Advice for what to do with my Singer Sewing Table...

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I found a GORGEOUS singer sewing table that I'm dying to bring some life back into, but I'm terribly afraid of ruining the original charm and character. Here's the major issues...

#1 The metal base. I'd like to get it back to "clean". However I don't want to paint it. I'm hoping once I clean away some of the grime and muck that the original paint will mostly be intact. Any mild cleanser suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

#2 The wood. I'm torn between just cleaning it up or refinishing the entire surface. Another issue is tha some of the veneer on the top is chipped. Has anyone restored or completely refinsihed a similiar piece?

#3 Lastly, the sewing machine itself. Should I clean it up for display, or leave it in this lovely state?

Looking forward to hearing some great tips!


q singer sewing table, painted furniture
q singer sewing table, painted furniture
q singer sewing table, painted furniture
q singer sewing table, painted furniture
q singer sewing table, painted furniture
  64 answers
  • Shereeberry57 Shereeberry57 on Feb 06, 2017
    TAKE THE WOOD OFF PUT ON A GLASS TOP FOR A END TABLE

  • Lori Kemp Lewis Lori Kemp Lewis on Feb 06, 2017
    I have one, also, but yours is in better shape than mine. I thought I wanted to keep the sewing machine displayed but honestly, it smells like old oil. My plan is to paint the wooden cabinet (most likely Old White by Annie Sloan), add some distressing and some dark wax. Search on Pinterest for treadle sewing machine ideas. There's a lot of good ideas!

  • Adele Adele on Feb 07, 2017
    I don'[t have an answer for cleaning and refinishing. But definitely display the machine. Oh how I envy your find!

  • Mary Mary on Feb 07, 2017
    These machines are more valuable to the individual than in monetary worth. That said I love mine. The veneer on the top needs to be peeled off and replaced. Then stain it to match. You can get a piece from Homedepot or Lowes. I keep mine in the foyer as a key table. If you sew a lot, the machine can be fixed and made useable. Then you would have to place it in a more suitable spot.

  • Marie Marie on Feb 07, 2017
    Hi, I have a treadle machine and cabinet very similar to the one you show in the pictures. Do you know what year this model was made? I would try Murphy Wood Oil Soap on the wood to clean it up. Mine is in mint shape so I'm not sure how to help you with the table top problems. Perhaps an antique restorer could be of help. I'm not big on refinishing or painting it if you want it to retain it's value. If that's not a concern, you could purchase a piece of matching wood to replace the top/lid and go from there. You can go to Singer treadle machine parts and purchase a leather rope to go around the wheel on the right and up onto the sewing machine, which is how the treadle makes this machine run.
    I bought my machine when an old church was being demolished and this machine and the pianos were being auctioned off so I got it for a song. My girls and I used it quite often when our power went out on the farm and they were doing their
    4-H sewing projects. Lots of memories! Good luck on your machine and cabinet. I will look for postings when you finish it.
    Marie T.

    • Briana Briana on Feb 07, 2017
      Sounds like a good start. Just a good cleaning up and I'll go from there. I believe it is from 1916 based on the serial #!

  • Susan DiBenedetto Susan DiBenedetto on Feb 07, 2017
    #1 & 3 Try Dawn and a very, very soft brush and a micro fiber cloth. The machine probably has decals which you don't want to damage. Then you can some furniture oil to shine it up.
    #2 Unless you are a professional or a really good refinisher I would not mess with the veneer. Get a good furniture oil with color added if you can match it up. I refinished a similar one and replaced the top of the cabinet veneer. It never looked right and I had to stain the cabinet a different color. Where the veneer is bad I would sand the edges flush with the cabinet and then match the color with wood stain.
    If you make too many changes it will devalue the machine. Make your goal to keep it as original as possible. Any damage should be considered character marks that happen over time with age.
    That's just my thought, hope it helps
    Susan

    • Briana Briana on Feb 07, 2017
      Dawn is a great idea. I hadn't thought of that, I considered using Murphy's oil soap on nearly everything, but I like the idea of Dawn as well.

