Clemens Müller · Vibrating shuttle

True stitches

Veritas was a Roman goddess of truth. She was believed to be hiding on the bottom of a holy well, as she was so elusive. The world hasn’t changed! 😉

This beauty is by Clemens Müller of Dresden, Germany, from around 1910. Established in 1855, Clemens Müller was one of the oldest, if not the oldest sewing machine manufacturer in Germany.

This machine is a VS2, that is, a full sized vibrating shuttle machine based on Singer 127K, but with reverse. This was obviously in a treadle, but the previous owners made this neat wooden base for it. It came all oiled up, in a perfect working condition and with a jeans needle. I can just picture it: the modern plastic wonder choked on jeans, so they got out their grandma’s old friend, and of course the job was done in no time. 🙂

So no restoration required here, but I shall varnish it as I usually do, simply because shellac does not last a hundred years, and the original varnish started cracking and crumbling in places. We want to preserve those amazing decals!

The Müller hinges are not the same as those of Singer, so although Veritas is of right size, it doesn’t fit into my standard plastic cases that go into a cut-out in my sewing table. But that’s Ok. For now, I’ll just use it as a table top machine, and if I really feel that it needs to fit into that cut-out, I’m sure I’ll think of something. :-)​

So, first up it’s varnishing, then motor, then sewing!

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18 thoughts on “True stitches

  1. That is a beauty! I wish you lived in my town and I could bring my vintage Singer over for your advice (especially since following your blog likely led to my purchase). A friend did connect me with a restoration person who can check it out for safety and advise me.

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    1. Yes, I agree, posting it to the UK and back may not be very wise. 😉
      But what do you mean “for safety”? Your Singer is a hand-crank, isn’t it, so there are no electrics that could have become unsafe. I don’t see how a mechanical machine can be unsafe?
      Of course it is still a good idea to check it over to make sure the mechanism is working properly. It probably also needs cleaning and oiling with fresh oil, but that’s just regular maintenance. 🙂

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      1. Ah my antique Singer is actually electric powered! It has a very old style cord – I plugged it in and it runs but my friend warned me I should have it checked out for safety. And yes definitely some cleaning and oiling. You already shared with me how to replace my 1/2 missing bobbin cover but I need a professional to evaluate the machine 🙂

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      2. Oh, since it is electric, then of course it needs checking! Is the motor as old as the machine (1910, was it?), or is it a later addition? Here most motors are from 1950s as a lot of hand-cranks and treadles were modernised then. The old motors are usually still fine, the basic design didn’t change much since, but the wiring and the pedals often need replacing. Also, I prefer modern electronic pedals – they are much lighter going and do exactly the same thing! You can have it wired in with the old motor, or even replace the motor. However, check the power of the motor (written either in Watts or in Amps, or may be even in HP – horse power!) – old motors are often more powerful than “standard domestic” modern ones.
        Yes, the machine definitely needs a good service round before use. After all, it has probably been stored somewhere for a long time!

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      3. Ah! It was probably a treadle originally, just like what we see here, then they put it into a case and added a motor. 🙂 I think even Singer themselves did such work, or otherwise any repairman could do it. Electricity was popular. 🙂

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  2. What an absolute work of art! I’m green with envy over here! I’m sure she will bring you a lifetime of happy stitching. 🙂
    I’m really enjoying your blog by the way, and learning so much! I’m going to be restoring what I believe is a Singer 99-13, and your blog will really be a huge help! My poor old girl definitely needs rewiring and is missing (at minimum!) her knee lever and spool pin. But so far I have managed to get her mostly cleaned up and oiled. She was absolutely filthy, poor thing! Thank you so much for this wonderful blog and sharing your wealth of information!

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  3. Hi Elena, does your Veritas take the same bobbins as a Singer 27/127? Or could perhaps Singer bobbins (reproductions) be convinced to fit with a little bit of dremelling? And what about needle-presser bar distance – is it the same? The shuttles are plain incompatible, I suppose… Your Veritas takes 15×1 needles now I suppose, but do you perhaps know what it used originally? Thank you!

    It’s strange that vibrating shuttle machines are extremely rare here in Czech Republic. There are 10 transverse shuttle machines for each VS… shouldn’t it be the other way round? There are also several hundred vertical oscillator straight-stitchers for each VS on sale. And since Singers are in minority overall, a Singer VS is super rare here.

    Anyway, even though I’d rather have a Singer due to spare parts availability, I can only have a Veritas – hence my questions 🙂

    Regarding your Veritas, I’m especially intrigued by the cast and japanned back cover on the tower. I think this place usually gets just a flat piece of steel… Very nice!

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    1. Hello Jana,
      Veritas is based on Singer VS2 and takes Singer shuttle, bobbins, needles, feet and everything else. Why would you think it is incompatible? I didn’t do anything to it. The only thing to note is that Veritas bobbin winder has a positioning pin, so the bobbin needs to have a hole in the cap. You can buy reproduction bobbins already with the hole, they work perfectly. Almost every make except Singer has such positioning pin in the bobbin winder. Veritas has reverse and Singer doesn’t, by the way.

      Regarding the back not having a round plate, that is because Singer original design was like that. Singer introduced metal plates some time around 1902, I think. They were cheaper to make.

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      1. Thank you for the good news 🙂 I thought Veritas and Singer would have incompatibilites because in the discussion below the Lada T132 TLC you mentioned “Clemens Müller had his own slightly different foot standard (I have a 1912 Veritas).” I’ve also read some warnings not to buy VS machines without a shuttle and at least two bobbins unless they’re a Singer, perhpas on treadleon.net. Others claimed reproduction bobbins are low quality and tend not to fit… but you don’t seem to have issues with them and you have both Singer and German VSs, I think?

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      2. I think you might be confusing VS machines after White design with VS machines after Singer. White-based machines have to have their shuttles as they are all different, but Singer-based machines have a standard shuttle. There are very small differences in all fittings but they are not worth noting, really. The foot fitting of my Veritas is displaced to the left by half a millimetre compared to Singer. This is a very small difference.
        Regarding reproduction bobbins, there is undoubtedly more than one brand. The ones that I buy fit perfectly in all my VS and CS machines – that is, not only after Singer design! That’s why I like this type so much – all the bobbins are interchangeable between the different machines. 😀
        I no longer have a Singer VS2 because I find German ones much better. I’ve got Stoewer’s Serata and C. Müller’s Veritas. I also have other VS and CS machines of different designs. But note that all my machines are “Medium” – professional range, not domestic. They are not only larger than the “Family” range, but might have slightly different fittings – it is always best to check. I found Vesta to have different fittings, although Singer is the same. Besides, when you are buying a 100 year old machine, it is not exactly in new condition, is it? Previous owners could have made changes or the machine might simply have changed a bit through use (and mostly abuse and neglect). Just get one that is available to you locally, and make it work. 🙂 German machines are generally of very good quality.

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      3. By the way, treadleon.net has mostly American members. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but they have different machines over there. They tend to speak of “common” machines like National or New Home or even White, but none of it is common in Europe at all, because those companies didn’t bother to export. Singer on the other hand opened factories all over the world, including Europe, so we all know Singer and designs based on Singer, and not so much the other ones that are only common in the USA. So a lot of what you read on American forums doesn’t apply to Europe so much unless you happen to find one of those rare American machines – rare to us, that is!

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