Another sewing machine project today. This New Home Machine was in pretty good shape but it needed a good cleaning.
Old sewing machines are often in a lot better shape than they look. Old machines need oil frequently but the oil they had at the time was not the same as the sewing machine oil we use today. The old oil dried up and became almost like varnish. An old machine often has a coating of that oil all over it…..it becomes yellow and gunky and oddly enough that gunky coating of oil does a pretty good job of protecting the decals and if you are careful it can be cleaned off to reveal the beauty under the gunk.
I start by taking it apart a bit to make clean up easier here are a few pictures (click to enlarge)
The internal parts of the machine I clean with WD-40 …..WD 40 is NOT oil…..but it does remove the old dried up oil. If you read the manual for a 100-year-old machine they recommend using Kerosene to clean off dried oil. I find the WD-40 works just fine…..then after cleaning I wipe it all off and then oil the machine using sewing machine oil. I spray a bunch of WD-40 on the crud on the underside and the unpainted parts and let it sit for a while then scrub with a tooth-brush and extra fine steel wool. The decals are a different story, I don’t want to risk scrubbing them off so I use sewing machine oil and rub it in over and over with a cloth. That takes off the dried oil without too much abrasion. After that I wipe down the head with some mild soap to remove any excess oil and then give it a buff with a soft cloth.
Here is the result….the before is on the right
See how the decals on the head have come back…before I started the decals by the bobbin winder (on the right) were almost totally covered.
It is sewing and looking great!
Teddy had to take a look
After he said it was good I pit it in the treadle
I’ll give it a try tonight with some piecing for the next quilt.