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Thread: Forgive me for I have sinned. I cleaned too hard on my little 128. Pennance?

  1. #1
    Member Tallbald's Avatar
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    Forgive me for I have sinned. I cleaned too hard on my little 128. Pennance?

    OK collectors. I scored and brought home a cute little spoked hand wheel, vibrating shuttle 128. Using a popular abrasive-free hand cleaner I attacked the little fella to remove years of neglect and grime. Horror of horrors before my eyes its golden decals (not in the best of shape though) rubbed away! Embarrassment, anger at myself, and did I say embarrassment? I was too rough in my trying to create a shine. Please forgive me folks.
    Its plated parts are stunningly handsome. Its wheel turns with ease and speaks of finely machined parts playing nicely together. Now what???
    OK. I have a painting project I think. I've seen handsome machines in a rainbow of automotive colors. This machine cries out for a candy apple red finish that would let its chrome stand out like the shiny bumper on a 57 Chevy. I have a well equipped shop, a compressor, an airbrush and lots of motivation.
    Questions for those who have done this though:
    Do I strip to bare metal? How? Sandblast?
    Base coat needed?
    Is there a tutorial here i can go by?
    Thanks, Don the sinner

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    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    OOOOOHHHH!!! No hand cleaner on old machines without a test in an inconspicuous area!!! Rule #1 in cleaning machines. Bad Don!!! LOL No, seriously, it's easier than anyone would dream to damage the finish on an old machine. I have been working carefully on a 1890 Davis with really bad finish. I used really mild stuff to begin, and since the finish is so bad, I just cleaned surface dirt and abandoned all hope of a "shine".

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    Member Tallbald's Avatar
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    I have considered trying Murphy's Wood Soap to remove the grime off the finish. Thoughts? Don

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    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    there is a tutorial from Billy called Cleaning your vintage machine part 2. He gives the low down on cleaners and the how to. Even though you have "sinned" if you haven't seen this tute, it is good. I bookmarked it for my Singer 15-91 and to clean my treadle. He lists what exactly he uses, but gives pics for how he uses them.
    Good Luck!
    My guess is that Murphy's Oil Soap would do more harm than good. I was told not to use that on my wooden cabinets and floors if I want to keep a finish.
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

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    Member Tallbald's Avatar
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    Oh. Thanks for the heads up. Don

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    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    Don, it is all too easy on some machines to do this. I have done it myself although I thought I was good to go. I think sometimes the clear coat is compromised that you may not notice and before you know it, decals are silver or gone.

    Billy does beautiful repaints. From the pictures he has posted, it looks like he goes to bare metal. But wait until he chimes in as he is the expert.

    Would love to see some pictures of your crime and the recovery.
    Lisa

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    I have wondered about the same things--got an experiment machine myself that needs a finish redo. Blast (and keep it out of the insides?), chemical stripper, what about cleaning it off to prep for primer and paint? I have read about Billy's repaints, and I believe he uses high-end automotive paint, taking it down to bare metal first, then using very nice clear over it and any decals, flames, so on. My brother-in-law has agreed to help me out if I do decide to try it one of these days, so I'm really interested in anyone else's experience!

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I would say it has to be oil free in order for the paint to stick. You would want to cover up or remove anything you don't want painted. The new paint has to stick - you might talk to a car paint person about getting it prepped before they paint it.
    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. #9
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I would say it has to be oil free in order for the paint to stick. You would want to cover up or remove anything you don't want painted. The new paint has to stick - you might talk to a car paint person about getting it prepped before they paint it.
    Yeah, when I asked his advice, my BIL was very clear about wanting an oil-free surface to paint. He also mentioned that sandblasting was pretty messy and would probably get grit all up in the machine insides. I was thinking a chemical stripper, then make sure the surface was cleaned with something like denatured alcohol before priming and painting using automotive stuff. Mostly it would be getting all the old finish off that I wondered about. Lots of nooks and crannies and small parts on these things!

    As a side note, I also asked about just taking it down to the steel and putting clear over that for a modern industrial look. Thought that might be interesting, but he said it would have to be done pretty quickly before you get any rusting on the steel surface.

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