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Thread: My new (old) toy and some advice please?

  1. #1
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Yesterday, my hubby and I went and picked up this little gem...found it advertised on the internet and being it was only 60 miles from here I answered the ad and bought it for $50!!!

    It is a 1951 Singer 201-2 and the cabinet was included! The cabinet hinges are bent and missing some screws but DH said he can fix that for me... the machine itself sounds good but needs some tension adjustments and most of all it just needs alot of TLC!!!

    What do you suggest I use to clean it with....it is VERY dusty. Help!! It just seems to me where I read somewhere that you shouldn't use rubbing alcohol on these older machines but that was the first thing that came to mind...is that ok to use? If not, then what?

    Singer 201
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    wow! nice! i never really thought about owning an antique sewing machine, but gosh, you all are making me want to get into it!

    can't help on the cleaning, though. i would probably try the magic eraser, gently, if it were me. but then someone may say 'NO don't do THAT'

    :D

  3. #3
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    I think I would try Orange Glo. It may even lubricate things a bit. Use it very sparingly and then buff with a soft cloth. I really don't know. But, thats what I would use.

  4. #4
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Loretta....no, it isn't a featherweight....I WISH!! LOL But I think it will work just as nicely! Thanks all!!!

  5. #5
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    It looks pretty good in the picture, but I found this so it looks to be a beauty
    http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/cleaningmachines/cleaningmachines.html

  6. #6

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    When you talk about cleaning it, Are you talking about the machine? Is'nt it a metal housing? I'd use a cleaner for general cleaning, such as 409, or one like, since it's a metal, for the actual cabinet, which appears to be wood. I'd use Murphy soap oil, then a lemon oil, after cleaned. I'd oil it with a lite weight machine oil. She/He is really a old pretty machine. Is it electric or treadle? Aren't you lucky..........

  7. #7
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    It is all metal so I thought the same thing...just any old dirt cleaner at least for the outer parts but wasn't sure....it has the knee control, something I'm not used to but will get used to it I'm sure! Thanks!

    Ruth...great info!! Thanks...wow they sure cleaned that baby up didn't they!! LOL

  8. #8
    Leslee's Avatar
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    Patsy, be very VERY careful on those decals. They might not be removed by the wrong cleaner, but they could end up discolored. How lucky for you to have the manual with the machine! I have one of the 66 series Singers and used it constantly until I got a new sewing machine last year. They really are well-built. Try checking on-line for "Cleaning an old sewing machine" and you'll find a few hints.

  9. #9

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    I have used the knee control before, (When I was Younger), It's not really to hard to get the hang of it. Dose the lever drop down alittle and then can be pushed up outta the way? If those decals haven't rubbed off to date, I dout they could be rubbed off now.

  10. #10
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    Hello,
    I have several of the old Singer sewing machines. I have found them all at sales for $10.00 - $50.00. I love them. Every one of them that I have bought were very dirty. My husband and I used 3 and 1 oil to clean them with. We completely tore them apart and put them back together. They are all I sew with.
    Judy in Ohio

  11. #11
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Great machine. Looks like a workhorse! Go gently with cleaning. It barely looks like it needs it. I had fun reading that article about the old machines. You've got yourself a fun treasure there.

  12. #12
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Just like the one my mom taught me to sew on!!! Her's was in a blonde cabinet. I actually miss the knee control! Great find, unfortunately for whatever reason Mom's got thrown out. Enjoy it! I wonder if a mild solution of water and baby soap (like aveeno, no perfumes) would clean it without damaging anything. I've used on other things with good results.

  13. #13
    rein's Avatar
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    Guess I really blew it - I had my Mom's old machine had used it for myself a number of years ago and it needed some work - new belts as the old ones had long since passed on plus who knew what else. I just did not want to deal with it as the folks I spoke with did not seem too interested in working on it - PLUS they wanted an arm and a leg. Looks very much like the one you got. Is it a mahogany cabinet? I even had the sales slip for it............

    I sold it at a garage sale - but I still have a box with some attachments for it. If anyone is interested, they could PM me. I loved it when it worked - and the knee press was easy - at least it did not move as the foot one does!

    I think the 3 in 1 oil is the best thing - that's what Mom used for it and I did too when I used it for mending while the belt was still good. The cabinet might need some light sanding and then Murphy's or Old English. Likely a lot of coats!!! With buffing in between.

  14. #14

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    I have one too. It was my husband's grandmother's machine. This autumn we were able to get a new belt to get it working again. We cleaned it with 3 in 1 oil, and the wooden cabinet with Murphy's Oil Soap then a very light coating of Pledge rubbed in well with a flannel cloth. It didn't harm the labels. I would be very interested in the extra parts but I don't know what PM means.

  15. #15
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    Olive,
    A PM means Private Message. It's like an e-mail. We don't give our home addresses or personal info like that out on the board where everyone can see it. Admin will delete it if we do.
    To PM rein, you need to click on her name at the left of her post. THen click on Private Message on that page. That's all. It's easy. :D
    Good luck! :)

  16. #16
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    Wow, Patsy! You've got a pretty! It looks a lot like the old Singer I have. Mine is a bit older and a treadle. My cabinet is open on the front with 2 drawers on each side. Mine is also very dusty! Mine was locked up solid, and hubby managed to break a piece to it trying to free it. I'm sure we can find a part sometime. It didn't work the way it was...the belts are broken and all. It did work before my time. It's been in my family for a while. It will work again, someday!

  17. #17
    Senior Member anita211's Avatar
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    I have one... from 1923. It is an old treadle, and still sews beautifully after 84 years. My grandmother got it the year before my dear mother was born. I have the old wooden cabinet that has the 'tippy' drawer in the front, and four long narrow 4.5" deep drawers. I rarely use it. I'm afraid I will break the leather belt that drives the treadle.

    I have cleaned mine with mild soap (Dawn dishwashing liquid) and warm water. That's it.

    Enjoy! They are close to works of art!

    Anita

  18. #18
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    Hello,
    Do you still have the attachments? Do you have pics? How much?
    I might be interested.
    Judy in Ohio

  19. #19

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    Olive
    PM means Private Message, just thought I'd help.

  20. #20
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I have bought belt and put them on for a 1926, singer. just standard singer, comes with one for bobbin winder, and regular
    :D

  21. #21
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Olive, I see you just joined our forum today and want to welcome you. This is a great group of people. Glad you decided to join us.

  22. #22

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    I am so glad I just read your message! I did not know that I should not leave my home email address on the board. I just did it for a couple of replies before I read yours. I never thought about it. I do hope that the admin. deletes it. Thanks

  23. #23
    Senior Member Quiltntime's Avatar
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    Your machine looks exactly like the one my mom gave me in the 70's. It made the best straight stitches ever. Wish I would have kept it.

    As far as cleaning it. Try an air compresser on it first. Cleaner next, but never water. Have fun with it. :thumbup:

  24. #24
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    What a cool old machine. And it still works? Those old Singers are amazing. No help with the cleaning.

  25. #25
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I did not take the time to read through this entire post but wanted to respond really quickly (I am pooped and ready for bed). I own a old Singer featherweight and I took a class on cleaning, repairing, maintenance, etc when I bought it. We cleaned our machines with Murphy's Oil Soap and a soft cloth. Then polish it gently with layers of Macquires Car Wax. I know it sounds crazy---but it works!!

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