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-   -   Cleaning and repairing the Shellac clear coat on Vintage sewing machine heads (https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/cleaning-repairing-shellac-clear-coat-vintage-sewing-machine-heads-t193635.html)

Glenn 06-18-2015 05:56 PM

Well Steve I think you are the first. I have never used the solution on plastic. Learning something new is always good. What made you try this?

SteveH 06-19-2015 07:40 AM

I tried Armor-all and it just did not do anything other than remove dirt. the plastic looked dried out still. I remembered that your solution had oil and cleaners so I decided to try it on a small part (seat hinge cover) and it was amazing. I have since done all of the plastic on the 65 Vair and it is SO much better. I am going to try it tonight on the old seat belts... The folks on the corvair site were very interested, so I shared the formula (as per your previous OK) THANK YOU

Glenn 06-19-2015 11:40 AM

You are most welcome and I am restoring a 49 Chrysler Windsor coupe and will try it out.

ThayerRags 06-19-2015 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by Glenn (Post 7232007)
...I am restoring a 49 Chrysler Windsor coupe and will try it out.

Just curious. Is that pronounced "coop" or "coopay".....?

CD in Oklahoma

Glenn 06-19-2015 04:15 PM

:D:D coopay meaning it is short for costing me a lot to restore this thing.

HelenAnn 06-20-2015 03:29 PM


Originally Posted by Glenn (Post 7232007)
You are most welcome and I am restoring a 49 Chrysler Windsor coupe and will try it out.

I think I will try it on some 300 headlights. Thanks Steve for the idea.

msleepingbeauty00 06-23-2015 01:41 PM

Hi Glenn -- wondering if the evaporust is safe for the hand wheel to sit in? I didn't know if it would mess with the japanning at all? Thanks!

Glenn 06-23-2015 02:14 PM

The evaporust will damage the japanning on the Hand Wheel. It will soften it. What I do is set the HW on the edge in evaporust and rotate it every thirty minutes until the rust is gone. I put enough evaporust just to cover the chrome part and then start the rotation.

morganfam7 06-24-2015 03:42 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I'm new here, and I'm so glad to have found this tutorial! I'm trying to restore my husband's Grandmother's 1923 Singer 66 treadle head. I've soaked it with Mr. Wrench penetrating oil and wiped it off which helped a lot. I've soaked rusty parts in lamp oil because that was the closest thing to kerosene I could find. Then I was told about the Evaporust. I'll be looking for that and the other things in your tutorial. Do you like PB over Mr. Wrench? Should I get some of that or stay the course with Mr. Wrench? This machine is chipping paint. Do I try to get the chipped paint off somehow? Before I was pointed toward this tutorial, I thought of using Krud Kutter from Home Depot that is supposed to turn rusted metal to black after chemically reacting with the rust. I was a little afraid of it, and now I'm glad I waited. Here are before and then after I sprayed this old girl with Mr. Wrench. I think I'll name her Shorty after my husband's Grandmother. Do you think these decals will come out to play once I use your method?


[ATTACH=CONFIG]523291[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]523292[/ATTACH]

morganfam7 06-24-2015 03:50 AM

Other pics
 
2 Attachment(s)
[ATTACH=CONFIG]523293[/ATTACH]

I can't seem to get the other picture to load, but maybe you can see the cracking paint underneath the red eye near the take up lever for the presser foot. Thanks for any help you can give. This tutorial saved Shorty from Krud Kutter damage :)

Trying one last time to show the decals and pitting on the back...
[ATTACH=CONFIG]523294[/ATTACH]

miriam 06-24-2015 06:21 AM

I've cleaned up worse. Just read everything under Glenn's name you can find. Also don't expect your first experiment to be perfect. LOL - You will learn what chemicals to use and what not to use - hopefully not the hard way.

thepolyparrot 06-24-2015 10:58 AM

2 Attachment(s)
This 66 is almost done - another couple of coats of Briwax and I can put her back together.

I don't know how many coats of shellac are on it, but I never could get the swirls out of it. Probably because Texas is stinkin hot this time of year. I resorted to wet-sanding, 600 grit to 1500 grit. Then Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0 and clear Briwax.

Not too bad for a first attempt, and I've got three more in the works, now.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]523341[/ATTACH]

The front edge of this bed was in really sad shape - more chips than japanning left.

Cari-in-Oly 06-24-2015 11:44 AM

Beautiful! Nice work for a first time.

Cari

msleepingbeauty00 06-24-2015 11:49 AM

Perfect! Thanks so much!!

ArchaicArcane 06-24-2015 03:37 PM


Originally Posted by thepolyparrot (Post 7237177)
I don't know how many coats of shellac are on it, but I never could get the swirls out of it. Probably because Texas is stinkin hot this time of year. I resorted to wet-sanding, 600 grit to 1500 grit.

