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Restore Along Part 7: Adventures in Varnish
by The Featherweight Shop

Julia and Tulip are back for part 7 of the Restore Along. If you are just now joining us, you can catch up on the previous installment of Tulip's process here:

Previous Post: Restore Along Part 6: Removing the Varnish

Today's work is a little bit of research and a whole lot of cleaning. Removing Tulip's original varnish is Julia's priority and after last week's tests, rubbing alcohol is her cleaner of choice.

Singer Featherweight cleaning

It's hard work - see the used cotton balls and swabs piling up.  As she cleans the years of grit and grime and the clearcoat from the machine, we start to see a shine on the cleaned surfaces:

after wiping down the bed of the Singer Featherweight


varnish removed on Singer FeatherweightAn "in progress" shot - The neck's clearcoat partially removed with rubbing alcohol.

After all the scrubbing to remove the clearcoat and grime on the machine, it's time for a quick break. There are still plenty of parts in need of a good soak in baking soda and water.

extra Featherweight parts ready to be cleanedParts ready to be cleaned with baking soda & water mixture.

Featherweight parts after being cleaned Once cleaned with the baking soda solution, these parts are ready for the ultrasonic cleaner. They will be coated with sewing machine oil when done.

Featherweight parts before sonic cleaner

Before the ultrasonic cleaner

Featherweight parts after the sonic cleaner

After the ultrasonic cleaner - The Stop-Back Motion Knob is pretty scratched up and a little pitted from rust. Julia will probably have to replace it with a nicer original one.

Extra Featherweight parts bags

Once clean, Julia labels and store these small parts in zip lock bags so as not to misplace them before reassembly.

Cleaning aside, Julia also needs to pick out a new paint color for Tulip. She has settled on red, but there are so many reds to choose from. She knows that household paint from the store isn't going to cut it, so Julia is off to her local car dealerships for reconnaissance.

Julia stops by the Lexus, Ford, and GMC dealerships nearby and raises a few eyebrows when she tells them she's not there to purchase a vehicle but to find the right paint color for her sewing machine. Nevertheless, she is able to find some colors she likes and makes a note of their "color codes", so she can quickly get a bottle of touch up paint to use for her final tests.

Paint sample booklets

Stop by again next week to see what color Julia chooses for Tulip, as well as some cleaning tips she learns along the way.

Restore Along Part 8: Picking The Right Red