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Thread: Panicking about FW finish... HELP!

  1. #1
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    Panicking about FW finish... HELP!

    Alright, so I decided to give my baby a thorough cleaning after replacing her felt oil drip pad (YUCK!). I got my usual dish soap, put a teeny bit on a wet paper towel, then wiped her down. When I wiped it off, there was a cloudy looking residue left behind. Panicking, I scrubbed at it more with the wet paper towel, then the dry. It began to wear off in little patches; it looks brown on the dry paper towel, and I can scrape it off with a finger nail. The finish seems to look fine underneath.

    Have I completely ruined the machine's finish? Luckily this happened on the backside of the arm, so I won't see it all the time, but if it's something I need to clean off the poor thing I'd like to do that as soon as possible. Hope someone has had this happen to them!

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you are just washing the dirt and grime of 50 or so years off. Mine was the same way. After a couple of rounds with waterless handsoap I wiped it all down with a wet cloth, dried it and waxed it. Looks far better than it did with the grime on it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Brynn...in the event that it's the clear coat that is coming off, stop using anything other than sewing machine oil to clean your baby!! If the clear coat is gone, waterless hand cleaner will remove the decals!!

    Put a heavy coat of oil on the machine and let it sit a day or two, then rub it off with cotton balls, or pieces of cotton batting, or even a cut up cotton t-shirt. As soon as one piece gets dirty, toss it and get a clean one. It might take more than one application of oil to remove the gunk, but you're safer doing it that way!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    Brynn...in the event that it's the clear coat that is coming off, stop using anything other than sewing machine oil to clean your baby!! If the clear coat is gone, waterless hand cleaner will remove the decals!!

    Put a heavy coat of oil on the machine and let it sit a day or two, then rub it off with cotton balls, or pieces of cotton batting, or even a cut up cotton t-shirt. As soon as one piece gets dirty, toss it and get a clean one. It might take more than one application of oil to remove the gunk, but you're safer doing it that way!
    Thanks for the great advice, Charlee! I haven't tried to do anything on my vintage machines, partly because I worry about things like this happening.

  5. #5
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Laura pointed out this morning on the Vintage thread that it's really important to toss those cotton balls or pads as soon as they show dirty...otherwise you're scrubbing the machine with dirt...and that's gonna scratch!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I have one that did the same thing - no finish left on it - I am holding off on the oil - I don't want to have to get that off too. I want to see what Glenn comes up with for a French polishing type finish - he says he will do a tutorial sometime soon - meanwhile my cleaned up little FW is waiting.
    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
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    Hubby finished one that we recently purchased that had that awlful cloudy finish and after he was done - several coats later - it looks absolutely beautiful. He rebuilds and finishes cars and makes the wood enclosures for (grandfather) clocks.

    He used (Dupont) Extra Fine Lacquer Polishing Compound White, first - it may still look dull when you take it off, but it takes any imprefections out. Then he put Liquid Glass car polishing wax over that. Both of these are sold at Car supply places like Pep Boys. (PS - The liquid glass is fantastic for bathroom mirrors too, and it can also be bought from a place like Ace hardware, etc.). Now my new baby looks like she was just made - absolutely shiny and beautiful.


    Karen
    Quote Originally Posted by Brynn View Post
    Alright, so I decided to give my baby a thorough cleaning after replacing her felt oil drip pad (YUCK!). I got my usual dish soap, put a teeny bit on a wet paper towel, then wiped her down. When I wiped it off, there was a cloudy looking residue left behind. Panicking, I scrubbed at it more with the wet paper towel, then the dry. It began to wear off in little patches; it looks brown on the dry paper towel, and I can scrape it off with a finger nail. The finish seems to look fine underneath.

    Have I completely ruined the machine's finish? Luckily this happened on the backside of the arm, so I won't see it all the time, but if it's something I need to clean off the poor thing I'd like to do that as soon as possible. Hope someone has had this happen to them!

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karensue View Post
    Hubby finished one that we recently purchased that had that awlful cloudy finish and after he was done - several coats later - it looks absolutely beautiful. He rebuilds and finishes cars and makes the wood enclosures for (grandfather) clocks.

    He used (Dupont) Extra Fine Lacquer Polishing Compound White, first - it may still look dull when you take it off, but it takes any imprefections out. Then he put Liquid Glass car polishing wax over that. Both of these are sold at Car supply places like Pep Boys. (PS - The liquid glass is fantastic for bathroom mirrors too, and it can also be bought from a place like Ace hardware, etc.). Now my new baby looks like she was just made - absolutely shiny and beautiful.


