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Thread: Cleaning and repairing the shellac clear coat on vintage sewing mcahines

  1. #26
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    very good tute, thanks!
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

  2. #27
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Ok I shot a pic of my Vindex Special all put back and I shot the FW after the Skipper Glenn treatment
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  3. #28
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Phil you did a great job on these two machines Pat your self on the back.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  4. #29
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Phil you did a great job on these two machines Pat your self on the back.
    I am not as happy with the FW as the Vindex Special. I think he got in a hurry... Don't tell him I told the whole world. Oh well, there are 9 or 10 more that need it... maybe Phil will get good at it.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  5. #30
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    Thanks for all the hints about the shellac, but I am wondering has anyone ever use polyurethan on the cabinets?

  6. #31
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    When did machines change from shellac to enamel? Are all black machines the japaned finish? I wouldn't think so.

  7. #32
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dianna77984 View Post
    Thanks for all the hints about the shellac, but I am wondering has anyone ever use polyurethan on the cabinets?
    You can use poly but all the shellac must be stripped off first or the poly will not stick good and will flake off. I recommend you stick with shellac since that is the original fisnish. The Water base poly will give a plastic look and will not have that amber glow of old furniture. You can use oil based poly but it will take days to dry and will collect dust will drying. Shellac will dry tack free in about 30 min or less.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  8. #33
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Ok....so here's my Singer 201-2...before and after:

    These are the "before" pics...

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    And after....still not perfect, but MUCH better, and at least the decals are protected!

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    Thanks Skip!!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  9. #34
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    When did machines change from shellac to enamel? Are all black machines the japaned finish? I wouldn't think so.
    A rule of thumb is if the machine is black with decals it is japan with a clear coat of shellac to protect the decal. The newer machine that are green, brown, tan, white. pink or multicolor are baked enamel and will have no shellac on them. So if you have a machine with decals the clear coat is shellac. I will have to do some research to find the cut off dates of japan vs enamel. This is a very good question.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  10. #35
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    Ok....so here's my Singer 201-2...before and after:

    These are the "before" pics..

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    And after....still not perfect, but MUCH better, and at least the decals are protected!

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    Thanks Skip!!
    Charlee you did a great job and the machine looks much better. Keep practicing this tech and you will be amazed at what can be done with these old ladies. Pat yourself on the back. Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  11. #36
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    A rule of thumb is if the machine is black with decals it is japan with a clear coat of shellac to protect the decal. The newer machine that are green, brown, tan, white. pink or multicolor are baked enamel and will have no shellac on them. So if you have a machine with decals the clear coat is shellac. I will have to do some research to find the cut off dates of japan vs enamel. This is a very good question.
    Very interesting info. Thanks.

    Charlee, your machine looks wonderful!

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

    http://sewextremeseams.blogspot.com/

  12. #37
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    Thanks for the tip. I'm going to write it in my 'everything' notebook.

  13. #38
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    We have a 1925 Singer with wood case intact. But the wiring in bad shape. Can a person get into the motor to put in new wire or do we need a specialist. Also we have a treadle with blond table. The table looks like either someone tried to sand it a little at one time or finish is worn. We wondered about a light sanding with super fine sand paper, but what would you recommend we use for finish?
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  14. #39
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    Can I save this thread somehow so I can find it when I need it?
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  15. #40
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    We have a 1925 Singer with wood case intact. But the wiring in bad shape. Can a person get into the motor to put in new wire or do we need a specialist. Also we have a treadle with blond table. The table looks like either someone tried to sand it a little at one time or finish is worn. We wondered about a light sanding with super fine sand paper, but what would you recommend we use for finish?
    Joe and I are going to be doing a tutorial on that pretty soon. I have a ton of machines to do - he says he is coming over to Indianapolis from Illinois and we are going to document what we do. Rain has information on his blog - good information. You can also join his blog as a follower and he will send email when he posts - I love his work. http://vssmb.blogspot.com/ dig around - he has done a LOT!!! He visits QB once in a while - I wish he would come to the vintage sewing machine shop and chatter with the crazy people there.... I mean the really nice people who also work on sewing machines. Myself included.
    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. #41
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    Can I save this thread somehow so I can find it when I need it?
    You can make a "blog" on your profile and save it on 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

  17. #42
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    If it's a machine I'll use, as opposed to one sitting all purty in a collection, I use a high-grade furniture wax instead of shellac or poly. The wax gives it the beautiful finish you want, but it won't show the scratches from pins, etc like it will on shellac or poly. Here's a photo of a 15-91 I restored last month.

