PMCREATIONS

Help with very dirty Singer 111w155

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I am trading a saw for a Singer 111w155. Unfortunately this thing has been sitting in a barn for a few years after his mother passed away. It has some rust and alot of gummed up oil. 

 

This is my first industrial sewing machine and I just would like some advice on how to get this thing into the best shape it can be. What cleaners do you recommend or should I just find a shop to service it?

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Great idea to save a classic!  I also have a 55.  The marine manual says to soak it in diesel fuel for 48m hours to start with, then wipe dry and oil w/any available motor oil!  LoL!  That's the start.

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When I've been faced with similar situations, I've removed the easy stuff like tension assemblies, etc. then slathered the painted and other substantial parts with Gojo non-pumice hand cleaner.  Let it sit for about 45 minutes then wipe if off with paper or cotton towels.   This does a surprisingly good job of removing surface dirt and oil., so you can see what you have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjhnzfmuLgg

 

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Any suggestions on getting the rust off?

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Once it's set up, electrolysis works well.  I've use an assortment of WD40, wire wheels, abrasive papers, metal files, abrasive stones and the like depending on the piece.  The wire wheel is generally my first choice.  You might find other choices with a google search.  Also check some of the documented restoration projects on LW by member Constabulary and others.

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Took some pictures of the amount of dust, grim, and rust. Its offly bad now that I actually have it in hand. 

 

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Edited by PMCREATIONS

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PMCREATIONS,

  Your originals words: This is my first industrial sewing machine and I just would like some advice on how to get this thing into the best shape it can be. What cleaners do you recommend or should I just find a shop to service it?

If you actually want to get the machine into "the best shape it can be", you'll get a few more ideas from this LW restoration thread:

https://leatherworker.net/forum/topic/83226-first-try-at-japanning-on-a-restoration-project-the-conclusion/?tab=comments#comment-561233

If it were mine, first I would do the Gojo thing all over to see what's uncovered.  If it still looked promising, I would brush Kleen-Strip mineral spirits onto the moving parts.  After it dried, I would oil all of the moving parts, then see if maybe it would turn over properly and perhaps do a stitch.  At that point, not being a sewer, I would have someone knowledgeable look at it and give an opinion about the feasibility of going further with a restoration.

 

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I guess I'm just looking for tips on making this thing functional. I think at the moment I'm just going to gojo it and wire brush it like you suggest then test the timing and stitching. 

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That looks like a nice challenge . Just ' ripe ' for restoration   :) But I can't see any reverse,   but I can see a chainsaw ha ha  :)

A good clean and large bottle of machine oil .   You could get a new  ' Singer ' decal  if you're concerned about losing it.  

Love to see this one up and running soon...... and maybe the chain saw too eh? 

HS 

 

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I going to spend Wednesday cleaning it the best I can and hooking a new servo to it. I will post updates as i work. 

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After removing all bits externally that can be removed, I use a wire brush and kerosene to degrease and remove rust if heavily affected, otherwise turps and stiff brush. I “rinse” internal parts with WD40, wipe clean, then use Singer oil to lubricate again and bearing grease where applicable.

I also slip a very thin tool (knife, screwdriver) behind the model and Singer badge on the body and gently, evenly, prise them off along with the pins. Take your time, you don’t want to kink them or rip the plates off without the pins. The pins CAN be removed from the inside with magical hands and tools, none of which I have. 

The machine looks so much nicer when repainted with everything removed first. Once cleaned, primed, repainted and with new decals in place (Keelers USA, approximately $20 Australian) I use a two-pack polyethylene clear coat, very sparsely, to keep the decals intact and provide a hard wearing barrier. It doesn’t yellow with age, unlike two-pack epoxy resin. But resin is tougher, so if yellowing isn’t going to be noticeable use that.

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I should have added this before. Something in the old Singer paint (dust when you sand), the cleaning chemicals, or the paint/resin applications causes severe allergies if contact with my skin occurs. So gloves, mask, and complete coverall clothing is a must. Check out my face when this happens. 

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A lot old machines  used to use  nitrocellulose lacquers they are very toxic, and have in fact been outlawed for use as an automotive finish

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That's quite a reaction, Mizzy!:blink:

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The top left one is very scary Mizzy:rolleyes2:

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Dried old oil and dirt often looks like rust. Try a hot water and washing soda solution - you will be surprised how much gunk is coming off. Submerge the whole machine and use some brushes for cleaning the mechanics. If you have a compressor you can use a spray / wash gun to wash out the inside of the machine with this solution. Long bottle brushes can help cleaning the machine inside. You can also use kerosene / diesel or paint thinner - however - be careful when using inflammable fluids in the wash gun. It however is very effective but it also causes fumes you better do not inhale. BUT - it is effective - at least for what I´m doing.

Depending on the overall condition my 1st step often is the washing soda solution followed by paint thinner. The paint thinner will wash out the water and soda remains and when its all dried I oil the machine.

Always wear proper safety equipment!

 

EDIT:

I just recently discovered this stuff but haven´t tested it yet.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Koch-Chemie-Green-Universal-Cleaner/dp/B011OKX44S

Edited by Constabulary

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If you're using a 2 part polyurethane paint / clear coat, that could be the irritation problem right there. Are you spraying it?

The isocyanate in that stuff is extremely toxic - People who use it professionally only work with full face respirator (with appropriate filter cartridges), and a Tyvek "moon suit", at a minimum - Supplied air is better / preferred.

Please be careful - It's nothing to fool with.

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What trash said..Use the right protective gear..and a mask that flows clean outside air down over your face and away from your eyes , nose and mouth..

I used to use large amounts of two pack polyurethanes and expoxies, acrylics, polyesters*..You can die from exposure to some of the catalisers and the vapours that they give off when curing..Poisoned myself twice..You breath, but your blood cells are not taking up the oxygen, so you suffocate..it is like being up a mountain with no oxygen, or skydiving from alooooong way up and trying to breath at the top when you jump out.

 

Your reaction looks like you get some kind of histamine "shock"..keep strong anti-histamines around you in case it happens again..if your throat reacts like  that, and you have no way to stop the reaction very fast..you'll not be around to tell anyone about it..

 

The respirator cartridges in the full face masks are OK, but..when they are no longer working ( they get saturated, and they do not protect against all vapours ) they give no warning..so you can continue to use them without realising that they are doing nothing, until it is too late..

 

*I had a Custom painting and Trompe l'oeil business for years, cars, bikes, boats, Circus trailers, Fairground attractions etc..sometimes was spraying two pack clear for 8 hours without even a "go pee" break..

Edited by mikesc

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Apart from antihistamines and an epi pen on standby (for when my throat is affected), the very best solution is prevention with protective gear as you have all wisely noted. Thank you. I hope others take heed, seeing is believing, as they say. 

The reaction lasts for about two weeks; imagine the looks my poor husband gets when we walk around our small country town together with this face?

Edited by Mizzy
Missed something

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Made a video of me testing it out. I'll post a video slide show of the photos I took while working. 

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That’s beautiful! Can you post a few more pictures of the cleaned internals please? 

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