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Thread: Amateur's First Effort to Refurbish Antique Sewing Machine

  1. #1
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Amateur's First Effort to Refurbish Antique Sewing Machine

    I thought *some* people might be interested to watch a COMPLETE amateur attempt to follow Billy's and others' instructions and coaching while I refurbish my very first antique machine.

    I found this Singer 66 Red Eye (1910; serial #G7561436) at a junk store south of Keene, NH last August. You might recall me posting messages about it ("should I get it??"). It was $45 with a really ugly cabinet. The bobbin was fully threaded; the needle still sharp. A fair amount of rust sprinkled over most of its metals. It's got the rear attachment for the presser foot, which -- if I don't replace it -- will limit me to the presser foot it came with (if I understand correctly).

    It is electric with attached motor and light, but has the right kind of hand wheel to be converted to a treadle. Which I want to do.

    Picture 1: at the store

    Picture 2: back at the in-laws
    Attached Images Attached Images

    jillaine

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    A really pretty machine.

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    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    Will love to see the progress! It looks like you have a great machine to start with, not too bad at all.

    The rear-clamping feet can be found online without too much difficulty. I have a back-clamping Red Eye (which I've already used to piece a "jelly roll race" style top for my 1st treadle project). I just found another side-clamping one for a really good price and intend to change out the presser bar since all my other machines are side-clamping low-shank Singers and I already have a ton of compatible feet.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    It looks like a great machine. Have fun be sure to post pic's as you go along. I have one like this it is a 1917, in a red oak cabinet.

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    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    I've had it home for six months now. I removed it from its horrendously ugly cabinet and placed it atop my bookshelf in the living room. Figured I'd start refurbishing it next spring.

    THEN... recently, I read on my neighborhood listserv that a neighbor had a TREADLE BASE she was giving away. While it had been the base of her grandmother's sewing machine (which she, regrettably no longer had), for the last 30 years, it served as the base of their round kitchen table. I nabbed it. Here it is:
    Attached Images Attached Images

    jillaine

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    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Starting to take it apart

    So THEN I went in search of how to make a top for this treadle base, and in doing so, discovered TreadleOn-- the web site (http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/) and listserv. I subscribed to the listserv and also downloaded some great instructions from the web site.

    One of the things that Billy's cleaning instructions do NOT deal with is the issue of RUST. As I said, I have a fair amount of it. As it turns out, a discussion about rust was one of the first things I found on the TreadleOn listserv, including mention of the product Evaporust. This morning, I found Evaporust at my local hardware store. Yippee!! Inspiration. I went home, pulled up Billy's disassembly instructions and started to pull things apart, placing the rusted bits in a tin of Evaporust to soak. They needed more than 30 minutes (the apparent minimum) but not the overnight (for really bad rust problems).

    I took photos as I went along (taking things apart) so a) I'd know how to put them back together again, and b) I'd have "before" shots. THe problem is that my current "camera" is a piece of doo doo blackberry. So most of the closeups are near worthless. But I'm figuring that between my photos, Billy's photos and your sage wisdom, I'll be okay.

    Here are a few of the better before pictures:
    Attached Images Attached Images


    jillaine

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    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    The rusted bits are now pretty much rust free, but "pitting" remains-- damage caused by the rusting, I'm sure. not sure what to do about that. But will continue on.

    In the meantime, I'm stuck at the removal of the handwheel because I can't get the internal wheel to budge. I removed the little screw, but I can't get that bugger to turn one iota. WD 40, tapping, screaming, mason jar lid rubber remover thingies... Husband now home, I'm going to put him on it, but I don't think he's going to make any better progress, and I don't know any heavy weights/linebacker types... Any other suggestions?

    In the meantime, I'll return to my 1977 Montgomery Ward Signature and do some... quilting.
    Last edited by jillaine; 12-07-2011 at 05:11 PM.
    jillaine

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    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    I applaud your efforts, she's a beauty well worth the effort! Pulling up a chair to watch the transformation!

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    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine View Post
    In the meantime, I'm stuck at the removal of the handwheel because I can't get the internal wheel to budge. I removed the little screw, but I can't get that bugger to turn one iota. WD 40, tapping, screaming, mason jar lid rubber remover thingies... Husband now home, I'm going to put him on it, but I don't think he's going to make any better progress, and I don't know any heavy weights/linebacker types... Any other suggestions?
    For stuck parts, I've had luck with Liquid Wrench (bottle, not spray). Let it sit (overnight even), try again. Use a little more. Let it sit. Maybe hit it with the hair dryer some. Other suggestions I've seen are to use PB Blaster with pretty much the same method.

    Also, since it's a 66 model, the TFSR site goes into a lot of detail on how to refurbish those and troubleshoot. They even have a section on the balance wheel. http://www.tfsr.org/publications/tec...achine_manual/
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  10. #10
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    refurbish antique machine

    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine View Post
    The rusted bits are now pretty much rust free, but "pitting" remains-- damage caused by the rusting, I'm sure. not sure what to do about that. But will continue on.

