Treadle Sewing Machine Cabinet Repair

58K Views
When her father passed away, my son's fiancee had the painful task of going through his belongings. When she discovered this sewing machine that belonged to her grandmother in the attic, she asked me if I could fix it for her.
We both agreed, being a family owned piece, it should remain antique looking for memory purposes.
Time: 12 HoursCost: $0Difficulty: Advanced
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
It was missing the front drawer. (By looking inside of the structure, I could tell it was a single drawer.) It very well may have been a flip open as most were. The space allowed is narrow, because of the way the sewing machine lays when inside the cabinet.
It was also missing the two side drawers and its framework on the right.
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
The top cover had a lot of veneer damage, right down to the under wood. It was also age stained.
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
Luckily, I had some parts from a previous treadle machine upcycle I worked on:
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
I could utilize the drawer framework and the front from my salvaged project for the missing parts.
The not so lucky parts:
I didn't have the extra side drawers.
I scrounged around everywhere on Ebay and Craigslist for some, thinking I'd buy four to make them all match, or even just two and make them match, but didn't find the right size, nor did I have the time for Ebay bidding, shipping and repairs in time to surprise Emily for Christmas. Thinking she would appreciate having this during her first Christmas without her father, I really wanted to have it done.
After several crazy drawer ideas swirling in my head, the best one hit me, why not cut into the existing drawer frame to divide the drawers to go on to each side of the cabinet? They would be original, but modified.
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
I cleaned and painted the iron.
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
Cut off the frame work on the left.
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
And built the frame on the right side of the cabinet.
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
Added the leftover pieces from my salvaged parts: Two front pieces and a swing drawer.
  • antique treadle sewing machine cabinet repair and upcycle, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, woodworking projects
Kept the machine antique by sanding and conditioning the wood. Painted the drawer pulls to match the iron.
And there was an elated Granddaughter. She loved the modification and was happy to have her heirloom restored.

Suggested materials for this project:

    Robin @ Redo It Yourself Inspirations

    Want more details about this project and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

    Go

    Have a question about this project?

    Ask a Question