Harfindel

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About Harfindel

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    Western saddle history and repair, sewing machine history, related topics

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  1. Sorry to dredge up this old thread, but I thought Constab might be interested in these links, which show the original Pfaff no.1 sewing machine (1862). Looks like it was based off the Singer Standard. http://schlingenfaenger.de/sammeln.html http://www.needlebar.org/cm/displayimage.php?album=190&pid=393#top_display_media http://www.pfaff150anniversary.com/us/historicalmachines
  2. Harfindel

    Mystery Machine

    Ok, here are the research details on the machine(s): I apologize in advance if it is a bit over the top - I do this sort of research in my day job. My machine is one a group of five nearly identical early “elastic”-style machines. Other machines in the group are those of Cobra Tom, UPFrank, and Uwe, and one I have become aware of on Facebook. The machines in the group have features in common with each other (particularly the exact shape of the base castings, the driving arms and the casting of the head) that I have not been able to find in any other early elastic machine. This includes all machines I have been able to find that were made by The Bradbury Company, Duerkopp-Werke AG, or Claes & Flentje OHG, as well as all the examples collected by Christophe Schiffman at: http://schiffmann-orthopaedie.de/fussorthopaedie-beckingen-merzig-lebach/antike-schuhmacher-naehmaschinen/ (thanks Uwe). I think this shows at the very least that all four machines in the group were made by the same company. Bases: The treadle bases of all four of the machines in the group are virtually identical. They also are distinct from the bases of all the other elastic-type machines I have been able to find. I think UP Frank is correct that the bases were made by Schmidt & Hengstenberg, and/or its successor company Hengstenberg & Co. (Collectively “Hengstenberg”) Each base in the group has an oval center medallion with a crest of a two-towered castle, flanked by rampant lions. In the gateway of the crest there are layered initials. The initials are different between some of the machines. Mine has the initials “AW”. UPFrank’s, Uwe’s, and the one from Facebook all have “HC”. I cannot quite make out the letters on Cobra Tom’s. The crest is the trademark of Hengstenberg. The castle and lions are nearly the entire coat of arms of the city of Bielefeld as it was used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is the city where Hengstenberg was located. The initials replace what in the city crest would have been a shield bearing three chevrons, and identify the Hengstenberg company. I believe that the initials on mine refer to the trademark “Anker Werke.” Hengstenberg began using this tradename in about 1906. Earlier Hengstenberg & Co. machines used the “HC” initials, such as those on UP Frank’s and Uwe’s machines. Even earlier ones used a combination of “S” and “H”. Examples of the Hengstenberg trademark are here: http://needlebar.org/main/logos/hengstenberg/index.html http://needlebar.org/main/logos/schmidt/index.html These are from a logo directory buried pretty deep on Needlebar.org: http://needlebar.org/main/logos/index.html So it seems the bases of all four machines were made by Hengstenberg. (By the way, there were other Bielefeld sewing machine companies that used the Bielefeld coat of arms as part of their trademark. An example is the city crest modified by a script “S,” which was the trademark of Dürkopp-Werke AG at some point: http://needlebar.org/main/logos/duerkopp/index.html (As a result, the machine in Schiffman’s list that he attributes to Hengstenberg is a hard case. The gateway of the castle on the base of that machine is filled with a shield bearing three chevrons. This is simply the seal for Bielefeld, and does not necessarily identify Hengstenberg or any specific company in Bielefeld - there were 19 such companies at the time. The base on his machine different from those of the five Hengstenberg machines we have identified here, and instead is nearly identical to bases made by Duerkopp. I am not sure how Schiffman attributes his machine to Hengstenberg.) Heads: I think it is pretty clear that the head of my machine, as well as the one on Facebook, were made by Hengstenberg. The drive wheel on the heads of both machines show an anchor. See photo of mine below. “Anchor” in German is “Anker,” which the reference in “Anker Werke.” The Hengstenberg company eventually renamed itself to Anker Werke. The anchor on the hand crank of the two machines (Cobra Tom's too?) is a version of the anchor used by Hengstenberg as a trademark: http://needlebar.org/main/logos/hengstenberg/index.html The hand crank on my machine, and the one on facebook also have reproductions of industrial fair medals (London 1862, Paris 1867, Vienna 1873) that do not apply to Bradbury, so the head clearly was not made by that company. Since the handwheel on Cobra Tom’s machine is apparently the same as mine, and the rest of his head is virtually identical, I think the head his machine was also made by Hengstenberg. As for the heads in Uwe’s and UPFrank’s machines, given that they are so much like the other two, I think we can say those heads are by Hengstenberg, too. I think we can discard the possibility that the heads of the five machines in the group were made by another company and then re-labeled as Hengstenberg. For this to be true it would mean that another company was manufacturing a head different than their others, of which no “builder-labeled” examples have survived, and yet five examples have survived re-labeled by only one company, Hengstenberg. A very unlikely set of circumstances. On the domestic side, the opposite was happening: Hengstenberg was supplying machines to others, who distributed them under their own labels. Plus, there are records of Hengstenberg exhibiting and winning medals with their own elastic-style sewing machines in the 1880's. Here is an excerpt from The Sewing Machine Gazette and Journal of Domestic Appliances, Oct. 1, 1881, that discusses the Hengstenberg Elastic. Unfortunately there were no engravings to go with it. Note the reference to industrial prizes, which match the medalions on the hand crank: “A GERMAN SEWING MACHINE MANUFACTURER. “One of the large establishments for the manufacture of sewing machines in Europe is that of Messrs. Carl Schmidt and Hengstenberg, of Bielefeld, and for whom Mr. W. Bens- cher, of 44, Fore-street, London, is the agent for England. They were established in 1868, and the average output of the concern is some 5,000 machines annually. “The most important machine made by this firm is a Circular Elastic Machine for shoemakers, which has received first prizes at exhibitions in London, Paris, Vienna, and Prague. “The Circular Elastic Machine is beautifully made and finished ; the shuttle is constructed on the self-acting principle, the tension being regulated by means of a small screw. The machine has an arm 38 centimetres in length. The machine is made in two sizes, one for ladies' and children's work and the other for men's, the arm of the first named being much smaller round. It is very simple in its construction, has evenly balanced working parts, and combines elegance with strength. “The Column Machine is admirably adapted for leather work, especially for harness making and all saddlery purposes, and no better machine could be selected by the portmanteau and leather bag manufacturers, being very powerful, light running, and specially constructed for the purpose. “Messrs. Schmidt and Hengstenberg are also manufacturers of the Saxonia, a well-known and favourite hand lockstitch machine, and also of other imitations of the Singer Machine, both hand and treadle, in ‘family’ and ‘medium’ sizes. “The sample machines we have seen, shown to us by Mr. Benscher, are all beautifully finished and work with ease and speed.”
  3. Harfindel

