Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Janome 712t

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 runs on physical energy.  Let me first say welcome to the folks from  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 just wouldn't work.

The cabinet that I ended up putting my Janome into is a Singer cabinet...bought for $75 locally on  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).

Enjoy sewing!



Anonymous said...

You wrote that the distance between the hinges needs to be 7-1/4". Based upon the photo, I would have guessed larger. My very recently acquired Singer treadle stand has a hinge width in the 9" range. I need to remeasure it carefully. The stand currently has a 66 Redeye mounted, so I would assume it's a standard Singer dimension.

I was just hoping you could confirm the 7-1/4" is correct, and not a typo.


Kathie said...

Thank you for bringing this to my attention! You are is a typo. I got my measurements mixed up between the White and the Singer. I have now corrected it. The Singer machines are 9-1/8 exactly (measuring from the center of the discs). Thanks again. I surely hope this did not cause anyone an inconvenience. ~ Kathie

Anonymous said...

Hi. I found a table that looks just like yours for sale. Do I need to be concerned about the condition of the belt or are replacements available? I am looking to get the Janome machine. Thanks for your blog.

Kathie said...

I am happy to say that replacement belts are now available on the internet! There was a time when I would take orders and then buy them at our local amish store. I find the cheapest place is on amazon: "Griswold B111". For some reason I am unable to paste the page here.

Two tips for buying belts:
~ Always buy leather. There are some new rubber/polyurethane belts on the market and my amish friends think they may actually damage the machines.
~ Make sure it comes with a hook. If not, find an extra large stapler and try to staple the ends together.
~ Oops...third tip...don't buy the 25 ft roll of replacement belt. My amish friends say their belts usually last the life of the machine...IF you are faithful in releasing the belt after each sewing session.

Hope this helps!

chance said...

Hi I normally sew by hand but I have recently bought a treadle sewing machine and treadle cabinet from cottage crafts works it was pricy but I think it is worth it. The treadle cabinet is made by Amish but the machine is Janome 712t. I hope you can post more on sewing with yours so that I can learn how to use a treadle. I have only sewn by hand, the electric kind are too fast for me to learn to adjust to a machine. I like the treadle idea more. I have my own blog and will be posting what I learn on it. I am still mostly a basic level at sewing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting all of this. I'm considering a Janome treadle. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, so not much energy and not much stamina. I've never used a treadle and am wondering if you can describe how easy/difficult it is to operate the treadle. Is it very tiring?

Kathie said...

To Anonymous with CFS ~ I'm sure the Janome 712t is the best treadle machine for you...provided you find a good treadle base. Obviously you won't be up to sewing for hours but you should be able to do just fine.

My first sewing session on my treadle I made four receiving blankets (flannel hemmed on all four sides) before I took a break. Sewing with a lot of stops and reverses takes more leg power, so start off with something easy.

So to answer your question "describe how easy/difficult it is to operate the treadle," it is like sitting down and see-sawing something between your feet. The first two pushes take energy...but once the belt starts turning, little energy is required.

I hope this helps. Let us know what you think.

Mary Stephens said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all this information! :-) We are in the market for a treadle machine for the first time and I was assigned the job of finding information on it. The Lord led me to this page through a recommendation in an Amazon comment and wow, I've had questioned answered I didn't know to ask! :-) He saved me a lot of time and trouble on that one, praise His name!

I intend to poke around your blog some more at some point as I noticed several music items on the side that I'm familiar with and/or particularly like. :-)

Kathie said...

Hi Mary,

I am SO glad this was a help to you. We have enjoyed our Janome treadle. I'm excited to see many plain (non-amish or mennonite) folks using treadles!

Let us know what treadle base you end up with.

It's also nice to know you are a fellow believer! We've met some wonderful Christian friends through the internet. PTL

Thanks for leaving a comment,


Kelly said...

I am so happy to have found your blog! Thank you for posting this! I just bought an old singer treadle machine and base and I'm anxious to get sewing. i saw your picture of the metal piece to release the belt. Can you please describe how this is done and what the belt and the metal piece should (and should not) do? I am a bit worried that I may damage the belt if I do it wrong, so I wanted to ask the expert. Thanks!!

Kathie said...

Hi Kelly ~ Welcome to the world of treadle machines! Go to the top of this post and count down nine pictures. This picture shows the belt release. You pull the little black lever towards you and the belt automatically releases. Don't be can't hurt the belt if you push instead of pull.

Maybe you have a different release? If you go to the left column of my blog you will see a tab that says "See my complete profile." Click on that. Then you will see the email tab. Go ahead and email me...which will be much quicker than leaving comments. If you know how, send me a picture of your treadle.

Hope this helps ~ Kathie

Anonymous said...

This is a fun & Interesting discussion! Just 'happened' on this new-non electric sewing machine and then found you by looking for reviews. 1- Is there a 'lowest price' place to order one of these that you have heard of. the one I found is $249.
2- Curious about the treadle and wondering if there are any 'differences' in far as their comfort to use and power...or are they all arranged the same? Many thanks & Blessings!

Kathie said...

Dear Anonymous ~ I did a pretty good search on the search engine and found the same thing you did...$249.

I think the Singer treadles are the safest bet. Just be careful and make sure it's sturdy. I once saw a Taiwan import treadle that was flimsy...but obviously so.

The one treadle base you DON'T want is the treadle which has oak sides. Over time the wood will loosen up and cause trouble. Stick with the all cast iron base.

Thanks for your comment!

Cottage Craft Works said...

Hi Kathie, I'm not sure the wood sides is a real concern. I can see where someone might think so though.

The treadle and the flywheel both use a socket and pin as a bearing there's really very little stress on the screws and bolts as the treadle rocks and the flywheel spins. The Amish and Non-Amish have used this type of installation for decades in their wooden treadle sewing cabinets. We have both the Amish reproduction treadle cabinets for the 712T as well as the large cabinets and have not had any issues with the treadle mounted in this application. The Janome 712T folds down fine as well.

The old Singer Class 15 machines have the same base as the Janome 712T. Or at least we know the Singer Class 15 machines will fit the same cabinets built for the Janomee 712T.

If someone is lucky to find one of those Singer cabinets, the Janomee 712T should fit.

Trying to cut out the top of another old sewing cabinet doesn't always work very well because the old veneer used on them is often loose and easily chips out. This can leave gaps splinters for the materials to snag.



Cottage Craft Works