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Thread: LLOOOONNNNGGGG over due before and after Singer Redeye make over

  1. #1
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    LLOOOONNNNGGGG over due before and after Singer Redeye make over

    This fall, Glenn and his wife Pat came up to Indianapolis, camped in the yard, they helped me move my shop and we played in the shop quite a bit. We re-did a Singer 66 redeye one day. It is still not done but looking better. It is my bad that it kind of got pushed aside for other things since they have gone on home. I know I promised I would post some pics and a bit of info how Glenn did this.
    I hope I can do it without losing pictures into cyberspace.

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    NAPTHA - A cleaning solvent - evaporates quickly

    SHELLAC - one of the oldest clear finish - one of the more forgiving finishes to work with, but it has it's quirks. Comes in "orange" and "clear" The color difference would be more critical over a light-colored wood, less over black. Use clear if available, orange if it's all you can find.
    DENATURED ALCOHOL - The solvent used to make shellac. It doesn't Matter how old it is. Shellac will always dissolve in alcohol - any kind of alcohol. That's why this procedure works.

    BOILED LINSEED OIL (MUST be "boiled" not "raw' - Raw will not work for this)
    This acts as a lubricant, cleaner, and adds some solids to the finish

    RAGS - soft cotton - t-shirt fabric works well - no lint on the fabric


    This technique has some uses, but also some limitations. First, it only works on the old-style black sewing machines, and maybe not on all of them. The early sewing machines, up into about 1950 or so, were painted with a black paint, then the decals added, then shellac as a protective coating.
    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

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    1) So how to tell if a machine is a candidate for this? If it is any color other than black, it isn't. If it is black, dampen a rag or Qtip with a little bit of denatured alcohol and dab it somewhere that won't show, such as on the back under the motor mounting; if the finish softens, it's shellac and could benefit.
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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

  3. #3
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    2) This can improve the finish on some machines. It is not a total refinish, more of a repair. If the machine is already in beautiful condition, as if never used, don't bother. It is good for some of the small defects--alligatoring or cracking in the finish, some white spots from moisture (shellac is prone to that), dullness, wearing thin, small spots without shellac.

    3) The decals: French polishing does nothing to restore decals, and for most of the process you want to stay away from them, because the alcohol can damage them. Once done, it will protect what is left of the decals.

    4) It will not do anything for the paint itself. If there are small chips in the paint, you can get a Testors paint pen from a hobby shop and touch up with that first. If there are major areas of missing paint, that is a whole other problem, and something other than French polishing is needed.
    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

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    CAUTION

    You will be using flammable materials.
    Work with adequate ventilation.
    Avoid any open flame.
    Don't smoke.
    Don't burn candles.
    Stay away from a furnace or water heater than could ignite at any time.
    Put the used rags in a container of water or in a safe place outside when you are done - the rags are combustible under some conditions.
    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

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    GETTING READY

    First, do all the cleaning inside the machine--the built up lint, thread bits, etc. Clean up dried oil on the works.
    Second, remove the plated parts: the end cap, balance wheel, slide plate and needle plate, and so on. These don't have a shellac finish, so getting shellac on them will not help. Take off the bobbin winder and belt cover, to get them out of the way.
    Then go over the machine lightly with a rag dampened (not soaked) with the naptha. This will remove dust and dirt. Some damaged spots in the finish may turn white in this step.

    Do any paint touchup needed with a Testors paint pen, as mentioned before. Let dry.
    Things to avoid: GoJo or other hand cleaners, kerosene, paint thinner, rubbing alcohol--these can damage the decals.

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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

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    DOING IT
    Now, wrap a small rag around your finger, dampen with alcohol, then add a little linseed oil. The alcohol alone will soften the finish and start sticking to it--the linseed oil helps prevent this, and lubricates. It also cleans. The rag will turn brown after a bit--shift to a different spot, and change rags when needed.
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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

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Yes Glenn kept loading the rag on his finger.
    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

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    Put your finger down lightly and rub quickly but gently in a circular motion, and lift the rag off the surface before you stop. Keep away from the decals--concentrate on the black. (If the decals are in bad shape or gone, this matters less). Recharge the rag with alcohol and oil regularly. Turn the machine around to get to other areas. Rub quickly, but take plenty of time--this is a slow process. You can work a while, then go back to it later. Don't use too much alcohol, it is possible to remove all of the shellac, and you don't want to do that. For checked/alligatored areas, go heavier on the linseed oil. It will build up a shine, although some imperfections in the finish will still be visible. After a while you may develop a feel for how it's doing (another reason to start on a junker instead of a machine you care about). Keep going until you are satisfied with the looks, remembering this will produce a serviceable working machine, not necessarily a museum piece.
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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. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn went over and over and over that machine with that stuff on his rag.
    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

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    LAST STAGE

    Machine has been cleaned
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    Now, open the can of shellac. Dip a rag in shellac, then linseed oil, maybe more shellac.
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    Move quickly but gently in a circular motion, lifting at the end like before. But go over the whole machine, decals and all. This will add shellac to the surface and give some protection to the decals. Go over the whole machine 3 or 4 times (you can leave it for a while and come back later if needed).
    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

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