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Oiling Sewing Machine - OK to use 3 in 1 oil?

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plinius

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May 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/11/98
to

I've bought an old (50's) machine that needs some TLC - I don't want to
use the wrong grade oil on it. Is it OK to use 3 in 1 oil or do I have
to use a 'sewing machine oil'?

I've heard conflicting opinions on this question (and the 3 in 1 can
does show a sewing machine picture).

Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

CW

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May 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/14/98
to

3 in 1 oil should not be used for sewing machines ( or any other mechanical
device you care about ). It evaporates and leaves a gummy residue. A good
sewing machine oil is much better but the best is the ( relatively new )
Teflon based oils such as Breakfree, Triflow, ect.
--
CW
KC7NOD

plinius <sil...@my-dejanews.com> wrote in article
<355718...@my-dejanews.com>...

AJH

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May 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/14/98
to

In article <355718...@my-dejanews.com>, plinius <silenus@my-
dejanews.com> writes

>I've bought an old (50's) machine that needs some TLC - I don't want to
>use the wrong grade oil on it. Is it OK to use 3 in 1 oil or do I have
>to use a 'sewing machine oil'?
>
>I've heard conflicting opinions on this question (and the 3 in 1 can
>does show a sewing machine picture).
>
>Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh! 3-in-1 is for bicycles, sewing machine oil is for
sewing machines. JMHO
--
AJH
For email address, remove the 'evil' number

Bill Avery

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May 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/14/98
to pli...@erols.com

plinius wrote:

> use the wrong grade oil on it. Is it OK to use 3 in 1 oil or do I have
> to use a 'sewing machine oil'?

3 in 1 or WD-40 is ok if all you want to do is clean out the parts.
Unfortunately these will evaporate off pretty quickly. You need an oil
that will stand up to a pretty high temperature and reduce wear on the
parts, which 3 in 1 won't.

So you need a quality oil that will last, and there are lots to choose
from. You don't necessarily need 'sewing machine oil'. I actually use
the oil the came with my shaver since I grew a beard a few years ago.

-Bill

Keith Huggett

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May 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/14/98
to

In article <01bd7f24$d28c4440$803e0c26@hp-customer>, CW
<mag...@pop3.idt.net> writes

>3 in 1 oil should not be used for sewing machines ( or any other mechanical
>device you care about ). It evaporates and leaves a gummy residue. A good
>sewing machine oil is much better but the best is the ( relatively new )
>Teflon based oils such as Breakfree, Triflow, ect.

I was just getting my wife's e-mail for her and noticed your heading.

I used to have my own sewing machine repair business (as I refused to
sell machines I actually used to mend them!) and must tell you some of
the horror story of inappproprite oiling.

****Triflow is instant death to any close tolerance sliding parts****

If you've got a good quality rotary hook sewing machine you can prove it
by running the machine and putting a little on the race and listen to it
SLOWING down.

The reason is simple. The tolerances in a well made hook are smaller
than even the minute granules of teflon. It does not matter how slippery
teflon is, if it's too big for the gap you have got trouble. The first
one I noticed it on (after I had just bought 12 cans of Triflow) was an
Elna.


***3in1***
I think our 3 in 1 must be different to yours as I had no problems with
it, but it is probably just a trade name for a "bought in" oil so I
would be more surprised if it was the same.

What I used was a hydraulic oil called Duckhams Onyx 32. It is a
compunded oil specially made for sliding parts. It does not have the
high film strength of standard lubricating oils but it you are putting
on a sewing macine, not a tractor :-). Unfortunately it was only
available in 5 gallon drums :-(

The best oil for your use (and just about identical to Onyx32) is the
specialist clear, non-staining oil used in industrial sewing machines
(over here the rag tradecalls it "white oil") which cost about £3 per
litre. Most *industrial* repairers will sell you a bottle.

***WHAT TO AVOID.***
1 Cooking oil (especially olive oil). I once had a machine so solid with
olive oil that an 18" wrench would not turn it!!!

2 Car oil.

3 Grease. I once had a Singer feather weight FULL of grease. The husband
said he was an engineer and knew all about mechanical things. The wife
believed him. I suspect he's dead now.

4 Advice from husbands.

***WHAT TO CLEAN OUT OLD WITH***
I used ISO-PROPYL ALCOHOL, also known as ISO-PROPANOL or IPA
It is a natural product (originally got from fermenting potatoes) and is
the basis of real Russin vodka. It is ozone friendly, non-toxic and safe
on all common plastics. But be aware of the fact that it is flamable but
burns with a cool flame a bit like surgical spirit so is not a great
fire risk like petrol (gasolene to you!) but keep it out of the electric
motor.

