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Cleaning cast iron patch on vintage Singer

Cleaning cast iron patch on vintage Singer

Old 04-06-2019, 07:41 PM
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Default Cleaning cast iron patch on vintage Singer

Serial Number F8045010, can't determine if USA or UK made. I have cleaned the gunk out of interior and bottom, but now ready for topside of machine cleaning. Large patches of flaked off japanning black finish. If I clean the topside now, I understand I need to clean with sewing machine oil all over, especially the decal areas, but - is it OK to go over balded cast iron patches with sew machine oil also? Would that make the cast iron patches too oily and resistant to the black shellacking which I believe would be the next step? Am new to forum, will try to load photos. Also on the bobbin winder photo is something missing on the right hand side where the bobbin fits in? Looks like those threads are wanting something on them there. I hope the photos load.

Thankful for help and advice.
Attached Thumbnails img_20190406_153231339_hdr-resize.jpg   img_20190406_153209992-resize.jpg   img_20190406_161203619-resize.jpg   img_20190406_153243637_hdr-resize.jpg  
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:30 AM
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Glenn had a neat tutorial on fixing the finish and it won’t exactly work in your case. The oil won’t help your cause at all. https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...s-t193635.html You will have to real add of this to find where he talks about machine with flaked off japanning. I don’t think Glen supports the tutorial these days. I believe he uses something to cover the bare spots. That machine will never be restored enough to be in original condition. You might consider painting. I had one that was so bad I just scraped most of it off. It looked kind of cool that way so I shellacked right over it. It made a smooth surface and was a functional machine once everything was cleaned up.

https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...r-t256543.html Here is the crusty old think I just shellacked. And you can’t tell much. It’s the first pic.

Last edited by miriam; 04-07-2019 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:29 PM
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What a shame that they didn't store the machine properly. Miriam gave some good advice. The machine will not look original but it will be functional.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:58 AM
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Default Cleaning cast iron patch on vintage Singer

Originally Posted by miriam View Post
Glenn had a neat tutorial on fixing the finish and it wonít exactly work in your case. The oil wonít help your cause at all. https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...s-t193635.html You will have to real add of this to find where he talks about machine with flaked off japanning. I donít think Glen supports the tutorial these days. I believe he uses something to cover the bare spots. That machine will never be restored enough to be in original condition. You might consider painting. I had one that was so bad I just scraped most of it off. It looked kind of cool that way so I shellacked right over it. It made a smooth surface and was a functional machine once everything was cleaned up.

https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...r-t256543.html Here is the crusty old think I just shellacked. And you canít tell much. Itís the first pic.
Thank you for your advice. If I can't restore, then I would like to preserve what is remaining of the original Singer design, such as it is. First, I would take a soft tooth brush and get the flaking off as long as it is raised up. When you shellacked the one you pictured, I am thinking you must have cleaned the surface before applying shellac. I really need to clean off the outside grime. If that is correct, did you use sewing machine oil over the remaining black paint and the bare cast iron spots? Will shellac stick to bare cast iron that has been gone over with sew machine oil? How did you apply the shellac? This machine was a rescue, and was stuck when acquired. Got it unstuck and it runs smoothly and freely now. I have not threaded it yet and tried that way. Has 2 drawer cabinet with some fixable delamination and water rings on top sides of cabinet. Treadle is in great shape except for minimal flaking that evaporust will address. Ran the serial number - 1917 was tumultuous year with WWI and Russian revolution raging. 100 years - still it's tattered glory and fine machining shine through it's mistreatment. Even today, machines like this are providing income and supporting families in some countries. Will appreciate all advice.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:00 AM
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Thank you for your comments. Yes, if I can't restore, then I'll settle for preserving. Will appreciate all advice on that course of action.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:19 AM
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Random thoughts: My machine was all there, just in rough shape. Yes I scraped off all loose pieces of paint and rust. There are lots of ways to clean off rust. Maybe I used a wire brush. Maybe some evap-o-rust. Cleaned it with naphtha... I can’t remember what all I did, but no oil. I think I just applied thinned shellac with a rag on my finger. It stuck. The metal was pitted and rough but the shellac filled it in. Shellac is easy to remove if you don’t like the look. Do not use shellac on areas that are moving or will have friction. Some times the worst beat up machines sew the best. Yes look for burrs and bits of rust anywhere along the thread path. If it is shiny metal gone rusty some times I use bike chain oil to remove the rust and then I clean that off. When a machine I have around is so bad it can’t sew some times there are still good parts. Some times I get a machine with too many parts missing. I have combined parts off one on to another to make the better machine run. Some people think you should restore all old machines. It is sure fun to try. If it has too many pieces missing where do those parts you need come from? I do have lots of parts and lots of junk machines.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:29 AM
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Looking at your machine, it can be hard to tell the difference between rust and dried up old oil from here. The rust will be gritty and the dried oil will have some gum feel to it. I would try to clean off oil on that machine with naphtha or denatured alcohol. If it is rust, get some evap-o-rust or vinegar and remove what bits you can and soak in that. Either one is good to have on hand. You do not want to put evap-o-rust on the whole machine. You can never get it all out of the cracks and corners. Bike chain oil can be used but you will want to get it off with the alcohol. Then you will need a thin oil.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:21 AM
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This was my Mum's old machine. I followed Glenn's guidance on here, mentioned by Miriam and I was very pleased with the outcome. I scraped all flaking paint off, shellac and an aniline dye to colour for the base, and car polish to protect it.
img_0003.jpgimg_0003-1-.jpgimg_0472.jpgimg_0001.jpg
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:06 PM
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Wow!!! Again wow!

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 04-08-2019 at 12:37 PM. Reason: remove comments on moderation
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by miriam View Post
Wow!!! Again wow!
Thank you Miriam. When I look back at the photos I still have trouble believing I did that!
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