  • Maribeth Maribeth on Feb 07, 2017
    I painted the whole thing black & added some gold on the metal, found a large slab of marble and laid it on top.

    • Bbr20855536 Bbr20855536 on Apr 01, 2017
      Great idea!!!!! I am heading to my damp basement right now to take a look at mine. Your idea inspires me. Very chic!

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 07, 2017
    https://www.hometalk.com/diy/decorate/rooms/restoring-a-vintage-sewing-machine-16054106

  • Joanie Joanie on Feb 07, 2017
    I had EXACTLY the same Singer machine, which was my Grandmother's. I had to move and gave it to my S.I.Law, that was starting to get in to antiques. She does not have it now. I wish, I would have kept it for myself and JUST cleaned it up and used it. I mean, I have a portable I could sit on top and use the drawers for my threads and such. What a fool I was. I wouldn't change a thing. I believe it is worth not just money, about a lot of memories and love. I screwed up!!

  • CONNIE LUCAS CONNIE LUCAS on Feb 07, 2017
    I have one like this and I left it in its original condition, I just think the less you do to them the better they look.

    I pulled my bottom 2 drawers out just a little and put a small ivy plant in it and let it hang out from the drawer. I placed a creeping fig topiary on the top with a preserved boxwood candle holder and candle on each side.

    I have also used a galvanized tray on top and used it as a vanity with old perfume bottles with a picture frame.

    • See 2 previous
    • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Apr 01, 2017
      That's true. What if you used faux 'silk' ivy? Today's faux plants look quite real. Maybe even add some coleus leaves for a bit of color.

  • Robyn  Harower Robyn Harower on Feb 07, 2017
    My son restored mine he had to replace the top with red cedar as it had woodworm. He found the date on the frame and it was well over 100yrs old. I have it on display in my home. The machine is still in it. I was given a frame and it was cleaned and sprayed with black paint. The timber part had completely rotted so he made a timber top and I use it as a hall table.

  • Bea8723296 Bea8723296 on Feb 07, 2017
    Hi if you're looking for a unique idea you can turn it into a wine bar. You can leave it natural or paint it Remove the sewing machine itself and put in a small square tub that will fill the hole where the sewing machine was This will become your ice bucket. Remove the drawers and put your wine bottles where the drawers were. The drawers can be stacked on top to the left and the right You can store your wine corks, wine openers, wine charms, towels, and beverage napkins in the drawers. When the top is flipped open you have an instant bar; use the tub as an ice bin (for ice water, or cocktails) my wineglasses are kept on a tray which I put on top when "closed". If you have questions you can email me at MorganLeFayLLC@aol.com.

  • Paula Hodges Paula Hodges on Feb 08, 2017
    i would use a fairly soft brush and Murphy's oil soap to go over the whole piece. Use the water sparingly so as not to saturate the wood.... Wipe down really well till really clean. Then I would use a paste wax which you can get at the home depot and apply that with an old t shirt. I would display it as exactly what it is... a beautiful old piece that is a real treasure. a piece of pretty fabric, or a folded piece of quilting or any unfinished sewing project would add to the authenticity...

  • Betsy Wilson Betsy Wilson on Feb 08, 2017
    I bought just the base years ago. I painted it black and it supports a beautiful blackish slate top. I have seen them painted white, as well. Beautiful with glass tops also! Wish I had room for another one!

    • Rosanne Rosanne on Feb 10, 2017
      I have two bases and I made them into needlepoint game boards.
      I had them framed under glass and then mounted them on the bases.
      I painted them both black after sanding.

  • Jacqui Jacqui on Feb 08, 2017
    I removed the machine and metal catch plate under it. My 20gallon fish tank now sits on top. I display the machine in my quilt room.

