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Sewing Machine Transformation

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Years of being stored and left alone leave machines in poor condition.  The gears get gummed up from old grease, parts rust and the motor runs poorly.

Check out this Singer 201-2 machine I got a few weeks ago.  It was painful for me to run the machine in this state but I wanted to show how much it is struggling.  The machine is running at full speed here, it is slow and squeaky.

After a full days work of disassembling,  re-wiring motor and power/pedal cords, cleaning, greasing and oiling the machine it is SO much happier!

Removed bobbin winder assembly...

... and handwheel.

 Take everything else off the machine.

 Parts to be cleaned and metal polished.  I have these parts in a tube so I can soak them in isopropyl alcohol   The alcohol loosens the dirt and grime.  Brush with a toothbrush and dry well with soft towel.  Use BlueMagic to shine silver parts.

 Bobbin winder assembly with rust...

...and bobbin winder assembly without rust.  Interestingly enough, I used a wad of tinfoil with drops of lemon juice and rubbed the foil on the rusted parts and the chemical reaction removes the rust!

Motor and handwheel parts.  Ready to be cleaned and new wires soldered in.

New motor wires.

Motor with new grease and grease wicks.

Carbon cleaned off motor armature.

 Old, cracked foot pedal and power cords...

 ...replaced with new cords.

 Tension assembly removed, parts cleaned and assembled.

Clean machine.  I use q-tips for the interior parts and cotton balls for the exterior because they're both disposable and I go through a couple handful of each!

Old grease from the motor.

Now everything is cleaned and polished ready for assembly!  I grease the gears with Tri-flow grease.

 Motor and winder back on... handwheel.

Motor wires cut to length and attached to terminal.

I oil all the oiling points with Tri-flow oil.  The best oil for machines!  If you don't have Tri-flow, use regular sewing machine oil and nothing else!

Use Singer brand lubricant for the motor gears - not Tri-flow.  Tri-flow grease is for non-motor gears.

I used BlueMagic metal polish to buff and shine the silver metal pieces.  This stuff is amazing!  I brush the cream on with a tooth brush and clean and buff with cotton balls.

Here's the finished product inside one of the wooden sewing bases I made. See tutorial here of how I made the base.

If you don't know it by now, the Singer 201-2's are my favorite machine to work on!  They're sexy and stealthy all at the same time... is that even possible?

If you're interested in re-furbishing your own machine, I have motor re-wiring kits for sale on Ebay.

Makeover Advice - What would you do?

Saturday, March 23, 2013
I saw this treadle at a re-use store today, looked at it for a few minutes and decided to walk around the store for a few minutes to decide if I would get it.  The moment I saw someone else look at it - game on!  I wasn't going to let this slip out of my grasp even though it was more than what I usually pay.  As I was paying 2 other people stooped down to check it out and were disappointed to hear that it was sold.  As I was loading it in my vehicle another couple stopped to say, "Good find"!  It is a good find.  I've never heard of "The Eldredge" company, but this is practically identical to my other "Sears" treadle.  The machine has a layer of dust and some rust but mechanically sound and cosmetically in fine condition.  It comes with the attachment set and manual.  The cabinet is also great.  A little more ornate then what I prefer but nothing is broken and just needs a face lift.

 Should I keep it as original looking as possible OR should I give it a completely new look with color and hardware?  I'm totally up in the air.

What would YOU do!?

Sewing Machine Cabinet Makeover


This cabinet came with a nice machine.  I really liked the character and detail of the cabinet.  At first I pictured the cabinet with a funky color but ended up doing a classic white with distressed look.

 The top needed some love and attention.

I really liked the bi-fold top and the little drawer in the front.

I pulled everything apart, sanded and prepped for paint.

I painted it with 3 coats of white paint (primer included).

 Cleaned and prepped hardware.

Painted hardware glossy black.

Distressed the edges with a razor blade.

Gave it an older look by diluting brown wood stain 1:1 ratio with water.  Painted on and wiped right off.

It turned out pretty cute!

Sewing Machine Cabinet Makeover


I got this machine cabinet from a thrift store.  At the time I was only interested in the machine that it came with and considered this cabinet 'disposable' because it really wasn't appealing.

 The top flips open to expose the machine inside.

Cosmetically in rough shape but the wood and mechanics of the machine were great!

 I pulled it apart and sanded all the pieces.

Painted 3 coats of white paint.

 Cleaned and prepared hardware for painting.

 Spray painted the hardware...

...and the legs of the cabinet black.

 Put it back together and really like how it turned out.

 The different knobs make a big difference.

The little door on the side is cute and functional!

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