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"electric" White Rotary no. 43-18476

"electric" White Rotary no. 43-18476

Old 04-03-2016, 05:03 AM
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Default "electric" White Rotary no. 43-18476

Hello, I'm new to this forum and am hoping some of you quilters in here can help me.

I have an electric White Rotary sewing machine (no.43-18476). This machine belonged to my mother. She had used it for over 20 yrs. It has been sitting in my storage room for just about as long now. I want to clean it up well but do not know how to start or what to NOT do during the cleaning process.

I would appreciate URLS and/or information about this machine as I've not been able to find it via a google search; and any experiences one has had with such a machine would be welcomed as well.

I'ld like to start making quilts with it but know nothing about this machine as to whether quilts could be made with it. (I'm also new to quilting.)
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:31 AM
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It's a nice machine. I only know No. 43 in general, not sure what the last digits stand for. Is it a crinkle finish, brown or charcoal sort of color? I googled and apparently it came in various colors and finishes.

Be careful with the finish, it can take a whipe with a microfiber cloth wringed up in mild soapy water. If it's a crinkle finish, be careful what type of polish you use. The resin type named "glaze" or "sealant" is fine, it polishes up nicely and doesn't leave any whitish residue in the crinkles.

The first thing you do is detect all the oil points, clean out bobbin case and feed dog area (lint, threads, etc) unscrew needle plate, take of the face plate, take a look under the base. When you turn the hand wheel, all joints, hinges, gears; moving parts where metal touches metal needs a drop or two of oil. I hope you have the manual, if not look for holes on top (they might need to be unclogged with a tooth pick if it's very dirty after all these years). Move levers up and down, run the machine a bit and repeat oiling. Let it seep in over night. If you use the machine the next few days, a bit of test sewing, running the machine now and then you will likely notice further oil and grime dissolving and comming to the surface. Whipe off best you can and keep giving all these points a drop of oil. It can take a bit of effort to get new fresh oil into the inner most nooks and carannies of gears and hinges, but usually withing the first week or so all old grime is flushed out and replaced with clean fresh oil. If it's fairly clean and well kept it will be easier.

Don't be afraid to play around with it, it's a very sturdy and solidly build machine. Bobbin tyre and pulley rubber often need to be replaced. Just be careful what you use to clean the finsish. Shiny parts can be polished with a good metal polish.

Last edited by Mickey2; 04-03-2016 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mickey2 View Post
<<snipped>>
Be careful with the finish, it can take a whipe with a microfiber cloth wringed up in mild soapy water. If it's a crinkle finish, be careful what type of polish you use. The resin type named "glaze" or "sealant" is fine, it polishes up nicely and doesn't leave any whitish residue in the crinkles.

The first thing you do is detect all the oil points, clean out bobbin case and feed dog area (lint, threads, etc) unscrew needle plate, take of the face plate,
DO NOT take off the face plate - I don't remember what all is involved but these machines are different and there is something that makes it difficult to get back together. I'm sure it can be done, but if it "ain't broke, don't fix it."

We have both the 41 (similar) and a 43 (later serial number than yours but had a guarantee paper dated 1955). I got a date for a model 11 by calling 800-446-2333. Singerco.com has some manuals for Whites, but for some reason I think they didn't have for the 43. When you call the number for a date, you might ask about a manual as well.

Unfortunately Macybaby's photos aren't there on the 41 thread anymore as she had some issues with Photobucket

As for cleaning the crinkle finish, sewing machine oil will work. John used Windex and had good results. (Test first in non-noticeable spot.) I cleaned a hand crank pinker some years ago, but don't remember exactly what I used to clean, but after getting the grime out (with toothbrush, I used something called "Color Back" I think a 3m or Turtle Wax product. It still looks good.

I think there are some other threads - on Quilting Board - about 43's. There is a good one about loading a bobbin but I can't find it right now. The one John did about the 41 is at http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...s-t264590.html
yobrosew posted a link to a youtube for threading a 43 http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...ml#post7182276

I'm not sure about FMQ with this machine. It will piece quite nicely.

It is nice that you have your mom's and are wanting to bring it back to usable condition. Good luck. If I find any additional useful info I will try to get back to you. I just wanted to warn about taking off the face plate.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:10 AM
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I forgot to add that the hand wheel goes clockwise while looking at the hand wheel - opposite to Singer's and most others.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:41 AM
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It looks nearly black in color.

Thank you both so much. The information (and URL) are appreciated. In fact I watched several videos found there.

I also searched thru my sewing box. Mother had placed all the items from this machine into my sewing box for safe keeping when it was initially stored. In here I found the original owner's manual and two red plastic boxes with the name "White" embedded in them. One box contained a "button holer" and the other box was full of small metal pieces. Ten of these look like a variety of pressure foots, 3 bobbins (one was in the bobbin holder...don't know if this bobbin holder is an extra one or one that was taken out of the machine just prior to storing), and several other small metal pieces shapped funny...Have no idea what these are.

The owner's manual stated the machine should be cleaned with "kerosene (coal oil)", that wiped off and then "machine oil" used. This is a bit disturbing to me because I heat my trailer with kerosene and know it is flammable. What would you clean with? (The videos I watched mentioned an oil on cotton yarn threads, Q-tips and a soft cotton cloth. It did not mention the name of the oil used nor did it mention using kerosene.)