  • Cathy Cathy on Feb 09, 2017
    My mom has the exact same machine and put a plate of glass on the top and has her plants on top in a bright window. I wouldn't change much to it as it is a beautiful piece. Just lightly sand the edges where it is chipped and maybe do that all around the top for a rustic look. I agree, don't pain it; they are one of a kind!

  • Caren Hunchuck Caren Hunchuck on Feb 09, 2017
    My parents have one, I believe may have been my grandmothers. They took out machine and had a nice piece of wood put on top for a table, They then put in the entry way with a beautiful antique mirror hung over it and a few things on table, it was a beautiful to walk in and see first thing, they did not paint nor touch any thing else on machine.

  • Empress Empress on Feb 09, 2017
    I understand that everyone has their "own idea" of what is beautiful, but I am so happy when someone wants to maintain the integrity of an antique. Painting over an item that was valued for its wooden appearance is so sad! ( Of course, just junking the item is even worse! So if the choice is paint or throw away...paint.) I have 3 of these sewing machines and I have used Murphy's soap and a brush to clean, used Old English to restore wood coloring and then wax to protect. I use one to display the beautiful sewing machine, one I use as a bedside table with the machine hidden, and one we use as a T.V. stand in our family room. The T.V. is a small one so we can easily remove it and display the machine inside to maintain the "antique" look of our decorating theme. All 3 have drawers and they hold lots of things suitable to its intended purpose. Display one has old eye glasses, small old books and such items. BR one has tissues, glasses,meds etc. TV one has the remotes and coasters and paper and pens in the drawers.
    So happy to hear from someone who appreciates the past and seeks to keep history alive!

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    • Briana Briana on Feb 10, 2017
      I am also curious what dilution ratio of Murphy's you used for yours. Thanks.

  • Kim Kim on Feb 10, 2017
    I have no advice for you, but I am jealous! :)

  • Charly Charly on Feb 10, 2017
    I totally agree with Empress. Maintain the beauty and integrity of this beautiful piece. Wash down with Murphys Oil Soap. Wipe all wood with Old English. Wipe entire wood with a paste wax. Have a piece of glass cut for the top and use the piece as a desk.

    • Briana Briana on Feb 10, 2017
      I'm going to make a little mental note for my future self to remember this idea for the future. I like the idea of having a piece of glass overtop to utilize as a desk. Then I'd be able to look down and see the machine everyda

  • Maryellenrd Maryellenrd on Feb 10, 2017
    My sister-in-law turned hers into a sink! She found this at an estate sale, came without the sewing machine.

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    • Djh6965753 Djh6965753 on May 09, 2017
      I "LOVE" this!! I have a very old machine that was given to me by a guy who worked on sewing machines. Needless to say, mine is (was) in mint condition. It has not been used in several years. I have used mine to sew on fabric (heavy denim) that my electric machine would not sew. I do like this but due to the fact that mine will sew so well, don't know if I want to give that up!! However, great idea!!!

  • Jen Jen on Feb 10, 2017
    I repainted mine and refinished the wood...I have used it as a tv stand and now after removing the old machine and filling the hole with wood..I actually use it as my sewing table

  • Jeanne Jeanne on Feb 10, 2017
    I'm all about repurposing. I've seen a lamp made out of the sewing machine itself. Then, leave it on the stand if you wish.

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    • Cindy Lewis Jaqua Cindy Lewis Jaqua on Feb 12, 2017
      It does not hurt the machine at all. I have done 2 for myself and 2 for a friend. I use the lamp kit and the long tubing just sits on the thread spindle. I cut wooden thread spools in half and put them oround the pipe to cover the pipe or tubing then covered them with floss To look like they were still thread spools. To use thread to cover them would take a really long time. So it looks like you have a couple spools of thread on the spindle then the light is on top. . T he cord just runs down behind the cabinet. Mine are siting on top of the cabinet so the cabinet is shut. But could be put back in at any time I have cleaned several old machines abd cabinets . Would never paint one. . Good luck deciding what is right for you

