It's rare that you'll get a 'perfect' machine...I've owned well over 150 so far and I've put at least a few hours of cleaning into nearly all of them...some have literally taken up days/weeks of my life. Even when a machine has been cared for as much as possible, time itself will have aged it and stained it...it's original oil and grease will have stagnated, air pollutants and dust will have soaked in...and back then, everyone smoked, resulting in something that may look still great on the outside, but when you take that face-plate off for maybe the first time in its life or look under the bobbin & needle plates, you usually
re-coil with disgust lol...and trust me, I hate seeing that 'nicotine look' on those lovely steel rods and levers...long, long after I'm gone there's a good chance that the machines I've worked on will still be going strong, because of me...I like that feeling...and it's worth the pain lol!
the price of restoration...ouch!
All of my machines are fully serviced as standard, something most people charge in the region of £40 to £50 for, given a thorough cleaning too but furthermore most are also as restored as is sensibly possible...
this is very time consuming and will usually take up many hours spanning several days on-and-off... obviously I'm not going to spend a day of my life restoring a machine that doesn't merit it but to give
you an idea of what I'll usually do, here's a list:
1...strip it of hardware, remove un-even/rotten feet...clean/oil it and usually add new feet...sometimes some super-glueing and re-tacking will also be necessary.
2...polish all of the hardware and sometimes restore the toolbox cover, sand it then re-spray and lacquer.
1...lids are usually damaged either by time itself and/or people and will usually need some area re-glued.
1...the underneath will usually have congealed grease and I'll often take time to scrape off the worst areas and then rub with wire wool...in the case of more precious machines, such as 12k's, I will also polish the metal rods.
2...hand-cranks...again, with rarer machines I'll take apart completely, clean out the gunk, drift out the handle and polish it...all are thoroughly oiled.
3...dirty face-plates are really given the full treatment...they'll be scrubbed with toothbrushes, brillo pads, wire wool, washing up liquid, cilit bang and metal polish to get them as nice as possible.
4...the entire body will be cleaned as much as possible using a soft cloth and oil.
5...every single visible (and often invisible too) screw, bolt, fitting, arm, lever, nut, bolt (apart from spool pins unless absolutely necessary) etc etc will be removed including all of the inside of the head, the stop motion screw, the balance wheel, tension assembly etc and they'll be wiped, soaked in alcohol, cotton-budded, whatever, and then polished to a high shine.
6...I will also usually take out the entire bobbin housing as they're usually crammed with fluff and debris and clean out that area.
7...bobbin winders will be removed and taken apart and again fully polished.
8...prior to re-assembly I will then take the machine, turn it upside down and literally pour oil into its difficult to reach areas and oil the underside too.
9...I'll then start to put it all back together and EVERY single part will be oiled as I go.
10...the machine will then sit on a towel over-night to drip/drain then given a wipe down and put into its base...I'll then fill a bobbin and then load it up and thread it and then check that it sews correctly and fiddle with the thread tension till its suitable.
TEXT CONCERNING ELECTRICS COMING SOON...
I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO MENTION...
on special machines, special either because of condition or rarity, if there's a part that lets the rest of it down I will usually cannibalise another machine...sometimes I manage to pick up inferior examples cheaply, sometimes not so cheaply...I also buy a lot of parts online and from a few dealers to make my machines as good as I feasibly can...my point is that I do this at 'my own expense' as such...for example, I recently finished restoring my eleven 12k's...only nine survived...two were literally used for parts, those two cost me the best part of £100 and most people with brains in their heads would never cannibalise a perfectly good 12k haha! I simply wasn't content with the way everything was and wanted it better and I must say the surviving nine are very strong indeed!!! even the most worn one is much better than the average you'll see online.
So...if anyone has a machine that needs fixing, restoring, cleaning, new shiney parts...maybe it's a sentimental family one or maybe it's something you're simply concerned about doing yourself...drop me a line to discuss...if I can help, I will!...and check out some of my work below....
RESTORATION OF AN 1891 27K V.S.2 FIDDLE-BASE
RESTORATION OF AN ABSOLUTELY TRASHED BASE
RESTORATION OF A 66K SARCOPHAGUS CASE
RESTORATION OF A 96KSV7...CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS
AND HERE'S A BIT OF RANDOMNESS FOR YOU...I'VE TAKEN MANY OF MOST SINGERS APART NOW AND PUT
THEM BACK TOGETHER AGAIN...SOME HAVE BEEN DUE FOR THE BIN....SOME NEAR PERFECT...
AND THE ONLY!!!! PART I'VE EVER REPEATEDLY FOUND WEAK/FLAWED/BROKEN IS THIS TYPE OF
BOBBIN CASE/SHUTTLE...INTERESTINGLY THESE ALL CAME FROM 66K'S....
AS YOU CAN SEE...ALL FOUR OF THESE HAVE THE LEFT-SIDE STICKY-OUTY-BIT SNAPPED OFF....
THREE IN VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL PLACES....MOST BIZARRE.....