Our sewing machine restoration shop is inside this beautiful old 1949 Diamond T school bus. This is where the magic happens and dirty-neglected old sewing machines are returned to their glorious original beauty and full functionality.
She's perfect for what we do, with all of the light that streams in the multiple bus windows, plus the skylight that Doc Webb installed many years ago.
Step inside and take a tour. Of course she's a little cluttered. That's how she usually is.
Much of the infrastructure was already in place and is still in use. We added the two-station work bench and turned the swinging dentist/tech stools that flanked the patient chair, to suit our needs.
They're like playground equipment or a good swivelling bar stool, nice for stretching and bending, and they make it easy to access much of the shop. I can reach most of my tools and supplies without getting up.
Also handy is the foot-controlled suction system which we converted to a technician's vacuum.
There's plenty of room for myself and my apprentice to work at the same time.
The waiting room at the back of the bus, we converted into a lounge.
A steaming mug by the woodstove is pretty nice on a cold, rainy Oregon day, and the wood fire helps keep the shop warm, dry, and cozy.
She garnered a little fame back in the day when Doc Webb owned her, being featured in Roger Beck's great housebus book. If you can find a copy, you'll probably enjoy this book immensely.
Before she came to us, she was a mobile dental clinic. Doctor James Webb traveled to hippy communes and small towns bringing dental care to folks who didn't have a local dentist.
The clinic was open in downtown Eugene Oregon for many years, as well, and more than a few of the clients who bring us their beloved machines for restoration remember sitting in that chair getting work done.
After Doc retired, the bus sat neglected for twenty years or so, and was in poor condition when we picked her up to bring her home.
We cleaned up the chair but it took up too much space to leave in the bus, so it had to go, along with the spit sink and the X-ray machine mount.
The fixtures were purchased by Doc Webb from the San Fransisco office of Dr. Painless Parker, the famous early 20th century dentist/showman.
She did need some protection from the weather even though she looks great dusted with snow, so I built this lightweight and light permeable cover for her.
With a little help from my friends.
Doc says she ran when they parked her but we don't have any reason to make her go. Now, she's permenantly beached here at Leisureland Community.
For away work, we've restored an old Shasta 16' trailer into a mobile mini-shop, which we take to the Soutwest during the Winter months.
The mini-shop made her inaugural trip to the Sonoran Desert over the Winter where she performed flawlessly.
Someday we'll make a page for her, too.