Once I find out for sure what lubricant/cleaner to use, I'm going to see if I can get that machine out of the barn and into my house. It is a bit heavy; so not real sure I can. If not, I'll simply need to work with it out there. I do have electricity in that area; so rigging up some good lighting shouldn't be a problem. I cannot see real well; however, my son has a coin collection and has some various sized magnifying glass he wears on his head. I'm thinking I might be able to use those to successfully see what I'm doing. All this is a bit frightening as I've never had any...no not any...mechanical skills; so wish me luck. (I did find a couple of places in my area that works on sewing machines; however, I've not had time to talk with them as yet; and if I get a "vibe" they really wouldn't know what they were doing with a machine this old, I'ld probably be better off attempting the cleaning myself, which I'll do if I have to.)

Thanks again for helping. I'm glad I found this board.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:46 AM
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You don't need kerosene, but it used to be recommended as an efficient way to dissolve gummed up oil and grease. You can start with a thin spray can oil if there's lots of grime that needs to come off and you are impatent. That said, regular sewing machine oil will do exactly (!!) the same job, it just takes a bit longer. These days there are fancy oils, much the same stuff but with the improvement of teflon; I like Triflow and Finish Line Ceramic Wet Lube (bike shops and other places).

You need to get the machine on a table in a heated room. Isn't there anyone you can ask, or maybe you can get the machine on a small trolley or handcart? Don't worry about you skills, once you get your hands on the machine and read the manual it will all come to you. Before you hand it in some where you probably need to clean and oil it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by motdaugrnds View Post
In here I found the original owner's manual and two red plastic boxes with the name "White" embedded in them. One box contained a "button holer" and the other box was full of small metal pieces. Ten of these look like a variety of pressure foots, 3 bobbins (one was in the bobbin holder...don't know if this bobbin holder is an extra one or one that was taken out of the machine just prior to storing), and several other small metal pieces shapped funny...Have no idea what these are.
Your lucky you have the manual. If it is all there, it should have information about the various feet and what they do and how to use them. If there is something that isn't in the manual, you can post a picture and probably someone can identify and tell you what it is for. There were several items for sewing machines that weren't part of the original set up that could be used on the sewing machine, such as zigzaggers, embroidery attachments, darning attachments, cording feet, some sort of rug-maker fork and hemstitchers.

You don't have to use kerosene, like Mickey2 said, it is "an efficient way to dissolve gummed up oil." It does work if you put it in a small oil type bottle with a spout and just use a drop or two in the oiling spots and then run machine. Then oil again with regular sewing machine oil and run again. Cleaning with sewing machine oil will work. We have good luck with Tri-Flow Oil loosening up gummed oil and also oiling the machine. It is available at sew-classic, bike shops or some hardware stores.

Since this is a "direct drive" machine, they frequently have a flat spot on the rubber from sitting. You might want to check out https://sewwhatman.wordpress.com/201...-drive-wheels/ WHEN you get it going, or maybe do it now, you will want to move the motor and put something between the machine and the motor to prevent the rubber wheel from resting on the hand wheel. I have heard of lots of things to do it with. One person, I read, put a wooden spoon in between the motor and machine so that it would stick out to remind her to remove it before trying to sew with it. That probably wouldn't work when it is resting down in the cabinet. A wooden clothes pin or even a folded potholder would work just to prevent any further damage or if it gets replaced to prevent it from developing a flat spot while not in use.

Wise of you, when you said, "if I get a "vibe" they really wouldn't know what they were doing with a machine this old, I'ld probably be better off attempting the cleaning myself," The OSMG's (Old Sewing Machine Guy/Gal) are getting hard to find. (There are plenty in this and other forums that are willing to help as they have done their own, even though sewing machine repair hasn't been their 'day job' LOL)

We like pictures. I'm on dial-up and so if you can reduce them it helps me and I've noticed that even when I have access to hi-speed connections, the page loads faster when the pictures are 480x640. Also the really large pictures won't upload to the site.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:46 PM
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Thank you. I'm hoping, since this machine has been laying down inside its own cabinet all these years, the rubber has not flattened; however, I'll find out. If so, wouldn't this need to be replaced; and if this is so, where would I find one for this machine? (I'll take some pics as soon as I get it set up to work on.)
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:59 PM
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If it's not too bad you can sand the rubber pulley down by spinning the motor and holding a sanding paper next to it, at least as a temporary solution. It evens out the bump, takes of the hardened surface and it grips better again. The pulleys are available online at least; Sew Classic, ebay, perhaps your local repair shop have them. With an external motor like the 43 it's an easy replacement. It's all about identifying the correct fit or tweaking one for it to work. I hope you soon get it out of the barn and into your home ;- )

Last edited by Mickey2; 04-03-2016 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:43 AM
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I enjoyed reading this entire thread. Just acquired this white rotary model 43, can't reach Katie farmer who has dated them before for me, thought someone could help here. Guessing late 40s early 50s? Came in a cabinet. Top opens and a cable lift brings the machine up. Pretty snazzy. Machine"looks" beautiful, just very dusty.. well be tackling this very soon. Have noticed the wiring is fabric coated, some is deteriorating. Will have fun. Any pointers?
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