Our Custom Janome 712T Table

Janome 712T Treadle Sewing Machine TablePerhaps you didn’t know that Janome makes a treadle sewing machine. Yes, it’s 2015, and you probably have a sewing machine with a motor, light, and maybe even a computer in it. Is there a place for treadle sewing machines in this modern age? There are actually a few reasons why people are buying treadles, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if one is worth having. We think they are really nice. If you’re a collector of sewing machines, we think you need at least one treadle.

Who Wants A Treadle?

If you really want to sew and the power goes out, you’re going to really appreciate the ability to sew with a treadle machine. It does take practice, and you’ll probably need to position yourself outside or in a well lit room, but if you have a treadle machine, you’ll still be able to sew.

Janome 712T Sewing Machine Table #1While searching around for information about treadles, it was obvious that there are a lot of prepers with treadles. If you’re not familiar with prepers, these are people who stock up on supplies in preparation for a major catastrophe. They’re expecting the worst, and if that big day ever comes, they’ll be able to sew. They’ll be able to fix things, create things, and tailor garments. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to want to do.

Since you are reading this blog post, I’m going to assume you live in a modern country with techno-gadgets like computers and smart phones. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people on Earth that don’t have electricity. In a place like that, a treadle machine gives a person a chance to start a tailoring business. There are even websites that you can go to that allow you do donate treadle sewing machines.

Treadle Cabinets Are Easy to Find

Janome 712T Sewing Machine Table #2A quick search for “treadle” on Craigslist in your local area will almost certainly return some results. We were able to find a beautiful Singer treadle cabinet with a Singer Class 66 sewing machine in it, and only paid $200.00 for it. We bought the cabinet with the intention that we would take the machine out, and put the Janome 712T in it, but the machine and cabinet were in such great condition, we decided to use an older cabinet that we already had.

Creating a Table Top for an Old Cabinet

If you have some woodworking skills, you can probably create your own custom table top for an old treadle cabinet base. In our case, we used the base of a Singer treadle cabinet from 1892. We carefully removed the existing sewing machine and cabinet, and then created the table top from new wood we purchased on the internet.

Janome 712T Sewing Machine Table #3Wood is not cheap. We searched for a while to find the best deal, and ended up buying an 18″ x 36″ x 1.5″ thick piece of walnut. It was nearly $200.00 after shipping! You don’t want to just start cutting into a piece like that without doing a test run on something else, so we also bought some 3/4″ thick plywood to practice on.

It took a while to come up with a plan for exactly how to cut the wood. Our initial process was revised 3 times before we had a plan that worked. After we had the plan, we went through 3 or 4 revisions on measurements to make a well fitting cut-out so the machine would fit nicely in the table top.

We drilled, sawed, routed, and sanded our way to the end, and then finally cut our walnut using the same method. Three coats of polyurethane on the walnut and we were finished with our first table top.

The Sewing Experience

I will say, the sewing experience on this Janome 712T is great! The machine runs very smoothly, and the stitches come out perfect. Rocking the foot pedal to make the treadle run takes some practice, but I think just about anybody can do it.

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Reader Comments (15)

Susie Ross on 8/23/15 @ 6:58pm

Brian, your craftsmanship is beautiful.

b.gottier on 8/25/15 @ 9:52am

Thanks Susie!

angie on 11/30/15 @ 9:59pm

My Janome 10000 will not read my compact flash anymore. My technician says the part that the CF fits into is malfunctioning, and there is no replacement for it. Does anyone have any suggestion as to where I can get used parts?


b.gottier on 12/1/15 @ 12:07am

Angie, you've picked a strange place to post your question, as it does not relate to the page you posted on. You're not likely to get an responses because of that, but I'll do my best to answer your question. I believe what you are describing is called an ATA adapter for a CF card. There'd be no reason to buy a used one, as they are still readily available. Here's a link to one on Amazon: Transcend PCMCIA ATA Adapter Card

angie on 12/1/15 @ 9:17pm

The technician says that it is the board in the machine that the adapter fits into that is faulty. Can this be replaced?

Thanks for your help.


b.gottier on 12/2/15 @ 9:03am

This circuit board, named the "A Board", part number 850632110, should still be available from Janome. I tried to check availability for you right now, but their ordering system is down. Janome will typically make circuit board replacements for a couple of decades. You might not like the price, but it should be available. Just a guess, I think you're probably looking at $500+ US dollars for the new board.

Judith on 1/15/16 @ 7:27pm

Does Janome have a Cabinet for the 712T that you can purchase from them. I am not handy and I really want to have the Janome 712T sewing machine.

b.gottier on 1/17/16 @ 9:25am

They don't, but many of the treadle cabinets from old treadle sewing machines will fit the 712T. Some may require some minor modifications, but many do not. I found one on my local craigslist after looking for a couple of weeks, and it was in very nice condition.

Lawnie Roberge on 2/6/16 @ 2:06pm

Do you sell the template for making the cutout on a new tabletop? I have a treadle but the cabinet top is in poor shape. It would be great if you have this available.

b.gottier on 2/8/16 @ 2:51pm

Hi Lawnie. I'm sorry, but the template that I used is actually two 18" x 36" pieces of 3/8" thick plywood. One was for the initial cutout, and the other was for the inner rabbet and belt holes. This was fully custom, so even if I sent you those plywood templates, it would require a lot of improvisation on your part. If you're close to Temecula, CA, I wouldn't mind lending you the templates, but I will let you know that if I was to do it again, I'd do it a different way.

I say that I would do it differently because if you look at most "newer" treadle cabinets, you'd see that the top is on hinges, and folds to hold the machine up. This is different than what I did, and the problem is with the expansion and contraction of the wood. My top is such a perfectly tight fit, that if there is a big expansion or contraction, I'd expect the top to crack.

Tom Sethre on 7/16/16 @ 1:05pm

A dozen years ago I inherited a White treadle machine from the 1920s from my Grandmother, who used it well into the '60s. It still has all her notions and her jar of buttons in the drawers, but the belt's missing and the machine is very old tech. (The inch-long bobbin is attached to an arm under the faceplate and slides back and forth with each stitch.)

I am trying to find specs for the Janome 712T's table cutout requirements to see if I can modify the old cabinet for it. Any idea where I could get that information?

b.gottier on 7/18/16 @ 9:28am

It's kind of complex to say what the specs are because the cutout itself (the rectangle with rounded corners) is just what you see on the top. Underneath there are shapes in the machine that may require slight modifications to your cabinet. I can tell you that the rounded rectangle is roughly 7" x 14-5/8". That doesn't include space for the belt.

Karen Poole on 1/9/18 @ 11:23pm

You can buy new belts for your treadle machine, I bought a treadle at a yard sale and just did a search for treadle belts and found a few places that sell them.

b.gottier on 1/11/18 @ 8:14am

... and we keep them in stock. If you're a local customer, you can stop by for the common sizes.

Marianne Kuiper Milks on 1/29/19 @ 4:46pm

I'm leaving for Nepal (1/30/19) and am hauling the Janome T and a simple electric. I've tried to explain the 'table' to them, but they insist on building a TABLE! (thanks friends...I need the treadle! I'll figure it out when I get there! However, I bought a roll of belt-replacement and have been worrying how I would connect the cut ends. any suggestions? Maybe my luck will hold and I'll find a good belt that happens to fit...any suggestions in case I have to attach my own? This is an aid-work project (handicapped women) and I can use all the suggestions I can get. I don't believe in square wheels :-D

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