Victorian Sweatshop Forum
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Christy

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,598
Reply with quote  #1 
If you have parts where the chrome is terribly damaged, is it possible to get a smooth finish with polishing?  I've had some bits that are rusted and bubbled and I tried my dremel and it keeps tearing off more of the chrome.  Is it better to keep going?  Will it eventually come smooth?
__________________
  • Christy
  • Ukiah, California


0
ke6cvh

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 595
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Christy,

  If the chrome is bubbling and it is an important area like a tension disc it needs to be smoothed out.  Also, rust has a tendency to get worse quicker when it is covered up by more rust or in this case chrome that is flaking off.  I've been going through rehabbing several scissors here.  My heavy duty pair is chrome plated and felt rough where the chrome was coming through.  I took a small cotton piece of scrap cloth and soaked some jojoba oil which is very similar to the old sperm whale oil (but better I've read) in that it is long chain liquid wax.  After lots and lots of rubbing and scraping with my fingernail and cloth it got down to the chrome and the rust area diminished significantly leaving only the pinholes and rusted areas now black but very smooth.  Recommend watching TV or something while doing it if you do 😉  I picked up 2 pairs of scissors today from the sharpening shop, dropped off another pair and when I pick up that pair will drop off two more pairs to include this chrome covered heavy duty pair.  This is my favorite pair so I want to get it back to really good performance.  All the scissors here are locally made (except 1 pair of stainless) some just bare steel so I need to keep them properly maintained.  I considered using a dremel myself tonight but just took the cotton cloth and got the same done without taking anything off other than the rust.  Dremel should work fine also however....   I've used rust converter before but really feel it is un necessary most of the time.  I do like, however, to use rust converter on cast iron treadle bases and then paint over.  I found an internet article that talked about different rust converter formulas some time back for the park service (if I remember correctly) that was restoring cast iron in national parks.  It seems to work quite well.  Best regards, Mike
0
Christy

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,598
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for ringing in Mike.  I haven't had the problem on scissors, but it's pretty common on slide plates for these old machines.  I understand that where the chrome is bubbled up there is generally rust underneath so I've been using the dremel to remove both damaged chrome and rust.  I can get them fairly smooth and workable but they are very unattractive.  Right now I have a Frister and Rossman in nice condition but missing the front slide plate.  I've located a slide plate but it's in poor condition.  They probably aren't going to be an easy thing to find so I am wondering if I can wait for a nicer one or if I should just grab this one with the hopes of polishing it out.

As I am writing this I am thinking I should grab it.  I am sure they don't just pop up often.

I have poked into typewriter collector groups before and some of them actually re-chrome parts.  I'm not sure I would want to go that far in my re-furbishing or whether a smooth polish is going to be acceptable.



__________________
  • Christy
  • Ukiah, California


0
ke6cvh

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 595
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Christy,  I'm in the Philippines and humidity can be very high here.  Dust can collect moisture.  I have had to make covers for all the machines using either this thin nylon that is supposedly used to repair umbrellas, heavy clear vinyl when I want to display the machine through it, or a combination of both.  It makes a big difference fighting corrosion.  I've read wisdom from a lady on a group to not use compressed air to clean because of the moisture content.  I've read several posts on knife forums especially as I started to get a collection of tomahawks which are typically hand forged 1095 high carbon steel in the center and 1055 on the outside but also sometimes hand forged chrome moly.  In the knife forums they talk about using petroleum jelly and it only needs to be re applied months at a time whereas oil can require a weekly application.  A very very smart guy in California who owns several Wheeler and Wilson machines taught me on email about the old sperm whale oil in that it would build up.  Even on this thread someone from Canada talked about how people used to use bear fat oil and when cleaned off amazing condition underneath.  As I cleaned up this machine with the jojoba oil I was impressed and am starting to use it because of it "sticking" to the metal well like the old sperm whale oil did.  I also bought a 16oz bottle of meadow foam seed oil.  This is used in beauty products and sun tan lotion for it's UV inhibiting properties.  Likely it's not as good as jojoba but for the wiping down of the bed of a machine it is nice in my opinion.  We went through a phase of collecting kerosene pressurized and non pressurized lanterns as I was experimenting with peltier junctions (thermo electric generators) to try to get an LED light off a hurricane lantern.  I got it working but gave it up for other projects.  We then made an extremely good working petromax lantern set up with very thick 6 inch diameter aluminum pipe and a round heat sink on top.  I can hard boil a 1.9 liter pan of water in 14 minutes on that lantern while still getting the 500 candlepower it is rated at.  An internet friend in USA tried the petromax sheet metal version and after 2 hours still did not have a hard boil on 1 liter of water.  I mention this because as I worked with kerosene I would get it on my hands and I noticed how the hands would be irritated for days.  This jojoba oil absorbs into the skin also but is not harmful.   I still use other oils such as Juki-M (light machinery) oil and mineral oil but I like to use this jojoba stuff more now for external oiling applications and cleaning parts.  Best regards, Mike
0
Rita Mae

