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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)

rupato 10-19-2012 08:28 AM

I'm ready just to take off what I put on there, touch up the decals, and just spray lacquer on it......I'm at wits end, bad enough the lower part of the cabinet was ruined from a flood in my basement, refinished that myself and it came out great, that's when I started to clean the machine.....

Christine- 10-27-2012 06:02 AM

Take a break, step back away from the machine and try it another day. Whatever you do, don't take it too hard, everything is fixable! I've seen some pretty bad machines that were rescued and made to look brand new. Have you found someone to help you yet?

Joe... Glenn.... can one of you help? :)

miriam 10-27-2012 06:58 AM

I think Glenn is having a yard sale in the cold & rain today. Be patient he'll be around. Christine is right chill a bit. Can you give a bit of details - what is going wrong? Pics? We successfully did a couple - using Glenns' method on the paint/shellac for a finish. It is easy to work with and you don't have a big mess with spray when you are done.

Glenn 10-27-2012 02:31 PM


Originally Posted by rupato (Post 5596937)
Hi,
I'm new and I'm very upset about my machine......I just wanted to clean it and now I've ruined it and I don't know what to do! I think I seriously have to find someone that can restore the finish on it. It's my favorite machine to sew with. Anyone around Albany New York that does restoration?

I am here again. Can you send a pic of the machine. It sounds as if you were a little agressive on the cleaning of the head. You need to use very little alcohol and more linseed oil. You will never be able to get rid of all the crazing because if you do you will silver the decals. So once you clean the decals with machine oil you can fill in the crazing some with more shellac and linseed oil but it will go slowly.
The old brown stuff you think is smoke is shellac that has yellowed and turned brown with age. This is the normal result of natural age and the patina that comes with it. I really need to see a pic so we can see what is going on.

Skip

Glenn 10-27-2012 02:35 PM

Most people try to make the old machines look new but you will not be able to. You can clean them up and make them look good but you will not be able to hide the age. This does affect the sewing. Most be try to over restore and they end up with more trouble.

Eggie 11-16-2012 09:51 AM

Hi! I just bought a Domestic Treadle this week and want to restore the machine and the cabinet. I can't find the thread about restoring the cabinet and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. Also, once I take the rust off the 'shiny' metal parts, what is protecting it from rusting again? The Brasso? Or just routine rub down it machine oil? Will cleaning the rust off remove the engraved numbers on the front bobbin plate? (Some kind of chart?)

Glenn 11-16-2012 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by Eggie (Post 5661040)
Hi! I just bought a Domestic Treadle this week and want to restore the machine and the cabinet. I can't find the thread about restoring the cabinet and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. Also, once I take the rust off the 'shiny' metal parts, what is protecting it from rusting again? The Brasso? Or just routine rub down it machine oil? Will cleaning the rust off remove the engraved numbers on the front bobbin plate? (Some kind of chart?)

Eggie search cleaning reviving sewing machine cabinets and it will list my post to read. Cleaning the rust off the plate will not remove the numbers. Soak the rust off in Evapo Rust then polish with brasso or your fav chrome polish. If you keep it clean and dusted and polished every so often the rust will not return. Sewing machine oil rub down is very good to. Post a pic and I will give you some help if I can see the machine and cabinet. Have fun with the machine

Skip

Eggie 11-16-2012 12:18 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I can't upload any pictures from my computer, only URL. Maybe I'm too new? Here's the whole cabinet from my Facebook page.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]376911[/ATTACH]
Edit: Uploaded machine to FB, then linked URL...
[ATTACH=CONFIG]376912[/ATTACH]
Has original instruction book (flaking apart), accessories + box, and moves freely.

Glenn 11-16-2012 12:32 PM

Very nice cabinet and machine. First the decals are nice so only clean them with sewing machine oil and cotton balls this will take a while. Now for the cabinet it needs to be cleaned with the solution one in the tutorial. Then repair any loose veneer if any. Then we can add shellac in the areas it is worn off and we will do this with a rag shellac and linseed oil. The tutorial will explain if you have question just post them and I will glady help you thru it. But first the cabinet has to be cleaned good so we can evaluate the finish but it looks pretty good in the Pic.
Skip

qltgrose 01-01-2013 06:28 AM

This is a WONDERFUL post Glen, but now how do I keep it so I can refer back to it later when needed? :)

Patty55 01-01-2013 09:56 PM

I used Brasso with a q-tip on the medallion and it turned out great.

