assembly just last week, and it worked perfectly. Interesting that she's got a $3000 modern machine, but still uses that old relic. :unsure: