Thursday, April 3, 2014

Iron Lady, Day Three: Comparisons

Tuesday afternoon I had a chance to spend a couple hours working on cleaning the machine head.  I've put together the before/after pictures as best I could.  I would like to think I'm a better artist than I am a photographer since I didn't match up my before/after shots very well.
The face-plate on the machine is very pretty.  I could have scrubbed some more, but figured I had gotten the worst of it off.  At least the screw heads are clean.
I didn't get as much of the old, dry and caked oil off the tension disks as some other areas, but they are clean on the inside.  I think it looks much better, though.
I was really surprised to see how much nicer the decals look in the after picture.  Sure shined up that cover plate, but the decals are really showing now.
I didn't get all of the rust off of the hand-wheel, but I managed to get most of it.  Such a pretty little thing, isn't she?
I didn't get every bit off the underside, but I did spend some time cleaning up the worst of it.  I was really lucky to find a machine where everything moved, so I'm not going to complain about a little dried oil that doesn't affect operation.
This picture is a little weird, since I took one from each side of the machine.  I'm just happy I didn't damage the decals in my cleaning.  This is the decal in the center of the machine bed.
I realized, after some cleaning, that I had read the serial number incorrectly.  It doesn't change her age or place of birth, but it is nice to know I have the right number written down in my records.
I thought this one of the stitch-length adjustment screw and the bobbin winder was the most dramatic.  Surface rust removed and everything oiled up.  I am overly excited about seeing a bobbin wound on this machine.  Silly, but I'm still excited.

All that remains is to set her back in the cabinet, attach the belt and do some test sewing.  Since I moved every adjustment screw all the way out and all the way in while cleaning and oiling, I'm sure it will take me a little while to get her stitching predictably.

My references for this project include:

The Treadle Lady
Web:  http://treadlelady.com
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TreadleLady

Our Handmade Home
Blog:  http://our-handmade-home.blogspot.com/p/singer-sewing-machine.html

Granny Miller:  A Journal of Agrarian Life & Skills
Blog:  http://www.granny-miller.com/

A-1 Sewing Machine Specialists
Singer No. 66 Manual:  http://www.a1sewingmachine.com/manuals/66.pdf

I am not an expert at refinishing.  I am not an expert and sewing machine care or maintenance.  I am a quilter, sewer and sewing machine enthusiast.  My goal is a working treadle sewing machine.

4 comments:

  1. Have you tried WD40 as a cleaner? It is fish oil based and it does clean. I was sceptical, but it does work

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    Replies
    1. Everything I have read says not to use WD-40. It will remove the decals and may damage the machine finish. It also is only a water displacing compound, and does not leave behind lubrication. For cleaning I've been using gentle pressure and light machine oil that you use to oil the machine along with a penetrating fluid that also lubricates.

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  2. Thanks for the mention Becca 😊

    Your machine looks like she is cleaning up nicely. I'm like you, I just wanted my sewing machine to sew again.

    Ann @ Our Handmade Home

    P.S. WD40 does work well but don't let it near the decals as it strips the colouring off (I learned the hard way)

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  3. It looks so clean! You can definitely tell that you put in some very hard work to get her back in shape. Beautiful! -Brittany

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