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Thread: Cleaning and repairing the Shellac clear coat on Vintage sewing machine heads

  1. #326
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    1st, welcome to the Board!!!
    2nd, Welcome from a fellow Californian!

    I am a person who only collects machines from the 19th century and I would strongly suggest that for the painted parts you only use sewing machine oil for cleaning that one. It looks to be in very nice shape and would probably shine right up.

    Glenn's cleaning solution would work very well on the wooden parts.

    congrats, those Singer 12's are great little sewing machines. (I have several variations)

    Also you can post the serial number from the stitch length adjustment plate (the larger of the two numbers) and we can tell you when it was made.

    or you can look it up yourself here
    http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_mach...l-numbers.html

  2. #327
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    1st, welcome to the Board!!!
    2nd, Welcome from a fellow Californian!

    I am a person who only collects machines from the 19th century and I would strongly suggest that for the painted parts you only use sewing machine oil for cleaning that one. It looks to be in very nice shape and would probably shine right up.

    Glenn's cleaning solution would work very well on the wooden parts.

    congrats, those Singer 12's are great little sewing machines. (I have several variations)

    Also you can post the serial number from the stitch length adjustment plate (the larger of the two numbers) and we can tell you when it was made.

    or you can look it up yourself here
    http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_mach...l-numbers.html
    SteveH, thanks for the welcome! I just looked up the serial number (1775033), so she seems to be from 1884. In looking for the number I needed to use a flashlight (that plate is pretty grubby), which pointed up lots of scarring in the finish. And what looks like clear coat in some places and flaked/worn away in others. Do these machines have shellac?

  3. #328
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    whoops, that was 1874 on the Singer 12!

  4. #329
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn is taking it easy a couple days
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  5. #330
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellpea View Post
    SteveH, thanks for the welcome! I just looked up the serial number (1775033), so she seems to be from 1884. In looking for the number I needed to use a flashlight (that plate is pretty grubby), which pointed up lots of scarring in the finish. And what looks like clear coat in some places and flaked/worn away in others. Do these machines have shellac?
    Yes it is Shellac. and 1874 is a REALLY nice early one. I am surprised that it would have that design set that early...

  6. #331
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Glenn is taking it easy a couple days
    I hope all is OK....

  7. #332
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    All is okay here, just having cataract surgery this week and next. My WW box also has the reversed N. It is so nice to see well again. Ellpea I would use only sewing machine oil on the cleaning of the head and as Steve said polish the metal with Brasso and Fine steel wool. You decals on the 12 are in good shape and sewing machine oil is all you will need.
    Last edited by Glenn; 12-11-2014 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Add info
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  8. #333
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    All is okay here, just having cataract surgery this week and next.
    I wish you the very best of luck with your surgeries.

    I work for a company that makes retinal surgery tools as our primary product, but we are also make cataract cutters. This week I am part of a group here helping with some of the R&D testing of a completely new design for Cataract cutters.. In the process I get to do "actual" surgeries on pig eyes to test the tool!

  9. #334
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    That sounds like one of those “in a pig’s eye” stories to me....

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
    ThayerRags Fabric Center
    http://thayerrags.com/

  10. #335
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThayerRags View Post
    That sounds like one of those “in a pig’s eye” stories to me....
    CD in Oklahoma
    Ouch... lol I can provide video's if needed. (we do most of the work looking/filming through a microscope)

  11. #336
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    I was hoping that you got the humor in my little "play on words" there. Video won't be necessary, but I do think it's neat that you get to do that as part of your job.

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
    ThayerRags Fabric Center
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  12. #337
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    yep. I think they figure if an IT dude can make it work then anyone can...

    I didn't figure folks would actually want to see them. ( i would never post them in a public forum anyway, they can be "uncomfortable" form ost folks to watch) I took a few home and my DD's decided that "we will listen to your warnings about the graphic nature in the future" lol

  13. #338
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    That is really cool, eye surgery on a pigs eye. The right eye is done and it is amazing how well I see with it. I really did not know how dark it was getting until this new implant. The lights are on and it is great. I was cleaning on a machine before the surgery and now I see I will have to go back over it. I missed a lot of grud. LOL I can now see all my wrinkles this part I did not miss... Can't wait to get the left eye done.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  14. #339
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    That is awesome!! So glad to hear. I started wearing glasses when I was 10 and the first thing I apparently said when I put them on and looked at my mom was "mom, your face isn't smooth..." LOL

    I had laser correction about 12 years ago and it is starting to get to the point where i should consider a "tune-up" myself.

