It was many years ago I answered an advert for a (Husqvarna) Nordic sewing machine and a lot of folks probably would have passed on this machine as she was truly hideous.
This is a good reason for keeping a pair of nitrile gloves in the car, besides this kind of schmutz one might also be dealing with all kinds of nastiness, like mouse droppings and urine. Mmmmmm !
I must have saw something in this nasty little thing and started what was a laborious job of cleaning away what was probably a mix of old oil, nicotine, and gas residue from a stove. Those old gas stoves with pilot lights deposit a lot of schmutz on machines.
We are always asked what we use to clean machines, and the most important thing to know is to NEVER use soap and water as it causes rust, and will destroy those pretty gold decals, as they are usually water transfers, under a clear coat.
The old red label hand cleaner from Canadian Tire is my favourite, but they don’t make it any more, Nevr-Dull has been in production for over 60 years and usually handles chrome and bright work, and Gojo (pumice free) also works rather well, albeit not as well as the old red label.
We should not forget elbow grease and tooth brushes for getting into crevices, and those crinkle finishes are extremely hard to get clean.
We also have kerosene and really nasty machines just get a bath before we do anything, but you can use kerosene in a little syringe, or on a q-tip to clean little areas.
The best sewing machine lubricant I know of, is Tri Flow. This was originally formulated for bicycle chains but the synthetic oil with ptfe additives and cleaners can work miracles.
When it comes to grease I use Super Lube synthetic which is as slippery as a buttered kitten on glass, and safe for all plastics. It is not suitable as a motor lubricant, and for that we use petroleum jelly (petrolatum) or old Singer motor lubricant as they are nearly identical.
I use monoject oral syringes to dispense sewing machine oil, Tri-Flow, penetrating fluid, and the vet syringes hold larger quantities of Superlube, and motor lubricant.
So… how did that nasty machine turn out ?
I added an L.E.D. light and put her in a different case which I will eventually strip and stain, and the little Swede sure lays down a beautiful sticth, and has enough power to sew a bumper on a Volvo.
She was joined by her sisters; a 21A and a Rotary model 71 in our permanent collection, and neither of those needed nearly as much work.
I hope you enjoyed this little article.
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