You did a great job!

Yep, I did the same thing. I got busy and haven't finished but I've wet sanded from about 600 to 2000 or 2500 too. I finally found BriWax here so I can wax when I get a chance to and remember both the machine and the wax at the same time. ;)

The swirls were not necessarily the heat. I have no heat problems here except in the summer and I did mine in the winter and early spring.

thepolyparrot 06-24-2015 08:42 PM

Ah, so it's my technique that's wanting. It was so pleasant to blame it on the heat, but I suspected it was my lack of practice! :D

I just bought another red eye, today, and the decals are in even better shape than the first, even though it's twenty years older. So now I have three 66 treadles - I'm thinking I might bolt a motor on this one at least long enough to grind and polish the plated part of the handwheel.

The Tiffany 27 is still being cleaned and the 15 needs many more coats of shellac; since it' s my main machine,
I want it protected and shiny. :)

ArchaicArcane 06-25-2015 07:36 AM


Originally Posted by thepolyparrot (Post 7237648)
Ah, so it's my technique that's wanting. It was so pleasant to blame it on the heat, but I suspected it was my lack of practice! :D

I just bought another red eye, today, and the decals are in even better shape than the first, even though it's twenty years older. So now I have three 66 treadles - I'm thinking I might bolt a motor on this one at least long enough to grind and polish the plated part of the handwheel.

The Tiffany 27 is still being cleaned and the 15 needs many more coats of shellac; since it' s my main machine,
I want it protected and shiny. :)

In roughly 3 - 4 years, I've only seen one red eye in person in this conglomeration of cities/towns around me. They just weren't common here as best I can tell. The one I did see was "auctioned" at a local thrift shop. I also had a gozilla 66 of my own for a bit but I think those 2 are the extent of the 66s I've met in person here.

When I had trouble with the swirls, it was too thick application combined with too quick drying. (Which I suppose could be made worse by heat... :thumbup:) I think what I did - and it was months ago now and I barely remember lunch yesterday... - was a little more linseed oil and possibly to thin the shellac a tiny bit because I found leaving my little jar open caused the alcohol to evaporate and cause the shellac to thicken on me.

thepolyparrot 06-25-2015 10:57 AM

Tammi, I looked for a decent red eye for eight years, but any that popped up here were thrashed or cost a mint or both.

A couple of months ago, this one popped up, horrendously dirty but good decals and I could afford it. And then the second one, a couple weeks ago, great decals but the cabinet needs veneer work - $350. She lowered the price and I offered her half that and explained why - all the extra work, back-clamping attachments, etc and we settled on $150.

I think these good red eyes waited until I had this tutorial! :)

I did have to add some denatured alcohol to the shellac because in this heat, it really did thicken up in the can. I've used about 70% of this half-pint can on two machines. Is that normal?

miriam 06-25-2015 11:34 AM

You did use a lot of shellac on two machines.

ArchaicArcane 06-25-2015 11:45 AM

I agree with Miriam. That's a lot of shellac to use on 2 machines. I have probably 70% of my can left after a lot of coats on 1 machine and a couple of coats on another. Make sure you give it a LOT of time to cure because it does sound like your coats were thicker than usual.

I've spent less time looking lately for machines but the near complete lack of 66s really surprises me. Lots of 201s, (1)27/(1)28s, some 15s, and a generous helping of featherweights and later machines seems to be the main choices that made it here.

miriam 06-25-2015 11:57 AM

I may have 20 or so 66s around here.

thepolyparrot 06-25-2015 09:14 PM

I guess that explains why the decals look like they've had that resin stuff poured over them.

No idea how many coats I put on. 40? 50? They were very thin until the last two coats, which I did apply heavily, just to make sure I had enough room between the sandpaper and the decals.

I wonder how much volume just evaporated? And how much was sanded away? :)

As I was reassembling the machine, I managed to put a very deep scratch in the shellac on the bed, so that will need repair.

But it forms stitches! Feed not working right and the thread is hanging on something in the bobbin case, but she does sew a little... :)

morganfam7 06-25-2015 11:02 PM


Originally Posted by miriam (Post 7236931)
I've cleaned up worse. Just read everything under Glenn's name you can find. Also don't expect your first experiment to be perfect. LOL - You will learn what chemicals to use and what not to use - hopefully not the hard way.

