The sound of music ain’t got nothing on this Singer

…even if I can’t say it sews as pretty as a song just yet!  After a week of cleaning, reading and fiddling, my Singer sewing machine is looking pretty good:

1917 Singer sewing machine...aaaaaand Wolverine.

1917 Singer sewing machine…aaaaaand Wolverine.

A couple years ago a relative pieced together and refinished this beauty, and I’m just now diving into how to keep a treadle machine in working order. At this point I’ve got more questions than answers, but I figure starting a master post and then linking to everything useful I find will be helpful for future reference and other people just starting out with an older sewing machine. If you have additional resources or advice, feel free to drop a line in the comments!

  1. How do I wind thread on the bobbin?
  2. When I unscrew the ‘brake’ knob as if to wind the bobbin, the needle still moves. Whyyyyyyyyyy?
  3. How do I clean old oil out of the innards of the body of the machine?
  4. How do I thread this effing bobbin holder.
  5. Adjusting thread tension: how, when, why. Will I be doing this on test swatches for every project sewn?
  6. Where do I put my feet on the treadle?
    1. Why does my treadle have a ridge at the front if a common treadling method is to have one foot further away and the other closer with a heel on the ground?
  7. Methods for taking care of the leather belt
    1. Does the leather belt always stay on the wheel or do you take it off/loosen it like the bow on a violin?
  8. When I use the treadle it feels like it gains momentum and overbalances (not going backwards though). Is it supposed to feel like that?
  9. What are all these attachments?
  10. How do I use each attachment? I really wanna learn do make a button hole using an attachment!
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