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Thread: Can this machine be rescued?

  1. #51
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoisM View Post
    This just makes me want to cry...
    Attachment 403214

    Lois, I hope this makes you feel a little better. This is the same machine as it sits on my bench this morning. Some of the finish is in good condition. Sometimes you can't tell what is under all of that gunk. I thought that the motor was frozen but it was just packed full of seeds. It may sew again. But I am having a hard time getting the handwheel flange off of it. Any ideas anyone?
    ~G~

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  2. #52
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Great job on both machines Glenn. Can you show how you did the lettering and what was used?
    ~G~

  3. #53
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    Okay, I have what is probably a dumb question, my favorite type of question by the way, how did you guys learn to restore these lovely old machines? Trial and error, favorite website, books, etc? This is fun!

  4. #54
    KLO
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    I have to agree with those who said this thread was a great read. I also cannot believe how some of you have brought back to life what looks dead to me. I will be looking at old dirty machines now with a different eye. Cannot wait to read more posts on this thread and to see more miracles. Thanks to all of you for not giving up on these "old ladies".

  5. #55
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltFaerie View Post
    Okay, I have what is probably a dumb question, my favorite type of question by the way, how did you guys learn to restore these lovely old machines? Trial and error, favorite website, books, etc? This is fun!
    I have learned to refurbish my machines from ALL of the good people here on the Vintage Machine Board. I am wondering though, if we added up all of the years of experience of everyone here, what would the total be?
    Sweet Caroline

  6. #56
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltFaerie View Post
    Okay, I have what is probably a dumb question, my favorite type of question by the way, how did you guys learn to restore these lovely old machines? Trial and error, favorite website, books, etc? This is fun!
    I'm an old gearhead. Trial an error has been a great teacher and the web is a great resource, but there are many people here on QB that have helped me a lot.
    ~Grant~

  7. #57
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    I am finding out that I am more mechanically inclined than I would have thought and I am not afraid to get in the guts of the machine and pull it apart and put it back together. Even getting dirty with gunk and oil doing it after all, I clean up with a little soap and water. What I am lacking is knowledge of whether or not I am doing it correctly. Which is where this site is going to be invaluable.

    Gail

  8. #58
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    Good Morning. I am new to the forum and was enjoying reading about the vintage machines that are or have been restored. I have an old Seamstress (hand crank, with the groove in the wheel so that it can be used as a treadle) which was given to me. It has been tentatively identified as a National Expert B.T. Vibrator, 3/4 size model. The cabinet is long gone, and the machine sat in a shed for many years. Some of the decals are damaged and there is rust on some parts of the body. The actual mechanisms inside and on the bottom of the machine are moving freely now, but she really needs a good cleaning inside and out. Any suggestions for what to clean it with?

    Thank you.

  9. #59
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltFaerie View Post
    Okay, I have what is probably a dumb question, my favorite type of question by the way, how did you guys learn to restore these lovely old machines? Trial and error, favorite website, books, etc? This is fun!
    For me it was growing up poor in a really rural area. I learned to fix things if I wanted to have things. I found out that a lot of people throw things away at the first sign of a problem, so I take those things and fix them. (Like the $50 Kitchenaid 6qt Pro that just needed two replacement gears and a replacement motor housing. Parts were available on the company website for less than $60, runs like a CHAMP now.)

    My first car was a 1960 Old Delta 88 convertible that I spend three hours in the guys driveway making it run so I could drive it home.

    I usually cannot afford really nice new things, so I get old used things and fix them up. I have access to more sweat and time than I do money.

    As far as the skills, I think it started with a jewelry making class I took in High school. It was the first time i learned to manipulate materials rather than just take apart, clean, and put back.

  10. #60
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant15clone View Post
    Great job on both machines Glenn. Can you show how you did the lettering and what was used?
    ~G~
    I used testor's gold paint with pen and brush. The decal shadow could faintly be seen so painted them kinda like paint by numbers. You have to have a steady hand so no coffee until thru or maybe a cold beer.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  11. #61
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltFaerie View Post
    Okay, I have what is probably a dumb question, my favorite type of question by the way, how did you guys learn to restore these lovely old machines? Trial and error, favorite website, books, etc? This is fun!
    I apprenticed antique furniture restoration and repair from a German master while station in Germany. then had a restoration business for many years after retiring from the Army. I am now retired and spend my time on antique clock and vintage sewing machines. I just applied what I learned to restore the cabinets and the machine head finishes. I am still learning the mechanics of these old sewing machine but find they are easy to clean up and repair. The more I play with them the more I learn. This board has taught me alot.
    Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  12. #62
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    I used testor's gold paint with pen and brush. The decal shadow could faintly be seen so painted them kinda like paint by numbers. You have to have a steady hand so no coffee until thru or maybe a cold beer.
    Not too many cold beers otherwise it might come out like Joan Crawford's eyebrows. I have a heart-breaker of a machine here Glenn. I can bring back the paint finish but if I do, the decals are gone. They seem to be suspended in the varnish top coat. (varnish-decal-varnish) And the topcoat varnish is alligator-ed and so severely yellowed, that it would be better if I took it down to good paint with no decals and either airbrushed them on or made decals and re-varnished them back into the machine. I can't decide. Your "paint by numbers" would work here but the decals will be long gone.
    ~G~

  13. #63
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Ok, so Sandy (Thanks for coming up with a good name for me...) arrived and so did my new 1950/60's Craftsman 109 Lathe. Hopefully I will be able to recover MORE machines now that I can make bolts and screws...