    Good luck and I hope your next procedure goes as well or better than the first!

  15. #340
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    All is okay here, just having cataract surgery this week and next. My WW box also has the reversed N. It is so nice to see well again. Ellpea I would use only sewing machine oil on the cleaning of the head and as Steve said polish the metal with Brasso and Fine steel wool. You decals on the 12 are in good shape and sewing machine oil is all you will need.
    Glenn, thanks for your advice, and good luck with your other "ocular upgrade"! I'm enjoying all of your wonderful advice here, and am working up to restoring the base of the little 12, as soon as I get another machine whipped into shape (that smoke-stained, grubby Singer 319). I think I'll be lurking here a lot!

    Best, "Ellpea" (Pamela)

  16. #341
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    Yes it is Shellac. and 1874 is a REALLY nice early one. I am surprised that it would have that design set that early...
    SteveH, the seller said it had been in her family since 1913. It originally had a treadle stand also, but that was lost in a fire (along with any accessories). This was in its bentwood case, so she managed to get out with it. It had been on CL in Southern Oregon for two months, so I was surprised to discover it was still available. It was worth a six hour round trip to get her... made more interesting by driving over to Medford for a 319. All in all an 11 hour day, bless the DH for driving me!

  17. #342
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Ellpea I would use only sewing machine oil on the cleaning of the head and as Steve said polish the metal with Brasso and Fine steel wool. You decals on the 12 are in good shape and sewing machine oil is all you will need.
    Glenn, I forgot to ask you. This has a bentwood top that needs to be cleaned and restored. I want to use your wonderful technique to do this... do you have any advice about the decal on that? Some of it is gone, but I'd like to preserve the rest. Any advice is appreciated!

  18. #343
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Ellpea,

    That is so cool!!! I am very familiar with road trips for machines. My record so far is a 36 hour round trip form the SF bay area to Walla Walla for an 1862 Grover & Baker (they were willing to ship...shuddder)

    FYI - a dealer on the ebay is selling very nice reproductions of those round top decals. so, in the worst case scenario you could remove and replace.

  19. #344
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Pamela, Use my solution #! to clean the top, make any repairs if needed. Don't clean the decal or you may loose it. Carefully clean around it. You order a new decal if needed. Shine up the metal parts and then give the wood a coat of paste wax. Do the base the same. And Thank you so far so good on the eyes

    Oh thanks Steve. I had the laser correction and have not worn glasses for years now. I will have to get some reading glasses this time. The Dr's can do lots of things but they can't fix old age LOL
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  20. #345
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Road trips for machines

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    I am very familiar with road trips for machines. My record so far is a 36 hour round trip form the SF bay area to Walla Walla for an 1862 Grover & Baker
    I wonder what the record is on this board.. who drove the most miles to get a machine? I'm sure SteveH has me beat with the Walla Walla round trip... anyone else?

  21. #346
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Now at the stage I spray the internal and underneath parts with Plast Buster...
    Is this stuff really named "Plast Buster"? I can't find anything online that looks like that...

  22. #347
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Wal mart or auto zone has it. Easy to get. PB is on the sray can. It is in the auto department in WalMart.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  23. #348
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Use my tutorial on cleaning and reviving sewing machine cabinets first.
    Skip
    Glenn, I thought this tutorial was in a sticky in the VSM menu, but now I can't find it. I know I've read it, I've even recommended it to people on the VSM Facebook group! Where, oh where?

  24. #349
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellpea View Post
    Is this stuff really named "Plast Buster"? I can't find anything online that looks like that...
    If it is the stuff I use it is called "PB Blaster"

  25. #350
    Junior Member Ellpea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    If it is the stuff I use it is called "PB Blaster"
    This is the one item on Glenn's list of necessities on which the label can't quite be discerned.

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