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)

miriam 06-25-2015 11:57 AM

I may have 20 or so 66s around here.

thepolyparrot 06-25-2015 09:14 PM

I guess that explains why the decals look like they've had that resin stuff poured over them.

No idea how many coats I put on. 40? 50? They were very thin until the last two coats, which I did apply heavily, just to make sure I had enough room between the sandpaper and the decals.

I wonder how much volume just evaporated? And how much was sanded away? :)

As I was reassembling the machine, I managed to put a very deep scratch in the shellac on the bed, so that will need repair.

But it forms stitches! Feed not working right and the thread is hanging on something in the bobbin case, but she does sew a little... :)

morganfam7 06-25-2015 11:02 PM


Originally Posted by miriam (Post 7236931)
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.

I saw one of your machines pictures. The one that sews great. I'll be happy with that! I just want to do as good job as I can restoring it. I did the linseed oil / denatured alcohol on a t shirt today. It looks a lot better, but there's this persistent grunge that I can't seem to get off. I originally thought it was the rusty metal where the japaning had come off, but no, it's on top of the paint. It comes off better when it's dry / no oil. You can scratch it with your fingernail, and it comes off in a rusty yellow colored powder. The detergent and water didn't really phase it at all. It's around the decal on the base and different spots all over. I'm wondering if I should keep going until I can get it all off (if I can get it all off). You can rub and rub and rub and get none of it off. Very stubborn whatever it is. Can you or someone advise me what you think I should do?

I've been reading lots of Glenn's messages. I'm so thankful to find this board and all these posts! Soon I hope to start stripping the cabinet and treadle parts of the lead based paint. She may not be the prettiest girl on the block, but she'll still be in the family and hopefully very functional. :)

miriam 06-26-2015 02:29 AM


Originally Posted by morganfam7 (Post 7238748)
I saw one of your machines pictures. The one that sews great. I'll be happy with that! I just want to do as good job as I can restoring it. I did the linseed oil / denatured alcohol on a t shirt today. It looks a lot better, but there's this persistent grunge that I can't seem to get off. I originally thought it was the rusty metal where the japaning had come off, but no, it's on top of the paint. It comes off better when it's dry / no oil. You can scratch it with your fingernail, and it comes off in a rusty yellow colored powder. The detergent and water didn't really phase it at all. It's around the decal on the base and different spots all over. I'm wondering if I should keep going until I can get it all off (if I can get it all off). You can rub and rub and rub and get none of it off. Very stubborn whatever it is. Can you or someone advise me what you think I should do?

I've been reading lots of Glenn's messages. I'm so thankful to find this board and all these posts! Soon I hope to start stripping the cabinet and treadle parts of the lead based paint. She may not be the prettiest girl on the block, but she'll still be in the family and hopefully very functional. :)

That orange grunge is shellac - you will be able to soften it eventually and make it blend in with the new. It does take a bit of time to get it going in the right direction but worth every minute of it.

morganfam7 06-26-2015 08:08 PM

I tried the dremel tool with a plastic brush. It's very slow going, but I'm making progress! I think I'm going to use more oil and alcohol. I even was super careful and used it on top of the obscured decals above the presser foot lever. I think I can see a little more of them now. Any tricks or tips for something this hard to get off?

thepolyparrot 07-01-2015 10:12 PM

morganfam7, I'm new to this particular process, but I have used a lot of different materials and I know that you can go from thick grunge to silvered decals quicker than you could ever imagine.

Those ones by the take up lever and on the reverse were awful - absolutely buried in hard brown gunk. It just kept coming off a tiny little bit at a time on my q-tips and then all of a sudden, one of the tiny feathered ovals was smeared!

On this second one, I'm going a lot slower even than I did the first time, to allow any possible clear coat to harden up between cleanings. Gonna be a pain in the neck, but this one is potentially even prettier than the first one, although I suspect the clear coat is even more fragile than the first. I may step it down even further and use only sewing machine oil to clean these.

I have three machines and two cabinets in the works. That keeps me from getting too aggressive with any single project. I hope. ;)

Good luck to you and just keep pluggin.

miriam 07-02-2015 02:22 AM

Take your time it's free - well mostly - this is not a hurry up job.

morganfam7 07-02-2015 12:37 PM

I hear what you're saying. I think someone put something on this machine later. I don't think this is all original. After I posted the message above I used the dremel and a plastic type brush on the decals on the back along with lots of oil. I worked on this a long time with the dremel, and you can still barely see them. Definitely no silvering because there's so much on top of the decals. If I use a t shirt or cotton swab and oil, I get nothing off. I can rub and rub and rub for however long, 5 minutes, etc. and I get nothing on the rag / q tip. I wonder if this is laquer.

morganfam7 07-02-2015 12:52 PM

Thank you for the tips! I really think I'm dealing with something other than the shellac. At first there was this stuff that could be scraped off dry. Now it's like it's bulletproof. Nothing comes off on rags, and it just barely, barely comes off with the dremel brush and oil. I think someone put laquer over the decals, but I could be wrong. If that's what this is, then I may just leave it like it is and move forward.

miriam 07-02-2015 02:30 PM


Originally Posted by morganfam7 (Post 7245387)
Thank you for the tips! I really think I'm dealing with something other than the shellac. At first there was this stuff that could be scraped off dry. Now it's like it's bulletproof. Nothing comes off on rags, and it just barely, barely comes off with the dremel brush and oil. I think someone put laquer over the decals, but I could be wrong. If that's what this is, then I may just leave it like it is and move forward.

I suggest you go back to the start of this thread and read everything Glenn has written.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:57 PM.