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Thread: Can this machine be rescued?

  1. #126
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Fingers crossed, good luck, I really hope there was no damage to the decals...

  2. #127
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    The parts underneath seem to have loosened up a bit, but still no real movement. Also the little pieces that should slide on the top of the base by the needle hole are not yet moving at all. But that is not vital to operate the machine so I'm not worrying about that at this point.

    It seems like the parts that need to be addressed now are in the upper portion of the machine - ie the area in the column and hood by the hand crank and in the needle bar column. The three little "points" that screw in and out at the top of the needle bar column were loosened last night. Not sure what they do, but I'm sure one of them adjusts the pressure on the presser foot. What the other two are for???

    I have not attempted any actual taking apart of things, just seeing what will and won't move at this point.

    What is the recommended next step?

  3. #128
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    The decals on the bed were all but gone already on a good portion of the front. Only the mother of pearl was clearly visible. The ones you can see are actually a bit more visible now.
    I have not wiped it down yet, letting gravity do its job on draining off the excess.

  4. #129
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6 View Post
    The parts underneath seem to have loosened up a bit, but still no real movement. Also the little pieces that should slide on the top of the base by the needle hole are not yet moving at all. But that is not vital to operate the machine so I'm not worrying about that at this point.

    It seems like the parts that need to be addressed now are in the upper portion of the machine - ie the area in the column and hood by the hand crank and in the needle bar column. The three little "points" that screw in and out at the top of the needle bar column were loosened last night. Not sure what they do, but I'm sure one of them adjusts the pressure on the presser foot. What the other two are for???

    I have not attempted any actual taking apart of things, just seeing what will and won't move at this point.

    What is the recommended next step?
    One thing I would strongly recommend is take a lot of pictures before taking anything apart and during the process. It helps when you are putting things back together. I also put parts into plastic containers (clear butter dish type) during disassembly. If I am doing a whole machine it helps a LOT to put component parts in separate containers too. I put upper tension parts in one, bobbin hook parts in another and so on. When you are putting it back together it helps to know if you have parts left over where they go, or at least a general area that they go. It narrows the search area and can eliminate much of your frustration too. It has helped me countless times over the years.
    Best of luck.
    ~G~

  5. #130
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant15clone View Post
    One thing I would strongly recommend is take a lot of pictures before taking anything apart and during the process. It helps when you are putting things back together. I also put parts into plastic containers (clear butter dish type) during disassembly. If I am doing a whole machine it helps a LOT to put component parts in separate containers too. I put upper tension parts in one, bobbin hook parts in another and so on. When you are putting it back together it helps to know if you have parts left over where they go, or at least a general area that they go. It narrows the search area and can eliminate much of your frustration too. It has helped me countless times over the years.
    Best of luck.
    ~G~
    I tend to take mine apart in zones, clean then re-assemble. I'm not that organized. I hate to walk out of the room with things taken apart.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  6. #131
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I tend to take mine apart in zones, clean then re-assemble. I'm not that organized. I hate to walk out of the room with things taken apart.
    Just bring your pillow and blanky with you before you start taking it apart. And that sock with your money in it too. Problem solved.
    ~G~

  7. #132
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    x12 on the pic, photos are free, high blood pressure is not....

    another trick I use is when I take two things apart, i try to put the screw back into the threaded bit so I KNOW where it came from.

    Cardboard from a box can also be used, poke a small hole, then stuff the screw/bolt in, make a note under it where it came from. (I started doing this when I was rebuilding laptops with a zillion screws. )

  8. #133
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    muffin tin
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  9. #134
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I was thinking of zip lock snack bags or sandwich bags. That's what I've used for many craft projects.

    My biggest concern is that DGS will attempt to HELP Grammy! Not that he probably would not do as well or better, but it just makes me nervous when he tries to do something I'm not sure I know how to do in the first place.

  10. #135
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    I haven't seen any reference here to Marvel Mystery Oil and am wondering if anyone else uses it for a cleaner/lubricant? When recently cleaning up an old dirty machine, I came across a bottle of the stuff in my auto chemicals stash and thought, "why not?" It's a "miracle" oil or fuel additive that claims to clean and condition all kinds of engine components. So, I figured it must have some good cleaners and penetrants in it. I tried it and it seemed to work well to clean up old oil and grease. Dissolved all the crud. I wiped it all off and I followed up with Triflow.

    In a later search, I learned that there is some sewing machine lore found in the history of this product. I found this on the Brian Sews site and wanted to share it:

    http://www.briansews.com/2009/09/int...pfaff-138.html

    "For me there is almost no better fun than getting an old sewing machine home for the first time and opening it all up and seeing what it's about. This Pfaff 138 was was dry as a bone! No oil or grease anywhere which means it was very stiff to turn. I use Marvel Mystery Oil as my sewing machine oil and when applied to this dry machine you could actually see the metal wick the oil like a sponge. It was most satisfying to feel it loosen up with each oiling point until it was smooth as silk.