    Karen
    What machine did he use this on? Could you show a picture?
    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
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    What machine did he use this on? Could you show a picture?
    Me too. I want to see the repolished sewing machine.
    Sweet Caroline

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    I am not good at taking photos but here goes. I put the machine infront of a window and on 2 of them you can actually see the reflection of the tree outside, which was about 15 feet away from window. But I loved the reflection on the machine from it. The machines are extremely shiny - just hard to take a photo of with the shine, in person the tree reflection is glossy.
    Hubby has cleaned/polished 2 of my featherweights, so far, this nice and clean. He wants to take the 3rd one completely apart and redo it basically from the ground up.
    Karen

    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Me too. I want to see the repolished sewing machine.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    Last edited by karensue; 03-25-2012 at 07:31 AM.

  11. #11
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    Gorgeous Karensue!...hope I can find that Liquid Glass in my neck of the woods!

    Joann

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I have another one waiting for Glenn's tutorial - it's a real old Singer 99 no lacquer left on it - I have seen Glenn's work and I am holding out - I think what he uses will hold up over time.
    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
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karensue View Post
    I am not good at taking photos but here goes. I put the machine infront of a window and on 2 of them you can actually see the reflection of the tree outside, which was about 15 feet away from window. But I loved the reflection on the machine from it. The machines are extremely shiny - just hard to take a photo of with the shine, in person the tree reflection is glossy.
    Hubby has cleaned/polished 2 of my featherweights, so far, this nice and clean. He wants to take the 3rd one completely apart and redo it basically from the ground up.
    Karen
    Oooooh! That is the shine I am wanting. Hug your DH for us. Going out tomorrow to hunt up the polish and liquid glass stuff he used.
    Sweet Caroline

  14. #14
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I have another one waiting for Glenn's tutorial - it's a real old Singer 99 no lacquer left on it - I have seen Glenn's work and I am holding out - I think what he uses will hold up over time.
    Me too, Miriam. Does he not know that we are anxiously awaiting that tutorial??? Think of all of our old girls that are waiting also.
    Sweet Caroline

  15. #15
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Me too, Miriam. Does he not know that we are anxiously awaiting that tutorial??? Think of all of our old girls that are waiting also.
    TAP TAP TAP - he said he was going fishing - he's been just hanging around the vintage sewing machine shop........
    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
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    Wow, they look just beautiful! Your husband is good.

  17. #17
    Senior Member AnnaF's Avatar
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    Wow that looks awesome!! He did a great job on restoring the finish. Will write down the names of the products he used to get it looking so good.
    thanks for sharing
    Anne Freeman
    Hermon ME

  18. #18
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    TAP TAP TAP - he said he was going fishing - he's been just hanging around the vintage sewing machine shop........
    FISHING, really FISHING???? OMG, sounds like my house. I bought DH a new reel a month ago and now he wants another one. Those things are spendy. I could buy at least six vintage sewing machines for the price of one of those reels. I asked him if a good piece of bamboo and a string would work just as well. Question was not received well. But he did say he needed a thing called a "down rigger". What the heck is that? Think Glenn would know? Hey Glenn, what is a down rigger and how much do they cost? If it is a lot then I will find room for a few more vintage sewing machines. Yeah!
    Sweet Caroline

  19. #19
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    karensue - that is a beautiful machine and your hubby did a fantastic job! I printed out your post about what he used and am thinking about trying to make my two babies look as pretty - mine definitely look like the poor relations compared to yours!

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Glenn has been baiting us down at the vintage sewing machine shop - he says he is going to do a tutorial after he gets back from fishing. Some people down at the vintage sewing machine shop are praying for rain. He also says why he is doing the French polishing rather than wax.
    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
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    Thanks for all the compliments. Just showed hubby them

    He said not to rub real hard with the polishing compound - dip a nice soft rag (cotton cloth) in water and ring it out, then dip the rag into rubbing compound and put the cream on machine (not rubbing hard), then take it off. It will look cloudy - then put the liquid glass on, let it dry (doesn't take long), use a nice soft cloth to take it off. You may have to coat it with liquid glass several times. He laughed - said he should do this for a business.

    It took a while to go thru the process, but our machines, like someone else stated earlier, had 50 years of "life" on them, and were extremely dull (even milkly looking) and some marks. Now they look like brand new.

    He bought 2 more last week (Wilcox & Gibbs- the curved one) and the 222 singer featherweight red "S" (free arm), whcih is suppose to be rare because of the the red "S" on Singer emblem. They are to arrive this week - hubby's really on a roll------

    KarenSue



    Quote Originally Posted by w7sue View Post
    karensue - that is a beautiful machine and your hubby did a fantastic job! I printed out your post about what he used and am thinking about trying to make my two babies look as pretty - mine definitely look like the poor relations compared to yours!

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