Treadle Pedal * Ladep Eldaert [foot pedal mod]

By this time the Machine has an outlet, the Brother is receiving regular 110 volt current to it’s new clutch motor. The motor is installed with no tangles. And even the presser feet are under control. The pan has oil in it, the table is level (the leveling system should be an entry on it’s own. It is a truly beautiful mechanism that keeps this factor under control – and of course it is probably strong enough to level the Bay Bridge.), the needle-bar height has been adjusted, and the new feed-dog and throat-plate are in place. The lamp is in working order, which was accomplished by splicing and hardwiring the lamps electrical cords into the power switch, so that it can be turned on independently of the Brother – without the Brother needing to be turned on (this also leaves the 6 volt outlet on the motor free for a second lamp or any other small appliance. The reason for it being 6 volt is another entry).

Now it is time to tackle the treadle system.

Treadle Action

The treadle system has a long history, and unfortunately it cannot all be contained here, but because it is valuable information we will discuss it in brief. For now we will uncover just a little bit of it’s lineage in terms of mechanical function. A present day treadle is not really a treadle at all – often these terms are confused – contemporary machines use a “pedal”, like that of any other type of machine which uses acceleration provided by a source outside of ourselves. Unlike the treadle – which is a type of pedaling mechanism we would see on a very old Singer, that does not merely engage motion, but actually generates it. What the treadle does is power the sewing machine under human force. Sitting at your sewing machine you gently get the belt going with a rocking motion of the pedal, and thus the drive activates your machine head. There are many advantages to this older-style of operation, the main benefit is that it will always work – living off the grid with no electricity, sewing on top of a mountain for your sanity, or even taking one to the moon (perhaps bottom of the ocean would be more politically correct) for posterity. Also, a treadle powered sewing machine is often more quiet, and very easy to service (considering that few mechanical parts are involved and how exposed they are to the user), lastly how could you deny the added health benefits, both mentally and physically. Unfortunately, this format did not last, and in 1889 Singer introduced the first “practical” electric sewing machine. This advent in sewing technology remedied the need for a treadle and made the electric- motor-with-“foot pedal” the new common denominator.

Needless to say, the Brother DB2-B791-015 needed a new foot-pedal to operate the motor, not a treadle. All of the parts were available: the crossbar, the pedal, the treadle-bar, and the associated hardware. Although some of this was kinda crappy hardware so some improvements were made, rubber bushings were placed between the pedal’s pivot location and the mounting brackets receptors to keep it quiet, and to keep the pedal centered between the two brackets, which could not be mounted quite close enough to keep as securely in position as was desired. Also the treadle-bar was mounted so that it rose from the most central position available on the foot-pedal, ideally to help distribute load and to make a direct connection from the pedal to the motor. With all of this hardware sorted out it was time to devise a strategy for attaching it to the existing tables legs. But because these legs were not intended to have a cross bar with a common pedal/treadle configuration it would cause the pedal to be too high up. On the older brother of the Brother, the Singer 600WI, the pedal was as close to the floor as possible which came to be a very desirable position, it was very comfortable, and structurally sound. So the main issues were that the whole piece was as low as it could be, and as rigid as it could be.

Pictures to follow..

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