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Motor lubricant for my Singer 201-2

Motor lubricant for my Singer 201-2

Old 07-01-2019, 07:13 AM
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Default Motor lubricant for my Singer 201-2

My husband is working on cleaning up a Singer 201-2 that I got at auction. We are not sure what the proper product is to lubricate the bearings and gears in this potted motor. On-line sources seem full of confusion about the difference between oil and grease, and we want to be sure to use the right product.

Can anyone help clarify this for us?
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:22 AM
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Oil is fluid, it flows, runs and drips.
Grease is semi solid and stays put.

I have packed bearing before on my father's old car, grease is messy. So protect the surface your working on.

As for a certain brand of grease I am curious to know as well. As for the oil or lubricant, I use CPL in a pen, which is a little thicker than 3 in 1 oil, so a little goes a long ways.

https://www.amazon.com/Break-Free-CL...gateway&sr=8-2

Last edited by Chasing Hawk; 07-01-2019 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:35 AM
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What I meant by confusion online is how reviewing what came up as "Singer motor lubricant" products, the comments from buyers went back and forth between oil and grease and were nothing I could trust.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:42 AM
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Lee, it is more complicated than your question is. Motors themselves can take either sewing machine oil or a grease.
The gearboxes on 201s take a grease. I am not the person to give you guidance on greases.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by leonf View Post
Lee, it is more complicated than your question is. Motors themselves can take either sewing machine oil or a grease.
The gearboxes on 201s take a grease. I am not the person to give you guidance on greases.
Thank you for the clarification -- we'll figure this out with all the experienced people who read this forum.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:00 PM
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I just picked up a new (to me) Singer 201 sewing machine I had serviced by my Singer dealer. I was curious about the proper "grease" to use, so I asked the technician and he told me to use Tri-Flow. I found it on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Tri-Flow-TF23004-Clear-Synthetic-Grease/dp/B000C15MUU/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2NFMIUM0G4KC8&keywords=clear+synth etic+grease&qid=1562029021&s=gateway&sprefix=clear +syn%2Caps%2C171&sr=8-1

-Bonnie
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:55 PM
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Tri-Flow grease is good for gears, however it is not recommended for the grease wicks as it does not wick nor melt like the original Singer Motor Lubricant that was sold with these vintage machines. The formula has changed from what it was.

I'm sure that the grease that Nova and April sell should work if you want to go that route for the wicks. Fortunately, I have some of the vintage tubes for the wicks, but I would not hesitate to use Petroleum Jelly.

I have been reading and researching about vintage and antique machines for several years and the consensus is that Petroleum Jelly is the modern day replacement for the vintage machines grease wicks lubricant.

A couple of web pages that I have found regarding this are https://archaicarcane.com/love-becom...ewing-machine/ and https://archaicarcane.com/greased-li...ube-in-canada/

I understand Lee's confusion. I am still not convinced one way or another about Tri-Flow grease - or for that matter - any grease for use on metal to non-metal gears.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-02-2019 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Not affiliated with off-site links
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:01 AM
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I would recommend Nova Montgomery's website. She sells a motor lubricant that she and a chemist developed. She usually works with featherweights but you could ask if this would be appropriate for your machine. She is super knowledgeable and I would trust her opinion.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:57 AM
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I recently picked up and old Singer (1947 year). With the attachments was a tube of lubricant for the motor.I don't think the tube had been opened. So I decided to give it a try. Of course I checked it out for consistency and smell before anything else. It seemed ok so into the motor it went. The machine motor, even after several hours of use ran perfect, no lingering odors or grinding smells or noises. Of course I am hanging onto this tube of greasy lubricant. It also came with a small can of oil. It too seemed to be in good shape and so I used it too. Take the technician's advise and use the lubricant he suggested. You should be fine I would think.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:30 AM
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A Singer 201-2 and a 15-91 have a potted motor (there is no belt). At the bottom of the motor are two "grease pots" that wick lubricant to the motor (they literally have cotton wicks in there). When the motor gets warm, the grease melts a little and passes through the wicks to the motor. For this particular application, Petroleum Jelly is generally used.

A Featherweight or other Singer machines may use some other lubricants, such as those developed by the Featherweight people. I don't have know about those applications. It is not the same application as the one for the 201-2 and 15-91. I don't believe they actually recommend their product for the potted motors.

But, of course, it's your machine and you can do whatever you think is best.

bkay
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