Any other solvents you must test on a small area of any plastic parrts
to test for damage.


***HOW TO PUT OUR LOCAL REPAIR MAN OUT OF BUSINESS***
Service your own machine!!!
Run the machine flat out with no thread and drip the IPA on the race etc
and just listen to it speed up. Keep running it until it evaporates and,
if it slows down significantly, repeat the process until all the "glue"
has gone. Oil lightly. You can even disolve a little oil in some IPA and
use it to wash it into the bearings etc. without getting too much oil
around.

***A TIP THAT WILL COST YOU NOTHING AND SAVE YOU A LOT***
Oil deteriorates when it is left still. I used to advisse my customers
to get the machine out about every month or two and run it flat out for
a few minutes. You will be amazed at how much difference it makes and
how infrequently you need to have it serviced as it just won't get that
sluggish feel.


I'm sorry it was a long e-mail but it is a subject I love. My father was
in sewing machines, my wife has more than I care to count and I just
find them fascinating.

Good luck to you all from the West of England between Bath and
Salisbury.
--
Keith Huggett.


Penny Schwyn

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May 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/14/98
to

>I used to have my own sewing machine repair business (as I refused to
>sell machines I actually used to mend them!) and must tell you some of
>the horror story of inappproprite oiling.
>
This brings to mind another oiling the machine horror story:
I used to keep my fray check and a little bottle of sewing machine oil right
next to each other on the shelf....
well, I *oiled* my serger full of fray check! God, what an idiot!
Fortunately DH is an environmental engineer and understands solvents. We
ran rubbing alcohol throughout the machine, got rid of the fray check in it
( wicks too) and re oiled it. That was 10 years ago, machine still runs
great. The really funny thing is, not long after this incident, I was in an
apparel design program, and it turned out my instructor had same the same
thing!

BTW, 10w motor is what I use for my oil bath industrial serger.

Penny
Specialty Outdoors: Sewing and Repair for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Tips for making your own gear! http://www.nextdim.com/users/pschwyn/tips.htm

Alan Horowitz

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May 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/15/98
to

Teflon tears the hell out of automobile engines. I don't know why it
would be any kinder to sewing-machine bearings.
--
Alan Horowitz al...@widomaker.com

JSTS

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May 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/15/98
to

NEVER use 3 in one oil in a sewing machine. Go to the haberdashery
department and buy sewing machine oil.
For more information about sewing machines read the JSTS sewing booklet
about haberdashery.
Please visit our website:
www.mistral.co.uk/justsew
--
REMEMBER, WITH JSTS DISTANCE IS NEVER A PROBLEM

plinius <sil...@my-dejanews.com> wrote in article
<355718...@my-dejanews.com>...

> I've bought an old (50's) machine that needs some TLC - I don't want to

> use the wrong grade oil on it. Is it OK to use 3 in 1 oil or do I have
> to use a 'sewing machine oil'?
>

zski

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May 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/15/98
to

plinius wrote in message <355718...@my-dejanews.com>...

>I've bought an old (50's) machine that needs some TLC - I don't want to
>use the wrong grade oil on it. Is it OK to use 3 in 1 oil or do I have
>to use a 'sewing machine oil'?!

I was always told that "sewing machine oil" was lighter than 3-in-1, with no
additives that were likely to "goop up" your machine.

Wendy Z
Chicago

SEWaS...@webtv.net

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May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

The real 3 in1 oil should never be used on a sewing machine, it has a
pariffin base and it will gum-up your machine.


As ever,
Karol

SEWaS...@webtv.net

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May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

SEWaS...@webtv.net

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May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

Thomas Farrell

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May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

In article <355718...@my-dejanews.com>, plinius <pli...@erols.com> wrote:
>I've bought an old (50's) machine that needs some TLC - I don't want to
>use the wrong grade oil on it. Is it OK to use 3 in 1 oil or do I have
>to use a 'sewing machine oil'?

*Never* use any oil other than a sewing machine oil in a sewing machine.
Other oils can cause problems like the gears grinding to a halt,
malodorous emissions, the machine bursting into flames...

Anyway, sewing machine oil is often relatively cheap and easily
available. Around here I can get it at the sewing machine store, or
almost any fabric store, or the supermarket, the pharmacy...

