A Treadle Sewing Machine

One day when I was looking for house ideas on line, I saw this…

and this…

The upstairs bathroom at the new house is just off the quilting room so why not use a treadle for a sink??  Bathroom vanity’s are VERY expensive so my thrifty self and my quilting self are telling me, go with a treadle for a vanity.  Besides, I have that Hubby of mine who is getting quite good at woodworking…he could do this.

I showed Hubby and he was on board…but could we find a reasonably prices treadle…NO.

Well last week when I visited the Muscatine Quilt Guild, I stopped at the antique store in Monticello.  The over there said it was funny that I mentioned anything about a treadle as there was just a lady in that very day that wanted to sell hers for $35.  He said he call her and talk to her as he wasn’t interested in it for the shop.

A couple hours later he called and gave me the ladies number.  I called her and made arrangements to pick it up the following day. I bought it sight unseen.  I figured if the base was good, we’d at least be okay with the $35 price.

Well…here she is.  A little road weary.  I could see right away that I didn’t think we could use the top.  The missing knob I could handle…The top Hubby could redo..but there is a missing piece of board along the middle of the right side.


The chips in the veneer.  I couldn’t handle as a bathroom vanity.  Water will more easily leak into there and it will be ruined before I know it.


The mechanism that keeps the head up doesn’t work.

Was the machine salvageable??…I’m not really interested in trying.  It’s a Franklin and is pretty dusty and dirty.  If I didn’t already have a treadle I might give it a try but…I don’t actually need another head.


So in the end, it looks like we just got a treadle stand and six drawers….so I’m still on the hunt for a treadle.  At least I think I am…we’ll see.  I’ll probably change my mind.

Part of me just doesn’t want to ruin a good treadle…I’m still thinking.  I’ll keep looking and maybe I’ll find a bathroom sink I like better.

14 thoughts on “A Treadle Sewing Machine”

  1. I would use the base with a new top. I’ve got a base in my garage that we trash picked 16years ago(!) that I’d give you, but we’re In New Jersey and it just isn’t worth the shipping. You should email a link to this post to Bonnie Hunter. Just the thing for her Quilt Villa!

  2. Ask your local Granite place what it would cost to make a new top? Look at their scrap pile see if there is anything you can used from something that is useless to them. Might be a great win/win!!

  3. Love the ideas! Knowing me and how neat is not always my world I’d go with the stand for sink base and use the drawers for open shelves….I know whatever you decided to do it will be great….this is a wonderful project You and Hubby have going.

  4. It is too bad you didn’t live near me (I am in ND). I have a treadle base much like the second picture that hubby bought at a yard sale. It is sitting and waiting for a purpose. I was thinking of making it into an end table but really have no use for it at the moment. Keep looking and you will find one. Great idea.

  5. I like the idea of using the base and drawers but putting a new top on it. After it’s cleaned up and your hubby works on it you might be surprised at how cute it will be. It would be unique!

  6. keep an eye out on your local craigslist, I see them on my local one all the time :) Usually around $50-$100. I think the idea is an excellent one!

  7. I think since your husband is a skilled woodworker that he could make a new base for the sink to sit in because it’s a very cute idea.

  8. I like Carolyn’s idea. Pull the top off and put on a piece of granite or corian or marble! It would not at all take away from the beauty of the cabinet; I think it would be beautiful!

  9. I know you like wood but an idea may be to use chalk paint on this. It would cover a lot of blemishes and look aged with glaze or dark wax.

  10. I have bought the metal bases for tables or bedside stands. I have them sandblasted and high gloss powder coat paint on them. For the top I have put thick beveled glass on Them. The glass has cut off corners. In a small room they are just right next to a king sized bed.
    I only paid about $35 for each base. Then I put more into it. I have another base but it just is waiting for a space. I would love to use at least 2 for a base for a cutting table. Only one of mine was a family piece that the wooden part and machine disappeared.
    I can’t wait to see what you do. Maybe your kids will get the leftovers!

  11. What about a glass top to cover the wood? A tile drill would work to get the plumbing through the glass. Wood, even if sealed, is not a good idea for a sink. We had an old dresser with a scratched wood top ( evidence of a snoopy Clumber spaniel paws) converted and put laminate on top for water proofing. It works great for all the extra storage.

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