This blog post is an attempt to answer the many questions I receive about the Janome 712t. The "t" stands for treadle. Yes, this is a green machine...it runs on physical energy. Let me first say welcome to the folks from sewmamasew.com. Most of my questions come from their excellent website...specifically their forums.
First, a few quick answers:
Yes, we still love our Janome and consider it the best treadle sewing machine on the market, bar none. We've had it for two years.
Yes, we did have to adjust our cabinet so that the Janome would fit in it...and yes, it was scary to saw off parts of the cabinet!
Yes, we consider the Janome to be extremely smooth...even when sewing in reverse.
Yes, we would buy another Janome before buying any other treadle sewing machine.
What to look for when purchasing a cabinet and treadle for your Janome machine. See the two round circular metal discs? There are two metal plugs protruding from these discs that fit into your machine. This is how your machine attaches to the cabinet...just these two metal plugs. The key here is to make sure you get a cabinet that has these plugs exactly 9-1/8" apart. I have never seen a Singer cabinet with a different size...but I have seen many other brands with much wider plugs. This measurement is from the center of the disc to the center of the disc.
The White company makes beautiful tiger oak cabinets...but the plugs are 7-1/4" apart...and only White treadles have 7-1/4" plugs. My hubby tried hard to put my Janome into my beautiful White cabinet...it just wouldn't work.
The cabinet that I ended up putting my Janome into is a Singer cabinet...bought for $75 locally on craigslist.org. That seems to be a typical price here in Maryland.
In the above picture, if you look closely, I have circled (in white) a piece that my hubby had to saw off to make the Janome fit. If you look even closer, you will see a long white line that I tried to use to show where hubby sawed off the length of wood. You can see the rawness of the cut. Those were the only two cuts he made. However, he also had to yank out the beltplate on the end.
In the above picture, you can see the drawer that keeps me from being able to put the Janome down into the cabinet to close the top.
The beltplate is the black metal piece you see to the right of my Keystone machine. I'm sure the plate is meant to keep the belt in line, but so far my Janome has done just as well without it.
This is a picture of my Keystone machine. The metal "plugs" are a little easier to see here. You can also see the hole where the electrical cord went into the machine. My Keystone used to be electric...until I took off all the electrical parts and made it a wonderful treadle machine. I did not have to make any adjustments whatsoever to fit the Keystone into my Singer cabinet. Sometimes that happens...but that is more the exception than the rule.
Here's a better picture of the beltplate.
I took as many pictures from different angles as possible.
Many folks don't know but you are supposed to release the belt each time you are finished sewing for any length of time. Otherwise the belt will permanently stretch. The above picture is showing the release pull.
Here's a closeup of my treadle.
Here's a closeup of my cabinet.
One last comment that I just remembered. The Janome has the thread on the back of the machine like you see in this picture. Nothing unusual about that...but that also keeps the machine from fitting inside the cabinet. If you want, you can keep a screwdriver in your cabinet and take the threadholder off each time, but since I already can't fit the machine in my cabinet because of the front drawer, it doesn't really matter. But I wanted to let you know that in case your cabinet doesn't have a drawer.
Hopefully I have answered some of your questions. I do not have the gifts of teaching or photography (or even blogging!) so this is difficult for me to explain.
If you still have questions, please ask me by leaving a comment or sending an email (located on my "complete profile" page).