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Thread: LLOOOONNNNGGGG over due before and after Singer Redeye make over

  1. #1
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    LLOOOONNNNGGGG over due before and after Singer Redeye make over

    This fall, Glenn and his wife Pat came up to Indianapolis, camped in the yard, they helped me move my shop and we played in the shop quite a bit. We re-did a Singer 66 redeye one day. It is still not done but looking better. It is my bad that it kind of got pushed aside for other things since they have gone on home. I know I promised I would post some pics and a bit of info how Glenn did this.
    I hope I can do it without losing pictures into cyberspace.

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    NAPTHA - A cleaning solvent - evaporates quickly

    SHELLAC - one of the oldest clear finish - one of the more forgiving finishes to work with, but it has it's quirks. Comes in "orange" and "clear" The color difference would be more critical over a light-colored wood, less over black. Use clear if available, orange if it's all you can find.
    DENATURED ALCOHOL - The solvent used to make shellac. It doesn't Matter how old it is. Shellac will always dissolve in alcohol - any kind of alcohol. That's why this procedure works.

    BOILED LINSEED OIL (MUST be "boiled" not "raw' - Raw will not work for this)
    This acts as a lubricant, cleaner, and adds some solids to the finish

    RAGS - soft cotton - t-shirt fabric works well - no lint on the fabric


    This technique has some uses, but also some limitations. First, it only works on the old-style black sewing machines, and maybe not on all of them. The early sewing machines, up into about 1950 or so, were painted with a black paint, then the decals added, then shellac as a protective coating.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    1) So how to tell if a machine is a candidate for this? If it is any color other than black, it isn't. If it is black, dampen a rag or Qtip with a little bit of denatured alcohol and dab it somewhere that won't show, such as on the back under the motor mounting; if the finish softens, it's shellac and could benefit.
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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. #3
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    2) This can improve the finish on some machines. It is not a total refinish, more of a repair. If the machine is already in beautiful condition, as if never used, don't bother. It is good for some of the small defects--alligatoring or cracking in the finish, some white spots from moisture (shellac is prone to that), dullness, wearing thin, small spots without shellac.

    3) The decals: French polishing does nothing to restore decals, and for most of the process you want to stay away from them, because the alcohol can damage them. Once done, it will protect what is left of the decals.

    4) It will not do anything for the paint itself. If there are small chips in the paint, you can get a Testors paint pen from a hobby shop and touch up with that first. If there are major areas of missing paint, that is a whole other problem, and something other than French polishing is needed.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    CAUTION

    You will be using flammable materials.
    Work with adequate ventilation.
    Avoid any open flame.
    Don't smoke.
    Don't burn candles.
    Stay away from a furnace or water heater than could ignite at any time.
    Put the used rags in a container of water or in a safe place outside when you are done - the rags are combustible under some conditions.
    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. #5
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    GETTING READY

    First, do all the cleaning inside the machine--the built up lint, thread bits, etc. Clean up dried oil on the works.
    Second, remove the plated parts: the end cap, balance wheel, slide plate and needle plate, and so on. These don't have a shellac finish, so getting shellac on them will not help. Take off the bobbin winder and belt cover, to get them out of the way.
    Then go over the machine lightly with a rag dampened (not soaked) with the naptha. This will remove dust and dirt. Some damaged spots in the finish may turn white in this step.

    Do any paint touchup needed with a Testors paint pen, as mentioned before. Let dry.
    Things to avoid: GoJo or other hand cleaners, kerosene, paint thinner, rubbing alcohol--these can damage the decals.

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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

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    DOING IT
    Now, wrap a small rag around your finger, dampen with alcohol, then add a little linseed oil. The alcohol alone will soften the finish and start sticking to it--the linseed oil helps prevent this, and lubricates. It also cleans. The rag will turn brown after a bit--shift to a different spot, and change rags when needed.
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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

