Singer for a song

I’m not actually collecting old sewing machines, however, when Morna came to me I couldn’t really turn her away and the other weekend I found this lovely lady at a car boot sale.

I have to confess it was a less than rational purchase.  She was sitting outside a house clearance van which had loads of humdrum stuff of life poking out of its doors waiting for people to pick over which always makes me feel a bit sad.  She looked like she’d left one loving home and was waiting for another.  I didn’t want her to end up in an All Saints window display so I handed over the readies.

She still has her original key…

…I’m going to have to try super-hard to not lose that.

She’s a model 99K and from her serial number it seems she was made in 1954 in Clydebank, Scotland, the same place as Morna but 52 years later!

She’s got a handy detachable extension table.

And an original box full of feet and tools.

While I was feeling a bit under the weather last week I decided to give a her a good old tart up along with Morna.  It was surprisingly therapeutic, a bit dirty and was better than cough medicine at taking my mind off feeling pathetic.

First thing to do is a good old external dust and wipe down.  Don’t use any harsh abrasive metal cleaners or polishes as you’ll fetch off all that lovely paintwork which as well as looking nice, also protects the exposed metal parts against rust.

Next thing to tackle is the bobbin case.  Tweezers, small stiff paint brushes, cotton buds and a set of small nozzle attachments for your vacuum cleaner will come in very handy here.

After trying my best to wrench out that bit of red felt I read that it’s actually supposed to be there.  Ooops.  Didn’t say that in the manual!!

I did manage to wrestle out this fluff mountain though.

Next, as these machines were built to last, you can access practically all the mechanical moving parts.  So, tip the machine back from its base and see what delights await you…!

Piles of 60 year old fluff!

Once all the fluff is dealt with a bit of lubrication is called for.  Generally I’d advise checking the manual for exactly where to oil a sewing machine, particularly newer ones, however, with these old ones you can also use your common sense.  If it’s metal and it moves, give it a drop of oil!

Only ever use sewing machine oil – it’s light and thin and won’t clog up the machine like most other oils.

You can take off the end plate to get at all the moving parts around the needle:

A single drop of oil at all the joints is plenty.

Tip the machine off its base again to get at all the gubbins underneath:

Again, a single drop on each of those joints and moving bits.

Finally, a drop around the bobbin case and on the hand crank/wheel and Bob’s your uncle.  Good as new and probably will last longer than me.  Both her and Morna are working like a dream and I’ll make something using them soon and put some pics on here.

I actually learned how to sew on one of these machines when I was about 12 (a long time ago!) and it was a nice experience to use one again.  They actually produce a better stitch than many new machines.  Something to bear in mind if you’re planning to ask Santa for a sewing machine…

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