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Thread: A very dirty 15-91 and how I am exposing the shiny black

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
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    A very dirty 15-91 and how I am exposing the shiny black

    I picked up a second 15-91 the other day and didn't realize just how grimy she was until I started cleaning her. In the first pic I cleaned a small area to see if I could find any pretty black shiny paint underneath and I did. But it was very hard just to clean that small area. I almost put her back into the table and said ....later.
    It was going to take me weeks if I tried to do it the regular way with soft rags and oil. I am not sure what the grime is but I certainly do not want to leave it on her and I certainly do not want to touch it while sewing. My guess is tobacco grime with dirt and grease mixed in.

    I am not necessarily lazy but as a true Pisces I always search out the paths of least resistance while accomplishing the same goals. LOL So I searched out today my path of least resistance and thought I would share. You can tell in one of the photos the whole machine looks like she has a very light weight crinkle paint job. The whole machine felt rough and textured all over. YUCK!!! Since I do not know what the grime is I am using a respirator, safety glasses with Turtle Wax bug and tar remover and my secret weapon....Sonic Scrubber by Windex. Link below:
    http://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Scrubber...sonic+scrubber

    There are other bands of Sonic Scrubbers too.


    I lightly spread on two drops of bug and tar remover onto small area and then use a small brush head in the Sonic Scrubber kit and go lightly over the area with the bug and tar remover. Off comes the grime. It actually is taking two times because the first time you can feel the brush starting to slow down and it feels like it is just swirling around the gummy grime but it has loosened it up. So I wipe the brush clean and also the area on the machine and do it again and Voila' super shiny clean black sewing machine.

    I also use the sonic scrubber set for wood work, grout, and well just about everything. It has made cleaning fun, well....more fun and so much quicker and my hands, fingers and arms do not get tired. Do not use on decals...
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    Last edited by Sunflowerzz; 04-09-2014 at 04:56 PM.
    Thrift Stores, YES!!!.

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Are you sure you're not removing the shellac?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
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    I don't think so because the Bug and Tar remover is safe for clear coats and won't strip wax. I have used it on all of my other machines and they turn out great so far.
    Thrift Stores, YES!!!.

  4. #4
    Super Member oldsewnsew's Avatar
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    I'm sure you're actually removing the old shellac, but don't feel too bad, I do it all the time. You just have to be wary of the decals. Once you're through with that you can try a french polish or clear shellac to restore a protective clear coat. It DOES feel very satisfying to work through the goo, but french polishing itself can reamalgamate the shellac and level it back out.
    Jim

    "What do you mean worrying doesn't help? Everything I ever worried about...never happened!"
    quote by __________ I forget who.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
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    Thanks, If that is the case and I am removing the shellac it definitely needs to be removed because it has turned a very ugly powdery tan brown over the years and a new shellac coat will be coming her way.

    I switched to using sewing machine oil with the sonic brush to see if there was a difference in the end results and I am getting the exact same results...hmmm. Oh well she will be beautified in the end
    Thrift Stores, YES!!!.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Right, the ugly shellac needs to be removed, but if the black paint isn't sealed and protected it will soon follow.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I'm thinking tar and bug remover is ok if it is clear varnish or lacquer on the machine - but you are likely removing shellac under that black stuff. I had one not long ago I used tar and bug remover on then had to get some shellac back on the machine. One way you can kind of tell if you are getting too deep is to watch to see if the black stuff is turning brown. If so you went too deep. Glenn should be back in a couple days or a week and he will have some ideas about this.
    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 oldsewnsew's Avatar
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    The old shellac can be re-amalgamated and mixed with a little fresh, by french polishing. Glenn's posts help explain a way to do it. Just don't get alcohol or solvents over the decals. Sewing machine oil by itself is the fluid of choice in these parts.
    Jim

    "What do you mean worrying doesn't help? Everything I ever worried about...never happened!"
    quote by __________ I forget who.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I went out last week and bought all of the items needed in Glenns tutorial and the aniline dye arrived yesterday by UPS so I was preparing to recoat or revive whichever.
    I will post photos after she is cleaned up and (we) can take it from there. I appreciate all of the help on this forum and all of the people it takes to get one neat vintage machine up and running and looking beautiful again. Thank you all.

    I tell ya I now have enough vintage cleaning and repair tools and such to fill a small garden shed. Even hubby searches through my arsenal. He says it is quicker and easier than going out to his shop or out to the garage. NEVER thought I would have tools hubby would be wanting and using.
    Thrift Stores, YES!!!.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I'm thinking tar and bug remover is ok if it is clear varnish or lacquer on the machine - but you are likely removing shellac under that black stuff. I had one not long ago I used tar and bug remover on then had to get some shellac back on the machine. One way you can kind of tell if you are getting too deep is to watch to see if the black stuff is turning brown. If so you went too deep. Glenn should be back in a couple days or a week and he will have some ideas about this.
    Thanks Miriam. What is happening is I am removing a dry ugly tobacco brown with the bug and tar remover until I feel the area getting smooth and it looks shiny black and the rag I use to wipe the gunk off is looking much cleaner. There is still a little discoloration on the rag. What is left is a nice shiny black that wipes fairly clean so I still don't know where I am exactly concerning the shellac (varnish or lacquer )coat. But by the time I finish with this machine and all y'alls help I should be more knowledgeable for the next machine. Quite a learning experience.
    Thrift Stores, YES!!!.

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