    I only restored the top, I left the sides alone. I used denatured alcohol to dissolve the old shellac and once it was dissolved I spread it thinly and let dry. And then I used Briwax in the Mahogany tinted version, and voila! It's beautiful again.

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    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  18. #43
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    Some of the veneer on my Singer treadle leaf is missing and loose. Can I use wood glue to stick down the loose pieces and do I fill the missing pieces or just leave them?

  19. #44
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Christine. I use Briwax all the time. It is a wonderful protuct. Nice job on the cabinet.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  20. #45
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    We have a 1925 Singer with wood case intact. But the wiring in bad shape. Can a person get into the motor to put in new wire or do we need a specialist. Also we have a treadle with blond table. The table looks like either someone tried to sand it a little at one time or finish is worn. We wondered about a light sanding with super fine sand paper, but what would you recommend we use for finish?
    Sorry I don't do wiring but can tell you about the cabinet. Sand it the blonde cabinet with 220 grit sandpaper until smooth and vacuum all the dust off. Since it is a blonde finish this is one of the very few times I would recommend water base poly, you choice as to gloss or semi-gloss. This water based poly will not add any color to the blonde finish. If you use shellac or oil based poly it will give the blonde finish an amber glow which would not be typical for this type of finish. You could use clear lacquer but it is to difficult to use for the diy person. Hope this helps Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  21. #46
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Some of the veneer on my Singer treadle leaf is missing and loose. Can I use wood glue to stick down the loose pieces and do I fill the missing pieces or just leave them?
    Use a toothpick to spread the glue as far under the veneer as you can. Then place a ruler or a thin board on top of the veneer. Use clamps to hold down the ruler or board and let dry over night. Clamped this way, the veneer should dry flat and no one will know it was ever a problem.

    If the glue might squeeze up through cracks in the veneer you'll want to put something between the veneer and the ruler/board so they don't stick together.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  22. #47
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    We have a 1925 Singer with wood case intact. But the wiring in bad shape. Can a person get into the motor to put in new wire or do we need a specialist?
    I don't recommend re-wiring for the average person. Better to be safe than sorry! But I grew up working on a farm, know how to work on cars (if they were built in the 60s or 70s) and I've done wiring before many times, not just on sewing machines. I've rewired sewing machines, it's no trouble whatsoever if you're mechanically inclined and have some knowledge of wiring safely. But I never post on a public forum how to rewire a sewing machine, because if someone who's never done it before sees my instructions and tries it themselves.... they will most likely miss something and get hurt. And old, old machines may need soldering of some kind, and this is best left to someone who knows what they're doing. :~)
    Last edited by Christine-; 04-22-2012 at 10:06 AM.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  23. #48
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn, here is a candidate for a remake: Where will you start???
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    It is a tiny little thing. Here is the big sister behind - she is taller and longer:
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  24. #49
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine- View Post
    Use a toothpick to spread the glue as far under the veneer as you can. Then place a ruler or a thin board on top of the veneer. Use clamps to hold down the ruler or board and let dry over night. Clamped this way, the veneer should dry flat and no one will know it was ever a problem.

    If the glue might squeeze up through cracks in the veneer you'll want to put something between the veneer and the ruler/board so they don't stick together.
    I use waxed paper between the glued veneer and flat 3/4 piece of plywood so it will not stick. If glue is visible after the repair you have to scrape is off if you want it to take a stain and match the rest of the piece. Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  25. #50
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Glenn, thanks so much for all the good information! Now I need to get busy and put it to use.
    Quilt Mom

    Going through life one stitch at a time

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