    Mystery Machine

    I just got one of these from a guy near me. Here are some pics. He said he’s had it for about 40 years, and that he used it during that time. Prior to that it was used by a company to sew leather mail carrier bags for the USPS. It came with a handful of bobbins, shuttles, and about 40 needles. It has a serial number on the main drive shaft, no. 1,013,901. As you can see, it looks pretty much identical to the machine in UP Frank’s original post here. It also looks nearly identical to Uwe’s, and the one Cobra Tom had in this thread: http://leatherworker.net/forum/topic/41656-antique-bradbury-treadle-machine/#comment-259144 There is another one I have found out about through Facebook. I was able to do some research on the machine. Bottom line is, I am pretty sure both the base and head were made by Hengstenberg & Co., Bielefeld, Westfalia. For now I date it to about 1910, but the design of the machine to the 1870's to 1880's. I'll post another message with the research details, so you can skip them if you want. The machine seems to be missing at least one part from the cylinder, I think the wax pot but on Cobra Tom’s perhaps something different. It fits in the opening shown in the third photo. I’d like to make a reproduction. Can anyone help supply details about what the originals look like on theirs? Mine does have a complete bobbin winder, though. I notice that Cobra Tom and UPFrank seem to be missing theirs. If anyone wants a detailed description of the winder and its parts let me know.
  4. Harfindel

    Slide Bar Play in 29K71

    Constabulary, thanks for this. With the current parts, I have about .107" play in the shuttle carrier, when measured at the periphery, which is about 15%. There is considerable side play between the pinion and the bushing, too, but the shaft of the drive pinion shows uneven wear (its formed a cone by about .006"), so maybe the new pinion will fix things. If it comes to replacing the bushing I think I may need an arbor press and a torch.
  5. Harfindel

    Slide Bar Play in 29K71

    OK, so I have moved on, to the gearbox. Dismounted it, disassembled it. Drive pinion and long rack have unsightly wear on the teeth (I can feel the wear marks with my thumbnail), and so I ordered replacements. I think I should replace the pinion bushing, too, though. Any advice on how to get it out of the gear box? Do I just persuade it out with a punch? A gear puller?
  6. These Politypes are modestly sought-after collector items. I don't think they have any use as industrial machines anymore - someone will correct me if I am wrong.. Prices in collector environments run about $300 for ones in good working condition.
  7. Harfindel

    Shoepatcher On Steriods

    Very interesting thread. Have you guys found this one yet? http://www.naehmaschine-antik.de/de-baer-koch.html Quite the machine for 1864. Carl
  8. Harfindel