Patty55 01-01-2013 10:07 PM

What a great tutorial. Thank you very much! I know my machine will come out better because I read and studied this thread.

2manymachines 02-13-2013 04:47 PM

Hi, Glenn and everybody
 
I'm new to the list, and I joined for this thread! Thank you Glenn, I cannot wait to try this cleaning technique on my old Pfaff handcrank and my glass tension W&G. Thank you thank you thank you!

Cathey in AZ

miriam 02-13-2013 05:04 PM


Originally Posted by 2manymachines (Post 5859701)
I'm new to the list, and I joined for this thread! Thank you Glenn, I cannot wait to try this cleaning technique on my old Pfaff handcrank and my glass tension W&G. Thank you thank you thank you!

Cathey in AZ

Welcome - we have a lot of info on here - you can use the search up at the upper left and find a ton of stuff you didn't know you needed to know.

quiltingme 02-13-2013 05:10 PM

WOW! Are you really sure that is the same machine? Outstanding job.

Glenn 02-13-2013 05:11 PM


Originally Posted by 2manymachines (Post 5859701)
I'm new to the list, and I joined for this thread! Thank you Glenn, I cannot wait to try this cleaning technique on my old Pfaff handcrank and my glass tension W&G. Thank you thank you thank you!

Cathey in AZ

Hello Cathey and you are most welcome. Please try to stay away from the decals and clean them with sewing machine oil and you should have a nice looking machine when done. Please ask question and I will help along the way

Skip

HelenAnn 03-06-2013 05:47 AM

Glen I just have to say that I have been walking by my husbands gun cleaning supplies, (the ones he uses to restore old guns) thinking that some of them would work and your tut. just confirmed that for me. The blaster and some of the brass brushes. He may lose his work bench soon because I really like the height of it.

gragra 05-05-2013 10:43 PM

Glenn, Hope I didn't mess up my machine. I started on it before I found your site here. I just acquired an old New Royal. She was rust fast and nothing would move. I sprayed it with WD 40. Got everything moving except can't get pressure foot off yet. It is rusted on. Did the WD 40 do any harm? Should I get your rust blaster and respry everything now? I don't know know what to do now. Cannot post pics tonight or I should say this morning considering the hour. LOL Wish I had found your site earlier. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks and blessings, Gragra

Glenn 05-06-2013 05:35 AM


Originally Posted by gragra (Post 6047153)
Glenn, Hope I didn't mess up my machine. I started on it before I found your site here. I just acquired an old New Royal. She was rust fast and nothing would move. I sprayed it with WD 40. Got everything moving except can't get pressure foot off yet. It is rusted on. Did the WD 40 do any harm? Should I get your rust blaster and respry everything now? I don't know know what to do now. Cannot post pics tonight or I should say this morning considering the hour. LOL Wish I had found your site earlier. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks and blessings, Gragra

I recommend you use Plast buster instead of WD40 to loosen up the machine. You can use liquid wrench on rusted screw ansd such. Try not to get it on the painted areas and the decals. Decals are cleaned with sewing machine oil only. Then you can french polish shellac over them to protect them. Wipe all the WD40 off and oil with sewing machine oil and you should be fine. Lots of people on the board use tri-flow to lub their machines. It is very good. No you did no harm. Would really like to see a pic so we can see what is going on with it and how to approach the cleaning of the machine.
Skip

SteveH 05-06-2013 07:41 AM

Well said and I have to say x2 on the PBBlaster. the stuff works great.

jpete523 05-20-2013 04:19 PM

Glenn, I'm cleaning a machine head and there's a milky-white film everywhere I have wiped with the denatured alcohol and linseed oil. Am I doing something wrong or should I keep going until this stops appearing? Also, I am confused about when it is necessary to use the aniline dye. Finally, is it necessary to clean off the alcohol/oil solution before applying the shellac? Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us!

