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Thread: Mud Dauber Nests Inside VSM Head

  1. #1
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    Question Mud Dauber Nests Inside VSM Head

    Months ago, my sister gave me a Simmons Velox treadle machine and table she had found inside their newly acquired rental home. I am getting around to cleaning it up now, but there appears to be some old mud dauber nests up inside the head. What is the safest way to clean those out without harm to the machine and mechanics inside? TIA!

  2. #2
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Are they still inhabited? If not perhaps a long screwdriver and a vacuum to get them out. If the occupants are still there, place the machine head in a plastic trash bag with some wasp killer sprayed on the bottom of the bag and seal it for a couple of days. Then use the screwdriver and vacuum. Use rubber gloves to clean if you went the bug spray route.
    Everyone is born right handed, only the gifted overcome it.
    I have already committed my felonies, so people don't have to worry. (Russell Means)
    I swear to you, I am guilty of only being Indian. That's why I am here. (Leonard Peltier)

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    No, no, no...They are loooooooooooooooooooong gone. Goodness me...I would freak out if they were still in there!!

    I'll try to the screwdriver and vacuum method. Is there anything that could be safely sprayed or applied up inside that wouldn't harm the mechanics? I'm sure there will be dirt residue left.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chasing Hawk View Post
    Are they still inhabited? If not perhaps a long screwdriver and a vacuum to get them out. If the occupants are still there, place the machine head in a plastic trash bag with some wasp killer sprayed on the bottom of the bag and seal it for a couple of days. Then use the screwdriver and vacuum. Use rubber gloves to clean if you went the bug spray route.

  4. #4
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Not sure about anything that could be sprayed up there. My thinking anything like WD-40 or Bose Shield would leave a residue or just allow the remaining dirt to go onto the gears. A well lit area would be helpful. You could ry making a long q-tip with a chop stick and a cotton ball taped on the end with a solvent to clean the dusty remains up.
    Everyone is born right handed, only the gifted overcome it.
    I have already committed my felonies, so people don't have to worry. (Russell Means)
    I swear to you, I am guilty of only being Indian. That's why I am here. (Leonard Peltier)

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    It almost seems to me like you're going to have to wash them out with something. Those nests are really stuck in most cases. If you just poke up in there with something and vacuum, you're going to leave a lot of dirt still stuck in there. If you use water, then you have to be vigilant on getting the all water out and preventing rust. I wonder if kerosene would dissolve the nests? It would take a lot of kerosene to wash it repeatedly, which it will probably require.

    Hmmmm....Good question.

    Maybe someone else has a good idea.

    bkay

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    I just wanted to say that the nests you see might just be the tip of the iceberg. I saw nests under the pillar of one of my machines. I took an ice pick to it. Worked a long time. pulled off the inspection late at the top of the pillar and I couldn't see any machine parts, just dried mud. Taking the faceplate off gave me the same view. I haven't resorted to soaking yet, but I am about ready to give it a bath in used motor oil since I have some kicking around. I can finally get rotating parts moving, but not with any free spinning. I used the ice pick, a long skinny screwdriver and a punch. Chop sticks would have just splintered in my challenge. best wishes.

  7. #7
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    After you remove the nest maybe you could use some canned air to spray up there to get rid of a lot of the dirt.

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    Great suggestions! I took the faceplate off, but it looks clear inside that area. I like the canned air idea. The residue still worries me, though. ��

  9. #9
    Senior Member OurWorkbench's Avatar
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    You might check out https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...ml#post4767045
    purplefiend had a small one in the back of her 115 and Bennett evidently has had experience in that respect. I was thinking a metal spiral brush, but I don't think I've seen any in a size that would do any good. The metal brushes I have probably wouldn't get very far in the pillar. Bennett's suggestion was a bottle brush.

    We like pictures. Good luck. Sounds like a neat machine worth saving.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by OurWorkbench View Post
    .

    We like pictures. Good luck. Sounds like a neat machine worth saving.
    I will get some good pics and get some posted. It really is a nice machine cosmetically speaking. I oiled it yesterday when I took the faceplate off. We'll see how she turns later today.

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    I'm not familiar with mud daubers, but a test tube brush or pipet brush might work. Pipet brushes in particular have long handles and narrow ends - good for getting into tight spots. I assume you can buy them online.

  12. #12
    Senior Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    I think I'd use an air compressor and chisel with a flat screwdriver. And if you've got to get it wet, the air compressor can dry it out pretty slick.

    Good luck to you!
    Annette in Utah

  13. #13
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OurWorkbench View Post
    You might check out https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintag...ml#post4767045
    purplefiend had a small one in the back of her 115 and Bennett evidently has had experience in that respect. I was thinking a metal spiral brush, but I don't think I've seen any in a size that would do any good. The metal brushes I have probably wouldn't get very far in the pillar. Bennett's suggestion was a bottle brush.

    We like pictures. Good luck. Sounds like a neat machine worth saving.

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

    Hi JediMom,
    The mud dauber nests that were in the pillar of my Singer 115 were removed with a chop stick and bamboo skewers. I didn't use anything metal for fear of nicking the insides of the machine. It took a while to get them out, once I knocked them loose it came out fairly easily. I used lots of sewing machine oil and patience.
    Between my son and I, we spent nearly 4 months getting the machine unstuck and the rust removed. He works on antique cars; so he has a lot of knowledge that works on antique sewing machines also. He used fine sand paper and wet sanded (with oil) the hand wheel, followed by sewing machine oil with steel wool.
    The machine runs beautifully and is very quiet.
    Sharon in Texas
    Last edited by purplefiend; 06-17-2017 at 12:28 PM.

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