    Speaking of Marvel Mystery Oil, Steve DeCosa passed along this story told to him by an oldster at a gas station which I find fascinating:
    "During the Depression, when I was in high school, I worked as a mechanic in a sewing shop in the Garment District in NYC. Those old sewing machines had visible oilers on top, and when it got hot the oil would stink, and the ladies who ran the machines would complain. The owner, whose name was Marvel, (pronounced Mar-VELL) told me to go down a few doors to the candy factory-I think it was a 'LifeSaver' type candy- and get a couple of gallons of Oil of Wintergreen and some food coloring. We mixed it with the 10 wt. sewing machine oil to make it less offensive to the ladies. It became popular with the other shops, and Marvel made more money with that oil, than with the sewing. Whenever anyone asked what was in the oil, Marvel said, 'Don't ask... It's a MYSTERY!' and that's how the name came about!"

    Works for me! From what I hear it's mostly kerosene anyway which wouldn't you know it can be used as a sewing machine oil and degummer. It does a great job of removing the old yellow oil build up that you get a lot on old machines. You can pick it up at Walmart or any auto parts store, you can put it in your gas tank also however the benefits of such use are debatable."


    I have one of the small bottles and I think it'll last a lifetime. I'd love to hear if others use it or of any caveats I should heed.
    Last edited by Noel; 06-23-2013 at 07:49 AM.

  11. #136
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    That is interesting Noel. The steel gray and flesh pink Brother that I got last week might be a good candidate to test the Marvel Mystery Oil.
    Sweet Caroline

  12. #137
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    When are you posting pics? I'm anxious to get a better look!

  13. #138
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  14. #139
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    Odd, I searched the site, but didn't come up with that reference. Thanks.

    I use the mystery oil for cleaning and the first run to get things clean, loose and unstuck. Then I use the Tri Flow as a long term lubricant just based on the seemingly unanimous recommendations here to do so. A little old skool with the Marvel's and a little space age with the Tri Flow. Whatever works...
    Last edited by Noel; 06-23-2013 at 08:13 AM.

  15. #140
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    Miriam -- Thought that was an odd question about the Tri Flow, but just realized it was a link, not a question. Doh!

  16. #141
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    When are you posting pics? I'm anxious to get a better look!
    I already did here http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...ml#post6130030

    She is much brighter and prettier in person.
    Sweet Caroline

  17. #142
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    Oh, I missed that. Cool machine!

  18. #143
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I am taking the rusty 1890 Singer Treadle base and doing a complete "re-do". This when completed will be the base for my 1888 Singer 13 Medium.

    The first pic is the parts wire-wheeled bare so far, with the main cross-member according to my DD looking like it was "half dipped", I said "it was, it was half dipped in sweat..." I'm done for the night but it was fun to get out to the shop and play again.

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    this is the left and right side of the part from above as an example of before and after.
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  19. #144
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    As always, nice work Steve. How are you getting it down to bare metal?
    ~G~

  20. #145
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant15clone View Post
    As always, nice work Steve. How are you getting it down to bare metal?
    ~G~
    I can't think of anyway to do it that isn't messy......
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  21. #146
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Your work bench is always fascinating Steve. What is the thing at the top of the treadle irons? Looks like a mold of some kind.
    Sweet Caroline

  22. #147
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant15clone View Post
    As always, nice work Steve. How are you getting it down to bare metal?
    ~G~
    6" wire wheel disk on a 1/2hp bench grinder. Lots of lifting, twisting, cursing, minor skin loss...

    oh, and Goggles and a dust mask.

  23. #148
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Your work bench is always fascinating Steve. What is the thing at the top of the treadle irons? Looks like a mold of some kind.
    Hehe. It is a blacksmithing tool called a swage block. It is a piece of solid cast iron with shaped molded into it on all sides for doing "hot" work mostly, but occasionally used as a cold forming anvil/stake.

    Funny story, the maker is in Oregon and found that if he makes them just the right size they fit in a USPS "If it fit's it Ships" box.... and be 8lbs under the weight limit. Shipping cost under $20.
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    Boy howdy was my mailman grumpy about this one.... He no longer complains about sewing machine heads being delivered
    Last edited by SteveH; 07-18-2013 at 08:08 AM.

  24. #149
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Off topic - but several folks have asked.....
    tonight was armor night, here are three of my students working on projects.

    My Student Jason showing his Late period Japanese Armor in process
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    My Apprentice Doug Forming Leather for hardening into armor
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    Raj (off camera) Making steel gauntlets (hand protection) the black part has been powder-coated
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  25. #150
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    The treadle Irons are done. 4 coats of satin black, 2 coats of clear gloss
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    I am laminating up an "industrial" type top. It will be about 18x36 when finished with the hole cut out using the template shown for the Singer 13 Medium.
    Name:  2013-07-22 21.23.49.jpg
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