    Slide Bar Play in 29K71

    Floyd: Thanks for this information.
  9. I am rebuilding some parts in a 29K71 to try increase the stitch length. Already identified the bell crank lever as an issue. I am wondering, though, if I need to work on the feed motion cam or the slide bar's roller and stud. With the feed motion cam held stationary in an assembled machine, what is an acceptable end play for the slide bar? I am measuring 0.007" at the moment. How close am I to needing to replace the roller and stud? What is the best position of the feed motion cam to use to check for end play? Thanks in advance for the help. Carl
  10. Harfindel

    Linen thread hand stitching problems

    I've done a fair amount of true hand sewing of unbleached linen (3, 4, and 5 cord) for saddle repair and light harness work. I agree, waxing is very important. I have to re-wax fairly often; with hand sewing (as opposed to machine) the entire length of the thread goes through each hole in the work as the stitches progress, so the wax gets worn off the distal end of the thread over time. It also makes it hard to work with thread lengths longer than an arm's length. Also pay attention to the size of the awl blade you use to pre-cut the holes - if the holes are too small for the thread size you are using they cause more friction with the thread and therefore tend to "straighten" the thread cords as they go through, accentuating the knotting issues. There are some other things you can try. One is to use a reel awl to do the sewing, loading the reel with pre-waxed thread. This results in a lock-stitch, not a true saddle stitch, so I don't like it for saddle and harness work. But it does minimize the number of times each part of thread goes through a hole in the work. This should minimize twisting. I've used reel awls to hand stitch upholstery repairs - it was fairly quick and gave decent results once I got the hang of it. The other idea is to oil the linen, like they used to do (and maybe still do) when the linen thread is used on a machine. I think this might reduce the mechanical interaction between the thread and the walls of the holes in in the work, which is where the twisting problem comes from. I think there are thread lubricants you can buy in bulk, and treat the entire spool of linen at a time. I use Campbell Randall left-twist linen, by the way. Hope these comments give you some ideas.
  11. Harfindel

    Chinese shoe patcher problem, help please.

    Yes, as I understand it, the hook on the shuttle should turn clockwise no further than just past the needle, and begin a new rotation cycle from there. It should turn counter clockwise to pick up the thread from the needle, forming a loop, and then carry the loop counterclockwise well more than 180 degrees before the shuttle stops traveling in that direction, so that the hook at the end of travel has gone more than halfway round and is returning back to the needle. From there the loop should be pulled over the shuttle and past the shuttle carrier spring, by the thread being withdrawn by and through the needle, while the shuttle returns clockwise and resets for a new cycle. So the first step would probably be to get the shuttle to move the way it should, and then see if the thread starts interacting correctly with the shuttle. Have any of the pinion gears or racks, the shuttle carrier, or the set screw that connects the shuttle carrier to the driving pinion been disassembled and reassembled?
  12. Harfindel

    Where can I find this leather rivet?

    Try Jay Cee Rivets http://www.rivetsinstock.com/
  13. I would contact Ken Knopp at confederatesaddles.com. He has a really amazing depth of knowledge about Civil War military saddles, in particular.
  14. The posting on ISMACS, by the way, is a quote from p. 46 of Singer Sewing Machine Co., "The Mechanics of the Sewing Machine" (1914). The drawing is a reproduction from there, too.
  15. Here is what I.M. Singer said about the No. 3 Standard in an 1862 advertisement: "Our No. 3 Machines are especially adapted to all kinds of light and heavy Leather Work, in Carriage Trimming, Boot and Shoe Making, Harness Making, etc., etc. They are of extra size, with an arm long enough to take under it and stitch the largest sized dashers. There is scarcely any part of a Trimmer's stitching that cannot be better done with them by hand; so, too, the saving of time and labor is very great. The table of these machines is 24 inches long, and the shuttle will hold six times as much thread as the shuttle of those used for tailoring purposes. The large machines work as fast as the small ones." I have a saddle made in the 1860's in San Jose, CA. The linings were almost certainly sewn into the various pieces by machine - the seams run at about 25 stitches per inch (extremely small) and with a uniformity that would have been nearly impossible, in my opinion, to do by hand. The 1870 Industrial US census entry for the particular saddler reports manual powered sewing machines in use in his shop at that time. I would imagine that the larger shops in SF, like Main & Winchester, had many sewing machines by then. I am guessing that if leather sewing machines had made it to CA by those dates, even though no rail line had been established yet, then they were already in fairly wide use in the East. The average cost of a good saddle in CA during the Civil War was about $40-60, so $125 for a sewing machine would have been a reasonable investment. Can I ask where that photo of the three Singer "Standard" machines came from? I have never seen them photographed as a group before.