    I deserved to get stuck with this one... I have been complaining that I wanted a W&W 8 to be able to do a complete repaint on and the other two I got had cool enough paint remaining to be worth leaving undisturbed. Now I have one that has no redeeming surface material left..
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    Cool old Lathe, well packed.
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  14. #64
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant15clone View Post
    Attachment 403214

    Lois, I hope this makes you feel a little better. This is the same machine as it sits on my bench this morning. Some of the finish is in good condition. Sometimes you can't tell what is under all of that gunk. I thought that the motor was frozen but it was just packed full of seeds. It may sew again. But I am having a hard time getting the handwheel flange off of it. Any ideas anyone?
    ~G~

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    Grant, On one machine, I used my mechanics gear pulling dohickey (sorry for the technical term there) and on the other I inadvertently used a rubber mallet. The rubber mallet was a much slower process but it was mt sweat equity in the machine and not $5 out of my pocket for my mechanic to do it. Along with the mallet, I used TriFlow around the base where the shaft is and hoped/prayed that some of it penetrated into the tight spot where it needed to go.
    Chris
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  15. #65
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    DH used a puller on a Singer 99 - that one had a bent shaft - the thingy had 3 arm like things and you crank on it. sigh. I have used T-F and heat on others or T-F and WAIT T-F and more WAIT.... and T-F and turn the whole machine a different direction and WAIT... Probably dried up oil in there.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  16. #66
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    DH used a puller on a Singer 99 - that one had a bent shaft - the thingy had 3 arm like things and you crank on it. sigh. I have used T-F and heat on others or T-F and WAIT T-F and more WAIT.... and T-F and turn the whole machine a different direction and WAIT... Probably dried up oil in there.
    I was going to find out if I could get a hold of a gear puller today. Better known as a "Thingie" here.
    ~G~

  17. #67
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Thingie is a good all purpose tool - I love thingies - I need thingies.... lots of thingies
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  18. #68
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Dohickey is also a good generic term to use when referring to thingies or stuff.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  19. #69
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    Oh, do I love to read these works. I Love to take things apart, but not very good at putting them back together and my son who helps is sick, so I don't get to do it. But keep on talking you guys, it's really interesting to read. We are of the generation that takes old stuff and fixes it to use again. Thanks to you all.

  20. #70
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    How about thinga-ma-bobbies or whatch-ya-call-its?
    Sweet Caroline

  21. #71
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    How about thinga-ma-bobbies or whatch-ya-call-its?
    All come in handy
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  22. #72
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Here are a couple more photos of "lost causes"

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    and with a little sewing machine oil to "rehydrate"

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    Here is "Sandy" in her current state. The take up arm is the frozen part. it is the ONLY part that will not move.
    I have used PB Blaster, KrudCutter, Kriol, and Tri-Flow so far with no effect.

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    Here is a poor picture of the movement arm in process of painting.

    The long portion has been lightly sanded between each of three coats so far. (Will probably take about 8-9)
    The shorter portion has just been painted. Shows the difference in the process. I am intending to try sanding the short side AFTER I have gotten the long side smooth with the paint/sand process. The goal is to see if it really helps to sand in between each coat, or if one good sand at the end of all of them would do as well.

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  23. #73
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Steve, a really good product for re-hydrating wood is Howard Feed-N-Wax wood polish & conditioner. It contains beeswax, carnuba wax and orange oil. I have used it with great success. I also like it that you used my suggestion for naming the sewing machine Sandy. Hey, I see the cool turtle in third photo. Is it vintage?
    Sweet Caroline

  24. #74
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Steve, a really good product for re-hydrating wood is Howard Feed-N-Wax wood polish & conditioner. I also like it that you used my suggestion for naming the sewing machine Sandy. Hey, I see the cool turtle in third photo. Is it vintage?
    I'll have to pick some Howard Feed and Wax up and try it. Sandy seemed to fit....

    Nope, just a turtle. My Mom collects them and this was supposed to go to here but never made it out...

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    (Like the $50 Kitchenaid 6qt Pro that just needed two replacement gears and a replacement motor housing. Parts were available on the company website for less than $60, runs like a CHAMP now.)

    *ahem... Pardon me for interrupting a SEWING machine thread-- but I need to replace some gears on my Kitchenaid ~ I was just wondering if it is that easy to take apart and do it myself? I like to 'tinker' and my warranty is shot because I put more than 6 cups of oatmeal (making granola!!) in it and nothing else... yet. A 5quart mixer and you aren't allowed to have more than 6 cups of food in that honking bowl! ~~ yes, you are detecting a bit of bitternes.

    Anyway~ I, uh, return you to your interesting convo on restoration!

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