  • Empress Empress on Feb 10, 2017
    Hi, I used the dilution suggested on the bottle. ( I can't remember off the bat what it was.)
    On the iron portion, all of mine had only light wear, so I just cleaned them with a brush and then Murphy's soap and water and dried it well with an old towel right after rinsing it with a hose. As yours has quite a bit of wear, I suggest using a wire brush first to rid as much of the rust as possible and then washing with Murphy's. I don't really like just spraying with Black paint but there are some spray paints that give a softer hammered look. Or you could use stove black which I've used on my small antique coal stove.
    The only area where there was black and gold paint on mine was on the sewing machine itself.
    The wood looks pretty good. Hope you can again use Murphy's and then use Old English to restore the wood grain and a wax of your choice to finish.
    I visited a store in our area that caters to Amish folks (They use treadle machines.) and was able to get a new cord for the sewing machine so I could actually use it to sew!
    Good luck and enjoy your piece of history and days gone by!

    • Kim Kim on Feb 11, 2017
      Or you can still sew on a treadle machine if you want, without electrifying it.

  • Gloria Culp Gloria Culp on Feb 10, 2017
    Empress--I'm impressed, and right there with you.

    I have two--and extra machine heads. The wrought iron bases weren't painted on mine--I just used a light detergent and paste wax to refresh the iron. I had another one and used Never Dull--that was better. (Never Dull is an automotive/gun wadding that cleans metal--sold in automotive departments and supply stores.) One had nice, but dirty wood--used Murphy's. The other was pretty bad, so a light sanding and some wood patching with scraps of old veneer, then an oil finish. One is used as a TV stand, one has one of my doll houses on it. (My hobby--building and furnishing scale miniatures and houses.)

    Girlpiper

  • Gayle MacPherson Farr Gayle MacPherson Farr on Feb 11, 2017
    First off use the machine. They are terrific for regular sewing and for doing heavy things. The metal irons can be cleaned with soap and water, and if not badly rusted just some metal polish will bring back the shine. Paining is not a problem though, any good enamel will work, and you can re-point the logo on the irons. The wood needs to be cleaned, then nourished and wax protected. Don't ususally recommend oil as these are all veneered and oil can life the wood veneers. There are several types of wood treatment that you can use but us purists, and sewing machine collectors usually go for Howard's products. Please don't tear it apart and make anything silly like a sink out of it or a makeup desk. These are very collectible and beautiful examples of workmanship. Check out ISMACS.com to see what machine and what cabinet you have. I currently have 9 treadles of the 80 machines I own, and all work and all are used on a regular basis. Treadling is very relaxing and creative.

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    • Briana Briana on Feb 11, 2017
      Don't fear Gayle, I'm not tearing it up! I'll look for into the Howard's products as well. This thing is worse off tham I initially realized so the clean up is going to take a while. I've browsed on ISMACS already and found that my Machine is from 1916, a no 127 with I believe Table #3. Something of that nature. They even had the manual, so hopefully that will make it a bit easier for me.

  • Eileen Eileen on Feb 11, 2017
    some time ago on this site some one had made theirs into a bar idea that had a space for ice , etc. was a great idea.

  • Gayle MacPherson Farr Gayle MacPherson Farr on Feb 11, 2017
    Awesome. There are some great groups who will help you too. 'We Fix It' is mine on Yahoo Groups. Saved many a cabinet from becoming a sink stand. If you have young kids these are also terrific for teaching them to sew. So happy you recognized the value in the piece.

  • Sandy Sandy on Feb 11, 2017
    I painted mine . My top was a little banged up, so I distressed the top a bit. I left the rest as it was. Adds a little pop of color to the room😎

  • Maryellenrd Maryellenrd on Feb 12, 2017
    Great idea!

  • Mickey Mickey on Feb 13, 2017
    My daughter took the machine out, pushed little suction cups into the holes, and placed a glass top on it for a table that seats 4. Its gorgeous. The machine was not usable. The drawers she cleaned, and polished, and uses them for her sketching supplies and pencils As they're long and deep.

