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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)

miriam 01-03-2015 03:00 PM

Ok I used the nail polish remover - it took the nail polish right off but it left a white haze - will some French Polishing take care of it?

Glenn 01-03-2015 03:22 PM

Yes a little dap of french polish will do the trick

LBelle 01-03-2015 08:09 PM

I nearly made it
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Hello everyone. I'm new to fixing up old machines. I stumbled onto this thread after working and slightly ruining my new Singer 66 Red Eye. The seller had said there was a small patch of crazing in the front of the bed, but when I cleaned it up it turned out that nearly the whole bed has fine crazing on it. I discovered this when it started flaking in two spots!! Yikes! It was soooo close to being great. Everything had polished up nicely and the decals are in terrific shape.

Glenn, I've read all of your posts in this thread. I'm needing a little courage to try and fix this. Will you take a look at it? I'm posting a picture of the damage.

Glenn 01-04-2015 07:02 AM

LBelle, first of all you will never get rid of all the crazing but you can make them look pretty again. First stay away from the decals. Get you some shellac, linseed oil and a small can denatured alcohol. Get a very soft rag like an old white T-shirt or some tighty whities. Wrap the rag around your finger dip it the alcohol and put a drop or two on the rag. Then go lightly in circle in the bad area ending with going lightly in a staight line. You will see the area start to blend with the good area. Now put some shellac on the rag with a drop or two of linseed oil and do the same. It will take some time to do this blending. When you have it the way you want you can do the shole be in the same and even lightly going over the decals this will coat the decals with shellac to protect them. When you get the finish you want wait a couple of days then you can wax the whole with a good past wax. I use briwax( the clear not the dark wax. You can ask questions as you go along. The key here is to stay away from the decals until the bad areas are repaired. Don't be afraid to try this it is a proven method. Take your time and don't get in a hurry. You can practice on an old machine if you have one or even on a piece of wood to get the feel of the techinque. You will only need a small amount on the rag each time.

LBelle 01-04-2015 07:11 AM

Thank you! I'm going to get all the supplies and start to work. I have an old Wheeler and Wilson that came with the treadle cabinet I wanted. I think I will start there.
The crazing on the rest of the bed actually looks kind of interesting. Like fine wrinkles on this old girl. I was surprised to see it since the rest of the machine and the decals look so good. I wonder if new decals had been applied at some point?
Anyway, thanks for the quick response and the shot of confidence! I'll let you know how it goes.

ArchaicArcane 01-04-2015 11:32 AM

Originally Posted by Glenn (Post 7033198)
Wrap the rag around your finger dip it the alcohol and put a drop or two on the rag.

Should there be linseed oil here Glenn? It reads like you're putting alcohol and alcohol on the rag.

I found I spent a lot of time fighting the rag. It would shift around and every once in a while I dragged it in the work I'd just done. My solution? Broccoli elastic. Held the excess rag out of the way and the rag tight to my fingers. Less muttering under my breath too.

miriam 01-04-2015 11:52 AM

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Glenn has a way of wrapping the rag around his finger - look at how he hold his rag.

ArchaicArcane 01-04-2015 12:09 PM

Miriam - I'm sure someone more coordinated than me could do that no problem. ;) For some reason, I would keep letting go of the excess or it would slip on its own.

miriam 01-04-2015 12:16 PM

bigger rag?

ArchaicArcane 01-04-2015 12:29 PM

My rag looks bigger than the one on your photo. I think it's more my hands than the rag being at fault. ;)

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