Davis VF2
This is an unusual sewing machine as it feeds material different from all other domestic sewing machines. Commercial sewing machine use walking feet to feed material while sewing and this domestc is close to that very nice system. VF stands for Vertical Feed and this one advances the material, not with feed dogs, but with the needle and the presser foot. It is fun to watch this one sew and this is the best way to 'see' how it works.

Understanding how this method advances all of the material together at the same time so that all surfaces of the material remain in the exact same position during stitching. In quilting all layers of the quilt being put together remain where you place them since the needle, while in the material advances the material preparing for the next stitch. All layers stay where you want them.

This machine was manufactured near the turn of the century and was made to use in a treadle for the most part. This one sewed perfect stitches when I threaded it and turned the handwheel to make a stitch. The price of this very nice Davis VF2 is $237.50.
Davis VF_2
This model of Davis VF sewing machine uses the Davis Long needle listed as a Boye #10 size. Today we use the modern MTx190 needle that is inexpensive and easy to buy. A packet of 10 new needles are included with the machine.
This model of Davis VF sewing machine uses the Davis Long needle listed as a Boye #10 size. Today we use the modern MTx190 needle that is inexpensive and easy to buy. A packet of 10 new needles are included with the machine.
Davis VF_3
This view of the face plate end shows the business parts of this VF sewing machine. This complicated sewing machine has been taken apart so as to clean every part. It is shiny clean throughout. No gummy grease remains anywhere.
This view of the face plate end shows the business parts of this VF sewing machine. This complicated sewing machine has been taken apart so as to clean every part. It is shiny clean throughout. No gummy grease remains anywhere.
Davis VF_4
This is the hand wheel end of the Davis VF2 head. We see the clutch release knob used to wind bobbins, the grove that accepts the treadle belt and below the drive wheel for the bobbin winder. This model 'came along' about 3/4 into the life time of the Davis Sewing Machine Co time in business.
This is the hand wheel end of the Davis VF2 head. We see the clutch release knob used to wind bobbins, the grove that accepts the treadle belt and below the drive wheel for the bobbin winder. This model 'came along' about 3/4 into the life time of the Davis Sewing Machine Co time in business.
Davis VF_5
One feature regarding all Davis Sewing Machines was the poor quality of their painting. Most have log since lost there factory paint and decals. Otherwise the machines are superior. The bed of the Davis VF 2 is near the same size as the Singer however the hinge pins are spaced apart more than a Singer. It will fit into a Singer treadle but will need to be secured with other than the hinge pins.
One feature regarding all Davis Sewing Machines was the poor quality of their painting. Most have log since lost there factory paint and decals. Otherwise the machines are superior. The bed of the Davis VF 2 is near the same size as the Singer however the hinge pins are spaced apart more than a Singer. It will fit into a Singer treadle but will need to be secured with other than the hinge pins.
Davis VF_6
All of these now somewhat shiny parts were covered with thick dry dark grease and old dried oil when we began the recovery. This machine was found in Western Kentucky and probably has not been used in several decades but happily stitched perfect stitches on first attempt.
All of these now somewhat shiny parts were covered with thick dry dark grease and old dried oil when we began the recovery. This machine was found in Western Kentucky and probably has not been used in several decades but happily stitched perfect stitches on first attempt.
Davis VF_7
The early tension systems were made to open by hand manually. Lift the paddle hanging below to open the tension disc to free the thread. This is now all automatic when the presser foot is raised. The setting is adjusted just as it is today. Screw the knob down to tighten and outward to loosen. Does the job fine.
The early tension systems were made to open by hand manually. Lift the paddle hanging below to open the tension disc to free the thread. This is now all automatic when the presser foot is raised. The setting is adjusted just as it is today. Screw the knob down to tighten and outward to loosen. Does the job fine.
Davis VF_8
The top of the face plate shows the presser foot with adjuster on the left and to the right side the two flat rods that are the walking part of this unique system.
The top of the face plate shows the presser foot with adjuster on the left and to the right side the two flat rods that are the walking part of this unique system.
Davis VF_9
Here we see the other end of the same three parts. The needle is in good view in this picture. You can see the long grove in the needle on the out side of the needle. This needle is a Davis long needle and they can still be found but a much better solution is the modern MTx190 needle.
Here we see the other end of the same three parts. The needle is in good view in this picture. You can see the long grove in the needle on the out side of the needle. This needle is a Davis long needle and they can still be found but a much better solution is the modern MTx190 needle.
Davis VF_10
And here view the first stitches made by this rebirthed Davis VF Sewing Machine. They are as near perfect as you could ask for. More about the MTx190 needles - They are round (not fla ton the end) so must be positioned by hand. Continued next picture--
And here view the first stitches made by this rebirthed Davis VF Sewing Machine. They are as near perfect as you could ask for. More about the MTx190 needles - They are round (not fla ton the end) so must be positioned by hand. Continued next picture--
Davis VF_11
View of the presser feet and needle system from the rear side.More about the needle use. Just align the long grove on the out side as in the picture of the needle and all will be well. This needle makes this model very useful now.
View of the presser feet and needle system from the rear side.More about the needle use. Just align the long grove on the out side as in the picture of the needle and all will be well. This needle makes this model very useful now.
Davis VF_12
The knob used to set the stitch length and it now works perfect. For many years it was frozen but now it is free.
The knob used to set the stitch length and it now works perfect. For many years it was frozen but now it is free.
Davis VF_13
View of the stitch being made from a more frontal position.
View of the stitch being made from a more frontal position.
Davis VF_14
View of the bottom of the simple operation parts of a vibrating shuttle operating system. This is the same for all/most vibrating shuttle sewing machines.
View of the bottom of the simple operation parts of a vibrating shuttle operating system. This is the same for all/most vibrating shuttle sewing machines.
Davis VF_15
This picture was taken just before the shuttle reached the end of this stroke. You can see the needle just under the tip of the shuttle. The shuttle moves down in this view just a short distance and then moves upward toward the needle. In this short time the needle has reached the bottom of it's stroke and starts back upward. The thread in the tip of the needle doesn't move upward but forms a loop that is picked up by the point of the bullet shuttle and with this action a new stitch is made.
This picture was taken just before the shuttle reached the end of this stroke. You can see the needle just under the tip of the shuttle. The shuttle moves down in this view just a short distance and then moves upward toward the needle. In this short time the needle has reached the bottom of it's stroke and starts back upward. The thread in the tip of the needle doesn't move upward but forms a loop that is picked up by the point of the bullet shuttle and with this action a new stitch is made.
Davis VF
At the Sydney Australia Exhibition of 1879 and 1880 the Davis Vertical Feed Sewing Machine was awarded the only first prize for sewing machines on every point on all other sewing machines including the White and Singer sewing machines. Take that Singer... The Davis VF 2 came along a few years after this time in this article.
At the Sydney Australia Exhibition of 1879 and 1880 the Davis Vertical Feed Sewing Machine was awarded the only first prize for sewing machines on every point on all other sewing machines including the White and Singer sewing machines. Take that Singer... The Davis VF 2 came along a few years after this time in this article.