The Sewing Place

Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools

Roger

Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« on: January 09, 2018, 06:54:51 AM »
Hi all,
We get a fair few queries about cleaning up old, older, venerable and ancient sewing machines, treadles and cabinets...
So I thought I’d start a thread to collect everyone’s thoughts.

I’m looking for any hints or tips, strategies, links to blogs you find helpful or inspiring and your favourite tools and doodads or cleaning/polishing helpfuls. The goal is to give any aspiring sewing machine fancier a good place to start and give us all somewhere to refer queries to and exchange ideas.

I’ll go away and organise my thoughts....
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

LeilaMay

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 10:17:33 AM »
My favourite resource for manual machines was provided by the Tools for Self Reliance website, but appears to be no longer there. :( Does anyway have a link via 'way-back' or similar?
Singers - 28K, 66K, 99K, 201K - all manual. Singers 221K (2 of 'em), 319K and 401G - electric. Bernina 730 Record, Elna Grasshopper, Husqvana 5220, Grain chainstitch toy machine, most of a Guhl & Harbeck chain stitch machine called Lyra. That's all!  :)

b15erk

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 10:34:32 AM »
Oh no!  Please don't say it's gone!  It was an excellent resource for Singers.....

I like Lizzie Lennard (sp?) she does a lovely cleanup job.

Favourite tools: Plusgas (to loosen stubborn screws), and AutoGlym Polish for the metal bits.  A pair of tweezers are useful too.

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Francesca

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 10:47:10 AM »
Here is a link to the wayback machine archive for TFSR. The coloured circles indicate where a snapshot was taken.

link

Is that the right thing?

LeilaMay

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 11:43:07 AM »
Here is a link to the wayback machine archive for TFSR. The coloured circles indicate where a snapshot was taken.

link

Is that the right thing?

Thank you :heart:

The link to the actual ,manual is currently this - thanks to Francesca

https://web.archive.org/web/20130814050110/http://www.tfsr.org:80/publications/technical_information/sewing_machine_manual

and I would download and save it all if you have any interest in working with m,manual machines - it's super, nad is no longer available on their current site.
Singers - 28K, 66K, 99K, 201K - all manual. Singers 221K (2 of 'em), 319K and 401G - electric. Bernina 730 Record, Elna Grasshopper, Husqvana 5220, Grain chainstitch toy machine, most of a Guhl & Harbeck chain stitch machine called Lyra. That's all!  :)

Francesca

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 12:12:19 PM »
We could probably rehost this information in our Tutorials section, as long as we state that it was originally posted on that site which is no longer available.

LeilaMay

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 12:16:52 PM »
We could probably rehost this information in our Tutorials section, as long as we state that it was originally posted on that site which is no longer available.

Their current site has a 'volunteers log-in' section I think.
It could be that they now only make the information available that way - in which case we would need their permission to make it public?
Singers - 28K, 66K, 99K, 201K - all manual. Singers 221K (2 of 'em), 319K and 401G - electric. Bernina 730 Record, Elna Grasshopper, Husqvana 5220, Grain chainstitch toy machine, most of a Guhl & Harbeck chain stitch machine called Lyra. That's all!  :)

Francesca

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 12:44:39 PM »
Their current site has a 'volunteers log-in' section I think.
It could be that they now only make the information available that way - in which case we would need their permission to make it public?

Oh that's a shame. Hopefully Roger can rewrite some of the useful stuff for here :)

Manuela

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 13:12:48 PM »
My favourite resource for manual machines was provided by the Tools for Self Reliance website, but appears to be no longer there. :( Does anyway have a link via 'way-back' or similar?

I bought two sewing machines from them. A Featherweight via Ebay, and a Singer 338K from their workshop in the Kingswood Museum in Bristol, wonderful and lovely people.

Marniesews

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 19:52:25 PM »
Great resource info.  I have downloaded the manual and in return have purchase their gift to equip a tailor with a hand sewing machine - only £11.50 and a very appropriate exchange it seemed to me.  :)
Aka Jacky F in a former life...

Barnyard

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2018, 19:07:19 PM »
Hi all,
We get a fair few queries about cleaning up old, older, venerable and ancient sewing machines, treadles and cabinets...
So I thought I’d start a thread to collect everyone’s thoughts.

I’m looking for any hints or tips, strategies, links to blogs you find helpful or inspiring and your favourite tools and doodads or cleaning/polishing helpfuls. The goal is to give any aspiring sewing machine fancier a good place to start and give us all somewhere to refer queries to and exchange ideas.

I’ll go away and organise my thoughts....

For cleaning up the mechanical side of things Roger, Singer sewing machine oil, Q tips, White spirit and a very useful tool I made. It's a waxing stick with the barbed bit of velcro glued to it. I then can add cotton wool buds and get into those hard to reach places with ease and both lubricate and clean old fluff out. I could go on for hours! There is simply nothing better than getting a dog of machine and restoring it to a fully working one.  :D

Barny

Madame Cholet

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2018, 20:21:32 PM »
These are my favourite cotton buds:
https://groceries.asda.com/product/cotton-wool-buds/asda-the-skin-system-cosmetic-cotton-wool-buds/910002516141

They have one end that looks like a normal cotton bud, and the other end is flattened. The flat end is fab for cleaning the teeth of gears. I've found that the normal end seems slightly more dense too, and less prone to the wispification which tends to occur with cotton buds of other brands.

Also these (empty) oil bottles have teeny tiny nozzles and are great for precision oil dribbling:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Needle-Nozzle-Plastic-Machine/dp/B00IIDYBZ6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1517602065&sr=8-2&keywords=sewing+machine+oil+bottle

(But bear in mind they do come on the proverbial slow boat from China).

I must say I am mightily impressed with Barny's velcro-headed-cotton-bud-waxing-stick idea; I can't wait to try that one out! :loveit:
@Barnyard - are you OK? You've gone all quiet again! I do hope that all is well.  :)

Marniesews

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2018, 11:15:16 AM »
Aka Jacky F in a former life...

jk1066

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 16:23:59 PM »
I've looked at all sorts of articles about cleaning up old sewing machines. Mostly involving chemicals that come from the usa. At the other end of the spectrum is the use of sewing machine oil. Where can I buy a tin of the stuff rather than those tiny bottles in craft shops? I'm assuming there must be an online place for SMO that someone can recommend. Many thanks

DementedFairy

Re: Cleaning VSMs: Tips, Tricks & Tools
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2018, 17:36:13 PM »
I've looked at all sorts of articles about cleaning up old sewing machines. Mostly involving chemicals that come from the usa. At the other end of the spectrum is the use of sewing machine oil. Where can I buy a tin of the stuff rather than those tiny bottles in craft shops? I'm assuming there must be an online place for SMO that someone can recommend. Many thanks
ebay, always ebay!
C'est moi!