The Saxonia style Adria machine

Please note that some of these pictures have already appeared on the NeedleBar site, and on the gallery of The Sewing Forum, as I am a member of both.

This little treadle is a treat in many respects.  It was fun to get it up and running again.  I don't think it had been working properly for some time, and some parts were very dirty and very rusty.  The table looked OK at first glance, but a closer inspection revealed some damage from damp storage conditions that will cause me some thought to restore.

The restoration project is still far from complete, but here is what has happened so far.

The machine arrived here in pieces, as they so often do!  In order to collect it for me, my friend Julie )original owner of the Lotus decal treadle that went to Australia from here!) had had to take the box and the head off the table and put the table on the back seat of her car to get it to her house.  It wouldn't fit in our car that way, so my friend Diane (owner of those two Harris machines elsewhere on my site) and I dismembered it into its component parts!  We were very gentle, and when one of the legs fell over, the fall was cushioned by my foot!  Owieee!  No damage was done to the machine, and my foot recovered in about a week, though it sported an interesting round bruise the size of a 10p piece for a few days...

Saxonia leg.JPG (125577 bytes)  Saxonia tabletop.JPG (104275 bytes)

I've never seen leg irons with a badge like this.  Though it says 'Singer', this is like no Singer I've ever seen.  The leg irons are in fairly good condition, and for the moment I am not going to try to 'restore' them,  At some point they may have been painted over the original black finish, and this will need some thought.  So far all I have done is give them a rub over with a microfibre duster.

The table top looks reasonably OK at first glance, but there is more to it than first strikes, as you will see.

frontsax.JPG (113091 bytes)  rearsax.JPG (100664 bytes)

The machine head also looked  fairly good, but the hand wheel was very stiff, so there was obviously some work needed.

I eventually got two of the four slide plates to move ( after the careful application of generous quantities of machine oil and several days of patient waiting!) and removed the second not so rusty shuttle and the single bobbin from the shuttle race.  This part of the machine was surprisingly free of rust, given the state of the rest of it!

handwheel.JPG (103737 bytes)  faceplate.JPG (101155 bytes)

The finish on the hand wheel itself is slightly pitted and the face plate is scratched.  Nothing too serious, and not too cosmetically displeasing.  Except for the scratches, the decals themselves are in good order and not flaking.


bobbinwinder.JPG (129956 bytes)

Closer inspection revealed that the bobbin winder was very rusty, and the tyre perished.  A new tyre and belt were ordered from Helen Howes.  I removed the bobbin winder carefully and out it aside for further work later...  It'll need more dismantling and quite a bit of careful polishing of the rusty parts to make it work smoothly.

Adriabadge.JPG (117791 bytes)

Removing the bobbin winder gave a much clearer view of the badge: Adria.  The collective wisdom of the gurus on the NeedleBar and at Treadle On is that this machine was built in Hungary, possibly before 1900, though exactly when is a bit of a guess.

rustyshuttlt.JPG (103687 bytes)

One of the two shuttles is VERY rusty, as you can see.  The other (not pictured) has only one small rust spot, and will be easier to deal with.  They are slightly different (more pix of them later).  Some of the feet and the spool pins are also very rusty and will need quite a bit of work.


rustsaxneedle.JPG (78332 bytes)

The machine had but the one single very rusty needle in it!  Thanks to Claire from the NeedleBar and Helen, I now have two bright shiny ones to try in thie machine when she's up and running.

backdecal.JPG (79659 bytes)  beltguard.JPG (70368 bytes)

The decals on the back of the machine head and on the belt guard are very pretty and in very good condition.  Not 100% perfect, but after 100 years and some serious work during the lifetime of the machine it's surprising any survive at all, really!

faceplateoff.JPG (117756 bytes)  tensiondisks.JPG (34966 bytes)

Removing the face plate allowed access to the tension assembly (rusty!) and the needle and presser foot bars (clogged with fossilized grease - yuk!).  This area was all cleaned out (Bix plastic toothpicks and cotton buds soaked in oil are good!), polished up and reassembled.  You can see the before and after state of the tension disks!  I greased everything that had had grease on it, oiled everything else, and magically it all seemed to work when reassembled!  I must take the face plate off again and take pix of the tension for you: it is a poem of simplicity!


rustyinnards.JPG (147212 bytes)

Inside, there was considerable rust on the two main drives, but this does not seem to interfere with the working of the machine.  I cleaned out all the loose rust and polished off what I could from the shafts.  The gears got cleaned up (no rust there, just several teaspoonfuls of fossilized crud!) and re-greased, and now run smoothly.  As you can see, I also took the hand wheel off and polished up and greased that end of the drive shaft.  This little head now turns as sweet as pie!

base reassembled.JPG (118299 bytes)  basend.JPG (100472 bytes)

At this point i was ready to reassemble the table:  I also needed the bench and my cutting table set up for a customer's posh frock project, and needed to consolidate the piles of rusty and greasy sewing machine parts!

The legs and the treadle itself went together really well, once I found a big enough screwdriver and a suitable spanner!  And this time I didn't drop a bit on my foot!

previousrestoration.JPG (42134 bytes)

Here there is evidence of the legs having been painted after the table was assembled.  I cannot really tell whether this is original, but rather doubt it...

wheel&skirtguard.JPG (120118 bytes)  woodenconnectingrod.JPG (55954 bytes)


Here are the treadle flywheel and the little skirt guard.  This points to this being at least pre WWI, as I don't think machines after that had the skirt guard: it was a log time after then that skirts were voluminous enough to need one, and by then most machines were being produced with electric motors...

tableassembled.JPG (73522 bytes)  boxcornerdamage.JPG (63343 bytes)  missingveneer.JPG (135168 bytes)  veneerlifting.JPG (63699 bytes)


Once reassembled, you begin to notice the problems with the table and the box cover...

There are a couple of corners showing the veneer beginning to peel off a bit.  This shouldn't be too difficult to glue and clamp with the right compounds and equipment.  The table top has a small area of veneer missing totally, but quite a stretch along the front is lifting.  This could be more of a problem.  The handle is also missing from the box, and part of the drawer runner is gone at one side.  This can be repaired, but it's another thing to think about.

Alan Bamber of Bamber Sewing machines has sent me a handle which looks to be the right type, and could be made to fit without too much surgery on the lid, but I shall hold off on that for a while and see if a closer fit turns up.



togetheragain.JPG (110376 bytes)  boxon.JPG (97929 bytes)

Though she isn't screwed down yet, and I have a bent drip pan to straighten as well as the feet to polish and the belt to fit, now the little Adria Saxonia is looking much more the thing!  A bit more spit and polish (well, oil rather than spit!) and she'll be ready to test!