Cleaning and repairing the shellac clear coat on vintage sewing mcahines
Supplies needed: Shellac
Linseed oil (boiled)
Rags (old t-shirts or old tighty whites)
1. Clean the head with you favorite method to remove dirt and grime.
2. Wrap you finger with a couple of layers with the t-shirt.
3. dip finger in alcohol and place a few drops of linseed oil on the finger
4. now start rubbing the bed with light circular motions, add more oil if finger sticks to the finish.
We are now melting the old shellac into a smooth coating trying to eliminate the dull brown spots of old shellac.
5.Now go from left to right in a straight line ligthly lifting the finger and the repeat. you can also go from right to left if you like. Now we are trying to get rid of any swirl marks that were left by the rag.
Stay away of the decals at this time. Cont this tech until you have a smooth finish on the entire head.
When you hav a smooth and clear finish on the head(as clear as it will get and you will know)
6. Now go over the the decals with the same method above very lightly.
7. Let this cure for about a day then with new rag on finger dip it in shellac and place a few drops of oil and with a circular motion go over the decals and the head. Cont. dipping finger in shellac and a few drops of linseed oil and do this over the entire head and decals. this is adding more clean shellac to protect the decals and the japan coating. Always ending in the straight line finishing to get rid of the swirl marks made by the rag.
8. Do this until it looks good to you and smooth and shiny. Let cure for a week and then wax if you want. You favorite brand of wax is okay although it is not needed now.
Please note: I recommend you practice this french polish method on an old machine first so you can get the hang of it. Please do not hesitate to ask questions anytime. I am always here to help.
Before and after treatment
Here you can see the before and after treatment. The last photo is an old used singer oil bottle I load with linseed oil and the little mouthwash bottle is full of denatured alcohol. Makes it easier to but on the finger rag.