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Vintage Sewing Machines

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    experimenting with an oil additive with singer sewing machine oil on a vintage singer sewing machine

    Hi there
    just been oiling the singer 201 treadle, have dabbled, slightly from the normal singer sewing machine oil, for 2 reasons:

    1. To see if could solve a little noise from the bobbin case

    with the tiniest of tiny drops of slick 50 an oil additive, slick 50 is thicker than singer sewing machine oil, does make the machine run harder
    then added some singer sewing machine oil,
    moving the machine to get thinner oil around, the machine now has a lower resistance, seems smoother than just sewing machine oil alone.
    wowser. lower resistance makes my muscles happy
    interestingly the bobbin case little noise is more muffled / quieter another plus.

    Do not think would use the slick 50 tiniest of tiny drops more then once a year, with my little output on the sewing machine,
    will continue with regular use of the singer sewing machine oil.

    if this experiment had gone wrong would of used
    the heating boiler fuel, in UK we call it Kerosene but think its called Paraffin in USA, or can be referred in older terms as coal oil
    would of applied to oil holes to reduce viscosity and clean off the 50 from moving parts. Apparently researching Kerosene / Paraffin this also cleans shellac. might be better to use then a damp cloth.
    Amazing how a sewing machine can educate in other ways..

    2. Purchased the slick 50 for car engine oil, but was interested what it would do so tested on sewing machine first. both have moving parts, the 201 is fairly basic, a 201 breakdown wont strand in the middle of nowhere on a cold night.

    thinking of adding to car engine oil, in the hope will make less friction of moving parts, like has done to sewing machine.
    long term might save some fuel, with less resistance, wonder what the car brand hand book says about these additives off to ponder.

    thanks for reading about my experiment .

    I'd be very careful w/your experiment. Frankly, I would never use Kerosene. I do use a product to clean gunk off parts without decals called Krud Kutter. It is environmentally safe. Again, I do not use it on any area or piece that has decals. For those areas, I use sewing machine oil and let it soak.

    Kerosene has been used to flush out/clean up old clogs, but it can damage the finish of your machine as well as create a potential risk if used in the home.

    You should use only oil designed for sewing machines on your machine. Sewing machine oil is a white mineral oil, meaning it is clear and has no smell. The oil has a light viscosity and will not collect on the machine's gears. It is usually marketed as machine or sewing machine oil.
    You shouldn't use cooking oil or automotive oil in your machine, since doing so may clog the gears and damage any fabric used in the machine. Also, 3-in-1 oil is not suitable for sewing machines, according to Threads magazine.

    This article is very valuable to read:
    “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” ― John Muir
    “We can be many things in this life, choose to be kind!” ― author unknown


      thanks for your thorough advise muchly great full.
      was not thinking of using car engine oils, in the sewing machine, golly 15w40 yikes.
      yep oil is never just oil.

      do know the machine was used hard before my ownership, so wear may of occurred, the additive may of smoothed out that wear, a bit like 'rain x' does on a windscreen / windshield.
      never strayed far from singer sewing machine oil before myself.. and now don't have any squeaky door hinges

      thanks again for taking the time to reply


        Automotive oil is specifically made for high friction submersion of metals. A sewing machine does have metal to metal parts but does not run at 5000 rpm lime a car might. The end result will be gunk or sludge in your machine which will be impossible to remove. Yes there are noises with older/worm machines but the still work. The gap created in the wear over the years is not a machanical issue, it just makes noise. Oiling with machine oil prevents more wear. By adding a thicker oil, the oil is filling in the gap making it run harder but quieter. It will eventually gunk up in the gap and you will have no way to remove it. Also this will but considerable wear on the motor of your machine. Thread lightly with the motor oil idea.
        Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.


          hi there
          no motor, its a treadle human powered
          thanks for explanation.
          I realise now did not explain properly in first post of whys and what fors, its one of my grey areas struggle with, 'never the mind' all this info is interesting and will help other owners keep to path of correct sewing machine oil.


          Vintage Sewing Machines

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