Quiltingboard Forums

Quiltingboard Forums (https://www.quiltingboard.com/)
-   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)

psdumas 09-09-2017 08:22 PM

Hey thanks so much, Glenn!

Just do the french polishing with the rag/shellac/linseed oil on top of the marred part of the bed? Sorry for all the questions.. but, messing this up worries me! :shock: Pat

bkay 09-20-2017 02:49 PM

The 301 I just bought seems to have a clearcoat on it that's missing in some spots. Would you guess it's shellac? I can't find the mfg. date, as Ismacs just has 1950-1959. It was made in the Andersonville plant.


Glenn 09-20-2017 03:59 PM

It is most likely shellac. You can take Q-tip with alcohol and dab it in a spot the will not be seen and if it is shellac the spot will get tacky and dull. If nothing happens it is lacquer. If it is shellac you can repair with the french polish.

bkay 09-21-2017 05:43 AM

Thanks, Glenn.


psdumas 09-21-2017 09:29 AM

Thank you for your time Glenn. I am going to get brave and try this. How does the shellac and lin oil dry when putting over original shellac? Any clouding under the new coating? I will clean machine of the waxing i've done and just f polish with wax free shellac and BLO. Sound good to you? Thanks..Pat

Glenn 09-21-2017 11:04 AM

Sounds like a plan to me. There will no problem with the oil and shellac over the old. After you get the look you want,
you can then wax the machine to maintain the shine. I use a good quality car wax for this. But remember the shellac need to cure for about three weeks.

psdumas 09-21-2017 05:50 PM

thank you again, Glenn!

Ah.. I saw some u tubes about shellacing, and the ridges where the top coat was destroyed didn't seem to go away. I think I will pence on it more. I know I will make a mess of it and the good parts of the top coat will look different. I've messed up things like this before, and I know I will make it look worse than it already is. If I could take away the ridges where the topcoat is missing, then I would.

very Sincerely, Pat

NZquilter 09-22-2017 05:43 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Glenn (Post 5339059)
Ok, here we go the first two pics are the supplies and tools needed to do what I do with these old machines. Now remember this will not completely get rid of the blemishes and rough spots on the japan of the machine and this technique will only work on a shellac finish which is 95% of the machines( unless you get an East German machine like Charlee). If you follow these instructions you will do no harm to your machne but if in doubt please ask questions before starting and you may want to practice on something first. Now PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE DECALS UNTIL I TELL YOU. I can't be responsible for damages to your machine. Now lets have fun and clean an old machine.

Glenn, will this tutorial fix this peeling off shellac?

Also, please forgive my ingorance, but is this tutorial the same as French polish? Or is French polish something different, and to be applied after one does your restoring method? Thanks!

Glenn 09-22-2017 11:05 AM

Yes the tut is the same. No the french polish will prevent other flaking but will not fix the area already chipped. You will have to clean and sand the area to get rid of rust and then fill in the area with matching paint. It must be over filled so you can bring it down to match the original, the you can french polish it.

Glenn 09-22-2017 11:09 AM

If the ridges are still there then the missing shellac was not built up enough to be level with the old.

psdumas 09-26-2017 08:29 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Got the courage and did it. Took off the ruined clear coat on my Featherweight as you suggested.. Used 0000 steel wool to smooth. But, instead of shellac, which I had a hard time with, I used Rustoleum Clear Glossy Enamel spray. Worked like a charm as I held my breath (after removing the shellac twice, I think I need some fresh air). Nice and glossy little featherweight. I'm amazed it came out so well. For sure, I thought I would muck it up. :-) Thanks, Glenn! Before and after pics below.[ATTACH=CONFIG]581295[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]581296[/ATTACH]

Glenn 09-27-2017 04:48 AM

Your welcome. Looks very nice.

psdumas 09-27-2017 05:01 PM

thank you Glenn! Its not perfect ..was a big pain.. but, it's basically smooth. Not spanking new looking, but, edgy.. ya know? Like it's lived a good life. :-) Thanks! Pat

HelenAnn 09-28-2017 02:12 AM

Glen is the best resource I have used on this forum.

