Ms. Rusty is my 1940 Singer 201 Sewing machine that I found on Craigslist. She came in an original No. 40 Singer cabinet and had been stored in a garage near the ocean for the last 10 years. Thanks to extended exposure the lovely salt air, she has quite a bit of surface rust, and her Japanned finish is flaking off in several areas. Her motor turns over but the needle and sewing gear does not move at all. As a result, I have decided to do a complete “ground-up” restoration on this lovely old lady.
Since I have never attempted such a feat, I think it is best to chronicle every step of the disassembly so I have at least some hope of getting her back together again. Putting it in blog form will hopefully serve several purposes – keep me organized, allow me a place to vent (other than to my hubby), and perhaps share the knowledge I gain with others foolish enough to fully disassemble a vintage sewing machine (ha!).
Here are some before photos of Ms. Rusty.
You will notice that I’ve already taken her out of her cabinet and removed the light. I’ll go over those details in a future post.
Isn't this scroll work beautiful?
See all the paint flaking off the back? There is rust underneath almost the entire Singer logo.
The decals on the bed are in near perfect condition. Fortunately, I found some replacement water-slide decals of the exact same design that I can use after refinishing the head, which will be completely stripped to the bare metal.