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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #1 
Since there are so many folks here with many different types of vintage and antique sewing machines, I'm interested to know your preferred oil to use for maintenance once your machines are cleaned and all the old varnished oil removed as much as possible.

I've been using Tri-Flow and so far I'm happy.  But will this product still leave residue upon evaporation?  Are industrial sewing machine oils appropriate/advantagous for domestic use?

Is regular Singer sewing machine oil as good as anything?
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaly
Since there are so many folks here with many different types of vintage and antique sewing machines, I'm interested to know your preferred oil to use for maintenance once your machines are cleaned and all the old varnished oil removed as much as possible.

I've been using Tri-Flow and so far I'm happy.  But will this product still leave residue upon evaporation?  Are industrial sewing machine oils appropriate/advantagous for domestic use?

Is regular Singer sewing machine oil as good as anything?


Chaly,

I think as long as you use a good quality sewing machine oil (and I've used Singer oil in my 56 year old Singer 328 ever since I got it Christmas of 1963).  Tri-Flow is a good sewing machine oil, and I think almost any SM oil will leave a residue -- I always wipe my machine down and make sure it's clean before I start sewing anything.  My machines have been mostly unused for several months now, and they'll definitely be oiled and cleaned before I use them.  Also, NEVER use 3-in-1 oil or WD-40.  The 3-in-1 oil will harden into the worst crud ever -- something you don't want to have to clean off your machine(s).  WD-40 has something in it that could be hazardous to the decals on some of the more vintage machines.

I have a 201-2 that I was lucky enough to get, with beautiful decals -- when I use that machine, I protect the bed of the machine with magnetic material (available in office supply stores).  That's from a hint from Skipper a few years ago.  I don't want to damage or mess up my decals!  I am not really that wise about machines, but I sure am careful!

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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm no expert, I've used Singer, Dritz, and have a quart of Lily I ordered online. I've used tri-flow oil on the 301, but it seemed to run a tad "heavy" if it hadn't sewn in a while. I went back to SMO, and haven't had that issue again. As to different brands of SMO, idk. Will be good to learn of other's opinions and experiences.
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Lori in Wisconsin
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hello group,  I use different oils for different applications.  I'm sitting at the Pancake House in the city eating lunch and just got back from a supply run so it's in the e-trike.  Bought 1 gallon of Juki-M oil for 360 pesos (US $7.20) , thread, 1 yard of pocket bag material and other construction related supplies like 2kg stainless rod and a pack of 50 cutting discs and misc. stainless bolts.  We use lots of the Juki-M here.  It is cheap and available.  I think the "M" stands for machinery oil as it is a light yellow oil  Even though our Juki industrials have a few wicks it is supposed to be the right stuff.  Basically tilt machine back and there is a pan and a pump that sits along with some wicks in the oil bath with two marks low and high.  The small bottles of Singer brand oil at the local Ace hardware are about 70 pesos plus (let's round up to $1.50) and surprisingly is clear so it's a mineral oil with maybe a few additives/inhibitors.  Basically same as Lilly White in USA.  I also buy white SM oil by the liter bottle out of Manila.  From USA I've purchased 16oz bottles of Jojoba and also Meadowfoam oil from an eBay supplier that sells 100 percent pure.  I buy the cheap generic petroleum jelly for metal (non moving parts) but will only use Vaseline for motor pots after learning on a recent thread about 101 motors on V.S.S.  Jojoba is a modern replacement for sperm whale oil only better.  I don't use synthetics yet which is what the watch folks have transitioned to after leaving the sperm oil many decades ago.  There is a US branded oil at Ace for wood that is ok also at Ace.  Basically it's mineral oil with lemon or lemon scent added.  I use that on our wooden treadle table and the company has been around since 1800's.  Lots of options available and they all seem to work ok from what I've seen just some tend to turn into shellac while others don't.  I'm more worried about dealing with the stuff on my hands (especially kerosene) as I don't want to become sensitized to any of it.  Last thing I want is dermatitis rashes.  The machines can be repaired but the dermatitis is a life long thing same as sensitization to chemicals.  I have enough in the family tree that have gotten cancer to do my best to avoid it if I can.

