Universal Treadle Tops

One of the recurring problems Treadleonians encounter is having limited space for treadles. Combine this with the fact that there are many loose machine heads floating around, and you have a situation where lots of folks have interesting odd heads for which they have no treadle. The best solution for this problem is to create a "universal treadle top", a top that is mounted on a treadle, but which has a larger than normal, regular shaped, opening. You can then make different "filler boards" to fit this opening. Each filler board can be made to fit a particular machine head. If you do it all correctly, you will then be able to make a new filler board for any head you don't have a treadle for and use that head in your universal treadle. I've made a couple of these over the year, but let them get away from me, so I don't have photos right now. However, Tina in MI sent me a pic of hers:



I finished my "convertible" treadle top yesterday, but I can't upload pictures! I've been trying since yesterday and haven't had any luck!
Anyway, I finally got to try out my 1934 Franklin Rotary :D after almost a year of it staring at me. I see why people get sucked into Whites. It's every bit as smooth and quiet as my Singer 115. Once I figured out how to thread it and found the nest *under* the shuttle, it sewed perfect. This is the only machine I haven't had to adjust the tension on after cleaning.
I used the panel from a really beat-up White Rotary cabinet, and
built the table around it. The center panel pops out easy enough, and can be
replaced with another to hold a different machine. I used plywood as the base of the top, and sanded the edges down smooth. I think it looks neat ....... and I was in too much of a hurry to want to cover the edges properly ;-)
The sad thing is that now I have no reason to keep some of my machines. The good thing --- I can salvage all the dilapidated heads I want!
Ray Township, MI


This is a good pic that shows the universal top concept well. In Tina's case, the filler board appears to slide in from the back. I made one of mine to slide in from the right side and the other with the filler board more of an "island", i.e. it set in. Any approach works. I hope to make another some time this year and will add more instructions to this page when I do.

Captain Dick