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Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines


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Published in: Devices & Hardware
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Restoring Vintage Sewing Machines

  1. 1. By Hayley Ninnis
  2. 2.  Passionate about vintage jewelry and clothing, Hayley Ninnis sells these items through her Etsy store. Hayley Ninnis also enjoys refurbishing furniture and is currently at work on a White brand sewing machine. Each part of a vintage or antique sewing machine responds differently to the restoration process. The wood elements are likely to require some degree of refinishing, which you can accomplish with a few simple and easily available tools. After applying a coat of mineral spirits to see how the wood will look with finish alone, you can clean it with Murphy oil soap and water, then coat any white rings with denatured alcohol. If you prefer, however, you can coat the rings with petroleum jelly to sit overnight.
  3. 3.  As far as paint splatters on the wood, you can scrape them with a razor blade if you place masking tape on the razor’s corners, which can cut into the wood if unprotected. Epoxy can fill in any missing wood pieces, and gel stain returns colors to their former glory. You can then turn your attention to the sewing machine portion of the piece. Begin by wiping it down gently and pulling out any old fibers with tweezers. You may need to clean the gears with kerosene oil, then apply machine lubricator to make the interior ready to use. Check for parts, such as the belt, that may need replacing. Finally, clean the finish with mineral oil and use a silver polishing cloth to brighten the metallic parts and make them shine.