Sunday, December 8, 2013


This little treadle stand came to me via Betsy about three months ago.

"What are you doing?" I asked when I called her earlier this fall.

"I have to clean out the garage or else Jack is going to throw away the treadle stands I have out there."

"I had better come over and see what you have and help."

So I trekked over and brought this little guy home.  It is lighter than the conventional stands because the legs are wood, not cast iron.
It is missing the back piece and the four drawers.  Adding them will make it heavier but one really must have drawers.

I have a school cabinet that matches this one. It's not in the greatest shape. The front piece is warped which would make sewing impossible.   I am taking its  drawers, back  and top for this.     

The veneer is peeling in places.  So I got out the glue and found a couple of clamps that weren't in use.  Steven is building new cabinet fronts for the kitchen.  He has monopolized the clamps this week.  I am all ok with that.  Ten years is a long time to wait for new cabinet faces.  I can deal with clamp shortage.

It is a bit of a challenge to shove glue under peeling veneer.  I think a syringe would be the perfect tool for this task.  But I used a small stick and just kept shoving it in there.  I would open the gap with a small screw driver and load up the stick and shove.
Yes it is a messy task.

I then put apiece of plastic over the top and then blocked it with a small piece of wood.  When the clamps tighten down, the glue oozes out.  More mess

A damp rag cleans that glue right off.  Voila

I managed to complete the veneer repair today.  I also removed the irons and cleaned the frame.  I retouched the rusty spots only.  I was in a hurry to put the frame back on.  The table was terribly unsteady without it.  BUT before I did that, I had to sand the inside of the wooden legs and put on a finish coat.  My urethane was FOUL so I ended up using Tung Oil.  It will suffice.  We aren't building pianos here.  I had to take advantage of the warm shop.  It is getting cold later this week and I wanted to get this done.

Not a great shot.  The SINGER lettering doesn't show so well now.  Poor lighting.  C'est la vie.  I have a life to live, you know.
Does this picture make you dizzy?
I did take the time to get some hot water and fire up the ultrasonic cleaner.
Dirty parts

Clean and oiled parts.
I need to sew.  Next week I will be sewing.  Christmas is coming. I have projects to finish.


  1. I remember that treadle stand, it was adorable! What a great idea to make one small. I wish I could finish refinishing my treadle stand. It needs a lot of the finish off and redone. I will use Minwax antique oil finish then. I don't have anyplace that I can safely use the refinisher now. If i do it in the basement, even with an exhaust fan, you can smell the fumes when the gas hot water tank kicks on and the gas dryer goes. The garage is unattached, but unheated. I will be eager to see your little guy all done. What machine is going in it?

  2. To be honest I think the tung oil is more true to the origin than urethane. Not as slick, unless you have the time to build up the coats, but I like it.
    Not building pianos, true, but we can sure make our machines sing!

    1. Yes, of course, you are right. Only one coat applied. Likely I will put on another.

  3. What kind of glue did you use to reglue the veneer? I have a project that involves regluing a coffin-top that has simply come unstuck. Perfect authenticity is not required, just function and good looks - what glue would you recommend?

    1. I think it is Yellow Carpenter Wood Glue. When it dries, it is a very strong bond. Wipe excess off carefully before it dries for it will leave a shiny stain behind. You can probably sand it off, but it is easier to wipe it off with a damp cloth when the glue is still wet.

  4. That treadle cabinet would be perfect for taking on a quilting retreat. I have been looking for one for that very purpose!

    1. Yes it would. At least until I load it up with the drawers. I suppose I could put only one set on. Hmmmm.

  5. You are absolutely right that a syringe would be easier. It works like a dream. When finished, flush the syringe with hot water, and it will last for years.