Sunday, July 31, 2011

Veneer, after- ish

In the last post, I showed the gluing of the loose veneer.  Here, I am making a pattern to patch the places that have missing veneer.
While it would be easier to cut the patches of veneer if I squared out the missing parts, it does not look as well.  Following the splits in the wood seems to normalize the difference in the veneer.  The pattern process is like making a rubbing of a grave stone.  I just use a pencil.

Here, I am checking the fit of the pattern, and will adjust by trimming the paper as needed.  Above the pattern you see the piece of veneer that I plan to use as a donor.  I save loose veneer from other cabinets, in cases where the top is so far gone that it is better to just take it all off.  If heated with a hairdryer and carefully removed with a thin metal spatula, useful pieces can be harvested.  Veneer can also be bought in sheets.  Avoid the peel and stick- it is too thin to fill in with.

I cut the patch using an exacto knife.  If the pattern is intricate, I secure it with a swipe of a glue stick.  When cutting, look at the grain and decide which way you think it will split if things go wrong.  Work in such a way that the split, if it happens, will not go into your patch.  Here is the patch, glued in.   I don't worry about the edges- they can be easily sanded later.  I use Titebond hide glue here, as well, wipe off the over flow with a damp rag, put down a sheet of wax paper 9 I use wax paper because if it does stick, it is easy to sand off), a flat surface and heavy weight.

After the patches have dried, I use finishing putty, sold with the wood putty in the hardware store, to fill in the inevitable gaps.  Finish putty comes already colored, and can be mixed.  Apply stain before finish putty, and linseed oil or shellac or what have you after.  Sand it gently when dry.  This top just needs a final sanding and then  oil.

Anyhow, that's just how I do it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just, Before, no After yet

This kind of veneer peeling happens to sewing machine cabinets quite often.  It is not difficult to fix.  I like the pictured glue

There are many folks out there with a lot more experience and knowledge that I, this is just how I do it.

I first check, by pressing gently, that the veneer will push down into the proper place without further cracking.  If not, I put a damp rag on it while my mini iron heats up, then cautiously iron it flat.  I put a dry paper towel on top ot the ironed veneer, a flat board, and a heavy weight and let it cool under flattening forces.

Then I work some of the glue under the veneer with a nail file.  Carefully.  The I cover the area with waxed paper, ably the weight, and go away again.

the last picture is of a hinge that sadly broke  Hopefully, I'll find a replacement..Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Before and after 28 Singer

At the suggestion of my husband, a before and after shot.

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the 28 has reached the end of the road, for now

Here's the final decal and paint work.  I don't have a shuttle that's working just now, but when I do, I will try to get it actually sewing.
I have to say, it is a little un nerving, looking at a bright blue machine.Seems improper for it to not be black!  I would never repaint a machine unless it, like this one, had nothing to lose. Otherwise, I think they earn their worn spots.  ( just spelled worn "warn".  I spell with a Midwestern accent.)  

This machine, however, had a history that was not so good, and so i thought I'd try having a little fun with it.  The paint is no where near as durable as the original finish, called japaning, and made similar to enamel, with a backing/firing process. I may learn more about it and paint it over again someday, but for now, this is as far as it goes.  I can't spend on a shuttle ( about $30), a bobbin winder (ditto) when there are Singer 128's to be had for less than that, and I'm not willing to strip a functioning machine for parts, so this is where it stops, I guess.  A bit of a bittersweet finish, really, because I got in over my head.  However, I will just wait and see.  I don't need to do anything with it right now, and if I get to go to a TOGA (gathering of treadle machine enthusiasts) I will drag it along and seek wise counsel.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

shuttles old and new

Before sewing machines had round bobbins, they had a long, skinny bobbin that was housed in a shuttle, such as these.  The one on the top is from a Singer 128, the abused one I've been fussing with.  It will never sew again, likely.  Interestingly, the shuttles were something that was periodically replaced by the machine owner.  The new, never used one pictured closest to the ruler is one of these.  Sold in the same shops that sold needles, the housewife would pick up a new shuttle when she noticed skipped stitches or other problems.  It's   as though we could pick up a new bobbin race and assembly at the fabric store.  I think it is one of the reasons that these machines can last for 100 years and still be used.

So, why do I have a shuttle without knowing what machine it belongs to?  Well, because it was inexpensive, and seemed worth a shot that it might fit one of my machines, or a machine I will someday get, and because its shiny!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Liberated round robin

I sort of hate it.  The next round is piano keys.  We are doing this as a do it yourself round robin, so I am wholly liable for the results.  Dang.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Sewing machine decals

Here's the latest on the 28 re-do.  The singer decals are purchased.  The birds and flowers are home made decals, made with the packing tape decal method (here). However, I used stickers, and despite what the ladies on the link say, I have used inkjet, newsprint, all kinds of things. Before I made the decals, I painted highlights on the stickers with gold paint.  The packing tape decals are easier to work with, as they are thick.  Downside, of course, is that more layers of clearcoat will be needed to blend in the edges.  

