Sewing machine oils?

Old 01-13-2019, 07:52 AM
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Default Sewing machine oils?

A couple years ago, I purchase a Qt. of commercial sewing machine oil for my commercial sewing machine. It is clear color. Yesterday, I was wanting to oil my featherweight and got my Bernina sewing machine oil out that is about 5 years old and it's dark color and feels much heavier. Does oil go bad? Why would my commercial oil be clearer and feels like lighter weight oil? I don't want to ruin my featherweight machine and need to know more about sewing machine oil. Also, is it OK to use Lubriplate on the featherweight gears?
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:16 PM
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I am not an expert, but I remember being told that the oil can go bad. If it's clear, it's fine. I'd be leery of the dark colored one. Don't know anything about Lubriplate.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:42 PM
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Basic sewing machine oil has a thickness around SAE 5 to 10, maybe some are closer to 15 (a bit thicker). The lightest I have seen have been clear like water and almost as thin. Basic sewing machine oil is very stable and I think I dare say up to 10 years on the shelf should be fine. Some oils are more amber colored even when new and fresh, so it's hard to tell by the color alone. Singer recommended a pure acid free oil of their own brand, the industrial oil you have is probably as good as any. The Featherweight isn't very fuzzy for the gears, but I personally prefer a ligher and smoother grease on gears than the white lithium greases. Some recommend Triflow these days, both oil and grease, it has teflon added. The motor has grease wicks, the expert recommendation is vaseline or one of the special greases like the Featherweight shop have. Don't use white lithium grease for the motor bearings. I assume Lubriplate is a lithium grease?

Last edited by Mickey2; 01-13-2019 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:16 AM
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Yes, Sewing machine oil does get old. I only use Ballistol oil. It was recommended years ago for my Passap Knitting Machine made in Switzerland by Bernina. I use it on everything that needs lubricating. You can buy it on line.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:35 AM
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After posting my reply I did a quick search on the subject. I can't find any specific data on it, but the fancier the oil the shorter the shelf life. Some places give basic motor and transmission oils are given a 5 year expiration date, other oils like those fluids used to lessen friction on lathe machines are given a 2 year exipiration date (the are often more watery liquids, and blends of all various substanses). These are all more fancy compunds. Greases can last a long time, still just as fine after more than 10 years, some seem to be very stable. Highly refined mineral oils with no additives (aka good quality sewing machine oil) last a long time in a sealed container proteced from direct sunlight. Exactly when they start to disintegrate I can't find much info on. In soil most of them seem to brake down after 3 weeks, very different from crude oil or petrol.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by shadow59602 View Post
Yes, Sewing machine oil does get old. I only use Ballistol oil. It was recommended years ago for my Passap Knitting Machine made in Switzerland by Bernina. I use it on everything that needs lubricating. You can buy it on line.
I use a food-grade silicone spray on all knitting machines. Wonder if they are also good for sewing machines in drop form?
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:45 PM
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image.jpgI got a free quart with the free 2116. Still looks clear. As an aircraft mechanic I know that Jett fuel samples exposed to sunlight will turn yellow. Likewise I never seen baby oil turn yellow in sunlight. That jar I got has been around so maybe the holly grail of oils is baby oil? I’m still all about the oil that makes your slide slippery and Dosent leave a stain
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:30 AM
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Yep, I use Triflow oil. I does the job.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:49 PM
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I was kinda kidding about the baby oil thing. I was out in the bundocks of North Carolina when I picked up this machine and that jar of oil was labeled sewing machine oil. I really thought it was some sippin whiskey at first glance.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:22 PM
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Really when the guy handed me the jar and said this is just some kind of oil that’s supposed to go with it. I was confused you are giving the machine and $20 worth of oil or are you offering a sip of spirits?
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