Jan

Glenn 05-20-2013 05:07 PM

[QUOTE=jpete523;6075961]Glenn, I'm cleaning a machine head and there's a milky-white film everywhere I have wiped with the denatured alcohol and linseed oil. Am I doing something wrong or should I keep going until this stops appearing? Also, I am confused about when it is necessary to use the aniline dye. Finally, is it necessary to clean off the alcohol/oil solution before applying the shellac? Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us!

Hi Jan, Was the white film on the machine before you started cleaning or did start to show after cleaning? I need to know what type of machine you have Singer? with the black japan finish. The aniline dye is mixed with shellac to a paint consistency and used to touch up chips and areas that are missing the black. No need to remove the alcohol and linseed oil because you will be using the linseed oil when applying the shellac. But first we need to find out about the white film. Could you post a pic please. I would not do anything else until we find out what the film is. If your machine is not a singer it may not have a shellac clear coat. So a pic would help me see what is going on and I can advise you on the correct method of fixing the problem. My feeling is that if this happened while cleaning the clear coat it may not be shellac. I am always glad to help a fellow Texan. Born in Decatur. Waiting for your next post Skip

Mizkaki 05-20-2013 05:20 PM

Who do I contact to deal with a problem (technical) on this forum? I can't see any posting past 140 even though there are 142 posts listed. I doubt that I can see this post of mine. I am not having any problems with any other forum.

Cathy

Glenn 05-20-2013 05:29 PM


Originally Posted by Mizkaki (Post 6076058)
Who do I contact to deal with a problem (technical) on this forum? I can't see any posting past 140 even though there are 142 posts listed. I doubt that I can see this post of mine. I am not having any problems with any other forum.

Cathy

Cathy I had the same problem but it corrected itself. I dont know what happened. I would contact the moderator and see how to get in touch tech support.

miriam 05-20-2013 05:47 PM

I used rubbing alcohol on a Singer 99 to clean the tar stuff off. The shellac turned white. Can I put new shellac on over it or will it always be white? The poor machine sews fine - kinda ugly.

jpete523 05-20-2013 05:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Glenn, This is a Wizard Electric, made in Occupied Japan, modeled after a Singer 15. So we're guessing it's not shellac but probably lacquer? Oh my, now what oh Mighty Wise One? Have I made a major boo-boo?

Jan, who hails from Houston

Glenn 05-20-2013 06:12 PM

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

Glenn 05-20-2013 06:20 PM


Originally Posted by miriam (Post 6076122)
I used rubbing alcohol on a Singer 99 to clean the tar stuff off. The shellac turned white. Can I put new shellac on over it or will it always be white? The poor machine sews fine - kinda ugly.

Oh Miriam, first is the 99 black japan if so then you can mix some aniline dye(alcohol soluble) with the shellac to make a very black paint. Use this tinted shellac and the linseed oil to french polish the whit areas and you shold be fine. This will take several polishings to get good coverage. Sometimes french polish with just linseed oil a little alcohol will remove the white areas. But if you have done this over lacquer the alcohol will turn it white. If lacquer get some high gloss black lacquer and spray the white areas. Next time use bug and tar remover made for cars.
Skip

jpete523 05-20-2013 06:28 PM

Thanks, I'll do that but it'll have to wait until tomorrow since I don't have any acetone. Closest thing is nail polish remover and I doubt that's what you mean. If the denatured alcohol softens the finish am I double checking that it's shellac by applying the acetone? I am lightly sanding to remove the whitened areas? And finally, is lacquer only available as a spray? You want me to paint the decal????? Oh, that's funny, Skip! My hands are so shakey I can't paint a wall! Maybe I could bribe my oldest granddaughter to do it. College kids always need money.

