Saturday, August 8, 2015

Singer Restoration Saturday - Cleaning up the rusty parts

To remove the rust from the parts removed from the sewing machine (especially the visible ones), I soak them in a vinegar bath for a couple of days.  This converts the insoluble red iron oxide (rust) into (more) soluble black iron acetate, which can then be scrubbed off more easily.

I start with the parts in a plastic bin:

Parts ready to be de-rusted
I then pour in enough vinegar to cover the parts.  If you do this a lot, you may want to start buying the gallon jugs of vinegar.

After soaking a couple of days, the parts are ready to be scrubbed down.

After soaking
Some of the color in the vinegar is because I used some cider vinegar to top off the bin, but most of it is from the converted rust and grime from the parts.

Next I take an old toothbrush and scrub off the remaining black stuff from the parts.  A sink with running water is the best place for this.

The cleaned up parts
You can see some of the parts, like the long feed dog rod, still has a rusty look to it.  As an internal part, the look is not so important, but you might want to give it a wipe with a bit of oil to keep the rust away.

The balance wheel's rust has been removed, but the areas that were rusty have still lost their paint.  I suspect the whole wheel will need to be stripped and repainted (and the pitted places on the rim smoothed out).

The most improvement comes in the chromed external parts.


This is a now a faceplate that would dress up a sewing machine.


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