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-   For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts (https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/)
-   -   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 06-22-2016 01:42 PM

Use sewing machine oil and a soft brush to clean the machine. First make sure you clean the machine with a soft brush and a little water to remove the dust in the paint. No evaporust on the black slide plates they are blued like guns are. If the black plates are rusty you have to remove the rust then yes you can use evaporust but you will have to reblue the plates to get the original look to the black side plates. These plates have not been chromed but blued metal. I hope the plates are not rusted. Please post a picture of this machine so we can help you better.

vjswhippet 07-03-2016 07:44 AM

will this method work on a 221 Featherweight ?

Glenn 07-03-2016 09:24 AM

Only if the finish on the 221 is shellac. You can test to see if it is by using denatured alcohol dabbed on to the black in a spot that will not be seen. If the finish becomes tacky it is shellac and then you can use the method.

jnanster 07-08-2016 08:19 PM

Glenn, have you ever used gold leaf (I actually think it's bronze) to fix any decals? Thanks for the great tutorials, just bought some black dye and shellac.
Dorian

Glenn 07-09-2016 01:17 PM

Yes I have used gold leaf but it is not easy. The glue that is used must be applied down exactly on the decal lines or you will end up with rough edges. I prefer to use a artist liner brush with gold paint.

jnanster 07-09-2016 03:34 PM


Originally Posted by Glenn (Post 7598060)
Yes I have used gold leaf but it is not easy. The glue that is used must be applied down exactly on the decal lines or you will end up with rough edges. I prefer to use a artist liner brush with gold paint.

Thank you Glenn for the quick response. Ordering the Testor paint pen.

redbugsullivan 07-10-2016 03:23 PM

Ordering the Testor paint pen.

Tip for using that paint pen, apply in the middle of what you want to paint and move to the correct edges with a very fine paintbrush or toothpick. I have found that a feather's edge works perfectly but not everyone has duck wing clippings. :)

rainsprite 09-11-2016 09:17 AM

Still not brave enough to try but will keep reading until I am comfortable and gather the items you have shown in the meantime. Thank you so much - heaps and baskets of gratitude.

sewhat540 09-11-2016 11:23 AM

Wow love it, wish I still had my moms but don't. At least, those of you that post here, makes me feel good to see yours.

miriam 09-21-2016 02:57 AM


Originally Posted by rainsprite (Post 7650334)
Still not brave enough to try but will keep reading until I am comfortable and gather the items you have shown in the meantime. Thank you so much - heaps and baskets of gratitude.

Practice on something you are not attached to. Old derelect beater machines are great to learn on. You can't go too far wrong and they usually look much better and usually run well.

Jayjay 11-04-2016 01:38 PM

Miriam, I can find no reference to "Plast Buster" at Lowes or Home Depot. Is there something else that can b used to clean up my Singer 127 head? Thank you

Glenn 11-04-2016 01:55 PM

It is in tool section of LOWES

IrisIrene 11-07-2016 04:22 PM

Great instructions! Thank you. I'm wondering if I am brave enough to restore a decal. :)

miriam 11-09-2016 03:38 AM

If you follow everything to a T you will restore your finish.

Jayjay 11-09-2016 06:08 PM

Glen, yes I did find the Plast Buster in the tool area. I haven't had a chance to work on machine yet - have a new grand baby due on the 18th. Will let you know how it turns out. Also, can't remember who sent me the manual for my 127 but wanted to thank the person.

Qatie 12-31-2016 08:14 AM

Haven't seen anything yet about newer vintage machines, so I'll ask. I've got a Gritzner-made Domestic 691 (same thing as a Kenmore 117.740, just different badging). It looks like lavender paint or enamel under a yellowing and chipping clear coat. Do I follow Glenn's procedure, or do I need to treat it differently?

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net...1f&oe=58DA7E56

miriam 12-31-2016 09:52 AM

You will need to read every word Glenn has written then read it again. He has a test to see if it is shellac. Usually it is the black machines that have shellac. But do his test to be sure. An enamel paint should clean up well with an oxiclean based cleaner and a drop or two of Dawn then dry quickly when it is enamel paint but not shellac finish. I've also used rubbing alcohol or naphtha on the dried up oil but use Glenn's method with shellac. You want to be sure any water based cleaning solution you use does not go on any area that moves or on shellac.

Grammahunt 01-06-2017 02:39 PM

This is fabulous. Thank you for the great post.
I'm curious about how the Dremel is used and what attachments/tips are used. I don't get that part.

morganfam7 01-08-2017 04:30 PM

Be careful!
 

I'm curious about how the Dremel is used and what attachments/tips are used. I don't get that part
I don't recommend using the dremel tool on your machine. This sewing machine head has some kind of clear coat on it and it's spent many, many summers in the TX heat in an enclosed shed. So, it's probably baked at 90-115+ degrees for six months out of every year for a minimum of 30 years, most likely 50 years. Stick with what Glenn suggests. Mine was a special case.

Best wishes!

Marcy

miriam 01-08-2017 05:32 PM

Marcy, I need a like button.
I have used a Dremmel tool. I use a wire brush on rusted bright metal but never on the black parts. I have had machines that looked like the black was rusted. It was just dried shellac. I cleaned it according to Glenn's method and was happy with the results. You can test if it is rust or dried shellac by touching either with a Qtip and a little denatured alcohol. The denatured alcohol will make it sticky - rust won't. If it is shellac you want to totally follow Glenn's tutorial. Rust is another story. It will not respond to Glenn's refinishing techniques for shellac finish. I usually try to just clean the rust off with a bit of rust remover or chrome polish. If it still has rust a Dremmel with a little brush works. The little brushes cost an arm and a leg to use so I don't use them them unless necessary. The little brushes have a tendency to fly apart and stick in skin and clothes. I always wear protective eyewear. Keep hair out of it too. Ask me how I know.

marski 02-07-2017 04:31 PM

A very informative tutorial, I need to do this! Thanks for sharing :-)

Michelle Churney 04-09-2017 03:42 PM

I live in Ontario Canada and can't get denatured alcohol. What else can I use?

miriam 04-09-2017 04:04 PM

Can you get 90% rubbing alcohol?