I saw one of your machines pictures. The one that sews great. I'll be happy with that! I just want to do as good job as I can restoring it. I did the linseed oil / denatured alcohol on a t shirt today. It looks a lot better, but there's this persistent grunge that I can't seem to get off. I originally thought it was the rusty metal where the japaning had come off, but no, it's on top of the paint. It comes off better when it's dry / no oil. You can scratch it with your fingernail, and it comes off in a rusty yellow colored powder. The detergent and water didn't really phase it at all. It's around the decal on the base and different spots all over. I'm wondering if I should keep going until I can get it all off (if I can get it all off). You can rub and rub and rub and get none of it off. Very stubborn whatever it is. Can you or someone advise me what you think I should do?

I've been reading lots of Glenn's messages. I'm so thankful to find this board and all these posts! Soon I hope to start stripping the cabinet and treadle parts of the lead based paint. She may not be the prettiest girl on the block, but she'll still be in the family and hopefully very functional. :)

miriam 06-26-2015 02:29 AM


Originally Posted by morganfam7 (Post 7238748)
I saw one of your machines pictures. The one that sews great. I'll be happy with that! I just want to do as good job as I can restoring it. I did the linseed oil / denatured alcohol on a t shirt today. It looks a lot better, but there's this persistent grunge that I can't seem to get off. I originally thought it was the rusty metal where the japaning had come off, but no, it's on top of the paint. It comes off better when it's dry / no oil. You can scratch it with your fingernail, and it comes off in a rusty yellow colored powder. The detergent and water didn't really phase it at all. It's around the decal on the base and different spots all over. I'm wondering if I should keep going until I can get it all off (if I can get it all off). You can rub and rub and rub and get none of it off. Very stubborn whatever it is. Can you or someone advise me what you think I should do?

I've been reading lots of Glenn's messages. I'm so thankful to find this board and all these posts! Soon I hope to start stripping the cabinet and treadle parts of the lead based paint. She may not be the prettiest girl on the block, but she'll still be in the family and hopefully very functional. :)

That orange grunge is shellac - you will be able to soften it eventually and make it blend in with the new. It does take a bit of time to get it going in the right direction but worth every minute of it.

morganfam7 06-26-2015 08:08 PM

I tried the dremel tool with a plastic brush. It's very slow going, but I'm making progress! I think I'm going to use more oil and alcohol. I even was super careful and used it on top of the obscured decals above the presser foot lever. I think I can see a little more of them now. Any tricks or tips for something this hard to get off?

thepolyparrot 07-01-2015 10:12 PM

morganfam7, I'm new to this particular process, but I have used a lot of different materials and I know that you can go from thick grunge to silvered decals quicker than you could ever imagine.

Those ones by the take up lever and on the reverse were awful - absolutely buried in hard brown gunk. It just kept coming off a tiny little bit at a time on my q-tips and then all of a sudden, one of the tiny feathered ovals was smeared!

On this second one, I'm going a lot slower even than I did the first time, to allow any possible clear coat to harden up between cleanings. Gonna be a pain in the neck, but this one is potentially even prettier than the first one, although I suspect the clear coat is even more fragile than the first. I may step it down even further and use only sewing machine oil to clean these.

I have three machines and two cabinets in the works. That keeps me from getting too aggressive with any single project. I hope. ;)

Good luck to you and just keep pluggin.

miriam 07-02-2015 02:22 AM

Take your time it's free - well mostly - this is not a hurry up job.

morganfam7 07-02-2015 12:37 PM

I hear what you're saying. I think someone put something on this machine later. I don't think this is all original. After I posted the message above I used the dremel and a plastic type brush on the decals on the back along with lots of oil. I worked on this a long time with the dremel, and you can still barely see them. Definitely no silvering because there's so much on top of the decals. If I use a t shirt or cotton swab and oil, I get nothing off. I can rub and rub and rub for however long, 5 minutes, etc. and I get nothing on the rag / q tip. I wonder if this is laquer.

morganfam7 07-02-2015 12:52 PM

Thank you for the tips! I really think I'm dealing with something other than the shellac. At first there was this stuff that could be scraped off dry. Now it's like it's bulletproof. Nothing comes off on rags, and it just barely, barely comes off with the dremel brush and oil. I think someone put laquer over the decals, but I could be wrong. If that's what this is, then I may just leave it like it is and move forward.

miriam 07-02-2015 02:30 PM


Originally Posted by morganfam7 (Post 7245387)
Thank you for the tips! I really think I'm dealing with something other than the shellac. At first there was this stuff that could be scraped off dry. Now it's like it's bulletproof. Nothing comes off on rags, and it just barely, barely comes off with the dremel brush and oil. I think someone put laquer over the decals, but I could be wrong. If that's what this is, then I may just leave it like it is and move forward.

I suggest you go back to the start of this thread and read everything Glenn has written.

morganfam7 07-02-2015 05:03 PM

I've read it over maybe 50 times. Did I miss something? I'm not seeing the part that says anything about not getting anything off on a rag, but maybe I missed it.

thepolyparrot 07-03-2015 10:12 PM

That's definitely odd behavior, even if the sewing machine oil had been baked on!