Cinde 10-01-2017 02:49 PM

Damascus Rotary Treadle
I am a new owner and hope to be user to a Damascus Rotary Treadle Sewing machine. It is in perfect condition however, it has not been used in over 40+ years and will need some minor cleaning and oiling to get her back to sewing condition. I'm ready for that process, but cannot locate any information or manual for this model. The date of this beauty is 1901, and everything I find is for the Damascus Vibrating model, which is not all that helpful.

With all that said, do you have any suggestions as to anyone or some link that can direct me in finding a manual?

Thank you for your assistance. By the way... I have printed your instructions to restore this timeless machine. Thank you!

Glenn 10-01-2017 03:41 PM

Mongomery Wards sold the Damascus. You can find a manual here. www.clawges.com/sewing/damascus_manual/index.html
sorry this is for the vbs I will try again I found a manual at two sites but they cost $10-$20. I would go to VSS or treadleon and ask there.

Sullivan Stitches 12-28-2017 12:33 PM

Wow! This is great; thanks so much for sharing. I like your coffee mug, by the way.

marilyn y 03-15-2018 10:02 AM

Is there another product similar to Plast Buster? Is it a tar and bug remover for cars? Iím unable to find it. TIA.


OurWorkbench 03-15-2018 11:55 AM

You should be able to find it in most auto supply places. https://www.autozone.com/greases-and...ant/930044_0_0 I think there were some typos, but pretty sure this is what is needed. There are several other things with that blaster wording on them, but you want the 'original' penetrating.

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

SteveH 03-15-2018 12:49 PM

PB Blaster is the one I use

Cari-in-Oly 03-15-2018 03:07 PM

Originally Posted by SteveH (Post 8022283)
PB Blaster is the one I use

That's what I use too. Didn't know there was anything else, I just figured it was always a typo.


Glenn 03-16-2018 04:30 AM

You can get it at Lowes in the tool section.

Treadle&Gears 03-16-2018 05:20 PM

Ditto. Best stuff ever for unlocking rusted-in screws too.

Quiltlady330 03-19-2018 12:57 PM

Www.singer-featherweight.com is a great resource for 301 or Featherweight surfaces, etc.

Mornigstar 04-06-2018 07:30 AM

I like that you give all info in detail.

Smooooth 04-21-2018 06:45 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Greetings Everyone.............

As I stand before the group I can clearly say.... My name is Stephen and I have a new addiction!!

This all started about a month ago when I found a 1948 Singer 15-91 in our basement that we were given as a gift 9 years ago - AND NEVER OPENED IT. It's a looong story.

The 15-91 cleaned up beautifully and no shellac repair was needed. Mechanically in excellent condition and if anything, was dry. And yes, I did tear apart the motor and rebuilt it. For the longest time I thought it had never been used. Refinished the cabinet - Such beautiful wood.

Somewhere along the line I started hanging out on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and YouTube more than previously normal. Hours upon hours upon hours I tell ya...... OHHH - Look!!! A 1949 201-2 at a great price. And even more stories that can be told later. (Shhhh - I looked at a 301A today and will be picking up a empty 301 cabinet tomorrow with the cradle installed for dirt cheap)

The 201-2 was mechanically perfect and yet I still did a almost complete tear-down. But the finish had an issue. (Finally he got to the point.....)

I have no questions at the moment as I am about to start the French Polish process. Something I have never done before. After many many hours I have painstakingly removed most all of the shellac, square inch by square inch. What this thread has done is boost a little bit of confidence.



HelenAnn 04-22-2018 12:46 AM

Welcome Stephen the wood on the cabinet is beautiful.
In one year you must report your sewing machine count.
If you do any maintenance on fire arms you will find the screw drivers work great for the sewing machines also. There is a long history of sewing machines and fire arms together.