Best regards,
Mike
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #5 
Wow, what a great idea from Skipper on the magnetic sheet material.  It can be swapped from machine to machine.....no more zippers destroying carefully done multi layers of cold cure japanning and after market decals....thanks for sharing that!!!  I'm now going to look for some.  Best regards, Mike
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Farmer John

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Reply with quote  #6 
Lori, I can understand a sm running heavy after sitting a while with Tri- Flow.  I like Tri-Flow and use it to loosen up mechanisms because it is very thin due to its high percentage of solvents.  Once the solvents evaporate, what is left is "heavy oils"....this according to the MSDS sheet. 
     When I obtained my Anker HC, it was stiff and dry, but  was completely free after lubing with Tri-Flow.  The next morning, however, the sm was locked up and wouldn't move.  I went back to the Tri-Flow, which I used as a flushing fluid, in sufficient quantity to allow the dissolved deposits to run off of the moving parts.  A follow up with regular sm oil and all has been good.
     The design of Tri-Flow was for use as a bicycle chain oil, to flush away the old oil and dirt, leaving behind a layer of heavy oil after the solvents evaporated.  So on a sm, I use it in somewhat the same fashion.
John
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Deb

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Reply with quote  #7 
I've been using any inexpensive SMO to get the machines up and running then use gun lube 'Slip 2000 EWL' to keep em going.
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Deb in WI
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanette Frantz


Chaly,

I think as long as you use a good quality sewing machine oil (and I've used Singer oil in my 56 year old Singer 328 ever since I got it Christmas of 1963). ...


Jeanette,

How special it must be for you to have your Singer 328.  It must be in beautiful shape with the care you've given it.  I have my late mother's centennial Featherweight - her high school graduation present.  I don't use it a lot but it has tremendous sentimental value.
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer John
 
 ...    When I obtained my Anker HC, it was stiff and dry, but  was completely free after lubing with Tri-Flow.  The next morning, however, the sm was locked up and wouldn't move.  I went back to the Tri-Flow, which I used as a flushing fluid, in sufficient quantity to allow the dissolved deposits to run off of the moving parts.  A follow up with regular sm oil and all has been good....
    
John


This is interesting - I'm experiencing the same thing with my Necchi Supernova.  I've cleaned it all and lubricated with Tri-Flow (my usual procedure) and it is free and sews great. Twice now, after sitting for just a few days it gets a bit stuck in parts again. I'll try a f/u with just regular sm oil and see what happens.    I've not had this experience with any of my Singers.

For my Singer 101 I've only used regular sm oil for the oil wicks since I have caution to leave any residue on them from any other type of product.  I have not heard otherwise how to relubricate these types of wicks but my method softened them up and they are working fine to wick up the oil in oil pan.
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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hello group,

  We have two Juki LZ-391's here.  One has the original two tone machinery grey/maroon paint scheme that I really like.  The other one someone painted white with blue Juki lettering to make it look more modern (amazingly this machine is still available from Juki but it seems to be made in China as I see it on Alibaba....mine are both made in Japan as can be seen in the castings and quality).  The grey one arrived having sat and the original Juki made in Japan clutch motor would not turn it.  This is one machine I've not changed over to servo as this clutch motor is of such high quality.  I oiled and oiled and saw clumps of what looked to by amber colored jelly like one would see with tree sap ooze out of the machine a little at a time.  I'd let it sit and it would start rough again but with the warming up the clutch motor would turn it no prob's.  Came back later and same repeat over again with oiling and a little tree sap stuff coming out and hard at first.  Eventually after use and repeats it all went away completely flushed by oil and use.  This was obviously very old oil that had changed states over time sitting.  The LZ-391 is a manually oiled (no pump so can go slow all day long) straight stitch or knee operated embroidery machine.  There is a bolt that can allow the knee to work as either a presser foot lifter or knee operated zig-zag width.  The manually operated presser lifter and the manual zig zag work no matter how it is configured.  Same machine as the LZ-271 (embroidery only) but has dual purpose of dedicated embroidery or straight stitch.  Really fine machines and I only paid with tables 300 plus each USD which is a real bargain.  (Just giving background on machines for curiosity real response was regarding the oil). These machines have huge zig zag widths much more than what most is used to.  

