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Thread: How to clean plastic geard

  1. #1
    Member js3830's Avatar
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    How to clean plastic geard

    I just bought a Singer Touch and Sew (1968). I have it tore apart and want to clean the plastic gears and put new grease on them. My husband has break clean but I am worried out the motor which is incased inside the machine. It runs but the gears are dark brown and nasty and I want to do a good job. I just love messing with these sweeties. Thank You, Sandy

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Sandy,

    I have several machines with plastic gears, one new enough to have never been apart, and only one of them had grease on the gears. That was the subject of my thread: How do I remove grease from plastic gears?

    The consensus was dish washing detergent or rubbing alcohol.

    I would not use break cleaner on the gears as they are old and prone to breakage as they are. No sense of adding the possible chemical damage break clean might cause.

    I've read that plastic gears shouldn't be greased. I honestly can't remember where I read that. I've been doing a lot of reading about sewing machines in the last 8 months. However if I were to grease them I'd use the Tri-Flow synthetic grease. I think that would be the best bet.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Member js3830's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe. I didn't mean that I took the gears out. I'm not that brave yet. I do have a tube of Singer grease. Sandy

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Just clean with a eyelash brush and then regrease - don't use a chemical on the gears. I have a perfect example of a melted gear: Name:  eldridge 016.JPG
Views: 325
Size:  129.2 KB
    It probably got stuck or just gunked up and someone hit it with Liquid Wrench or WD40 or some other solvent based chemical. There are other gears on that machine with issues as well.
    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

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Ewwww, that poor machine. After seeing that I'm not gonna let anything like break cleaner near my plastic geared machines. I knew better before, but that picture is worth a 1000 words for sure.

    What model Singer is that?

    Joe

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Ewwww, that poor machine. After seeing that I'm not gonna let anything like break cleaner near my plastic geared machines. I knew better before, but that picture is worth a 1000 words for sure.

    What model Singer is that?

    Joe
    Singer 630 I think. It is a golden touch and sew. There are other plastic gears on it as well. I'm thinking it is up for parts at this point. It has a good cord and foot control, a good motor, a good throat plate, bobbin cover, etc. BUT there are at least 5 gears should be replaced I suspect - more time and money than the machine is worth.
    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

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Singer 630 I think. It is a golden touch and sew. There are other plastic gears on it as well. I'm thinking it is up for parts at this point. It has a good cord and foot control, a good motor, a good throat plate, bobbin cover, etc. BUT there are at least 5 gears should be replaced I suspect - more time and money than the machine is worth.
    Brake cleaner should never be used anywhere near anything but metal and how do you know some won't get dropped where it shouldn't. It should be used with extreme caution and in a very well ventilated area. I have used it as a last resort on one or two machines. Most of the time a machine can be cleaned without going to that extreme. Brake cleaner has chemicals that are considered 'controlled substances' it will eat your immune system/liver. Brake cleaner will eat paint. Brake cleaner will vaporize a styrofoam cup pretty quickly. Be very cautious when using chemicals. I do not know what was used to melt that gear - it is a machine I bought from www.shopgoodwill.com - it is always a gamble buying a machine from shopgoodwill - I've gotten stung there more times than anywhere else.
    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

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I use break clean a lot. Have for years. I'm not paranoid about it, but I don't swim in it either. When I've used it on sewing machines it has been on the older all metal ones that just won't clean up with an easier way or when the gunk is in a place I just can't get to.

    Many parts on the modern auto are plastic or rubber too. For instance the break and clutch master cylinders on most new cars and trucks are some kind of plastic. Break cleaner wont touch it. Same with many other under hood parts.
    But, these sewing machine parts may be made from some totally different type of plastic. So, there's no sense in taking chances.

    As for the gears in that Singer, they may not even be available. I emailed Singer for the cam drive gear on our 538 and they tell me it's not available any more. I can get the gears elsewhere and I will, but who knows how long they will be obtainable.

    So far, knock on wood, I've only gotten burned once on a machine from GW and that was really my fault. I didn't see the broken off thread take up lever that was visible in the pics. Every thing else that came to me was pretty much as they described it. Of course I've gone for some of the derelicts and dead machines, and so far I've gotten all of them running and sewing. Now I need to pass some of them along as I'm buried in sewing machines.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Brake cleaner is good when you actually need it but to use it much could cause some health problems with your immune system. I don't know if one of the 'good' gears on my 630 would work on yours or not. It probably just has to be the right match (size and teeth) for the gears to work. I also wonder if the gears off a Singer 600 could be transplanted to my 630.
    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

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Miriam,

    Dial up the parts lists on the Singer site. I've found the same gear has the same number regardless of which machine it's used in. At least so far.

    Joe

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