Restoration of a Very Rusty New Howe Sewing Machine

 


Chris sent us his Great-Grandmother's sewing machine from Texas. It suffered for many years through the collapse of her long-empty cabin, through rain, tornados, and severe weather, until it was rescued by the client's brother.

When Chris first sent photos of the New Howe, and asked if we could restore her, at least her appearance, I confess that I had doubts. It was as badly rusted, all the way through, as any sewing machine that I've encountered.

   

When he explained that it was his Great-Grandmother's sewing machine, though, and that it was a family heirloom, we had to try.


First, before we even touched a screw, it went into a tub to be soaked for a month in penetrating oil.


After disassembly, she went to Metal Works (metaldipping.com) where we have all of our stripping done, to be hot-dip stripped. Mostly, they dip classic car bodies sent to them from as far away as Brazil, but they don't mind doing our little machines now and then.

 

Of course, she was badly pitted from all the rust so next we used body filler to fill the worst pits. We used a filler/primer to smooth out the rougened surface, and then she received multiple top coats in black.

 


Her decorations were mostly gone before she came to us and no photos of this New Howe design could be found anywhere, so we commissioned artist and animator, Nick DeAngelo (nickdeangelo.com) to recreate the images from photos we'd taken of the vestiges of the original art, with hints as to the artistic style and original colors from another New Howe machine of the different style but the same era.

   


Josh Muma from Bedlam Creations (http://www.bedlamcreations.com) took Nick's artwork and transformed it into metallic waterside decals which I applied to the well-cured finish on the machine body while I was at our Winter shop in the Sonoran Desert, and then sealed them in with several clear coats.


Her new finish was hand-rubbed and polished to a beautiful luster.

Back in Oregon again, she underwent assembly, partial disassembly (I put a part in backwards) and then, after final assembly, testing and adjusting, this beautiful old New Howe sewed her first seam in 60 years? 70 years? In a very long time.

   


Huge Thanks, to everyone who particpated in this project to bring this fine New Howe sewing machine back to her youthful best!

See all the beautifully restored machines