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Thread: My Husband's Winter Project

  1. #1
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    Question My Husband's Winter Project

    I posted a few months ago that I had found a 185J at a flea market for $3. I had been planning to have it refurbed and painted. But at the county's convenience center, DH found a GB version of the 185J. They both seem to have a few issues but both do currently work. So DH has decided that he is up to taking them apart and rebuilding a Frankenstein 185J. Basically the case and 'pretty' parts of the found one and the best of the workings from both. He has been building from scratch and bashing together model trains, so he says that this is basically the same kind of thing. We have purchased a 185J owners manual AND the official Singer service/repair/rebuild manual.

    So now to my question - What does he use to clean all of the working parts - I thought that I have read somewhere that you cleaned them with the same machine oil that you use in the machine? Or am I wrong?

    And is that anything helpful information that you have for him? What pitfalls to avoid? Neat tricks or shortcuts that work? Any help would be appreciated.

    I figured that he is into this idea, so why not let him go for it. I mean I only paid $3 for both machines. Thanks
    Jane
    Physically in Maryland but heart is in Indianapolis.

    Rescued Boxers are adoptable love. Please consider a homeless/rescued pet when adding to your family.

  2. #2
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I've seen kerosene recommended for cleaning METAL parts. I don't know if the 185s had any plastic, but if so, don't use kerosene on the plastic. Kerosene is a very lightweight oil and should dissolve any gunk eventually. I've also seen Kroil recommended, but I haven't been able to find any where I live.
    jlm5419-an Okie in California
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    Hopefully Joe Miller will chime in for you....he knows A LOT about all of this!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I think the 185J is an all metal machine that's like the 99s internally but with a different body. If I'm right, you can use the oil and cotton balls or perhaps some Dawn dish washing detergent mixed with water to clean the outsides.

    For the internal parts I start with oil but when that quits working I use Hoppe's #9 gun cleaner. It's mostly kerosene and cleans the old dried up varnished up oil off quite nicely. Won't hurt the paint if you're careful and don't soak it for a long period of time.

    That's what I've been doing and so far, knock on wood, I've not had any damage to paint or decals. I'm cleaning parts of my 1913 red eye with Hoppe's right now because the old oil is resistant to sewing machine oil. So far it's working just fine. I'm not letting it soak on the paint or decals so we'll be running soon.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    If you're just cleaning the metal innards, you can use Purple Power. It's a degreaser, a mild sodium hydroxide solution. Just keep it off the paint/japanning. Another thing I've found helpful is a dremel with a small wire brush wheel. Sometimes that's the only thing that will take off years of accumulated, burnished-on crud.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  6. #6
    Senior Member DanofNJ's Avatar
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    Joe, Great Tip. I use gun lubricants also...and break free is the best for loosening frozen mechanisms.

  7. #7
    Super Member abdconsultant's Avatar
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    great ideas.....
    Just passing through!

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Name:  spartan with borrowed green motor and light 001.JPG
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    At this point, in this year alone, I've cleaned and repaired well over a hundred machines, I don't see any point in taking a machine completely apart just to clean it. See Muv's video HOW TO CLEAN UP and use a vintage sewing machine - videos by Muv and Fav - she did a wonderful job and in most cases what she recommends will work beautifully. There are some machines out there that need a bit more clean up but I've never seen one that needed to be completely taken apart. I've taken apart tensions when they don't function and bobbin shuttles - throat area parts but the rest can be cleaned on the machine and work just fine. If you take something apart, take that part off clean/repair and then put it right back together. I get it about using parts off one machine to fix another if the donor machine can't be repaired/is too far gone, what ever..... If they both work they both should be kept working if possible. Those 185s are good machines. I have one I use for parts though. The machine had way too much wrong and vital parts missing and I had WAY too much time in it. Right now it's motor, light and foot control are on my little Spartan keeping it alive. Joe has the whole shuttle area and there are parts waiting for a new home from that little 185. I also have a Singer 500 that has kept a lot of machines alive by donating parts. I also know there are people who get those real beat up machines, strip them and then repaint them in cool colors. Keep one intact so you have something to look at if you do something like that. Zip bags and mark parts. You can search on line how to paint a machine.
    Last edited by miriam; 10-02-2012 at 02:09 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
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  9. #9
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    hello everyone, i am about to go look at 2 singer sewing machines tonight . i found them craigslist in the charlotte, nc area under kershaw. sewing machines for sale. there not very good pics but one in cabinet is 25.00 and the other is 15.00 . will they be worth buying. any help will be gladly accepted. thanks for looking

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhboxers View Post
    I posted a few months ago that I had found a 185J at a flea market for $3. I had been planning to have it refurbed and painted. But at the county's convenience center, DH found a GB version of the 185J. They both seem to have a few issues but both do currently work. So DH has decided that he is up to taking them apart and rebuilding a Frankenstein 185J. Basically the case and 'pretty' parts of the found one and the best of the workings from both. He has been building from scratch and bashing together model trains, so he says that this is basically the same kind of thing. We have purchased a 185J owners manual AND the official Singer service/repair/rebuild manual.

    So now to my question - What does he use to clean all of the working parts - I thought that I have read somewhere that you cleaned them with the same machine oil that you use in the machine? Or am I wrong?

    And is that anything helpful information that you have for him? What pitfalls to avoid? Neat tricks or shortcuts that work? Any help would be appreciated.

    I figured that he is into this idea, so why not let him go for it. I mean I only paid $3 for both machines. Thanks
    Congrats on your find...I bought a 185K and luckily it only needed cleaning, greasing and oiling.. Runs like a charm!!

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