  • Mary Mary on Feb 13, 2017
    I have an old sewing machine also, and I am having a problem with the drawers stuck closed. Any ideas to unstick these drawers would be much appreciated

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    • CeeJay CeeJay on Mar 04, 2017
      Make sure the drawers are unlocked. Between the upper and lower drawer there is a band of wood with a hole in the center. Insert a small, flat blade screwdriver in this hole and turn counterclockwise to unlock. You can also purchase keys on eBay, but the screwdriver works well. The lock is very basic and if you can remove an upper drawer you can see the "lock" close and open.

  • Robby Treichel Robby Treichel on Feb 14, 2017
    I recently bought a New Home with all the accessories and even the original warranty dated December 13, 1916. I got mine to clean up and actually get it running. If we end up in a long-term power grid shut-down, I want to be able to have a barterable skill. I already know how to sew; just need to learn how to do it on a treadle machine! If I were you, I would restore it, if there is any way that it could be operational.

  • Grace Grace on Feb 14, 2017
    Used a treadle machine for years...awesome for your legs! I would definitely keep and use the machine. My only tip is on the iron...after cleaning, a rub down with mineral oil works wonders on the color and finish:)

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Feb 14, 2017
    Yes, do use it. The logo on the pedestal was usually gold or brass colored. My Grandmother was a seastress and worked all her life with a Singer treadle machine. I learned to sew on one. They are sturdy and rarely need maintenance. There used to be a buttonhole attachment to fit it that became available in the 50's. You may have trouble finding the thread bobbins for it but I just keep using the same ones and just add the color I need for the project. The new machines we have today will not last as long as that one. So use it.

  • Carole Carole on Feb 15, 2017
    You are lucky to find one in a good condition. I usually buy and clean and paint the frame black. I use a degreasing agent to clean. Then I use the same degreasing agent to gently wipe the timber down and then rinse with clean water on a soft cloth. I then sand and fill any holes, make any repairs needed to the timber cabinet and remove any damaged veneer using a wet towel and a steam iron to soften the glue under the veneer, sand and paint. I understand you are not wanting to paint yours, rather you will restore it. I would love to see what advice you get on here for restoring as I have never attempted that and it would be a good tutorial for me to see the steps involved. I usually remove the machine and sell it and then sell the painted cabinet as a furniture piece - hall table, dressing table, desk or whatever. Wish I knew how to restore as they bring good money when restored as there are collectors out there that love them to pieces and like to use the machines - they get them running again.

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    • Carole Carole on Feb 22, 2017
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I made over one frame (no cabinet or machine) and made it into a round table that a lady bought from me to use as a breakfast/coffee table and now sits in the window of her cottage so she can look at the garden when she has her morning coffee. Another with the cabinet was made over and now sits in a beauty salon and is used as a nail bar. Customers sit and have their nails done at that cabinet. Another frame only we made a pine top from an old pine headboard and stained it and it is in my hallway as a key drop, mail drop hall table. I have another very old and rusty frame in my back yard that has a metal tray of succulents sitting on the top of it and makes a lovely vintage decorative piece. I sold a Singer cabinet I painted to a lady that wanted it as a hall table in her home and so on. They all have their uses and I would not say for a moment that they are just taking up space or are of no value without the machine (or cabinet). I do however, understand your feeling on the subject Many people like to restore to former glory or leave as is and use the machine if it can be made to work again.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Feb 16, 2017
    I have the exact model. It belonged to my grandmother. She used it all the time. Mine is about the condition as yours. I did find some parts online, including the gold stickers. I haven't yet started my project, but I definitely want to. Have you done anything to it since posting your pics?

    • Briana Briana on Feb 18, 2017
      I have somewhat revived the base. I basically just cleaned it thoroughly and oiled it a bit to help with the squeaking Wheels. Here's one side. I'll post some more pictures here eventually!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Feb 17, 2017
    I have no idea what to do with the wood because I don't do wood...but for the base...

