Thursday, November 5, 2015

More Machines, less stitching

I'm still cleaning machines.  I got 4 new (to me) machines this week, so, it's to be expected.  I've only cleaned 2 of those machines, so far.

The first two machines I picked up Tuesday evening.  They were FILTHY! 
1921 Singer 66

back of Singer 66
After taking the motor and light off (they are connected, so, both had to go), I went to take the machine out of the base, since it is easier to clean that way.  Look what I found when I lifted the machine back.
insulation and the remnants of the manual
There was a hole in the middle of the insulation.  I think something lived there at one time.  I did a thorough cleaning of the wood base, don't worry.  Lots of elbow grease to get the grime off, too.
cleaned & polished base

felt added to the bottom of the base, to prevent scratches
Doesn't that wood look much nicer now?

Next, I cleaned all the silver parts of the machine, then cleaned all the lint out.  I changed out the solid hand wheel to a spoked hand wheel, and, after cleaning the machine (LOTS of grime on the machine) I added a hand crank.  The hand crank is an original hand crank I picked up in Princeton, IL a year or more ago.

Here is the cleaned up 1921 Singer 66.
all cleaned up (you can see where they 'pinned' the decals on the arm)

back (this machine didn't come with a silver cover, since it had a light over the hole, instead)

face plate is much cleaner now

This is an original hand crank that I picked up a year ago.  Not sure if it will stay on this machine.

This machine came with a bentwood cover.  I also cleaned it up a bit.
bentwood cover (back)

bentwood cover (front)

cover half oiled
When I went to put the cover on the machine (it was sitting next to the machine when I got it, not on it), I found out that it didn't fit.  I put it next to another cover/base that I have, that is for a 3/4 size machine.

bottom is the cleaned & oiled cover, top is a empty 3/4 size case
Then I put a full size bentwood cover next to the 3/4 size covers.
bottom is a full size cover
The full size cover came with my new (to me) Gritzner that my sister-in-law found for me.  (it doesn't go with the Gritzner, either). 

Now it has a new home.  I'm hoping to get a handle for it soon.  No, I haven't cleaned up this cover (yet).
cover on Singer 66 base & machine
Next, I moved on to the other machine I picked up Tuesday evening.  A cute little 3/4 sized Singer 128.  This machine was pretty rusty, but, it has great decals.
1923 Singer 128 (3/4 sized machine)

back of Singer 128

notice the rust, and the broken light bracket
Someone decided that this machine needed a new spool pin.  Interesting way to re-purpose a knitting needle.
even the knitting needle was rusty

knitting needle was bent, too.
Because of all the rust on this machine, it took even longer to clean.  I had to use steel wool to 'sand' away as much of the rust as I could.  I also used Evaporust on the chrome parts (don't leave them in the solution too long, or they change color).

Remember that empty 3/4 sized Bentwood base and cover, from a couple photo's above?  Well, it isn't empty anymore. (yes, I still need to clean & oil the wood some more).  Look how pretty this machine looks when it is clean.

cleaned 1923 Singer 128

back (It still has rust, where the hole is)  the light covered this area before.

look at that face plate shine

almost no rust on the slide plates, and look at those decals

I even got the rust off the hand wheel
I was exhausted after cleaning all day and evening on these two machines.  I even worked on them while watching the CMA's.  I could have done more, but, I was too tired.

This morning, I decided to finally clean the Gritzner hand crank (original hand crank, not converted) that my sister-in-law found for me in New Mexico, earlier this summer.  I didn't get it until late September.  I've shown this machine in a previous post (Arkansas TOGA).

The Gritzner wasn't nearly as dirty as the first two machines, but, it still took a while to clean.  I couldn't take this machine out of the base, because of how it is installed.  I didn't want to damage the base by removing screws.

no hinge pins, but, screwed into the base

This machine came with some goodies.
lots of extra bobbins, some needles (regular size, thank goodness) and the original foot (not rusty anymore)

Here is the Gritzner, all cleaned up.
Gritzner hand crank

shiny face plate

back of Gritzner

Gritzner hand crank
I did go to the Quilts of Valor sew-in on Tuesday, but, I didn't sew (or stay long).  Before the sew-in, I helped a friend convert her Singer 66 into a hand crank.  (sorry, no pictures). 

Because of all the cleaning of machines lately, I have not been sewing.  I'm hoping to get some stitching done next week (Christmas is coming, and, I'm not ready yet).    I still have two machines to turn into hand cranks, too. 


  1. Wow that is a lot of work, but it definitely paid off. They are gorgeous.

  2. You do the most incredible job cleaning up and restoring sewing machines! These all turned out just stunning!

  3. I love these posts, you really bring those beautiful machines back to life.

  4. Oh my goodness... you have been working so hard cleaning these lovely old gals. They are positively sparkly with all the TLC!

  5. You are a miracle worker. Beautiful!!!!!

  6. Great haul! and nice work! I let a lovely La Vencedora escape back into the wild several years ago and still regret it.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Cheryl you do the most amazing work bringing life back to these poor machines, such a pleasure to see your wonderful work

  9. Gosh, Cheryl, you have been busy. I have a row of no less that 5 heads on the only work space in our garage, that DH is bugging me to get out of there. You are inspiring me. You did a great job on those machines. I love the La Vencedora! I had a similar problem with my old 27 that I de-electrified and put a wrap around hand crank the case doesn't fit back on at all. Will have to go hunting! Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Comments are IMPORTANT to me. Thank you for commenting. If you are a no-reply or Google+ commentor, please leave me your email address, so that I can reply to you. If you don't want everyone to see your email address, then you can send me a private reply (my email address is listed under my profile).