Saturday, August 9, 2008

Estate Sale Singers

Lately I have been going to estate sales. I'm on the hunt for a tea set. I also just like to look at all the stuff and check out the old houses. Yesterday I noticed a sign advertising an estate sale up the street and I looked on the online classifieds and found a large estate sale near our house. This am we walked up the street and checked out the sale. It was lame. Then we hopped in the car and drove to the other sale. They had a cute set of dishes--German, but no tea pot, so I kept looking. Ross went through the house pretty quickly, as he really isn't interested in these things. He's looking for a Curta--maybe one day we'll find one. In the first room I noticed an old Singer treadle sewing machine. I talked with the old lady sitting there about the value of the treadle.

You see, about a month ago I went to one of these sales and they were selling the treadles (sewing machine bases) for 50 dollars each. The particular treadles were rusted and I hesitated. My mom and I want the treadles to make tables. The treadle is used as the base and a slab of marble is attached to the top. It thought I'd go back on Sunday and pay half price for them (most estate sales sell things for half price on Sundays.) When Ross and I went back they had already sold. I kind of kicked myself for being so cheap, but today I found a better deal.

The Singer sewing machine that I was eyeing was marked 45 dollars. I had Ross take a look and we agreed to buy it and turn it into a side table for the grill. Ross had it marked sold and we went out to the garage to see if there was anything of interest out there. Ross noticed another sewing machine with treadle base. This one was actually a modern electric sewing machine that had been stuffed into an old fashioned cabinet. We decided to take it so that my mom could also have one. That particular machine was marked 25 dollars. I went to the front and paid and Ross brought around the car so that we could load the machines (we ended up making two trips.)

I called my mom on the way home to tell her we'd bought her a treadle base and she was very excited. I told her the prices were great...I paid 55 dollars for two sewing machines and two bases. Ross looked at me and said "Uh, you can't do math." I took out my receipt....54 dollars and change. Okay, so they charged me 25 dollars each. I wasn't going to complain.

The old singer sewing machine is very nice. I'm going to keep it. The more modern machine is pretty dirty, and I think I'll set it out on the lawn with a "Free" sign on it. The cabinet on the old machine is in okay shape. The cabinet on the other machine is falling apart. So I need to rip off all the wood and then clean the treadles really well. After cleaning them I think I'll just paint them with clear spray paint. I think they will look better that way than repainted black. I'll leave it up to Ross to find the piece of marble and attach it. Woohoo. I got a good deal today.

When we came home from lunch there was a card in the mail about an estate sale next week (I've signed up to a couple of mailing lists.) We are going to Austin, but I can go to the sale on Friday morning. That tea set might just be waiting for me. You never know.
You can see both machines here and what the treadle base looks like.

The old singer sewing machine.

Detail shot of the Singer sphinx.

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