    Take the wood off and set it aside. Then use a brush and scrub the metal really well with water...soap probably will not be necessary. Then wipe it down and let it dry really good! Brush off any rust with a wire brush...wipe down or blow off.

    Then just spray paint with flat black paint, which is the original color of these machines.



    • CeeJay CeeJay on Feb 18, 2017
      I would not use FLAT paint. The iron bases originally had a very shiny black coating - like an enamel coating. If you have areas that need paint touch-up to keep them from rusting, I'd use an artist brush to apply gloss enamel to just the areas needing protection.
      To get the best advice for restoring the machine head Google "vintage Singer machine restoration". You should find many websites where people focus on just this type of restoration.
      The wood lid is an issue. You will have to decide if you want to replace the top veneer or repair the missing area with filler and paint; either just the lid or the whole wooden portion. The restoration websites will also give you ideas on what they have done and how their efforts turned out.
      Good Luck!

  • Chatycms Chatycms on Feb 17, 2017
    I would use a toothbrush for the little nook and crannies on the metal. On the wood as well. Just remember not to use too much water on the wood.

  • Stephanie Mitchell Stephanie Mitchell on Feb 17, 2017
    I would use a toothbrush and toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive enough to get the yuk off but not so that it would hurt the finish of the metal. I'be used toothpaste to clean my fiberglass tubs,rings, jewelry, bath fixtures,and stainless steel sink. Buy the cheapest stuff and it still gets the job done. Just don't use it for your teeth as it is not that good.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Feb 18, 2017
    Looks nice! What did you clean it with? It appears some paint has rubbed off from age or cleaning. Is that bare metal showing or gold paint?

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Feb 18, 2017
    Looks nice! Is that gold paint highlighting the letters?

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    • Briana Briana on Feb 19, 2017
      thanks for all the useful information. I'm still deciding if I want a fell rehab of the top or not, so I havent really started the wood rehab yet.

  • Mike Williamson Mike Williamson on Feb 19, 2017
    You're welcome. While I don't know it all, I'm willing to share what I do know as others have shared with me. Just ask and If I can help, I will. Good luck with your project and don't forget to post pics.

  • Diane Soper Diane Soper on Feb 22, 2017
    I have heard that some can reglue the veneer with vacuum to get it tight, but missing veneer, might want to do the putty, and then mock in the woodgrain to match. Please, in the name of great machinery, clean the machine and make it work. (It probably does now.) Usually if it doesn't the belt needs tightened a little, and a little oil. If this is a bobbin machine, and not a shuttle machine, I may have a couple bobbins to sell if you need them. I believe, the there are some modern metal ones that will interchange, it has been a while since I have had the singer, that looked a lot like this. Most of the older machines were kind of easy to interchange bobbins, not so fussy as new machines are now. Good luck!

    • Diane Soper Diane Soper on Feb 22, 2017
      Me again, I was just looking at the photo of the machine closer, it is a shuttle. My first treadle was a shuttle, they are soooo cooool!

  • Charmaine Swan Charmaine Swan on Feb 23, 2017
    Try painting it white, and put a thick sheet of glass on top. It will make a lovely table.

  • Ginny Ginny on Feb 23, 2017
    My mom used to made most of my clothes on a Singer just like this one. Wish I had it now. I have seen them made into vanity tables for a bedroom and they are delightful. Also would make a lovely table for a entryway or hallway in your house. How nice that you respect old things and want to keep them. So many people nowadays throw old items away and could care less. Good luck in your endeavor.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Feb 23, 2017
    Lovely old piece. Wipe the wood parts with a soft rag wrung out in a diluted soap and water mix. Wipe dry with old dry cotton shirt or towel. Decide what color stain matches best and apply w some cheese cloth, wipe off excess after 5 minutes or so. Let dry then apply HOWARD'S RESTORE IT (sold in Lowes and Menards) in the color closest to the stain. I generally find that the Walnut goes with lots of furniture stains. Follow directions. Have used this on lots of chests, dressers, table tops and kitchen cupboards. Had pro's see the results and immediately go out and buy it for their own use. Did all the cabinets, kitchen, bath, a ton of doors in a house I rented and they all looked nearly new when done. The owner was very impressed and had me do it again 2 yrs later and then used it on all his sunroom trim, wood frame sliders, etc. There is a craft colored wax product called Rub n Buff that would beautifully highlight the raised metal on stand. Hope these help.