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Yes Glenn kept loading the rag on his finger.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Put your finger down lightly and rub quickly but gently in a circular motion, and lift the rag off the surface before you stop. Keep away from the decals--concentrate on the black. (If the decals are in bad shape or gone, this matters less). Recharge the rag with alcohol and oil regularly. Turn the machine around to get to other areas. Rub quickly, but take plenty of time--this is a slow process. You can work a while, then go back to it later. Don't use too much alcohol, it is possible to remove all of the shellac, and you don't want to do that. For checked/alligatored areas, go heavier on the linseed oil. It will build up a shine, although some imperfections in the finish will still be visible. After a while you may develop a feel for how it's doing (another reason to start on a junker instead of a machine you care about). Keep going until you are satisfied with the looks, remembering this will produce a serviceable working machine, not necessarily a museum piece.
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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

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn went over and over and over that machine with that stuff on his rag.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    LAST STAGE

    Machine has been cleaned
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    Now, open the can of shellac. Dip a rag in shellac, then linseed oil, maybe more shellac.
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    Move quickly but gently in a circular motion, lifting at the end like before. But go over the whole machine, decals and all. This will add shellac to the surface and give some protection to the decals. Go over the whole machine 3 or 4 times (you can leave it for a while and come back later if needed).
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  11. #11
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn went over and over and over that machine. We gave it some time out. It can be gone over again.
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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

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Sometimes shellac will turn brown with age. This is caused by dirt getting into the surface of the finish (and a lot of why the rag turns brown in the initial steps). You can get black aniline dye from a woodworking supply house and mix it with the shellac to turn it black before applying it. Make sure you order alcohol-soluble dye--some of them are made to mix with water, and water is bad for shellac.

    The rusted metal parts were put in a soak of Evap - o - rust over night. Then they were cleaned up with a wire brush. A Dremmel tool is handy. Be careful to keep your hair and loose clothing out of the way.
    At any rate Here is an almost finished machine:
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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

  13. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    oops I should have put up another picture:
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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

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn is a true expert at this technique. He sure did turn this machine around didn't he. He has some tutorials on QB:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...s-t193635.html
    The above information was written in large part by my husband Phil who also knows a lot about refinishing. I mostly watched and shot pictures. Glenn hard at work:
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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

  15. #15
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I polished up the metal bits and re-assembled the machine for the most part. It is amazing how much that machine was transformed. Oh and yes, I took the tension apart, photos as I went and re-assembled.
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    Info how to do the tension: http://www.tfsr.org/publications/tec...achine_manual/
    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. #16
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn also repaired a big boo boo on another machine.
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    He used the same method as above - he went over and over and over the spot gently softening the mess and re-distributing it to make it look very nice
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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

  17. #17
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I think it came out very well:
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    Attached Images Attached Images
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  18. #18
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    um those were not the right pictures and it won't delete. sigh.
    At any rate he kept working and working that little area until it looked a whole bunch better.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  19. #19
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    As far as time goes, Glenn knew what he was doing so it took a relatively short amount of time for each step - he was working quickly but he was very sure of what he was doing. But time does go quickly when you are having fun. Glenn also recommended putting the chemicals in smaller containers when you are working. I'm sure he will correct anything I've put up here that is incorrect.
    Last edited by miriam; 11-30-2013 at 03:00 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    before and after
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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

  21. #21
    Junior Member Lew Schiller's Avatar
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    Thanks for the well documented step by step!
    It came out looking great :-)

  22. #22
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Miriam and Phil you did a great job putting all this together. It came out better than my tutorial.
    Skip
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  23. #23
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Now I have to try it on my own on some old piece of junk around here... Phil does have a way with words. It took some photo searching to find the right pictures to go along with what he wrote. Phil watched and listened to Glenn and took copious amounts of notes as he worked. I just shot pictures. I'm thinking Pat made supper for us all - she does that very well.

    I think the hard part for me is getting the rag with the finger in the right chemicals and not making a sticky mess.
    One of the big factors is you don't want to work too long on one spot at one time you want to move on and go back over it. Nothing gets done instantly. Then it is nice to know when to quit. You can always go back over it later. This is something you will learn by doing.

    We probably should have called it First Aid For Sewing Machine Finish.
    Last edited by miriam; 11-30-2013 at 06:20 AM.
    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. #24
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    That is a good refresher course to Glen's tutorial. Kudos
    Sweet Caroline

  25. #25
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Yup. Thanks to Glenn, it's how I renewed my Sew Handy:>

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