Thursday, January 9, 2014

Not So Pretty

Here's what I found in the bobbin area of my new Singer 66K treadle when I opened it up today:
It was caked solid with lint, which was all very dry. I don't think the machine had been cleaned out or oiled for a very long time. Below is just a small part of the lint I pulled out of it, but can you see the bit of metal?
That's the end of a broken needle. Who knows how long that's been in the works.

Behind the side panel was the same story:
 Dry and caked with years of lint.

I am puzzled by the outer surface of the machine. All the black areas seem to be coated either in a waxy yellow build-up (for anyone who remembers Mary Hartman), or the surface layer of the original finish breaking down:
The darker patches are where the yellowy stuff has come off. Is it old shellac? And if it is, will removing it also remove the pretty decals? I need to research this before I get too enthusiastic about cleaning the exterior.


  1. You are right not very pretty. I found lots of information on line about my Singer Featherweight. The information about finishes and restoration should be interchangeable. Good luck.

  2. Yucky, she should be wonderful once you get all the junk out of there

  3. I have a tutorial that you might find helpful on cleaning the race wick in bobbin area for your Singer 66. It makes a huge difference once it is totally cleaned and oil. Enjoy!

  4. If it sewed OK when it had all that gunk in there, I can only imagine how nice it will be when it's all cleaned up.

  5. Wow - ICK!! You're right it's not so pretty but it will get better! Check out the Vintage Machines page on Bonnie Hunter's blog - at the bottom she has a ton of reference websites listed for help with vintage machines - cleaning, repairing, restoring, collecting, parts, etc. Keep us posted on your progress.