Best regards,
Mike
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Deb Milton

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Reply with quote  #11 
I’m enjoying reading this thread, and everyones personal experiences. The experiences with Tri-flo confirm something I have thought since first reading that some were using it on SMs. My first experience with it is from about 35 years ago when my first husband was a locksmilth. It is all his company used. I see that their website promotes it for bicycle use, that I understand. Personally I think that it has completely different type of lubricant/viscosity/adhesion properties than smo. I didn’t see anywhere on their website where they promoted using it for high-speed parts that are enclosed and it may be exposed to friction heat, so I don’t use it. Besides it still smells like bananas from what I hear. My husband had a heck of a time explaining why he came home smelling like bananas every day. 🤔
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SteveH-VSS

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Reply with quote  #12 
I use Tri-flo on all but a couple of specific machines.  I love the product.  Never noticed a banana smell, but that is just me.
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ellellbee

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer John
Lori, I can understand a sm running heavy after sitting a while with Tri- Flow.  I like Tri-Flow and use it to loosen up mechanisms because it is very thin due to its high percentage of solvents.  Once the solvents evaporate, what is left is "heavy oils"....this according to the MSDS sheet. 
     When I obtained my Anker HC, it was stiff and dry, but  was completely free after lubing with Tri-Flow.  The next morning, however, the sm was locked up and wouldn't move.  I went back to the Tri-Flow, which I used as a flushing fluid, in sufficient quantity to allow the dissolved deposits to run off of the moving parts.  A follow up with regular sm oil and all has been good.
     The design of Tri-Flow was for use as a bicycle chain oil, to flush away the old oil and dirt, leaving behind a layer of heavy oil after the solvents evaporated.  So on a sm, I use it in somewhat the same fashion.
John


I had similar on a Pfaff 360. It finally freed up with heat and oil but when it cooled down, it was frozen again. I just kept at it for another day and it finally stayed free and has been free since. I was using Tri-Flow. I haven't used it in over a year and just tried it and it is moving fine. I figured the old oil would soften but was still gummy so when it cooled it thickened again. My repeated efforts likely flushed it away. 


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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #14 
I have had a similar experience with a Singer 201. The main thing is to totally dissolve the old dried oil to remove it and flush it away. Any solvents or oils will soften it and allow the machine to run more or less at speed, but will be gummy again after the solvents and thin oils evaporate. This is what happened on my 201. After flushing and running full power for a couple of minutes, the machine slowed a bit and with more flushing with Aero Kroil, it took off and ran faster than before - total full speed. I ran it fast and slow a few times, mopping up with Q-tips and paper towels and then oiled it with my favorite lubricant, Break-Free CLP (The CLP stands for Cleans, Lubricates, Protects). It is my favorite oil for everything including firearms, sewing machines, cars, you name it. 

The main thing is to dissolve and flush the old dried or gummy oil. In the old manuals (like Pfaff) they mention using kerosene or gasoline. Those were the go-to solvents of the day. Gasoline was originally sold at drug stores as a cleaning solvent. I don't recommend gasoline for anything except fuel for engines, and don't like kerosene for much of anything. My lamps use paraffin lamp oil, except an old European army field lantern that only takes kerosene - the lamp oil is too thin and it leaks and sprays in that monster. My only complaint about Break-Free is they keep changing the spout design. The new one is never as good as the old one and my old 3-models-back container finally wore out. 

-Bruce
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #15 
I use Tri Flow anywhere there isn't a wick and Singer oil from Walmart or Lily White anywhere there is a wick.

Cari

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