Jan

Glenn 05-20-2013 06:41 PM

Jan you can buy lacquer in a can for brushing but you don't want to try it because is will leave brush marks spraying is the best. Nail polish remover is acetone but contains some kind of oil so it is easy on the hands. Acetone will try out you skin in a hurry. You can try it but it will take longer to penetrate the finish because of the oil in it. Make sure sure you are sanding with wet and dry paper with a lubricant so the finish will take a very smooth coat of paint if needed. If it turns out to be lacquer you will need acetone anyway.
Skip
Ps if the alcohol softens the finish no need to check with the acetone test.

miriam 05-21-2013 02:55 AM

Tar and bug remover - ok next time. It isn't a very big spot - I caught on pretty quick. I did get rid of the tar.

Donna L 08-27-2013 08:33 AM

I am trying what you said to get the old coat off but it is not working . Do you have any other suggestions??

Glenn 08-27-2013 02:56 PM

Donna, what machine are you trying to remove the clear coat? This method only works if the clear coat is shellac. You may have a lacquer coat instead of shellac. A pic would be nice.
Skip

joyfulsewful 08-29-2013 08:37 AM

Good Job She's a real beauty

amcatanzaro 11-01-2013 01:51 PM


Originally Posted by SteveH (Post 6047855)
Well said and I have to say x2 on the PBBlaster. the stuff works great.

It's amazing. And needs a well ventilated area. Woah.

Rodney 11-03-2013 07:15 PM

Thank you Glenn for another great tutorial. A lot of very good information in here.
Thanks again,
Rodney

Cecilia S. 11-13-2013 07:18 PM

Dear Glenn,

I have purchased some shellac, white/clear in the powder/flake form. That is, for those of you who don't know (which included me until a few hours ago), the flake shellac is normally orangey, and a bleaching process makes it white when in dry form, clear when applied and cured. Apparently this also makes the flakes turn powdery. Glenn, am I right so far?

So, my question: the recipes for mixing up with methylated spirits are in 4-pound or 2-pound concentrations. I probably only want 1/4 cup if the stuff... Glenn, can you give me an idea as to how much powder to mix with how much alcohol in order to get a desirable consistency for sewing machine shellac coat?

Also, I don't recall whether you specified this: in applying the Nice Coat (that is, the finish; not the initial smoothing-out coat), would you use a fine brush? Or another method?

Thanks in advance.

Cecilia.

Glenn 11-13-2013 08:00 PM

Cecilia, You are right on the shellac flakes. Take a 1/4 cup of denatured alcohol and put in a small bottle with a lid. Now drop in a tablespoon(an overloaded tablespoon) of shellac into the alcohol. Shake and let sit for about an hour then shake again. It should be thickness of sewing machine oil if not add a little more shellac and shake. I apply all coats with the french polish method. Do not brush on shellac or you will end up with brush strokes in the finish. After the last finish coat let the shellac cure for about two weeks then you can wax the machine with a coat of car wax(the stuff without the cleaner just wax) BTW did you find out what the oil was from Lee Valley?
Skip

GreyQ 11-14-2013 06:04 AM

That's amazing!!!

Cecilia S. 11-14-2013 09:33 AM

Thank you Glenn!

So, just to clarify; Step One, where you do the alcohol + oil to smooth out the bumps; this is indeed only to re-activate the old shellac and blend in the ridges where some has chipped away, correct? So, there is no need to do this elsewhere, just where there are ridges?

And no, even the guy at Lee Valley did not know what was in the Circa 1850 bottle. I will post a photo later and you can see. :-)

Very excited to begin tackling this machine today!

Also, when you say you do the French Polish method on the shellac application; thanks for the tip not to use a brush. Would you recommend cheesecloth, old t-shirt, or anything in particular for this part of the equation?

Oh, one more thing: I am do the Alcohol+ oil smoothing, then the naptha, then a coat of shellac all in the first day, yes?

And then wait tow weeks before polishing further? Yeesh, this will test my patience!

Do you generally find that only one coat of shellac is enough? I will read your tute again; perhaps this was in there. So, don't answer if I have just asked a redundant question. OH, great gobs, if more than one coat is required, would I need to wait two weeks between EACH COAT? Oh no oh no oh no!!!! :-) Patience patience patience!


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