What if someone polyurethaned it?


Originally Posted by morganfam7 (Post 7245378)
I hear what you're saying. I think someone put something on this machine later. I don't think this is all original. After I posted the message above I used the dremel and a plastic type brush on the decals on the back along with lots of oil. I worked on this a long time with the dremel, and you can still barely see them. Definitely no silvering because there's so much on top of the decals. If I use a t shirt or cotton swab and oil, I get nothing off. I can rub and rub and rub for however long, 5 minutes, etc. and I get nothing on the rag / q tip. I wonder if this is laquer.


thepolyparrot 07-04-2015 10:46 AM


Originally Posted by Glenn (Post 6076164)
No Jan you are okay. I want you to take denatured alcohol and place it on the black paint underneath the machine to see if it will soften the finish, if it does it is shellac if not it is lacquer. Do the same with acetone(solvent for lacquer) if the rags turns black then it is lacquer. If it is the latter you can sand with fine paper(wet or dry) using water or kerosene as a lube for the sandpaper. When smooth spray the whole with lacquer. Before spraying you can trace over the Mercury decal with gold paint and a small artist brush to brighten it.
Skip

Morganfam7, did you try acetone on a patch of the really hard stuff? If the brown starts coming off on your rag, it might be lacquer?

morganfam7 07-04-2015 12:13 PM

I thought about trying the acetone when I read about that. I've gotten sidetracked with the foil thing in the front, and the oil gunk under the stitch length knob covering the decal. I've been working on it for two hours today. It looks a lot better, but I'm not finished with it yet. When I get back to that area I'm going to try that acetone. I see where part of the decal on the front has a perfect line like someone shielded that part from spray.

I'm also working on a completely rusted up White Rotary. Parts are soaking in Evaporust. I can't get some screws off yet, but Mr. Wrench is doing his thing. :)

Thanks for the reply! How's your machine coming along?

miriam 07-04-2015 05:34 PM

I'm guessing you are through the shellac and into the black tar stuff you want to leave that stuff alone.

morganfam7 07-04-2015 06:06 PM

I don't know. This is on top of the decals on back. The gunk I'm cleaning off the front is on top of the decals, too. But, oh, that foil oval looks so much better. On the front, I can use machine oil, and get color on the cotton ball. Not so on the back. Slowly rubbing her back to some of her former beauty.

On a side note, I mentioned this machine when I went to a warehouse fabric outlet this weekend. The sewing machine lady immediately told me that the timing was off. I think she was trying to sell me a new machine. Ain't happening :)

ArchaicArcane 07-05-2015 02:59 PM

Even if the timing IS off on a vintage machine, it's usually dead easy to put back. What was her criteria for that diagnosis?

Jeanette Frantz 07-05-2015 05:03 PM

Tammi, thank you for writing that! I hate it when someone tries to tell you your "whatever it is" is not any good or needs drastic repairs, or whatever, just so they can sell you something new! I'm just like you -- It ain't happenin'!

Jeanette

Cari-in-Oly 07-05-2015 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by morganfam7 (Post 7247505)
On a side note, I mentioned this machine when I went to a warehouse fabric outlet this weekend. The sewing machine lady immediately told me that the timing was off. I think she was trying to sell me a new machine. Ain't happening :)

There's a dealer/technician like this here in my city. I won't say which dealer but I think his name is Pfred. Every vintage machine that comes in that's the first thing he says. I had a question about one of my machines once and he told me to bring it in and he would fix the timing. I told him there was nothing wrong with the timing. He said yes it was off, he does a hundred or more Japanese machines every year. I said you've got a good racket going and left. Went to another place with a better, much nicer tech(which has since closed:() and after asking me a couple questions, suggested I try a different foot. Bingo, solved my problem.

Cari

miriam 07-05-2015 06:26 PM


Originally Posted by morganfam7 (Post 7247228)
I thought about trying the acetone when I read about that. I've gotten sidetracked with the foil thing in the front, and the oil gunk under the stitch length knob covering the decal. I've been working on it for two hours today. It looks a lot better, but I'm not finished with it yet. When I get back to that area I'm going to try that acetone. I see where part of the decal on the front has a perfect line like someone shielded that part from spray.

I'm also working on a completely rusted up White Rotary. Parts are soaking in Evaporust. I can't get some screws off yet, but Mr. Wrench is doing his thing. :)

Thanks for the reply! How's your machine coming along?

acetone should remove any decals you have left.

Some times there is tar from a melted belt or cord on a machine. It comes off with Tar and Bug remover.


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