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Thread: 1923 Singer 66 - treadle

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    1923 Singer 66 - treadle

    I have finally found myself a nice treadle machine. It is in near perfect condition, both the cabinet and the machine. BUT the outside of the machine is very dirty. Cleaning the wood was a breeze, but cleaning the body of the machine is a whole another ballgame. My husband and I tried everything that is non abrasive - from Windex to break cleaner to light oils. Windex seems to work the best but what I cannot understand is how much dirt is on it. No matter how much we clean it is still dirty - the residue on the paper towel is dark brown. Did anybody encounter this before? Are we doing something wrong? Help!
    I've got a smile on my face, I've got four walls around me
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JabezRose's Avatar
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    I have read, been told, discovered, do not use modern chemicals on old machines. Only use machine oil and lots of elbow grease. The japan on the machines is not made to stand up to modern cleaning checmicals. CHeck on Quilting Board, many of the wise ones suggest this.
    My stash keeps me in stitches!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JabezRose View Post
    I have read, been told, discovered, do not use modern chemicals on old machines. Only use machine oil and lots of elbow grease. The japan on the machines is not made to stand up to modern cleaning checmicals. CHeck on Quilting Board, many of the wise ones suggest this.
    I agree - one of the tutes that I watched said never to clean an old machine with anything other than sewing machine oil and a soft cloth. That's what I'm doing to my electrified red eye. It's a slow process but it's working.

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Tashana

    STOP< > STOP <> STOP!!!!! Stop with the chemicals and scrubbing. That milky looking dirty appearing surface is most likely the old shellack that has turned. Once you scrub through that you'll leave those most fragile decals exposed and they'll not last long.

    I found out the hard way on a real nice red eye 66. Before we knew what we were doing we'd ruined what decals were left. The machine still runs great, but it looks terrible now. At least to me.

    Oil and soft cloth to clean. Take your time, it didn't get dirty over night, it won't get clean over night. When the cotton balls, flannel or soft material stops coming out dirty, YOU'RE DONE. STOP.

    Then go here to Glens tutorial on refurbishing the finish and use that if you must.
    Cleaning and repairing the Shellac clear coat on Vintage sewing machine heads


    Joe

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Thank you all. Obviously we were doing things the wrong way. Well, we are stopping now! I am sorry I did not post here BEFORE we started. What is done is done. If I ever manage to ship my original machine - Singer 1892 treadle -(which is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and I am in Long Island), I will not make the same mistake. Oh boy, when my husband comes back home I am going to hear "I told you so...I am right! For once I am right! You have to say I am right!" LOL
    I've got a smile on my face, I've got four walls around me
    The sun in the sky, the water surrounds me
    I'll win now but sometimes I'll lose
    I've been battered, but I'll never bruise

  6. #6
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    I've been using kerosene and sewing machine oil with cotton balls and cotton pads. It takes FOREVER but slowly it is coming off and I can start to see the original beauty emerging.

    Feel free to show us all pics of her.

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