Tom

--
Tom Farrell - http://www.skepsis.com/~tfarrell/
The Sewing FAQ - http://www.skepsis.com/~tfarrell/textiles/sewing/
Project ideas help - http://www.skepsis.com/~tfarrell/textiles/sewing/create/
Textile arts books - http://www.skepsis.com/~tfarrell/textiles/books/

don

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May 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/17/98
to

3 in 1 oil has a wax base and has a tendency to dry out and harden
and cause a sewing machine to seize up. It will also turn yellow and
brown over time. The can of Singer oil at your fabric store is fine.

bus...@southwind.net


On Thu, 14 May 1998 07:42:01 +0100, AJH <a...@starlt.demon666.co.uk>
wrote:

>In article <355718...@my-dejanews.com>, plinius <silenus@my-
>dejanews.com> writes


>>I've bought an old (50's) machine that needs some TLC - I don't want to
>>use the wrong grade oil on it. Is it OK to use 3 in 1 oil or do I have
>>to use a 'sewing machine oil'?
>>

>>I've heard conflicting opinions on this question (and the 3 in 1 can
>>does show a sewing machine picture).
>>
>>Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
>
>

CHERYLAP

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May 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/17/98
to

Hi,

Does anyone know of a source for discontinued Vogue patterns, on or offline?

Thanks,
Cheryl in VA

CW

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May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to


> >AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh! 3-in-1 is for bicycles, sewing machine oil is for
> >sewing machines. JMHO

I've never found it much good for that either.
--
CW
KC7NOD
>
>

Gill Fitzpatrick

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May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

In article <alanh.8...@wilma.widomaker.com>, Alan Horowitz
<al...@wilma.widomaker.com> writes

>Teflon tears the hell out of automobile engines.

Do you think that holding back your feelings like this is good for you?
:-)

I wonder what on Earth two men are doing reading this news group. I've
got an excuse. My wife is a tecnophobe but does not mind me spending all
my free time retieving HER mail for her.

I bet she does the ultimate fluttering eye lids and pouting if she gets
a flat tire?

To fair though, If I get a torn shirt it's her who mends it.

Seriuosly though. Teflon in a lubricant is a curse. WD40 is only
slightly behind...great when you first apply it but leave the macchine
for afew months and it's like you oiled it with cranberry jelly (and
Brits don't even like that.)

If you want to see REAL damage then you want to see what happens if you
use a molybdenum di-sulphide lubricant in a car engine. The Moly breaks
down into SULPHURIC ACID (I refuse to use your spelling :-) ) and
Molybdeum Oxide....a well know abrasive. Pretty neat, Eh? A corrosive
and an abrasive.

====================

SAFETY WARNING TO ALL READERS.

THIS IS FOR REAL: Beware of any advice from UK that tells you to use
paraffin. This is the term used here for KEROSENE. So you can see that
our instructions for batik where we tell you to heat paraffin could be
very dangerous. We call your paraffin "candle wax" or " paraffin wax" or
just "wax"


===================

This will teach me to look in my wife's mail, I never get to bed before
mid-night now.


-- Keith Huggett G8IZZ.

If Bathsheba had married the sheherd in the first place, it would have saved a
hell of alot of touble.


Gill Fitzpatrick

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May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

In article <355effec.3973424@news>, don <bus...@southwind.net> writes

>3 in 1 oil has a wax base and has a tendency to dry out and harden
>and cause a sewing machine to seize up. It will also turn yellow and
>brown over time. The can of Singer oil at your fabric store is fine.
>
>bus...@southwind.net

Lets put this in perspective. 3-in-1 was designed for general household
work and is a splendid producct. Oil you gate hinge with a light sewing
macine oil nand see if creeks after a winter outdoors.

Any free gifts of 3-in-1 gratefully received.....we've gpt UPS in the UK
now :-)

Keith Huggett.

Sunny Wiltshire, England. (well, today any way)

AJH

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

In article <jRMNNCAa...@g8izz.demon.co.uk>, Gill Fitzpatrick
<ke...@g8izz.demon.co.uk> writes

>SAFETY WARNING TO ALL READERS.
>
>THIS IS FOR REAL: Beware of any advice from UK that tells you to use
>paraffin. This is the term used here for KEROSENE. So you can see that
>our instructions for batik where we tell you to heat paraffin could be
>very dangerous. We call your paraffin "candle wax" or " paraffin wax" or
>just "wax"

