Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cleaning Sewing Machines

I purchased 3 vintage sewing machines in October.  Because of my father-in-laws bypass surgery, then the holidays, I haven't had time to clean these machines up and test them.  Today, I made time to clean 2 of these machines. 

This is the first machine I cleaned (yes, these are BEFORE pictures).  See how dirty this Singer 99 from 1925 was?

tape on the base of the machine

tape and lots of dirt

scratches all over the bentwood case
There was lots of lint in this machine.  It took me quite a while to get all the lint out before I could start cleaning the machine and oiling it. 

this is the bobbin area BEFORE (minus most of the lint)

these are some of the cotton balls and the pipe cleaner I used
cleaned Singer 99, the tape came off with lots of work

cleaned bobbin area

lovely faceplate on this machine

view from the back

doesn't this look much nicer now?

key that goes to the bentwood case

 Yipee!  One machine done.  I still need a slide plate for this machine, and a hand crank.  I had a spoked hand wheel.  I will try to rewire the light for this machine.  Not sure when I'll get around to messing with that.  I haven't rewired anything before. 

Now for the 1949 Singer 66 that I got while in Arkansas in October.  This machine has a crinkle finish as the paint job.  I personally think that crinkle finish paint jobs are ugly.  Still, I went back and purchased this poor machine. 

Here are some BEFORE pictures.

dirty machine 
told ya it was dirty!  This was under the motor area

dirty bobbin area

I took the motors off both of these machines.  I didn't even test the motor on this machine, the wiring scared me too much.  The motor worked on the other machine, but, needed to be rewired.  This machine also had a light, but, the way it was wired, I could only use the light if I used the motor. 

Here is the cleaned up machine.

clean, but, with this type of paint, she'll never be shiny

clean bobbin area

see how clean the back is now
This machine also needs a face plate and a hand crank.  I used my last spoked hand wheel on this machine.  This machine also needs a base.  She didn't come with a base.

I tested the stitches on both machines.  The Singer 99 worked right off.  It was harder to change the stitch length on her, and, she doesn't have back tack because of her age.  That's ok.  The Singer 66 has back tack and the stitches are much easier to adjust.  It helps that she is a much younger machine.  I had problems with the tension.  I got it partly adjusted, but, I'll have to work on her tension more after I get a hand crank.  It's hard to do just by turning the hand wheel.  These machine both use the same bobbins, too.  I can get a dozen metal bobbins for these machines for about the same as the cheap plastic bobbins from the store.  I'd much rather the metal bobbins. 

Tomorrow, I get to go back to Letty Mae's Tea House in Morris.  Some of my friends are celebrating my Birthday early, since my Birthday week is very busy, quilting wise.  We are also going to visit 2 different quilt stores while we are out (of course).  I'm looking for some white on white fabric for an upcoming project.  I'll try to take some pictures.

13 comments:

  1. Great cleanup! It's great to see them have a new life.

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  2. Good job on the machines cleanup. They look great! Have fun tomorrow, and early Happy Birthday!

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  3. Lovely clean up. I have a 1939 crinkle finish 99 that I could not get clean until I wiped it down with baby oil. Looks better now--but I think a crinkle finish just calls dust from everywhere (which may be why the crinkle finish was invented--it was dust bowl days back then).
    Your un-birthday outing sounds wonderful. Have a lot of fun!

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  4. Beautiful machines..love old beauties. Great job perking them up!

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  5. I just inherited a 66 from 1948 with the crinkle finish. I am woefully ignorant on these machines. I thought some idiot took spraypaint to my machine. I am soooooooo glad you told me that is normal!!!!

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  6. Nice cleaning job on those old machines. I live in Indiana and travel I80 often to visit family in IL. I know about Roberts in Joliet, but are there other 'special' quilt shops in the Morris area that I should visit?
    I also want to comment on that wonderful nursery rhymes quilt. At which library is it?
    I'm an email subscriber to your blog and enjoy it very much.

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  7. Cheryl,

    These look just stunning! I love watching a neglected machine come back to life. If you don't mind me asking, what did you use for polishing up the chrome parts? Also, what in the world did you use on the bentwood case? I have one here that could use some work.
    I am in the process of cleaning up a Japanese clone but the machine is still stuck I will keep at it though. Love this colder part of winter because it forces me stay home and finally fix up all of the machines that followed me home in the spring and summer! :-)
    Thanks for sharing your amazing machines,
    Danielle (in Illinois)

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  8. Cheryl,

    These look just stunning! I love watching a neglected machine come back to life. If you don't mind me asking, what did you use for polishing up the chrome parts? Also, what in the world did you use on the bentwood case? I have one here that could use some work.
    I am in the process of cleaning up a Japanese clone but the machine is still stuck I will keep at it though. Love this colder part of winter because it forces me stay home and finally fix up all of the machines that followed me home in the spring and summer! :-)
    Thanks for sharing your amazing machines,
    Danielle (in Illinois)

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  9. Nicely done! It's always good to see vintage machines cleaned up. Happy Birthday!

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  10. Wow. The before and after photos are amazing. Will you use these machines now?

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  11. Happy Birthday! and many more!
    Hugs

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  12. I love seeing all of the fabulous old machines you find!!!! Thanks for sharing! =)

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