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Thread: How do you clean up the antigue sewing machines?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gramma B's Avatar
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    Not only the machine itself, but also the cabinet. It looks so black. Is this just wear through the years. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramma B
    Not only the machine itself, but also the cabinet. It looks so black. Is this just wear through the years. Any help would be appreciated.
    Depending upon your machine, it could be a blackside machine which is all balck - made during WWII years. Sewing machine oil, lots of cotton balls and tons of elbow grease for the machine. If you search the vintage sewing machine shop thread, there are cleaning tutorials there and maybe even spearate threads. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Kas
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    Super Member Kas's Avatar
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    Can you post a photo? It would help to see what it looks like. But check out the tutorial forum. Lostn51 (Billy) has a couple of tutes there about taking apart and cleaning vintage machines. Not plastic ones, but old, solid metal ones.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I am terrified at the idea of taking this 1919 lady apart to do anything to it.....but I know its probably in need, after all these years.

  5. #5
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    The cabinet looking dark is going to be a natural patina that comes with age.

    Wash the cabinet with Murphey's Oil Soap and let it dry.

    With 0000 Steel Wool, rub down small areas at a time with Howard's Restor-a-Finish, making sure to follow instructions.

    Finish with a good furniture wax...NOT Pledge, but something like Johnson's Paste Wax.

    Would love to see a photo of before and after... :)

  6. #6
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    the machine follow billy's tutorial on cleaning/oiling your machine-(check out the vintage machine link here on the board-or look under tutorials) the cabinet- clean as charlee instructed.

  7. #7
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the Vintage machine thread. There are 3 articles I think, on there about sprucing up your 'new' vintage machine. Have fun!

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-43881-1.htm

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gramma B's Avatar
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    THanks everyone! It was my Grandmonther's, and she got in 1917. I learned to sew on it, and I still have it today. I ocassionally oil it,to keep in working order, but thought it would be fun to truly clean it up and then maybe make a quilt on it!

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4dogs
    I am terrified at the idea of taking this 1919 lady apart to do anything to it.....but I know its probably in need, after all these years.
    Can you follow directions??? If so get a manual. There are directions in it to take apart and put back together anything that you would need to. The directions were probably written by men for women who the men thought didn't know how to do anything so it usually is pretty easy to follow the manual directions. I don't know what your machine is like but most of those old machines are really pretty simple. If you have kept it oiled it will be very simple to make it work. It might even work now - clean off the dust bunnies and give it a crank.

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I bought an old Singer in cabinet and took it to a furniture restorer. The cabinet looks like new with the original looking finish.

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