The beautiful machine I have just bought is a Vesta Transverse Cylinder Shuttle Machine from the 1930’s (Made by L O Dietrich of Germany).
I saw a Saxonia machine with these decals on the Lizzie Lenard Website (wonderful site to learn about vintage machines – http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-little-vesta.html) and decided it was such a lovely machine I wanted one like it.
Mine isn’t the Saxonia which has the geared bobbin winder, but the Cylinder Shuttle version which has double geared handcrank and a ‘self threading’ shuttle – so much easier than the Singer 12 shuttle which is also a transverse shuttle machine.
I was able to find a manual for it on Needlebar – http://needlebar.org/main/manuals/vesta/index.html – which is always a good thing!
The machine is in wonderful condition – both mechanically and decal wise. The paintwork does appear to be crazing slightly but I think that once I have used a resin glaze and then waxed it that the finish should be really lovely and shinny.
As you can see it has the signature ‘crocodile’ back plate, and also the face plate. The stop motion screw also has this decoration.
Not sure why but, as you can see in he photo, someone had put the finger for the hand crank between the wrong spokes on the balance wheel. Every other section of the balance wheel has straight sided spokes so the lever, which has a ball catch, fits between them precisely with no movement. It had been placed between the wider spaced spokes and was clanking against them and removing paint in the process!
Today I have been testing the stitching – at first I thought I wasn’t going to be able to tighten the shuttle tension, but using a Singer screwdriver I was able to do that and —– she sews beautifully and tension is wonderful, so I will be using her (and the Singer 12) for the Canning Jar TreadleOn block swap in September.
Today has been a day for cleaning and oiling. To be honest she didn’t need much cleaning. Nothing to speak of in the oil pan. There was a certain amount of fluff in the shuttle/bobbin area but no ‘gunk’. I cleaned as much out as I could with a wooden cocktail stick and then oiled her – she works like a dream.
I must say that the quality of the machine is wonderful, and there is no contest between her and the Singers. The German engineering seems so much superior, and solid (for some reason I especially like the feet which are very ‘chunky’) – and the really good thing is she takes the standard 15×1 needles!
One thing I haven’t mentioned so far is the Pin Cushion – a trademark of L O Dietriech machines. I love it – and will be using it!
Will be writing more on this machine and hopeing to gather together as much on dating as I can, as there doesn’t seem to be much available!