Michelle Churney 04-09-2017 04:12 PM

Not sure, I will look tomorrow

HelenAnn 04-10-2017 03:32 AM

I googled the question and it seems like you should be able to get something close. Try google.

OurWorkbench 04-10-2017 04:11 AM


Originally Posted by Michelle Churney (Post 7801381)
I live in Ontario Canada and can't get denatured alcohol. What else can I use?

Maybe you can get some ideas from this page -> http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...193635-37.html

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

Michelle Churney 04-10-2017 02:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
[ATTACH=CONFIG]571332[/ATTACH]This is 95% ethenal. Will this work?

miriam 04-20-2017 03:01 AM

Put a little on a Qtip and see if it softens shellac

bkay 05-09-2017 09:45 AM

I've not read this whole thread, but am starting on it tonight. So, the answers may already be here.

I realize I've had a couple of misconceptions. I thought the color on a sewing machine was shellac. (Someone questioned me on that yesterday.) Now, as I re-read some of this, now I think maybe the clear coat is the only shellac part. If so, what kind of paint is under it, or does it matter (if you are touching up bare metal)? Someone has a "featherweight touch-up paint" on Ebay that is acrylic and I know that's not original.

When a machine develops a "crinkle" in the finish, what has happened? Is that the clear coat or the entire finish (old Pfaff)?

bkay

Glenn 05-09-2017 11:14 AM

Crinkle finish is caused by the machine being subject to hot and cold like extreme heat in the summer in a barn or attic.It could be in the Japan finish or in the shellac. Test the clear coat with a dab of alcohol and if the finish becomes sticky and melts your clear coat is shellac.

psdumas 09-04-2017 11:16 AM

question on shellac step
 
Glenn..
I see you only describe above putting shellac on top of the decals. What about the rest of the sewing machine? I am trying to fix some areas on a Featherweight that have the top coat removed, and are hazed over. Thank you for your great tutorial!:) Pat



Originally Posted by Glenn (Post 5339140)
Now we are going to repair the shellac clear coat as best we can. If you like you can clean the decals with sewing machine oil before starting this. Now wrap your index finger in the t-shirt and apply with a couple of drops of denatured alcohol and and a drop or two of linseed oil and begin to clean the surface in a circular motion and ending in going in one direction by bringing the finger down and lifting off the surface at the end. Now stay away from the decals at this time. This will keep you from sticking to the surface. You want to go in one direction to eliminate the swirl marks. Do this until the surface of the machine is as smooth as it will get. Now remember this will not reverse age of the finish but will improve it 100%. Now wipe over the decals with a little alcohol and linseed on the finger with one little swipe(lighlty). The machine should begin to look clean and shinny. Now dip the wrapped finger in shellac and apply a few drops of linseed oil and go over the decals, this will apply shellac over them to protect them. Do this several time because this method only applies a thin coat each time.


Glenn 09-04-2017 01:19 PM

You can use the french polish with the shellac on any area of the sewing machine. This will brighten up the black finish. If you have any other question please ask and I will help you.

HelenAnn 09-04-2017 04:10 PM

To add a note on the shellac, always check the date on the can and get the most recent. My local hardware had some very old cans.

Originally Posted by WideAngleMind (Post 7321112)
Thanks Miriam. I just came from Home Depot with a bag full of chemicals. :) Including shellac. Now I'm all set.

Question Glenn - should I use a hard wool Dremel polisher or a soft flimsy one? I just bought a Dremel recently and this will be my first project.

Thnaks so much! - Tori


miriam 09-04-2017 07:08 PM

I have no idea how to use a Dremmel on French Polish.

psdumas 09-07-2017 08:28 PM

thanks Glenn!
Hi all... here in Cape Cod with a Featherweight find from the Wellfleet Flea Market! Keeping busy with it as I look out over the ocean.. Back to Jersey soon, but, I have a few questions.
My new to me FW has spots where someone tried to clean up paint. There is an alligator like effect on the bed of the machine where the shellac melted.

Is it possible to spot fix this with the french polish method you describe? I'm not sure how to do this.

Thank you kindly. I am new here.. and I've read lots here from very helpful folks!

Pat-- in cape cod for now...

psdumas 09-08-2017 12:41 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a pic of what I'm trying to do. Just spot fix some top coat damage instead of the whole bed of the machine. Thanks for any advice.:o[ATTACH=CONFIG]580242[/ATTACH] Pat in Jersey/Cape Cod

Glenn 09-08-2017 12:56 PM

You can french polish the bed to improve the appearance. Use the tech I mentioned in the tut. Although you will have to polish entire bed to make things look even all around. No dremel tool here, just a rag around the finger with shellac and linseed oil. You will have to polish for sometime to get the effect you want. Go in circular motion and then straight wipes to get rid of the swirls. This will take some time but well worth the effort.

psdumas 09-08-2017 04:08 PM

thanks Glenn!
So if I'm correct, I have to do the whole bed, and not just spots? Remove with alcohol then do the polishing?
pat

psdumas 09-08-2017 04:25 PM

thanks Glenn!
So if I'm correct, I have to do the whole bed, and not just spots? Remove with alcohol then do the polishing?
pat

Glenn 09-08-2017 05:52 PM

No just start the polishing program


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