Have more to do, but it is tedious work, and I can't do it when I'm tired or distracted, which lately seems to be a lot of the time!

So, uhm, everyone gets it, right?  Singer sewing machine? bluebirds? Singers?  I crack myself up.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I Like to Make Quilts

The kids try out a new quilt with great enthusiasm.

Here's my husband the quilt rack.  I love a quilt with feet!  The center is made from crumb pieced blocks that I trim to 12.5 inches.  The narrow border is a Japanese linen that I love love love. I used every purple I had as the solid.

Here is the back, of striped fabric. Back to front for binding.  I'm continuing on my quest of quilting tops.  Quite a few to go, but oh well.  They can't stay tops forever!
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lamp becomes sewing machine, again.

Remember the frankenmachine?  This is what it looked like when it arrived.Much worse than I had thought.  Looking it over, I think it was a kid's shop project.  There was a tag on the bottom with someone's initials on it.  The case is also not like others I have seen.  There's no place for a cover to attach, and the cut outs for the hinges are a little rough. The lamp bit is made on a lathe and then shaped to fit, with the wiring being pulled through the pillar. The spool pin hole was enlarged to secure the lamp harp. I'm guessing the machine was dragged in from the barn, the dump, or the yard to be used for this lamp project. Poor machine.

This is with it somewhat disassembled.  I started out by cleaning it with liquid wrench, which I understand to be made mostly of kerosene, but I quickly went through a little bottle,  I went back to the hardware ( who am I kidding- I love going to the hardware store, and go every chance I get) and found that they sell kerosene by the pint, in the paint section. I put the machine in a foil baking pan and poured kerosene over it, through it, and let the working bits in the bottom of the machine soak.  I also scrubbed with a toothbrush.  Sorry, dear. (Kidding!)

Here it is after it's bath.  I wiped it down with denatured alcohol before painting, to get it clean. Then, taped, primed three coats with sanding in between each coat, and then three coats of paint, sanded and steel wooled in between.

Not perfect but much, much better. It's moving fairly free, but the shuttle carrier bumps at the end of the arc. (Shown in the last picture.) The gold medallion was just painted.  The serial number is completely unreadable, except for the first letter, a "G".  I'll oil it gain after I put the decals and the clear coat on.  Right now, I don't want to get it greasy.

The plating was completely gone, so after I soaked the crud off the decorative cover plates I cleaned them with the dremel tool and the polishing bit.  I then used a technique I learned from a jewelry class.  I painted India ink over the plates, allowed it to dry, and then buffed the high points.  This gave it a little more contrast, since there was no shine. It needs to be either waxed or clear coated, as the ink is water soluble.  This shot also shows the missing tension assembly. I need to remove the paint from the presser foot lever, too. Taking a picture is a great way to see detail I might miss in person, even if I'm not going to blog it.  Below is the point where the shuttle carrier bumps.  I'm hoping that this improves, and that it doesn't turn out to be a fatal flaw.

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Necchi After

Posted by PicasaI would characterize this as greatly improved.  It is not, by any means, a big success.  The front panel had been deeply gouged in many places prior to being painted.  It had been filled in with white putty.  You can also see the ghosts of the warts that were tacked on.

I did sand it all the way down, but it is only veneer, and at some point I was going to sand through the veneer.  The handle, a T shaped one, is of course long gone, and so I substituted two modern square ones.  I will be on the look out for a 2 inch on center handle, but those are not commonly found here, and I'm not drilling anymore holes in this thing.

I spent maybe a week of spare time with this, and, it is much less ugly.  I'm sad that I can't bring it all the way back.  If it were going anywhere but my sewing room aka the TV room aka the guest room, then I would probably paint it Chinese red.  I may, anyway, but I will leave well enough alone for now.  Sometimes when I am disappointed, I make rash decisions, and so I'll see if it becomes less disappointing over time.  I'll take another photo to show you the clever little chair after I reupholster the seat.

Necchi Table Before

 passed this table over on craigslist for a few days before it dawned on me what it was.  A Necchi coronet table.  The front pulls out to reveal itself as the back of the chair.  I figured what the heck- I could paint it red.  While I was fooling with it, I discovered that the faux carved warts had merely been tacked on, rather that glued, and I decided to refinish it.

Now, because I am an idiot, the after is in the next post.
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