    • See 1 previous
    • Olga luckett Olga luckett on Mar 04, 2017
      i have a friend who have one and he made it an electric sewing machine and you could find help at Lowes or Home Depot. They could tell you how to fix the venee.

  • Linda Linda on Feb 25, 2017
    Have you thought about using a bowl sink and using it in the bathroom? Side drawers would be great for makeup, etc.

  • NormaJean NormaJean on Feb 25, 2017
    Find someone who does really great woodworking and turn it into a pedestal base, for a "kitchen table." It could be left intact which would be good.

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 02, 2017
    You can go to Singer.com and look up the serial numbers. That will tell you how old the machine is. And, I think they sell parts, too. I have my grandmothers old Singer and need a belt for it. I'd keep it in tact and use it as a focal point. After you get it all cleaned up, put a doily on it and a vase of flowers. In order to get the curly parts of the metal clean, whatever product you use, put it on with a paint brush at least 2" wide. It will get into the crevices and clean them out. That is a beautiful machine. Careful washing the machine, itself, you don't want to take off any of the writing. I'd just use a soft cloth around that. Funny, mine has lost wood in the same place on the top. I'd just try to find some wood that matches, or that you can stain, that's the same thickness. Use a razor and cut a straight line until you get to where the wood is stuck to the top. Then, put the replacement piece on without glue, until you get the look you want. Then, use a good wood glue, a thin layer, on both pieces and put in place, snugly. Or, you can just replace the entire top laminate. A good place to check on how to proceed with this project is https://www.woodcraft.com/ They have stores all over the place and the people there are very nice and helpful.

  • Judy Judy on Mar 02, 2017
    Be very careful when you begin to get into the finish that was there. I would ask someone at a paint store, that you really trust, that can lead you, step by step. Once the initial coat is cut, then you would use another item to get deeper into the layers. The person will help you, step by step, but the final finish, will be lovely I promise. It will be worth all the work that you put into this. We have one, that someone painted a horrid GREEN . . so, that lays ahead of us, also.

  • Lin19428193 Lin19428193 on Mar 02, 2017
    I have used the base of an old treadle machine for a kitchen table. Got the Singer machine for free, took off the top which was so damaged, found a 3 foot round oak table top at garage sale for $10.00, stained that and a friend attached the two together. I get so many compliments on it and have been offered $300 by different people to sell it. I myself love it. Hope that helps!

    • Sandy Sandy on Mar 19, 2017
      Would you show us pictures of your machine/table? I have an old singer and was wondering what to do with it.

  • John Brickner John Brickner on Mar 14, 2017
    I refinished the wood, Removed the sewing machine head from the machine. Had marble cut to replace where the head was. I have it by my dining table, and use for overflow of dishes of food at holidays. Also can use it as a bar, with snacks on the fold out top. (using lighter bowls for the snacks (because of weight on top, when it is opened up). If you don't have access to marble. Use wood in that area. (treat the wood as you would a wooden counter top before using) It's been a great success for all our holiday and special occasions.