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi there, I have the same problem, the chrome on this old machine is really bad.   I have been researching how to handle this and so far looking at spray painting after sanding it smooth...there is a guy on utube that experimented with many different brands of spray paint and the best was called Spaz Stix mirror chrome finish.   I am guessing there are several ways to get it back maybe a car body shop could help I don't know.
__________________
Rita Mae
0
Miriam

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,177
Reply with quote  #6 
I don’t know where the chrome on your machine is messed up. I have soaked a handwheel in vinegar then the chrome fell offf so I polished it with steel wool. Not the same but it functioned.
__________________
Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry..
urban Indianapolis
0
Christy

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,598
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miriam
I don’t know where the chrome on your machine is messed up. I have soaked a handwheel in vinegar then the chrome fell off so I polished it with steel wool. Not the same but it functioned.


Usually it's the slide plates.  On my F&R, the handwheel had an area that was super sharp due to the chrome peeling up and I used a mild sandpaper to smooth it because it was so sharp I knew I would get cut!  I'm looking for ideas when those slide plates are just horrible with flaking chrome and rust.  The Evaporust will take care of the rust but polishing doesn't leave a very pretty finish.  

I'm hoping Steve chimes in here.  His machines always look lovely and he has experience with metal working.  I'd love to hear how to get a finish that is both smooth and attractive even if it's not the original shiny chrome.

__________________
  • Christy
  • Ukiah, California


0
ke6cvh

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 595
Reply with quote  #8 
I know re chroming can be expensive.  A while back I  bought an e-book on diy powder coating setups.  In the book the gentleman talked about earning extra money by doing small parts for folks.  Have to wonder if there is someone nearby that is capable of doing it.  If so, then I wonder how well this chrome type powder coating works out.  It is not the real McCoy but it looks pretty good.  Preparation is paramount with powder coating as any imperfections show up.  I might be better to just get it re chromed.  I like powder coating because it is a pretty tough surface. https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-extreme-chrome-bonded-powder.html
0
Christy

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,598
Reply with quote  #9 
That mirror chrome finish is interesting!  I wonder how that comes out?  For me, I think a smooth but dull finish would be my preference only because I prefer to stay true to the original, so if the chrome is shot, it's shot, unless I could re-chrome it.  
__________________
  • Christy
  • Ukiah, California


0
SteveH-VSS

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 5,178
Reply with quote  #10 
I use Brasso, Steel Wool (0000), and a bench Wire Wheel.
__________________
Antioch, California
0
Christy

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,598
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH-VSS
I use Brasso, Steel Wool (0000), and a bench Wire Wheel.


Steve, do you get a decent finish?  I haven't seen you post one recently but I'm think you get a pretty good finish on them that way.  Do you happen to have a photo of one you've done that lost all the chrome?


__________________
  • Christy
  • Ukiah, California


0
SteveH-VSS

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 5,178
Reply with quote  #12 
1st of all, the ones I work on are nickle plated, not chrome. (Chrome is MUCH harder)

Most are not completely stripped, but once cleaned and buffed, they are smooth (the real key) and in general look good as long as you are not too close.



__________________
Antioch, California
0
Rita Mae

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miriam
I don’t know where the chrome on your machine is messed up. I have soaked a handwheel in vinegar then the chrome fell offf so I polished it with steel wool. Not the same but it functioned.


Hi Miriam thanks for the response...it is the wheel and the slider plates ...most of it is off the wheel and its really not pretty.  the plates are a mess but have a little spot of shine left.  Its a 1902 Sphinx and it got badly rusted .  My grandmothers is a 1874 and I have not started on it yet.  I am trying to follow Glens tutorial on restoration.  It really is enough for me that it was hers I want to make it work and look as best I can.  Thanks for sharing....


__________________
Rita Mae
0
Miriam

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,177
Reply with quote  #14 
I have one that was rusted - I soaked it in vinegar over night. Then I polished with a green pad. Not shiny but it isn’t rusty.
__________________
Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry..
urban Indianapolis
0
Christy

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,598
Reply with quote  #15 
Now that Steve has shared that the ones he is polishing are nickel, I think I can see why mine aren't coming out as nice as his!  The main goal is to achieve a smooth surface for sewing.  After that, I always have hopes of making it as attractive as possible.  Helen is scrounging to see what she has for me, so with luck she'll have a good quality plate to sell me, but if not, I will polish it as best I can.
__________________
  • Christy
  • Ukiah, California


0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.