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PatriciaPf

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Nova Montgomery says that Vaseline is "death" to a Singer 221 motor.  I assume that this would apply to all motors;  if it will wreck one it will wreck all.  Do you agree with her?  Is a $10 syringe of "Motor Lubricant" worth the too high price?  Your experienced opinions will be very much appreciated.
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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #2 
I wouldn't use Vaseline to lube a grease lubed motor. Not a particularly good lube to start with, and melts at a VERY low temperature.
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ndnchf

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Reply with quote  #3 
I agree, Vaseline is not a good motor lube.
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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriciaPf
Nova Montgomery says that Vaseline is "death" to a Singer 221 motor.  I assume that this would apply to all motors;  if it will wreck one it will wreck all.  Do you agree with her?  Is a $10 syringe of "Motor Lubricant" worth the too high price?  Your experienced opinions will be very much appreciated.


There are a number of threads about motor lubes both here and over on the QB forum.   Some members went to the effort of doing various tests on actual motor grease and petroleum jelly.   One of the tests showed that the pj melted at the same temp as the actual Singer motor lube.  Synthetics would not melt or flow at any temp.

Synthetic lubes are not suited for motors with lube wicks such as Singer and the older White motors so using them may be harmful to the motor.   No proof from me on this as I will not ruin a good motor just to find out.

White actually says to use petroleum jelly in their grease lubed motors from the 1920s and up, so that dispels the theory that the pj will damage all motors.

As for Nova Montgomery saying pj will ruin Singer motors I'd take that with a grain of salt.   She and April1930s both sell the syringe of motor lube for the ridiculous price and I suspect they bend the facts to get people to buy it.

I cannot say if their lube is the same as the old Singer lube or not ... yet.   I ordered a tube from April1930s last Saturday and it hasn't arrived yet.
When it does I'll be using it to lube up a Singer 15-91.   Those use the same supply of grease to lube both the motor and gear.  So that should tell us something.

Joe

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Farmer John

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Reply with quote  #5 
It is very easy to test greases to check their ability to wick, just place a dab upon printer copy paper and wait.  I have done this with every non  synthetic grease that I have.....
Singer motor grease
Vaseline
Lithium greases (various)
White Lubriplate
In about three days all will have a 2 to 3 inch circle of oil radiating out from the dab.  Yes, Singer motor grease and Vaseline both melt at around 115 F, while all of the others appear to have no melting point at all, but will sit and bubble & boil at extremely high heat.  No motor that I have lubed with Vaseline has ever complained.  In addition, every motor grease reservoir that I have examined has been empty, probably for decades... the motors continue to run.
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Tom W

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Reply with quote  #6 
Been using Petroleum Jelly in sewing machine motors for 35 years and haven't killed one yet. My great-grandmother's White FR treadle with an early motor conversion from the 30's has had PJ used in the motor for 80+ years as recommended in the owner's manual with no ill affect. Both Singer (after they ceased production of the original Motor Lube) and White actively promoted use of PJ as motor lube. Going to take more evidence than the word of a person making money off a very expensive product to change my mind, I'm talking repeatable, scientific method, blind study testing...

Stepping off my soap box now...
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hence the Joy of collecting PRE electric machines... hehe
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.

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Reply with quote  #8 
I find that non-electric machines function better when lubricated, including treadle mechanisms. What lubricant is recommended for treadles? I have some gun grease; would that be good?
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yeah, I was referring to the whole "motors must have X" debate that virtually does not exist for mechanical machines.

Most would not care.   anything that reduces friction.  SM (petroleum) oil, bearing grease, lithium grease, petroleum jelly, spermaceti, all work. I've been told that at least one of my machines was lubricated with vegetable oil (cooking oil) for the last 10 years of its life before me.  Smelled like a salad...  Adjusting the slop and cleaning the bearing surfaces out is way more important that the type of lube in their case.



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Farmer John

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Reply with quote  #10 
James, unlike motors, treadles don't have any grease cups or wicks.  Treadles are all oil for me, as one won't get grease to flow into the Singer cone bearings, or into the ball bearings upon which the great wheel of other brands are mounted.
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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks, John. I use sewing machine oil in the wheel hub, but in the points of articulation for the pitman, treadle, etc. I put a dab of grease.
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #12 
Since I live in the city that has the weirdest college in the country that I'm sure someone would happily test for me just what some certain lubricants are made of, I need to order a couple tubes and get to it testing.

