Davis Vertical Feed restoration

 

I got this Davis Vertical Feed 2 on eBay for $30 (plus shipping). It arrived full of gunk and rust, barely moving, and smelling of smoke.

 

Getting a bath in the Parts Washer

Submerged in kerosene overnight

Soaked in kerosene and wiped but still full of gunk.

After cleaning what we could with kerosene and brass brushes, we soaked everything the following night in Evapo-Rust.

This morning we retrieved each piece, wiped it off, rinsed in water, wiped, rinsed in acetone, wiped, and revaled beautiful clean shiny parts.

Then we put everything back together, with liberal squirts of sewing machine oil.

Success! Here she is installed in my Minnesota A cabinet. She works great.

Here's the reason I bought and spent 3 days restoring her: the walking foot. I need this "vertical feed" system to sew bindings on quilts. The Minnesota A made too many random pleats and crumples.

18 comments to Davis Vertical Feed restoration

  • Jimbo2K7

    Your arms are hairier than I remembered, Nina.

  • Lee Copp

    Thanks for the great pictures. Neat tip on rinsing the evaporust with water then acetone .. I have been using sewing machine oil or even WD40 for the “rinse off”.

    Good luck with the machine .. glad it arrived safely.

    Lee in Florida
    (referenced via the Davis Yahoo Group)

  • Debbie

    Now, I need another parts cleaner. What a great idea! And, the kerosene doesn’t hurt the decals??? Love that walking foot!!! Now, I know what all the hub-bub is about! ūüėČ

  • Christy

    For the oil wick, Either scrap felt or a bit of wool yarn will work. Just jam it in and oil. I.ve used both and there’s no difference.

  • Markay

    WOW!! what a great job, I have a Famous Treadle make my Davis looks a lot like this one, except a different foot and on top my has a thread guide that has 3 sections looks like a slanted steamboat but it is in good shape no rust, it just needs a needle, and they tell me on Vintage Sewing Machine website, that it takes a style 10 needle could you please tell me what kind your using in yours, maybe one day I will get brave enough to try this I work much harder but do sort of the same stuff but I use navel jelly for the rust. Thanks for the wonderful blog. It will be useful in the future.

  • Watson58

    wow that is amazing how you cleaned it. Looks super. As far as what needle – mine has a drawing on the front plate ‘do not use a needle longer than this…. my universal sewing machine or Singer needles are working fine. After mine sat for 18 yrs, it just needed the cabinet fixed to lift it up and a treadle belt.

  • […] individual bills are painstakingly¬†bound by Nina Paley, using a¬†hundred-year-old foot-powered treadle sewing machine. This soft and tactile bill contains over 360,000 stitches through 100% cotton fabric, lofted with […]

  • I have a Davis VF that was completely rusted (long story), anyway, in order to restore it, it will need to be repainted, which is fine since I will not be selling it, do you know of anywhere to purchase Davis Decals?

  • Christina Brashears

    I am having the same problem with needing new decals. My sewing machine is all gummy with I believe oil. I used kerosene, but am leary, it works but needs a lot of scrubbing and I am afraid to work on the decals, but they are dirty also. I had someone work on my sewing machine to get it working but they did not clean any parts. I am now out $$ that I spent and it still needs to be cleaned. It has a gummy looking feel around the whole machine and a lot of yuck on parts. My plan is take it apart (using a lot of pictures) to put back together and clean parts with COKE, I read on another post. But I still need to clean the outside. Help!!! Please if you have any ideas.

  • Hello…Thank you for the tips on cleaning. It appears someone already tried something….results are as others posted. Is there a place to purchase the decals? Thank you

  • Yvonne

    I need to find out how to do wind the bobbin

  • sara

    we have a vertical feed sewing machine in the cabinet in great condition. also have various components and the instruction booklet – the cover is in pieces but the booklet is all there. I have pics to send if you are interested. we’d like to sell it – any advise, suggestions, etc.

  • Angela Loavenbruck

    I have a covered cabinet Davis Sewing Machine which I purchased 50 years ago from an antique dealer in Maine. I would like to sell it. The cabinet is in fair condition, The drawers of the cabinet contain the original owner’s manual along with the original certificate of warranty which lists the name of the buyer and of the salesman and says that it was purchased on June 24, 1889. The certificate lists Waterbury NY, so this must have been one of the last machines made in Waterbury since the company moved to Dayton in 1889. The certificate has a raised seal of the Davis Sewing Machine Company and serial number 411692. Any suggestions about selling it? Thanks.

  • Rebecca Dees

    Do you have parts for the Davis NVF?
    Thanks

  • Kim Kimpton

    I just purchased a Davis Treadle base and it needs a caster and pin. Does anyone know where to find these? Thank you. Kim

  • Ramonda Rose

    Hi, I have a Davis cabinet sewing machine. It’s model no 2441117. Do you know what year it was manufactured?
    It was patented on these dates:
    Oct 17th, 1881
    Nov 29th, 1881
    Jan 29th, 1883
    May 12th, 1885
    Dayton, Ohio

    Thank you,
    Ramonda Rose

  • Sylvia McDonald

    We have been looking for a Davis treadle sewing machine to go in a beautiful cabinet we found at an estate sale. We have been looking at lots of machines and cabinets and have found that it held a Davis. Around 1920’s model. If you know of one for sell please contact us. Thank you.

  • Tracy Wilson

    I have a Davis VF model 7 and it is missing the bobbin shuttle case. I have a bobbin but nu case. Where can I purchase one?

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