Sunday, August 11, 2013

Domestic High Arm: Handwheel Conundrum

Back again with more questions for the cognoscenti about my Domestic High Arm Fiddlebase.

This time, I am stumped by the handwheel.  I am trying to remove it for a thorough cleaning.  On this
Domestic the treadle belt track is on a separate wheel behind the outer handwheel.  Neither one is coming off at the moment.

The normal thing to do would be to remove the clutch knob, right?  Well, this clutch knob is not budging.

the green one SHOULD say "pin on the clutch knob" rather than "clutch know"

Problem is, there are two pins, one on the handwheel and one on the clutch knob.  When you turn the clutch knob to the left, as you would normally do to remove it, the handwheel pin is in the way of the clutch knob pin and will not let you unscrew the clutch knob.

When you rotate the clutch knob to the right, they move apart from one another and this is also the motion to lock the handwheel to the treadle belt wheel so that they move in unison. 

I thought maybe I had it figured out when I found a screw in the handwheel and removed it.  But that changed nothing.  Both wheel spin fairly freely, but they are not coming off of the shaft.  I have looked for additional screws but found none.

Help!  Anyone?  I've done the usual with Liquid Wrench, heat from a blow dryer, etc.  Nothing changes.  Do I need the brute force method?  Whack it with a large hammer?  It is not budging in the slightest way at the moment--no wiggle to it at all.

Unrelated to the problem, but interesting:  there is a date visible on the inner (or machine-facing) edge of the treadle belt wheel.  Frustratingly, the year is not visible.

Does anyone have something similar?  Does yours also say Oct. 15th?  Does it have a year?

Any information gratefully received.  thanks in advance!


  1. I have two domestic machines with the same issue. I gave up because I didn't want to damage either. After looking closely, I believe the only way to remove the handwheel would be via a screw on the shaft inside the machine, and I don't have the skill set (nor desire) to do that. Best of luck. I have one of mine up and chainstitching, fun fun!

  2. Not sure about that one, all the machines I have taken apart have had a screw on the face of the clutch knob wich allows it to be removed. I use a web-site that restores singers and sends them to Africa. There are instructions on cemplete re-build of 3 types of singer, although yours isn't a singer a lot of the parts are common.

  3. I have an Eldredge treadle with the same issue, I see no way of removing the handwheel, and there are two pins directly underneath the handwheel, so I just decided to leave well enough alone....but it does bother me that I can't remove it for cleaning -- oh well -
    You can disengage the clutch to wind a bobbin (shuttle bobbin in this machine), glad you posted this!

    Mary Ellen

  4. Figure 1 in the manual for this machine on the Smithsonian site refers to the handwheel as a "combination wheel" and says the flywheel is "fast" to the shaft, and the pulley is fast to the flywheel, and the nut we loosen for bobbin winding holds the two parts together for sewing. I don't know what the small screw in the flywheel does, nothing as far as I can tell, but that can't be right.


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