Cari

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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #13 
Cari,

If you do get them to analyze the lubes, please post the results in large, bold, bright red text so none of us miss it.  [smile]

Joe

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morningstar

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Reply with quote  #14 
Haven't used enough of either one To notice as I have had some Singer tubes for a while . Maybe I am not doing enough " greasing".
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genny_rob

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Reply with quote  #15 
When you say "synthetic lube" could you give me an example.
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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by genny_rob
When you say "synthetic lube" could you give me an example.


Tri-Flow Grease:  http://www.shop.sew-classic.com/Tri-Flow-Sewing-Machine-Grease-VALUE-size-3-oz-TF23004.htm

Joe


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JM in FT Wayne, IN

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #17 
Probably on that link that Joe posted above, Jenny even says to use PJ for the grease wicks.  She recommends it.  Rain Recommends it: http://vssmb.blogspot.ca/2011/12/how-to-re-wire-potted-motor-part-19-re.html

And I called a few electric motor rebuild shops and they ALL said there's no reason Vaseline or PJ would be a problem.  I discussed it here a few months ago for anyone who's curious about the background:
https://www.facebook.com/archaicarcane/photos/a.543574802399312.1073741827.337492039674257/965490966874358/?type=3&theater
No facebook account should be needed (I think) - it's a public page, so I usually watch my potty mouth. [wink]

Even the video April 1930s posted they say that the lube needs a low melting point and then notably do NOT talk about or test PJ at all. 

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Tammi in Alberta, Canada
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #18 
I just made two orders. When I get them I'll make the phone call.

Cari

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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane
Probably on that link that Joe posted above, Jenny even says to use PJ for the grease wicks.  She recommends it.  Rain Recommends it: http://vssmb.blogspot.ca/2011/12/how-to-re-wire-potted-motor-part-19-re.html

And I called a few electric motor rebuild shops and they ALL said there's no reason Vaseline or PJ would be a problem.  I discussed it here a few months ago for anyone who's curious about the background:
https://www.facebook.com/archaicarcane/photos/a.543574802399312.1073741827.337492039674257/965490966874358/?type=3&theater
No facebook account should be needed (I think) - it's a public page, so I usually watch my potty mouth. [wink]

Even the video April 1930s posted they say that the lube needs a low melting point and then notably do NOT talk about or test PJ at all. 

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Most likely because they want to sell that lube in the syringe.  

I just bought a tube from her to try in my Singer 15-91.    I notice the lube looks much like the amber clearish old Singer lube.  How it compares functionally I'll find out eventually.

Joe

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by J Miller


Most likely because they want to sell that lube in the syringe.  

I just bought a tube from her to try in my Singer 15-91.    I notice the lube looks much like the amber clearish old Singer lube.  How it compares functionally I'll find out eventually.

Joe


Yep, and they know that most people will only ever buy 1 tube so they have the price that high (because they can). 

I suspect that even the Singer Lube was basically PJ with a colorant - some are more opaque than others.  There was one I had at one point that was practically clear.

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Tammi in Alberta, Canada
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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #21 
Tammi,

This morning, down with a head cold or something, waking up to the demolition of a perfectly good house by city crews across the street from me, I remembered something.

Many eons ago when in the transmission phase of automotive trade school, I learned that the Navy used Vaseline mixed with ATF as a lubricant for certain machinery.   Two different lubricants mixed together, and according to the VN vet that told me about it, it was a very effective lube.  
I wonder if / how that mixture would work on sewing machines?

Joe

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #22 
Bleech! Maybe but I wouldn't want the open ATF in the house. That stuff stinks!
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Tammi in Alberta, Canada
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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane
Bleech'. Maybe but I wouldn't want the open ATF in the house. That stuff stinks!


Well, that's a problem with lots of things.   But I used to have a skunk scent kit in my footlocker in my bedroom, so now I can pretty much stand any stinky smell [smile] .


Joe

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ArchaicArcane

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by J Miller


Well, that's a problem with lots of things.   But I used to have a skunk scent kit in my footlocker in my bedroom, so now I can pretty much stand any stinky smell [smile] .


Joe


LOL!  Then I volunteer you to try it! [wink]
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Tammi in Alberta, Canada
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J Miller

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane


LOL!  Then I volunteer you to try it! [wink]
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Been thinking about it.  

Joe

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I love the old iron and wood machines. They're solid and reliable.
JM in FT Wayne, IN

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