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Thread: Cleaning and repairing the shellac clear coat on vintage sewing mcahines

  1. #41
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    Can I save this thread somehow so I can find it when I need it?
    You can make a "blog" on your profile and save it on there
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  2. #42
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    If it's a machine I'll use, as opposed to one sitting all purty in a collection, I use a high-grade furniture wax instead of shellac or poly. The wax gives it the beautiful finish you want, but it won't show the scratches from pins, etc like it will on shellac or poly. Here's a photo of a 15-91 I restored last month.

    I only restored the top, I left the sides alone. I used denatured alcohol to dissolve the old shellac and once it was dissolved I spread it thinly and let dry. And then I used Briwax in the Mahogany tinted version, and voila! It's beautiful again.

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  3. #43
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    Some of the veneer on my Singer treadle leaf is missing and loose. Can I use wood glue to stick down the loose pieces and do I fill the missing pieces or just leave them?

  4. #44
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Christine. I use Briwax all the time. It is a wonderful protuct. Nice job on the cabinet.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  5. #45
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    We have a 1925 Singer with wood case intact. But the wiring in bad shape. Can a person get into the motor to put in new wire or do we need a specialist. Also we have a treadle with blond table. The table looks like either someone tried to sand it a little at one time or finish is worn. We wondered about a light sanding with super fine sand paper, but what would you recommend we use for finish?
    Sorry I don't do wiring but can tell you about the cabinet. Sand it the blonde cabinet with 220 grit sandpaper until smooth and vacuum all the dust off. Since it is a blonde finish this is one of the very few times I would recommend water base poly, you choice as to gloss or semi-gloss. This water based poly will not add any color to the blonde finish. If you use shellac or oil based poly it will give the blonde finish an amber glow which would not be typical for this type of finish. You could use clear lacquer but it is to difficult to use for the diy person. Hope this helps Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  6. #46
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Some of the veneer on my Singer treadle leaf is missing and loose. Can I use wood glue to stick down the loose pieces and do I fill the missing pieces or just leave them?
    Use a toothpick to spread the glue as far under the veneer as you can. Then place a ruler or a thin board on top of the veneer. Use clamps to hold down the ruler or board and let dry over night. Clamped this way, the veneer should dry flat and no one will know it was ever a problem.

    If the glue might squeeze up through cracks in the veneer you'll want to put something between the veneer and the ruler/board so they don't stick together.

  7. #47
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    We have a 1925 Singer with wood case intact. But the wiring in bad shape. Can a person get into the motor to put in new wire or do we need a specialist?
    I don't recommend re-wiring for the average person. Better to be safe than sorry! But I grew up working on a farm, know how to work on cars (if they were built in the 60s or 70s) and I've done wiring before many times, not just on sewing machines. I've rewired sewing machines, it's no trouble whatsoever if you're mechanically inclined and have some knowledge of wiring safely. But I never post on a public forum how to rewire a sewing machine, because if someone who's never done it before sees my instructions and tries it themselves.... they will most likely miss something and get hurt. And old, old machines may need soldering of some kind, and this is best left to someone who knows what they're doing. :~)
    Last edited by Christine-; 04-22-2012 at 10:06 AM.

  8. #48
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn, here is a candidate for a remake: Where will you start???
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    It is a tiny little thing. Here is the big sister behind - she is taller and longer:
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  9. #49
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine- View Post
    Use a toothpick to spread the glue as far under the veneer as you can. Then place a ruler or a thin board on top of the veneer. Use clamps to hold down the ruler or board and let dry over night. Clamped this way, the veneer should dry flat and no one will know it was ever a problem.

    If the glue might squeeze up through cracks in the veneer you'll want to put something between the veneer and the ruler/board so they don't stick together.
    I use waxed paper between the glued veneer and flat 3/4 piece of plywood so it will not stick. If glue is visible after the repair you have to scrape is off if you want it to take a stain and match the rest of the piece. Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  10. #50
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Glenn, thanks so much for all the good information! Now I need to get busy and put it to use.
    Quilt Mom

    Going through life one stitch at a time

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