  • Gertz Rosa Gertz Rosa on Mar 15, 2017
    I have one of these that I purchased the sewing Machine its self was missing.
    I stripped the wood and took off the veneer and sanded the top. Then re-stained the wood. Used steel wool on the case iron base and painted it an enamel black.
    I then with the help of my husband turned it a sink basin. I have a glass bowl attached and plumbing. I added a faucet if you would like to see it let me know and I will send you a photo.
    email me at rmgrtz@yahoo.com

  • Martha Earles Martha Earles on Mar 15, 2017
    Do not paint clean up really good and if there seems to be any rust clean that with rust remover lowes or home depot will tell you which one .you do not need a lot the smallest they have and use it sparingly,keep as natural as possible and you will have a jewel

  • Paulette Paulette on Mar 16, 2017
    I just inherited my mother's singer stand. The iron part is all that she had left. They traded in the head when she got a new sewing machine in the 50s. I don't know what happened to the cabinet, but the drawers were mounted under my dad's work bench. When my fiance' was working at a place that worked with thick plexiglass, he made a clear tabletop to rest on the iron base. It's been used a number of ways since over the last 40 years.

  • Alice Alice on Mar 19, 2017
    I would find out the age and value first. Some times the value is lost if you change too much.

  • Leslie Jones Leslie Jones on Mar 23, 2017
    I also got the same model at a resale store for cheap! Unfortunately, the cabinet was completely wrecked, and the belt missing, so I decided to save just the drawers, machine, and treadle base. I am a novice on antique machines, so did a lot of online research before attempting my restoration.

    Treadle base - Carefully wire brushed rusted areas then used mineral oil and toothbrush/cotton rags to clean/polish entire metal base. This restored the black finish and left a nice sheen! (I read that mineral oil nourishes the metal and should be re-applied every so often.) At GW, I lucked out by finding a small '50s solid cherry kitchen table (with pull-out side leaves!). I refinished the top/skirt/leaves and mounted it to my base for my sewing/craft room. I love that it expands, when needed, and the cherry top goes beautifully with the base.

    If you're going to disassemble/clean the machine, I suggest taking close-up pictures of everything first (to help you reassemble) and to have a separate small ziplock bag for each part (with its screws) that you remove. I used liquid Dawn and water, small dental brushes, and a toothbrush to remove old grease/grime from the metal parts, then after trying several metal polishes with poor results, found that Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish (auto parts store) did the best job of removing tarnish and polishing.

    My machine's body had layer upon layer upon layer of grime! I tried many "mild" techniques which got a good part of the grime off, but not enough, so ended up using TR3 Resin Glaze (auto body store) on the plain areas that needed more work (avoiding the decal areas which were already fragile and partly silvered) That did a good job and left a great shine. Lots of time and elbow grease for the whole process, but after reassembling and oiling all the moving parts, I looks great!

    Good luck to you!

  • Starkeeper Starkeeper on Mar 28, 2017
    I cleaned mine up, left all the parts intact, and use it as a computer desk. I have a small desk lamp on top and I use it as a computer desk when I pay bills. The drawers are filled with office materials ( stamps, stapler, scotch tape,envelopes , paper clips, etc.) the center drawer is used for pens and markers. It's so convenient and it's right in my entryway. I found an antique wooden "ladies chair" that fits perfectly under it. I'm happy with how it looks and functions.

  • Hil17082563 Hil17082563 on Mar 29, 2017
    I have my grandmother's old singer like this, still works. I used Murphys Oil soap to clean it. When I was looking for a place for our new tv and sound bar, OH MY. Just fits. pull out drawers just enough to hold sound bar. Place tv on top.

  • Tonia Tonia on Mar 30, 2017
    I have mine by the front door. I put a large plant on top and it disguises where the veneer is gone on the left have a small statuette and a bowl on the right to toss keys etc. in, the peddle is a nice shoe catch.

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Apr 10, 2017
    I have quite a collection of old sewing machines reuse idea on my site on Pinterest. It is called Repurposing Vintage Sewing Machines. Check it out. I have three of these units that were once used as displays in my former gallery and art studio. One is now a table with glass on it in my porch, a second one is a plant stand with a marble slab on top of it in my 1950's living room and the third one is looking for a new home as I plan to sell it this summer at my estate sale.

  • Maria elena Maria elena on Jul 08, 2018

    I am missing one of the wheels , is there a place to buy one?

  • Cha Cha on Mar 07, 2020

    spray paint high gloss black