    In the meantime, I'm stuck at the removal of the handwheel because I can't get the internal wheel to budge. I removed the little screw, but I can't get that bugger to turn one iota. WD 40, tapping, screaming, mason jar lid rubber remover thingies... Husband now home, I'm going to put him on it, but I don't think he's going to make any better progress, and I don't know any heavy weights/linebacker types... Any other suggestions?

    In the meantime, I'll return to my 1977 Montgomery Ward Signature and do some... quilting.
    For pitting, get yourself a vibrating tumbler from a gunsmith site or maybe amazon. Fill it with chopped walnut or corncob. Place your evaporust treated pieces in it; I frequently let the thing go all night. To start, check it every 3 or 4 hours, though. Then use some metal polish after the tumbler has done its best.

    Also, if you have a rusted piece that you don't want to remove for whatever reason, soak a cotton pad in evaporust and wrap it around the piece. Check frequently, like every hour. Do not wash off the evaporust; just wipe with a soft cloth.

    For the handwheel (I've had several of these puppies stuck like they were welded): turn the machine on its side, handwheel up. I use an elaborate box/styrofoam holder. Anyway, once the machine is secure, apply Kroil. Yes, it's expensive, but it works. Apply several times a day, and use the hair dryer from time to time. It will eventually loosen up without damage to the machine.
    Last edited by k9dancer; 12-08-2011 at 05:55 PM. Reason: typos
    Stephanie in Mena

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    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    Looks like it is going to be a great machhine. I redid my machine that the DH got me for my birthday a few years ago and was really pleased with the way it came out. Looking forward to see how you get on with yours.
    You can get older, but you never have to grow up! Tomorrow's just a future yesterday!-Greg Fergerson

  12. #12
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Jillaine,
    Don't use any harsh chemicals when you clean up your machine, nothing with ammonia or alcohol as it will either remove your decals or silver them. I mainly use sewing machine oil and an old tee shirt and lots of Q-tips, be gentle. Evaporust or vinegar will help with rusty parts. www.treadleon.net has lots of good information on cleaning the old machines.
    I have a 1910 Red Eye treadle machine that looks just like yours. I love using mine; I made swap blocks with mine for a Treadle On block exchange.
    Sharon W.
    Last edited by purplefiend; 12-09-2011 at 10:29 AM.

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    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Jillaine, you can get back clamping attachments online from several sources. If you watch shopgoodwill.com, they frequently have boxes of machine attachments that include back clamping. I have a 66-1 with back clamping, and I have found several feet that didn't come with the machine when I bought it.

    Also, after cleaning the bright metal, put some car finish on them, and they won't re-rust.

  14. #14
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    I will watch this thread. I have done a couple but it is so fun to watch the transformation and see what enjoyment the owner gets out of doing it.
    Lisa

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    What a beauty!!!!!

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    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Add me to the watchers. I have one I need to tackle - right after we replace the living room flooring...
    Quilt Mom

    Going through life one stitch at a time

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    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the many suggestions. Life got in the way and I haven't had a chance to try these suggestions yet. I'm going to try to get to the hardware store again today and see if I can find some of the products mentioned. DH wasn't able to get it to budge either. I'm out of town all next week, and then the holiday travel follows shortly after, so I may not make much more progress until the new year. -- Jillaine
    jillaine

  18. #18
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Went to our local hardware store and managed to find most of Billy's shopping list, plus a few extra things you all and others have mentioned. Could not find any Liquid Gold that pours, though; only the spray kind. I'll keep looking. Now to try Liquid Wrench on that darn wheel. (BTW, I spent twice as much on cleaning supplies as I did on the machine!)
    jillaine

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    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    That just means you have plenty on hand for all the other machines that will follow you home.
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  20. #20
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    Very pretty machine! Thanks for posting.

  21. #21
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Liquid Wrench isn't working. Tomorrow: heat.
    jillaine

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    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine View Post
    Liquid Wrench isn't working. Tomorrow: heat.
    Check my notes in msg # 10. It sometimes has taken me weeks to loosen a stuck clutch. Turning it on its end really made the difference, plus the heat.
    Stephanie in Mena

  23. #23
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    steph, i couldn't find Kroil, but will try liquid wrench with heat today-- on its side, wheel up as you describe in #10. Can you post a photo of your elaborate box/styrofoam holder? Thanks.
    jillaine

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    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    box support photos

    I have absolutely no idea how to post a photo on this new forum. I have the 'answer' open in another tab, but it is no help, because it says "when I get to the 'edit' window..." and I have NO edit window.
    So, PM me and send me your email address, and I will send you the photos.
    Stephanie in Mena

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