Posted by: morrowsl | March 26, 2021

One Person’s Trash

My oldest daughter and I spent a cold and rainy day cleaning out her old apartment at the end of her lease. When we’d finished, we hauled a couple of bags of trash to the big dumpster at a corner of the complex. Sitting just beyond the door of the dumpster was this adorable little wood cabinet, seemingly too perfect to just be tossed. Further inspection revealed it to be a sewing cabinet.

With very little discussion, we loaded it into her car and it became mine.

Not that I need a sewing cabinet. Or an old sewing machine that will require a complete overhaul before it can even be plugged in. But I am my mother’s daughter and that woman never thought twice about hauling someone else’s trash home to turn to treasure. I helped Mom load many a roadside find into her car. This isn’t the first time Sheli has done the same with me. I know a man who actually repairs and sells such finds. He has quite a lucrative business.

Dumpster find sewing cabinet.

It’s worth noting that the combined weight of the cabinet and sewing machine was likely equal to a small car.

Mike helped me remove the sewing machine from the cabinet, otherwise it would all still be sitting on the apron of his shop. This required severing the power cord. At the back of the machine, the power cord was the old school cloth-covered kind that I recall seeing on an electric iron my mother had. The cord ran from the back of the sewing machine into one side of a small metal box mounted to the inside of the front panel of the cabinet.
Coming out the other side of the metal box, the other end of the cord was actually a section of old-school extension cord like we had in the early 1950s. Two lengths of plastic-covered cord twisted together with a plug on the end. This was obviously a replacement.

Neither end appeared safe for use.

Once the machine was free of the cabinet, I brought both pieces inside the house and cleaned them. I carried the machine upstairs, but couldn’t manage the cabinet alone. We got busy, so it sat at the end of the stairs until my son-in-law carried it up for me.

The machine is operated by a knee-lever that stores inside the Canadian-made cabinet. While cleaning the cabinet, I discovered a small drawer that held an accessories box filled with an amazing assortment of feet, most of which I have absolutely no idea how to use.

Found in the cabinet drawer. I had to download the manual to determine what all of these do.

I found a user’s manual online and downloaded it. From that I learned what the different feet were used for, and what all the levers and knobs were called and used for. It’s a pretty basic machine, well-built and beautiful in its way.

Once everything was cleaned up and moved into place, Mike helped me set the machine back in the cabinet and screw it down.

For now, I’ll use the cabinet top for additional surface space. At some point, I would love to have the machine rewired so that I can use it. But that’s a future goal. For now, I just love the look of this old girl in my cave.

Owner’s manual.

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