Treadle&Gears 04-22-2018 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by HelenAnn (Post 8045107)
Welcome Stephen the wood on the cabinet is beautiful.
There is a long history of sewing machines and fire arms together.

Very true. Providence Tool designed and manufactured the Peabody rifle starting in the 1860s, and turned to sewing machines when they weren't paid for a large order of the guns. Remington, Vickers, Husqvarna... all made arms before sewing machines. Even Singer made guns several times, both in and out of wartime.

HelenAnn 04-22-2018 06:49 PM

Many of the German company's like Mauser ended up in sewing machines because they weren't allowed to make arms.

Smooooth 04-23-2018 04:22 AM

Started the French Polish process last night.

I have a lot to learn!!! Not happy with the finish at the moment. Lots of streaks and swirl marks. Very delicate balance when it comes to the Shellac, Alcohol, and Oil. Using 100% Cotton Lint Free cloth to create the Rubber and packed with T-Shirt material. Loaded with approximately 50% Shellac and 50% Denatured Alcohol. Recharging as needed and adding a drop of Boiled Linseed Oil as needed.

I do understand that the goal is many many very thin layers.


Glowygirl2 11-02-2018 01:14 PM

Glenn, I have a 50s machine that the finish has yellowed extremely, will the french polish lighten this up some or is there another method for this. It is a blue machine that is now green because of the yellowing. I thought at first like some of my other machines it was just oil and soaked it good with the hand cleaner I like to use that usually works and have used on other machines but it did not come off except with a wet sand like you would do to a car finish clear coat. I tried it in a spot only. Thanks for any help you can give me. L

Glenn 11-02-2018 02:10 PM

Originally Posted by Glowygirl2 (Post 8154224)
Glenn, I have a 50s machine that the finish has yellowed extremely, will the french polish lighten this up some or is there another method for this. It is a blue machine that is now green because of the yellowing. I thought at first like some of my other machines it was just oil and soaked it good with the hand cleaner I like to use that usually works and have used on other machines but it did not come off except with a wet sand like you would do to a car finish clear coat. I tried it in a spot only. Thanks for any help you can give me. L

No the french polish will not work on paint.

miriam 11-02-2018 02:22 PM

Try a little Dawn and see if it gets some of the yellow out but usually once it is yellow it will stay yellow.

Glowygirl2 11-02-2018 02:25 PM

Thanks Glenn. I tried dawn already the only thing takes it off so far is a wet sand. It is a lot of work to wet sand when your hands are not what they used to be and visited by Arthur Itis. I guess if that is my choice I will go with it. Thanks again for trying to help!

Hamedkhaniri 11-19-2018 01:49 PM

How did you repair the stickers?

Glowygirl2 12-01-2018 04:55 PM

There were only a few decals and I avoided them as much as I could, I made stencils of the decals in paper and then taped over them to protect what I could. It did not turn out too bad, but still had some yellowed places that looked more green than blue. The bed looked nice however. Sometimes you sacrifice a machine to learning, that is why you don't do it on anything but a machine that needs more tlc than you can give it.

jenniferny 04-24-2019 10:21 AM

Originally Posted by Silver Needle (Post 5339543)
Glenn, what the heck is Plast Buster, where do we get it and exactly what is it for?

I know that this is an old thread, but the topic is still very relevant and popular today with vintage sewing machine enthusiasts.

I think that he meant PB Blaster, not Plat Buster.

PB Blaster is probably, IMHO, the pest penetrating oil on the market for loosening rusty bolts/parts.

PB Blaster is available at most auto parts stores, Amazon and even WallyWorld(Walmart).https://www.quiltingboard.com/blob:h...f-42a616b9ee34

Glenn 04-25-2019 09:41 AM

Yes it is PB Blaster, I just call it Plast Buster and yes the best penetratng oil ever. I could clean old machines without it.
I get mine at Wal Mart.

Farmhousesewer 04-27-2019 11:56 AM


could clean
or couldn't clean?

Glenn 04-27-2019 01:18 PM

I could not clean old machines without it. Sorry Maria....

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:45 AM.