Rod Cripps in Australia needs some information

Hi –  I am from Melbourne Australia. I have an old BU machine, serial number 5291, hand operated, with gold-leaf writing on the hand-wheel.

I can’t see any model numbers or other identification on it anywhere – it was probably the only model of it’s type when it was made, but the gold painting is not the best in places so there could have been something there somewhere.

The serial number is stamped on both the rim of the hand-wheel and the frame of the machine beside the top of the needle slide.

It has the long (approx 1-3/4”) shuttle with a long slot on the bottom and a number of holes on the top surface, and the thin bobbin spindle.    The wear around the holes on the top surface indicate a considerable amount of use.   There is also a lot of wear on the lever which drives the needle and the thread guide “knob” which rides on the top of it, just above the needle. I will fix this (I am at a loss at the moment as to why the thread guide was on this separate lever, unless there is a spring or something missing but i can’t see where anything else may have been).

My questions to you are:

Can you tell me approx. when it might have been made?

What thickness leather where they made to sew? Saddles? Harness?

Are suitable needles still available?   The one needle I have is approx. 93mm long, 84mm to the eye, and 2.5mm diameter.  What would the modern designation of suitable needles be – Imperail and metric if possible.

There is a thread guide on a slotted fixed arm mounted on the frame beside the needle slide, and this is guide is adjustable in the slot.   The purpose of this adjustment?

I want to get it working again. It is in generally good working order, the paint is poor,  but otherwise it has survived well considering the obvious use it has had. I think the main problem with it at the moment is probably a badly worn needle which is fraying the thread.

Thanks – Rod Cripps.

If you can help with any of Rod’s questions please send an email to Thanks!

Discuss - One Comment

  1. Alan Rundell says:

    G’day Rod,
    You have what appears to be a “No. 6 Pearson” saddlers machine or leather machine,
    there are parts still available (needles) occasionally you see parts come up in France
    where there seems to be an abundance of these machine.

    Hope this helps!

    Regards Alan Rundell.

    P.S. Do you have any other BUSMC machines?

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