No, dear. Here in the UK paraffin is a liquid fuel used in heaters,
lamps etc. For batik and candle making, we use wax - either paraffin or
bees'. Liquid paraffin is also sometimes referred to as kerosene. Oh
yes, you can also use it to clean paint brushes. Apparently it will
also kill head-lice, but if your irate mother is inflicting this upon
you, I recommend discouraging father from approaching with lighted
cigarette ...;)

plinius

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

Tom,
Thanks for the info!
I am now sure to stay away from 3 in 1 after reading the very helpful
posts!
With best wishes,
plinius

plinius

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

Thanks for the warning about teflon!
I was under the impression that it could 'do no harm'.
I guess that only a simple 'light' oil is the thing to use.
plinius

georg

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

Gill Fitzpatrick wrote:
>
> I wonder what on Earth two men are doing reading this news group. I've
> got an excuse. My wife is a tecnophobe but does not mind me spending all
> my free time retieving HER mail for her.

Men are allowed to sew and be interested in sewing too.

-georg
non ani sunt permittendi

CW

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

The sewing machine was invented by a man. Was his point just to keep women
busy? I don't think so.
--
CW
KC7NOD ( Clint )

georg <the.whichway...@servtech.NARF.com> wrote in article
<3561A27C...@servtech.NARF.com>...

SEWaS...@webtv.net

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

Vogue patterns magazine May/June issue
page 75.

As ever,
Karol

gmt

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May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

In article <sc8sHMAT...@starlt.demon.co.uk> "See signature for return address" <no....@mail.please> writes:
>In article <jRMNNCAa...@g8izz.demon.co.uk>, Gill Fitzpatrick
><ke...@g8izz.demon.co.uk> writes
>>SAFETY WARNING TO ALL READERS.
>>
>>THIS IS FOR REAL: Beware of any advice from UK that tells you to use
>>paraffin. This is the term used here for KEROSENE. So you can see that
>>our instructions for batik where we tell you to heat paraffin could be
>>very dangerous. We call your paraffin "candle wax" or " paraffin wax" or
>>just "wax"
>
>No, dear. Here in the UK paraffin is a liquid fuel used in heaters,
>lamps etc. For batik and candle making, we use wax - either paraffin or
>bees'. Liquid paraffin is also sometimes referred to as kerosene. Oh
cut
>AJH

Aren't you both arguing the same position?

UK USA
Paraffin Kerosene
Candle wax Paraffin
Paraffin wax Paraffin

Jill


Gill Fitzpatrick

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May 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/20/98
to

In article <sc8sHMAT...@starlt.demon.co.uk>, AJH
<a...@starlt.demon666.co.uk> writes

>In article <jRMNNCAa...@g8izz.demon.co.uk>, Gill Fitzpatrick
><ke...@g8izz.demon.co.uk> writes
>>SAFETY WARNING TO ALL READERS.
>>
>>THIS IS FOR REAL: Beware of any advice from UK that tells you to use
>>paraffin. This is the term used here for KEROSENE. So you can see that
>>our instructions for batik where we tell you to heat paraffin could be
>>very dangerous. We call your paraffin "candle wax" or " paraffin wax" or
>>just "wax"
>
>No, dear. Here in the UK paraffin is a liquid fuel used in heaters,
>lamps etc. For batik and candle making, we use wax - either paraffin or
>bees'. Liquid paraffin is also sometimes referred to as kerosene. Oh
>yes, you can also use it to clean paint brushes. Apparently it will
>also kill head-lice, but if your irate mother is inflicting this upon
>you, I recommend discouraging father from approaching with lighted
>cigarette ...;)


Humble apologies. I know what I meant to say but it came out the wrong
way. I blame my wife for making me sit here through the night retieving
mail for her while she sleeps the sleep of the innocent.

UK paraffin = US Kerosene
Uk wax = US paraffin
UK liquid paraffin = US "something you give the cat if it has fur
balls"

Hope that sets the record straight. Woman right....man wrong. :-(
ke...@g8izz.demon.co.uk

I like the bit about head lice. Just think how effective napalm would be.

Gill Fitzpatrick

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May 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/20/98
to

In article <01bd835f$b87be120$21d50c26@hp-customer>, CW
<mag...@pop3.idt.net> writes

>The sewing machine was invented by a man. Was his point just to keep women
>busy? I don't think so.


Last year I had an extremely intersting (if one sided) conversation with
a French sewing macine mechanic in Dinon. Like me, he agreed that they
are one of the most fascinating pieces of mechanical engineering yet
devised by mankind.

Quite simply, my wife is fascinated by what a machine will do while I am
fascinated by how it does it.

I have noticed that the same does not apply in reverse with computers
though. This explains why I am sat in my office at 18 minutes past
midnight retieving *her* news and mail from around the World while she
is tucked up in bed dreaming of buying yet another piece of material
that she will NEVER use.


