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Thread: Restore - Refurbish - Service

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Restore - Refurbish - Service

    Many folks here use the words restore and restoration when they are actually just refurbishing, repairing or servicing a machine.

    Let me explain.

    Having been involved in the collecting of vintage fountain pens, older firearms, and for a short time a 1927 Chevy car, I've come to learn the real meaning of the the words "RESTORE" and "RESTORATION".

    Restoration: Is the end result of when you take an object and restore it to it's original condition. In this case sewing machines. When you restore, you completely rebuild it back to it's original mechanical and visual condition, putting to it's original configuration, using ONLY ORIGINAL FACTORY PARTS . It will be as it was the day it rolled out of the factory.

    Refurbishing: Is what you do when you repair a machine, using factory or what ever parts are available, back to functional useable condition. This includes, but is not limited to; cleaning, adjusting, replacing parts, repairing damaged parts, touching up or polishing the paint and plating and fixing the cases or cabinets.
    This IS NOT restoration.

    Repairing: Is what you do when you fix a damaged machine. This is not restoration.

    Servicing: Is what you do when you clean, adjust, and oil a machine to make it work properly.
    This is not restoration either.

    Since we deal with modern, semi modern, classic, vintage, and antique machines here, I thought I'd get this pet peeve off of my chest. A lot of members here are always using the term restore when all they are doing is refurbishing or servicing their machines.
    If you have read my posts, you will notice I do not use the terms restore or restoration when referring to what I do to my machines. I do use the term refurbishing or repair as that is what I do with some of them. The others just get serviced.

    Hope I don't ruffle any feathers, but I needed to say this.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Joe your very correct here. In the antique furniture business we use the words restore and refubish as the same. When working on antique furniture we repair and refurbish(restore) that is because the normal everyday wear of a 100 year old piece should not be removed unless serverly damage. The history of the piece is as important as the age of the piece.
    No ruffled feathers here.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Glenn,

    That is an important point. In the antique business any repairs that alter the item reduces it's value. Provenance and originality rule.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarifications. I will try to use the terms "correctly" going forward. Restoration is usually my goal with refurbish as the fall back plan.

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    The hard part about restoring antique sewing machines is the decals. Or it seems that way to me anyway.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Well, for me it is the fact that the machines I acquire are almost all before SAE standards were adopted, so to replace a broken screw or bolt I have to make a new one. Since I usually begin with a rusted "hulk", I face this problem a lot.

    Decals/painted designs are a close second...

  7. #7
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Yes the decals are hard to deal with, unless you happened to be an artist good with paints. I am no artist so I use the shadow of the decals to help. Like paint by numbers LOL
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Restoration: Is the end result of when you take an object and restore it to it's original condition. In this case sewing machines. When you restore, you completely rebuild it back to it's original mechanical and visual condition, putting to it's original configuration, using ONLY ORIGINAL FACTORY PARTS . It will be as it was the day it rolled out of the factory.

    Refurbishing: Is what you do when you repair a machine, using factory or what ever parts are available, back to functional useable condition. This includes, but is not limited to; cleaning, adjusting, replacing parts, repairing damaged parts, touching up or polishing the paint and plating and fixing the cases or cabinets.
    This IS NOT restoration.

    I don't understand something. If all I do to a machine is clean it, no parts replaced or repaired ... just cleaned and polished ... why is it not "restored" to it's original condition as opposed to "refurbished"??

    Or are you saying that "restoration" MUST include the replacement or rebuild of some parts??



    And lastly ... some "fine lines" ... where do items such as needles, and belts come into play?? Needles especially are considered 'consumables' ... like motor oil ... and on some machines only the original needles can be used, but on others newly manufactured and readily available needles can be used. Belts are also somewhat 'consumable' .. is it "original" if the same type of belt was used?
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  9. #9
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    Well, for me it is the fact that the machines I acquire are almost all before SAE standards were adopted, so to replace a broken screw or bolt I have to make a new one.
    That's not even just on older machines before the standards were adopted. Singer, for one, made their own screws for years. Once the standard came in in the early 1900s?, they kept using the screws they were using, because everything was already designed. And because they could. What a hassle though if you lose or break one. Good example: the stop motion screw (not the knob) on the 301 (built long after SAE was available) - "Singer thread". Discontinued. Am I bad person if I get frustrated and want to tap the knob out to a "normal" size?

    No, I didn't do it.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  10. #10
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    Joe,

    I wonder if you are referring to my thread about cleaning, oiling and adjusting a Featherweight for our local Habitat for Humanity "RESTORE." That is the NAME of the thrift store. Maybe you misunderstood my remark about the Restore Featherweight. Is that possible?
    Kitsy

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