So here it is--my very first treadle!
And even thought the cabinet is in rough shape--this antique New Home is a beauty. As you can see, the finish has deteriorated. In fact, I can literally scrape parts of the finish off with a fingernail. It's darkened, crackled, and dirty, and in many places leaves the wood completely exposed and unprotected. I've already re-glued the coffin top, which had a massive crack in it.
These are the only accessories it came with besides the straight stitch foot, which came already attached, and which, for the moment, is stuck. That will get fixed.
There are a couple of extra long shuttle bobbins, and I love the little compartments in this top, center drawer.
And the drawer pulls on the six side drawers are very lovely.
The decals on the back of the pillar are the least worn, and the colors and details can still be seen. I haven't cleaned them at all yet, and won't do so until I do a bit more research on how to clean without damaging or silvering them. I can only imagine how beautiful this machine must have been brand new. Now on to the practical stuff . . .
The "W" shaped contraption you see at the top is the tension spring--tighten the screw for more tension, loosen it for less tension. Simple. Effective. The disadvantage to this kind of tension control, however, is that it is completely independent of the presser foot. When the presser foot is raised, the tension spring is not disengaged, making it difficult to pull the work (and upper thread) out from under the presser foot without bending the needle. For this same reason, threading is a little less convenient on this machine.
Here's a closeup of the presser foot and needle bar. The presser foot screw is stuck, so it will get a dab of WD-40. When it comes to sewing machines, WD-40 is a big no-no because if left on the parts they can become more frozen than they were in the first place. Kroil is typically recommended in the Yahoo! sewing machine groups, but I don't have any on hand. Rest assured, I will get rid of the WD-40 by flushing the parts with oil once they have been loosened and removed.
Notice how the presser foot connects to the presser bar. So far, as far as I can tell, these are not easy feet to come by. They're the earlier style. The presser bar is completely round, the foot slides up onto the presser bar, and is secured with a set screw. Take another look at the picture of the accessories in the drawer above to see what the connecting part of a presser foot looks like when not on the presser bar. There aren't many feet for this machine that actually attach to the presser bar. Most of the accessories (almost all the hemmers and the tucker) actually attach to the bed of the machine with a thumbscrew.
Here you can see the bullet-shaped, vibrating shuttle under the front slide plate. It's still in good shape--no skipped stitches so far, except when I removed and reinstalled the needle. Turns out this machine takes longer needles than today's standard. One solution? Instead of pushing the needle up as far is will go (as is the usual practice) lower it a tad, tighten the screw, and give it a try. Repeat until you're no longer getting skipped stitches and/or broken top thread.
Patent dates are printed on the rear slide plate, pictured below.
That's the end of this rather lengthy introduction to the New Home Light-Running treadle sewing machine. Threading and use tutorials will follow soon. If I've left anything else out, or you're having trouble reading any of the words on those ultra-shiny slide plates (which I had a heck of a time photographing without reflection), or if you just have some interesting historical or anecdotal tidbits for me, feel free to comment below!