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.