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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 06-24-2015 06:21 AM

I've cleaned up worse. Just read everything under Glenn's name you can find. Also don't expect your first experiment to be perfect. LOL - You will learn what chemicals to use and what not to use - hopefully not the hard way.

thepolyparrot 06-24-2015 10:58 AM

2 Attachment(s)
This 66 is almost done - another couple of coats of Briwax and I can put her back together.

I don't know how many coats of shellac are on it, but I never could get the swirls out of it. Probably because Texas is stinkin hot this time of year. I resorted to wet-sanding, 600 grit to 1500 grit. Then Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0 and clear Briwax.

Not too bad for a first attempt, and I've got three more in the works, now.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]523341[/ATTACH]

The front edge of this bed was in really sad shape - more chips than japanning left.

Cari-in-Oly 06-24-2015 11:44 AM

Beautiful! Nice work for a first time.

Cari

msleepingbeauty00 06-24-2015 11:49 AM

Perfect! Thanks so much!!

ArchaicArcane 06-24-2015 03:37 PM


Originally Posted by thepolyparrot (Post 7237177)
I don't know how many coats of shellac are on it, but I never could get the swirls out of it. Probably because Texas is stinkin hot this time of year. I resorted to wet-sanding, 600 grit to 1500 grit.

You did a great job!

Yep, I did the same thing. I got busy and haven't finished but I've wet sanded from about 600 to 2000 or 2500 too. I finally found BriWax here so I can wax when I get a chance to and remember both the machine and the wax at the same time. ;)

The swirls were not necessarily the heat. I have no heat problems here except in the summer and I did mine in the winter and early spring.

thepolyparrot 06-24-2015 08:42 PM

Ah, so it's my technique that's wanting. It was so pleasant to blame it on the heat, but I suspected it was my lack of practice! :D

I just bought another red eye, today, and the decals are in even better shape than the first, even though it's twenty years older. So now I have three 66 treadles - I'm thinking I might bolt a motor on this one at least long enough to grind and polish the plated part of the handwheel.

The Tiffany 27 is still being cleaned and the 15 needs many more coats of shellac; since it' s my main machine,
I want it protected and shiny. :)

ArchaicArcane 06-25-2015 07:36 AM


Originally Posted by thepolyparrot (Post 7237648)
Ah, so it's my technique that's wanting. It was so pleasant to blame it on the heat, but I suspected it was my lack of practice! :D

I just bought another red eye, today, and the decals are in even better shape than the first, even though it's twenty years older. So now I have three 66 treadles - I'm thinking I might bolt a motor on this one at least long enough to grind and polish the plated part of the handwheel.

The Tiffany 27 is still being cleaned and the 15 needs many more coats of shellac; since it' s my main machine,
I want it protected and shiny. :)

In roughly 3 - 4 years, I've only seen one red eye in person in this conglomeration of cities/towns around me. They just weren't common here as best I can tell. The one I did see was "auctioned" at a local thrift shop. I also had a gozilla 66 of my own for a bit but I think those 2 are the extent of the 66s I've met in person here.

When I had trouble with the swirls, it was too thick application combined with too quick drying. (Which I suppose could be made worse by heat... :thumbup:) I think what I did - and it was months ago now and I barely remember lunch yesterday... - was a little more linseed oil and possibly to thin the shellac a tiny bit because I found leaving my little jar open caused the alcohol to evaporate and cause the shellac to thicken on me.

thepolyparrot 06-25-2015 10:57 AM

Tammi, I looked for a decent red eye for eight years, but any that popped up here were thrashed or cost a mint or both.

A couple of months ago, this one popped up, horrendously dirty but good decals and I could afford it. And then the second one, a couple weeks ago, great decals but the cabinet needs veneer work - $350. She lowered the price and I offered her half that and explained why - all the extra work, back-clamping attachments, etc and we settled on $150.

I think these good red eyes waited until I had this tutorial! :)

I did have to add some denatured alcohol to the shellac because in this heat, it really did thicken up in the can. I've used about 70% of this half-pint can on two machines. Is that normal?

miriam 06-25-2015 11:34 AM

You did use a lot of shellac on two machines.

ArchaicArcane 06-25-2015 11:45 AM

I agree with Miriam. That's a lot of shellac to use on 2 machines. I have probably 70% of my can left after a lot of coats on 1 machine and a couple of coats on another. Make sure you give it a LOT of time to cure because it does sound like your coats were thicker than usual.

I've spent less time looking lately for machines but the near complete lack of 66s really surprises me. Lots of 201s, (1)27/(1)28s, some 15s, and a generous helping of featherweights and later machines seems to be the main choices that made it here.


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