Friday, June 29, 2012

Köhler Sewing Machine

Well Friends...it's as done as it's going to get for now!   I love this machine!  It's quiet, smooth sewing, easy treadling!   Or at least it was until I broke the  belt three times...now it's too short, and I don't have a leather bootlace to sub for it right now!

Anyway...What I did:

1.  I cleaned and oiled the machine, and got every part of it working right. (With a bit of help from the spousal unit!)
2.  I touched up the paint on the machine where it was scuffed and chipped.  I considered trying to do gold leaf over the decals for the work "Köhler", but can't bring myself to try it.
3.  I waxed the machine and polished it.  It doesn't fall into the "fix the shellac" catagory, because the clear coat on the machine is NOT shellac!  I'll have to figure out something else....or just live with it, which is most likely what I'll do. :)
4.  The cabinet got worked over.  It was taken apart, cleaned, stripped, sanded, stained, and shellac was applied....many coats of shellac...  I had to re-glue a strip of wood to the base of the cabinet that the lid attached to...some goon had opened it and let the lid fall, breaking that strip of wood loose.  Also had to re-glue the front legs...they were separating.



I think it looks MUCH better now...LOVE this machine! :)


The machine is very similar to my Singer 115, or to a Singer 15.  Some differences of course, but it takes a 15x1 needle, a class 15 bobbin.  The faceplate and the slide plate are identical to the 115, the bobbin winder is pretty close too. All in all....no great feats of German engineering on this one, not like the little Vestas or my friend Muv's wonderful machines, (which I would LOVE to get my hands on!!)  but still a nice one, and it will still get used often and loved lots!

9 comments:

Margie said...

Charlee, she is one beautiful machine. The picture makes me want to rub my hand across that cabinet. Don't know that I would have been brave enough to do some of what you had to do. Take Care

skipper said...

You did a great job Charlie, working with water based poly is no fun. I did some research on East German cabinet maker and this was common practice to use this type of finish because it was cheap and quick. they also use a lot of pine for a base for the veneer which did not hold up well since it was not cured and dryed properly. Thimbs up to you on this one.

Muv said...

Charlee,
You have done a fantastic job on this machine. The cabinet sounds as though it was a lot of work - rather you than me, I'm rubbish with wood. It is so much of its place and time, the utility post-war look (especially the wooden treadle)contrasting with the gorgeous pretty flower decals, reminiscent of the pre-war German machines. Every time I look at it I find it more interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing what you make on it.
By the way, when are you coming to our house to play with the machines? Got the air ticket yet?
Muv

Gretar Eir said...

hi nice machine, my name is Gretar and live in Iceland and just got macine almost 100% like yours (a motor made in 1988 has been added on back of machine, very good work looks like a original designe.also a lamp, and mine has 1-3 more conntrol and is called 25-30 (yours 11-30)
But mine needs fixing, like i have done with few sewing mashines (so sorry about my english), also im curius about HERMANN KOHLER http://www.sewmuse.co.uk/Kohler%20sewing%20machine.htm

do u know much about this product ? like my serial is 2459661 and i dont know what year that serial was made, do u know the age of your Koler ?

:-)

Gretar Eir said...

hi nice machine, my name is Gretar and live in Iceland and just got macine almost 100% like yours (a motor made in 1988 has been added on back of machine, very good work looks like a original designe.also a lamp, and mine has 1-3 more conntrol and is called 25-30 (yours 11-30)
But mine needs fixing, like i have done with few sewing mashines (so sorry about my english), also im curius about HERMANN KOHLER http://www.sewmuse.co.uk/Kohler%20sewing%20machine.htm

do u know much about this product ? like my serial is 2459661 and i dont know what year that serial was made, do u know the age of your Koler ?

:-)

Gretar Eir said...

hi nice machine, my name is Gretar and live in Iceland and just got macine almost 100% like yours (a motor made in 1988 has been added on back of machine, very good work looks like a original designe.also a lamp, and mine has 1-3 more conntrol and is called 25-30 (yours 11-30)
But mine needs fixing, like i have done with few sewing mashines (so sorry about my english), also im curius about HERMANN KOHLER http://www.sewmuse.co.uk/Kohler%20sewing%20machine.htm

do u know much about this product ? like my serial is 2459661 and i dont know what year that serial was made, do u know the age of your Koler ?

:-)

Charlee said...

Hi Gretar!
I confess that I do not know much about the Köhler machines/company. I was told that this machine was post WW2, made in East Germany after the war, and that not many of them are here in the States because we didn't have a trade agreement with East Germany. I'll have to look and see what the serial number is on mine...

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am I still me? said...

Hi, I have a Kohler too!!! Decals still there, just half the gold color gone. I have a serial? number plate that says 918883. If you have been able to find anything else out about your machine, will you please contact me. I can't find any thing!

Great job on your refurbishing. Hope I can do half as good a job!