Introduction: Fix and Restore Vintage Singer Sewing Machine
Step 1: Start Greasing!
Step 1, getting machine to work. If you find one and the motor still works your in luck! I found this one at an auction for 30$ and it was so seized you couldn't even turn the wheel by hand. So I got out my favourite 3in 1 oil and everywhere you see metal moving on metal that's where you put the oil. Also you will see little holes in the cast iron and those are oil holes as well, remember a little oil goes a long way. As you oil the machine keep trying to free up the gears with gentle pressure. Clean any loose threads you may see tangled up and gently wipe down your machine. For most vintage machines this is all they need to get running. for more adjustments find a copy of your machines manual as every machine is a little different. For a full restoration keep reading.
Step 2: Take It Apart
If you choose to fully restore and paint your machine, make sure you can get parts if needbelt) Supplies - respirator or good mask - safety goggles - specialty latex gloves for paint stripper - old clothes - cup of ice water - cheap paint brushes with no plastic parts - heirloom paint and varnish stripper - mineral spirits - primer - spray paint (make sure it covers metal) - clear coat -600 grit wet sand paper - clean rag - disposable metal dish - WD 40 - scrapper Start by unscrewing the hand wheel, presser foot and anything els you don't want painted. It's a good idea to take lots of pictures and to keep screws organized in an ice cube tray. So it's easier to put back together. There is a good before and after picture where I polished the silver.
Step 3: Stripping
I used heirloom gel stripper because its less messy and works great on these old machines. Make sure you strip the machine in a well ventilated area and wear all safety equipment these fumes can be toxic. Also remember paint stripper hurts like crazy if it touches your skin. Immediately rinse with ice water. Place your machine on a piece of cardboard and generously paint the stripper onto your machine. Let it sit as directed. Once it's time to start stripping use your scrapper to get it off. This may take several applications. Keep going until you get all the paint off than thoroughly clean with mineral spirits to remove any residue. No it's time to give your machine a quick sand and then were off to priming!
Step 4: Priming Time!
Using tape and newspaper plug all the holes so paint doesn't get on the gears. This is the most important part if you want a nice Finish. Spray lots of thin coats each gently overlapping the other. Remember to take your time and leave at least 12 hours after spraying before you sand. Using your 600 grit sand paper wet sand the whole machine and parts until its nice and smooth. Wipe off the residue an give it a second coat of primer. Same as above wait 12 hours and sand again. It's a good idea to use a clean box to spray in so dust doesn't get blown into your paint an ruin the finish. Using side to side stokes evenly apply a thin layer of paint( going to fast will leave runs) I did about 4 layers of paint lightly sanding between each application.
Step 5: Paint and Decals
When you are satisfied with the coverage of your paint, it's time to sand and add 1 layer of clear coat. I haven't got a finished picture yet because I am still waiting for original singer water slide decals I ordered online. But if you have them you can apply them now and keep doing layers of sanding then clear coat. I usually do about 5 on the base of my machine that's where they wear the most and 3 on the rest. REMEMBER THIS IS JUST A GUIDE! Please follow individual instruction on your spray paint and paint stripper! I am not responsible for any broken machines it took me a couple of try's before they started looking professional. This is the website I use to buy my decals, cheap and very easy to apply. http://www.keelersales.com/servlet/Categories?category=Decals In all this project took me 3 weekends. If you have enough ambition to on a project like this please share some pictures and feel free to ask any questions along the way.