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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)

jmabby 12-02-2014 09:20 AM

I cleaned my machine as you said, then wiped it down with naptha. It still looked a little smeary. I wiped it with a dry cotton cloth and let it set overnite. When I appled shellac with a drop of oil the shellac looked streaked. What should I do different. I removed everything again and will wait to hear from you.

Glenn 12-02-2014 09:42 AM

The streaks are most likely your technique. Be sure to use a very soft rag when doing this, I usually use a white t-shirt for this. Use light touch and reduce the amount of shellac or a little more oil. It takes a little practice to this. It will lookk smeary after wiping down with naptha this is normal. Apply quickly in a circle and then finish with a light touch going straight across. It may take several applications to get the look you want.

jmabby 12-02-2014 10:11 AM

Thanks, I'll try again. God forgot to give me patience, this process seems to take a lot of that. Now that I swiped everything down again with naptha how long do I wait to apply shellac? I did use a white tee, but it isn't real soft. I didn't have any tees, I had to go to a thrift shop to get a few, but even after washing they aren't as soft/worn as I would like. Back to the application of shellac. I put shellac on the tee, applied a little oil, but it got streaked, more oil?? Maybe I'm pressing down too hard. I think I'm so nervous thinking it won't look good I'm messing it up. As you can tell this is my first machine, I'm uncertain of what to do even though I read your instructions many times, printed them out and still it seems like I'm doing something wrong. There are really tiny bubbles in the shellac after I apply it. Is it too thick?? Sorry about all the questions, thanks for your quick response.

miriam 12-02-2014 10:26 AM

First off - Glenn's fingers are bigger than mine. I have to stretch the t-shirt material over two fingers. Then after the Naptha just put it away. Next use the linseed oil and denatured alcohol - go light - just go over it. Then you can go over it with some denatured alcohol and shellac. You do not need to repeat the Naptha. You can repeat the alcohol and shellac a couple times then you might need to go over it with the linseed oil and denatured alcohol if it doesn't go smooth any more. I'm good at messing it up and getting in a hurry and making it blotchy. Glenn is the king of slow and patient on the finishes.

jmabby 12-02-2014 10:54 AM

Thank you Miriam, I'll try your method. Any length of time needed between applying oil/alcohol and alcohol/shellac? It's snowing out and a good time to do this type of work.

Glenn 12-02-2014 11:11 AM

Yes try Miriam method I also do this. Miriam has the advantage. I visited her several times and showed her how to do it and she is pretty good now. Besure to use a light touch. Once you wipe it down with naptha you can use the technique immediately no need to wait. Miriam is right you don't need the naptha anymore. Keep playing with it and soon you will get the feel of the technique. Patience is needed here. Don't be nervous you can't do any harm. Relax and enjoy the process. You just need to get over being afraid of doing it. I know this is easier said than done LOL And please ask all the question you need to we are here to help.
Skip You only have to wait a minute or two between applications.

jmabby 12-02-2014 12:43 PM

Thank you Glenn. I just put the first application on, I think I put it on too thick the first time. I'm picking up a Singer Red Eye Thursday and hope to high heaven it's in good condition. Again, thanks for your support

miriam 12-02-2014 01:00 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Put it on thin and have patience. I'm not patient. I've been learning - school of hard knocks. I have one I'm working on - it was butt ugly but it is starting to look pretty good. It will never be a beauty but it is a nice work horse. [ATTACH=CONFIG]500947[/ATTACH]
And as I am progressing:
The machine has now been cleaned and oiled. It now turns real sweet. Likely, it will always be somewhat ugly. It has had a coat of Naptha and then some denatured alcohol with linseed oil. After a few minutes, I went over it with denatured alcohol and shellac. You want to keep the pad you use tight on your finger. It is still pretty blotchy. I keep going over it. To get it really smooth will take a lot more work. You can quit any time and use the machine then go back over it as you wish. My DGD Miss L is over so we put the machine back together - she loves to help... I need to find a working motor and test the machine. Right now Barbie is a lot more fun than waiting for shellac to dry. I shot some more pics so you can see some more progress but not perfect. At this point I can sew on it and then when the kidos go home or I have some time then I can do some more with the shellac. When it gets hard to work I use the linseed oil again.

miriam 12-02-2014 01:20 PM

I'm not sure you can see a lot of difference. I can. I can also see that it needs more work. This is after Miss L and I put it back together and after I spent more time with Glenn's method of restoring the finish.

miriam 12-02-2014 01:24 PM

Some of it is poor lighting and poor photography. In the first picture I shot the pic as I got the machine. The second one was after I cleaned it up and did just a little French polishing. The third was after more French polishing and after it was re-assembled.

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