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Thread: Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

  1. #11601
    Super Member sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    You guys remember my new Wilcox & Gibbs on page 695? Well, it had been painted black - twice - under that a white or cream, can't tell! I am trying to strip the cabinet to get it back to the original wood, which is very pretty. I am using Glenn's tutorial, but what a pain in the backside! It had so much paint on the cabinet that I am on my second can of stripper. I am finally getting down to the wood, but now there is white paint imbedded in the grain of the wood!

    Glenn, will I ever get this cabinet back to the original? Geeze, I can't believe what some people do to these antique cabinets and machines!

    On a good note, my Wilcox and Gibbs sews beautifully!

    Nancy
    It is unfortunate that the cabinet has several layers of paint. This does make it a little more difficult to strip. I find that a paste or thick stripper works better than the watery kind. Paint a thick layer on the finish a section at a time then cover with plastic to keep the stripper from evaporating and leave on for about 40 min. This will keep the stripper moist and to reach deeply into the paint. Most sewing cabinets are not painted and the old shellac stripps easy. If you find paint in the grain of the wood after stripping take a small brass brush, apply stripper and use the brush with the grain of the wood to remove the paint in the grain. This will take time. I just hate it when someone paints over a nice woold finish. Hope this helps but paint is always hard to get out of oak. I am here to help. Glenn
    Here in the South people seem to like the look of that little bit of paint left on the finish-- don't know what it's called, but at flea markets I see a lot of stuff that was refinished but the old paint residues left in the wood grain. It's kind of a distressed look and very popular here. It's not traditional for a sewing machine, but neither are purple and blue automotive paint for the heads (sorry, Billy!). Sometimes you have to make the best of what you have...

    I think they control how much of the paint coat to leave/remove by wiping down with mineral spirits, but don't quote me on that.

  2. #11602
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl

    Here in the South people seem to like the look of that little bit of paint left on the finish-- don't know what it's called, but at flea markets I see a lot of stuff that was refinished but the old paint residues left in the wood grain. It's kind of a distressed look and very popular here. It's not traditional for a sewing machine, but neither are purple and blue automotive paint for the heads (sorry, Billy!). Sometimes you have to make the best of what you have...

    I think they control how much of the paint coat to leave/remove by wiping down with mineral spirits, but don't quote me on that.
    Wow, that is a novel idea. I think, I know what you are talking about. My SS and his wife did that to the kitchen cabinets in a house they had. I didn't like the look, though. But, I am a stubborn person, so I will try to get my W&G's cabinet back as close to the original as I can -- this will be a slow endeavor. I am not complaining, I love the old machines, it will be a labor of love - a slow labor of love. It will also be a learning experience for me as I have never stripped and refinished before.

    Nancy

  3. #11603
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif

    Nancy, You are brave. I would just give up and repaint the cabinet to a color of my liking.
    That hasn't been ruled out yet! But, that W&G's would not look good in a red cabinet -- if it were a Redeye?????

    Nancy

  4. #11604
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    Quote Originally Posted by redbugsullivan
    Nancy you can try a tooth brush but I really do not think it is stiff enough to get the paint out of the grain. Would love to see pics of your progress. Glenn

    I use the green scrubby pads along with stripper to get everything out. A good rinse in between scrubs usually makes headway very quickly.
    I actually got a stripper brush, not a wire one. I am afraid of the wire ones, this brush is somekind of synthetic. Anyway, I am afraid I am not going to get the white paint out of the wood grain.

    Redbugsullivan, what do you mean a good rinse? With what? I don't want to get the wood wet -- wouldn't that cause damage and more problems? Glenn?

    Nancy
    Nancy please no water it will loosen the veener because it was glued down with hyde glue(old glue pot type). You may wipe down the piece with turps or denatured alcohol only. This will neutralize the stripper so stain and shellac will stick to the wood. The brass brush is a small parts brush about the size of a toothbrush, the brass bristle will not hurt the wood since they are softer than a regular wire brush. The finish with white specks in the grain is known as pickling and it not appropriate for sewing machine cabinets. Some people call it white washing and was very popular for oak floors and kitchen cabinets. If all the white paint can't be removed you can use a gel stain this will cover the white much better than regular stain. I know it is no fun stipping paint from oak because of the open grain. I have even used dental picks to get the stain out of the grain but very time consuming. Glenn

  5. #11605
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    Quote Originally Posted by jljack
    Ok, OK, So, how lucky am I???? Look at what I got today from an auction for $27..... A 99-13, born in 1928 in Istanbul. This is the last machine I will be able to buy for a while. DH will be not happy about this one, probably!! LOL But he loves me and I don't get my hair or nails done, and I don't go shoe or purse shopping every week. So, maybe he'll be OK. Whatever...too late...I already won it!!! LOL :thumbup:
    Congratulations! That is a very nice 99!

    Nancy
    Thanks, Nancy!! I'm considering names for her. Good luck with your cabinet refinishing. I stripped an old upright piano once, with the same desire to get down to the bare wood with no paint remaining. It took weeks, literally, carefully scrubbing with steel wool and denatured alcohol. I did get it all out, and then had to sell the piano as we were moving and had no room for it. So, there you go!! LOL

  6. #11606
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    Does anyone know anything about and I quote "new domestic shuttle treadle sewing machine"? Craigslist owner says it works, the pictures show a beautiful machine and coffin cabinet. Wondering if I should spend the &75.00 on her. What do you all think?

  7. #11607
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    That should be $75.oo.

  8. #11608
    Super Member sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirty1mom
    Does anyone know anything about and I quote "new domestic shuttle treadle sewing machine"? Craigslist owner says it works, the pictures show a beautiful machine and coffin cabinet. Wondering if I should spend the &75.00 on her. What do you all think?
    I would go and look! Make sure the shuttle and bobbin aren't missing.

  9. #11609
    Junior Member IT_Nana's Avatar
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    I inherited my grandmother's sewing machine many years ago. I never knew her as she passed away at the age of 52 long before I was born. She and my grandpa homesteaded in northwestern Kansas and started their family in a sod house. As typical of many farm wives of that era, she sewed clothes for the entire family as well as raise a garden and chickens and cook huge meals for farm hands. I don't know how those women did it with none of the conveniences we have.

    Anyway, this sewing machine is a Free brand and still worked the last time I tried it. Just yesterday I re-arranged my sewing room/guest room and set it up rather than having it folded up with the machine inside. Do you have any idea how old this is? The drawers all work, but I know there is a front piece missing in the middle. I've looked and looked for that piece, and one time about 10 years ago found a machine like it in an antique shop, but we were 1,000 miles from home in a small car and no way to transport it.

    As you can see, this machine was very well used and well loved. My mother told me that her Mom gave it a fresh coat of varnish every year! My husband plans to refinish it...he said the wood should be very well preserved under all that varnish!

    I'd appreciate any info you can provide.

    ******

    I forgot to mention that Mom told me that my grandmother could look at a picture of a dress and cut a pattern to fit her daughters....very talented and creative. I wish I could have known her.
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  10. #11610
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Beautiful machine and cabinet. I am sure someone will be able to help you with dating it.

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