Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to service and clean a Singer 66 ..Cleaning the machine

Cleaning the machine itself
 I distract myself from the task of removing and cleaning parts bytaking little breaks to clean the machine.  This 66 is in wonderful shape but she is over 80 years old and dirt does accumulate.  I have used various methods of cleaning but my favorite is still castile soap.  I used Murphy's (or a generic equivalent) on Rosie and some of the decals were damaged a bit.  I think the castile soap (Dr. Bronners almond oil) is gentler.  

I work in a small area at a time and I use q tips on the decals to gently wash the dirt and grime away.  I buy the cheap q tips and refuse to by the Q tip brand name for this task.  They just come apart.  Generic q-tips on the paper stick work the best.   I go through a lot of q tips because once it get black I toss it.   I use a toothbrush on the decal free areas.  I then gently wipe the  machine clean with a clean rag (old   tee shirts.  I have a lot of them.  ) I like to follow that with a rinse of sewing machine oil (applied with a q tip)  and then I keep gently rubbing.  I have experimented with bug and tar remover as well.  I also have used TR-3 resin glaze cleaner and polish but not until I have removed most of the grit and grime.  I don't use it on the decals, though.  I just rub and rub gently gently to get it shiny.     This machine will not look as good as new, nor do I want her too.  I love looking at the marks and scratches and imagine the story of how they came to be there. 

I love the way the colors emerge and the machine comes to life.  This is why I cannot resist taking a break from cleaning parts by cleaning the machine.

In  way I like the contrast all that dirt provided.  The plate itself felt gritty though and unpleasant to handle.   I soaked this part in degreaser first then rinsed with alcohol then used Mother's metal cleaner.  Nothing shines like Mother's.  What is missing in this photo?

 If you said the bobbin winder, you are right.

 The bobbin winder is a chore to clean and to put back together.  I took a short cut and gently cleaned it with some kerosene and scrubbed the metal parts with a small brass wire brush.  I have taken these apart and there is a trick to getting it back together so that the spring works correctly.  I don't like to do it and since I am not a purist, I do my best.  This one cleaned up fairly well with a bit of attention

Sorry, no after photo.  

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