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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)

Jayjay 11-04-2016 01:38 PM

Miriam, I can find no reference to "Plast Buster" at Lowes or Home Depot. Is there something else that can b used to clean up my Singer 127 head? Thank you

Glenn 11-04-2016 01:55 PM

It is in tool section of LOWES

IrisIrene 11-07-2016 04:22 PM

Great instructions! Thank you. I'm wondering if I am brave enough to restore a decal. :)

miriam 11-09-2016 03:38 AM

If you follow everything to a T you will restore your finish.

Jayjay 11-09-2016 06:08 PM

Glen, yes I did find the Plast Buster in the tool area. I haven't had a chance to work on machine yet - have a new grand baby due on the 18th. Will let you know how it turns out. Also, can't remember who sent me the manual for my 127 but wanted to thank the person.

Qatie 12-31-2016 08:14 AM

Haven't seen anything yet about newer vintage machines, so I'll ask. I've got a Gritzner-made Domestic 691 (same thing as a Kenmore 117.740, just different badging). It looks like lavender paint or enamel under a yellowing and chipping clear coat. Do I follow Glenn's procedure, or do I need to treat it differently?


miriam 12-31-2016 09:52 AM

You will need to read every word Glenn has written then read it again. He has a test to see if it is shellac. Usually it is the black machines that have shellac. But do his test to be sure. An enamel paint should clean up well with an oxiclean based cleaner and a drop or two of Dawn then dry quickly when it is enamel paint but not shellac finish. I've also used rubbing alcohol or naphtha on the dried up oil but use Glenn's method with shellac. You want to be sure any water based cleaning solution you use does not go on any area that moves or on shellac.

Grammahunt 01-06-2017 02:39 PM

This is fabulous. Thank you for the great post.
I'm curious about how the Dremel is used and what attachments/tips are used. I don't get that part.

morganfam7 01-08-2017 04:30 PM

Be careful!

I'm curious about how the Dremel is used and what attachments/tips are used. I don't get that part
I don't recommend using the dremel tool on your machine. This sewing machine head has some kind of clear coat on it and it's spent many, many summers in the TX heat in an enclosed shed. So, it's probably baked at 90-115+ degrees for six months out of every year for a minimum of 30 years, most likely 50 years. Stick with what Glenn suggests. Mine was a special case.

Best wishes!


miriam 01-08-2017 05:32 PM

Marcy, I need a like button.
I have used a Dremmel tool. I use a wire brush on rusted bright metal but never on the black parts. I have had machines that looked like the black was rusted. It was just dried shellac. I cleaned it according to Glenn's method and was happy with the results. You can test if it is rust or dried shellac by touching either with a Qtip and a little denatured alcohol. The denatured alcohol will make it sticky - rust won't. If it is shellac you want to totally follow Glenn's tutorial. Rust is another story. It will not respond to Glenn's refinishing techniques for shellac finish. I usually try to just clean the rust off with a bit of rust remover or chrome polish. If it still has rust a Dremmel with a little brush works. The little brushes cost an arm and a leg to use so I don't use them them unless necessary. The little brushes have a tendency to fly apart and stick in skin and clothes. I always wear protective eyewear. Keep hair out of it too. Ask me how I know.

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