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Thread: 'White' Family Rotary cleaning help needed, please

  1. #1
    Senior Member Whigrose's Avatar
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    'White' Family Rotary cleaning help needed, please

    Hello all,
    The finds that FreeCycle can yield!

    I have acquired a lovely 1913 White Family Rotary machine in a beautiful cabinet;attachments, bobbins, everything is there.The 'giver' was a wonderful person who posted this machine on FreeCycle a few months ago. She received so many calls in such a short time that she just didn't feel right about letting the machine go. It belonged to her great-grandmother. When I get her bath done I'll post photos and a bit of her history. But for now...

    These girls are very different from the Singers, which I feel totally comfortable pushing up my sleeves, opening them up and going in. But the face plate on this White has lots of stuff connected to it. I don't want to open up a Pandora's Box. For now, I have cleaned as much of the presser foot and needle bars that I safely can. I have tried searching for information on how to clean the inside of antique White Family Rotary machine. Either I was way to tired last night or my search skills have gone in the tank. Is anyone familiar with these machines and where information about when I take off the face plate to clean inside.

    Oh, one of the drawers is locked and I don't see the key. Any ideas how to free the drawer?

    Many thanks,
    best,
    d
    My best is the least I can do.
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  2. #2
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    If she moves, don't pull that faceplate! I did on a rusty one I had there were problems getting it back together. I finally did, but it was a BEAR! (Well...I didn't, but the spousal unit turned the air blue in his efforts!! He also threatened me if I ever did that again with a machine like this!) Treadleon has a large "White" following...maybe ask there? (I didn't....just tore in like I knew what I was doing...but didn't!)

    As for the locked drawer? Use a small screwdriver. Most treadles take either a triangular or square key to open.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    I actually thought my Whites were easier to get at all the stuff in the "head" part than the Singers. The "head" came off with a couple of screws. There are pictures on Treadle On. I didn't remove anything from the head itself except the tensioner, the small caps on the top covering the needle and presser bars, and the small thread guide on top when I cleaned mine. I took off the small parts like the spool holder to clean separately. Everything else stayed on, including the hand wheel--those weren't really made to come off. I had one that was in pretty poor shape, so I did go through a whole kerosene soak, scrubbing the parts that I could reach. The kerosene looked like motor oil when I was done. This may not be necessary if your machine hasn't been kept in terrible conditions for 80 years!

    As a word of caution, I have found that the finish on the machine was a lot more fragile than that of my Singers, so be careful of the decals.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Whigrose's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies. I did hop over to Treadle On and read his musings on the topic. Didn't sound terribly problematic once you know the secret - getting the arm at 1:00. Either way, I have cleaned the presser foot and needle bar as best I can. The machine moves freely and smoothly at this point, so the dog continues to nap :-)

    The needle appears cemented in there once that comes out, it will be a matter of putting her back into her dorm, putting on her belt, learning to thread her and we're off.

    best,
    d
    My best is the least I can do.
    Mug Rug #2 Swap
    Monthly Quilting Bee Block Swap VIII- My theme is any block of kiwi greens, tangerine oranges, and a smidge of deep turquoise and dark chocolate browns.
    2012-2013 Row by Row-Groups 6 & 7 ... 2011-2012 Quilt for Quilters Swap

  5. #5
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    *tap...tap...tap* Waiting for pictures *tap...tap...tap*

    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    If she moves, don't pull that faceplate! I did on a rusty one I had there were problems getting it back together. I finally did, but it was a BEAR! (Well...I didn't, but the spousal unit turned the air blue in his efforts!! He also threatened me if I ever did that again with a machine like this!) Treadleon has a large "White" following...maybe ask there? (I didn't....just tore in like I knew what I was doing...but didn't!)

    As for the locked drawer? Use a small screwdriver. Most treadles take either a triangular or square key to open.
    For the locked drawer, reach into the drawer below and lift up on the bottom of the drawer and it will come out if it is like the one I just bought.

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