Keith


Tundra

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May 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/21/98
to

You GUYS should be careful. There are plenty of women, like me, who have
very interested in mechanical things. My HUSBAND is the one who wouldn't
know "a hammer from a hole in the ground". You might accidently stomp on
some sensitive toes.

-Tundra

Gill Fitzpatrick <ke...@g8izz.demon.co.uk> wrote in article
<fqAEJEAL...@g8izz.demon.co.uk>...

kue...@att.net

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Jul 12, 2016, 7:32:20 PM7/12/16
to
On Thursday, May 14, 1998 at 2:00:00 AM UTC-5, Keith Huggett wrote:
> In article <01bd7f24$d28c4440$803e0c26@hp-customer>, CW
> <mag...@pop3.idt.net> writes
> >3 in 1 oil should not be used for sewing machines ( or any other mechanical
> >device you care about ). It evaporates and leaves a gummy residue. A good
> >sewing machine oil is much better but the best is the ( relatively new )
> >Teflon based oils such as Breakfree, Triflow, ect.
>
> I was just getting my wife's e-mail for her and noticed your heading.
>
> I used to have my own sewing machine repair business (as I refused to
> sell machines I actually used to mend them!) and must tell you some of
> the horror story of inappproprite oiling.
>
Keith:
All of your suggestions were helpful for me. I have a Singer Sewing Machine No. 66. I cleaned it with IPA then oiled it with Singer Sewing Machine Oil. Now it purrs like a kitten. My question is: My instruction book does not show an electric motor. My machine has an electric motor: 100-110 Volts, .6 Amps, D.C. & 25 to 75 Cycles, Catalog B.U. 7-B. it has two spots that look like oil holes on either end of the motor. Should I put oil in those holes. Hope to hear from you soon.
Margaret

BEI Design

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Jul 13, 2016, 2:54:44 AM7/13/16
to
kue...@att.net wrote:
> On Thursday, May 14, 1998 at 2:00:00 AM UTC-5, Keith Huggett
> wrote:

<snip>

See that date up there ^^^^^? "May 14, 1998"!!!

> Keith:
> All of your suggestions were helpful for me. I have a Singer
> Sewing Machine No. 66. I cleaned it with IPA then oiled it
> with Singer Sewing Machine Oil. Now it purrs like a kitten.
> My question is: My instruction book does not show an electric
> motor. My machine has an electric motor: 100-110 Volts, .6
> Amps, D.C. & 25 to 75 Cycles, Catalog B.U. 7-B. it has two
> spots that look like oil holes on either end of the motor.
> Should I put oil in those holes. Hope to hear from you soon.
> Margaret

While it IS possible, I doubt very much Keith is still hanging
around alt.sewing 18 years after posting that reply.

Perhaps our very knowledgeable Sewing Machine Guy, Ron Anderson,
will answer your question. Or, you can contact him:

Ron Anderson A1 Sewing Machine
18 Dingman Rd Sand Lake, NY 12153
http://www.a1sewingmachine.com
www.facebook.com/A1SewingMachineSpecialists

NAYY,

--
Beverly
http://www.ickes.us

Ron Anderson

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Jul 13, 2016, 11:45:17 AM7/13/16
to

> Keith:
> All of your suggestions were helpful for me. I have a Singer Sewing
> Machine No. 66. I cleaned it with IPA then oiled it with Singer Sewing
> Machine Oil. Now it purrs like a kitten. My question is: My instruction
> book does not show an electric motor. My machine has an electric motor:
> 100-110 Volts, .6 Amps, D.C. & 25 to 75 Cycles, Catalog B.U. 7-B. it has
> two spots that look like oil holes on either end of the motor. Should I
> put oil in those holes. Hope to hear from you soon.
> Margaret
I do not recommend it unless the motor is seizing. Most will oil to much and
ruin the motor. I say leave it

vilenkin...@gmail.com

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Mar 1, 2018, 4:29:32 PM3/1/18
to
Dear husband! Please don't try to drink Isopropyl alcohol or make a "real Russian vodka" from it. It's a poison. And we still need you!
The vodka made from ethanol, Russian vodka traditionally distilled from wheat grains not potatoes.
Prosit!

Phoebe Smucker

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Feb 9, 2023, 9:56:53 PM2/9/23
to
Well, I just stumbled into this on a google search 25 years later. Keith, if you’re still around, thanks so much for this! Very helpful!

Phoebe
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