Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Tuesday's Top Tip - Cleaning a Rusty Bobbin
This was the only spare bobbin I had the other day when I needed to fill up with thread. Old machines often come with bobbins that have been holding thread for years. The thread absorbs moisture and the rust is revealed when the thread comes off.
It was time to get busy with the metal polish, which is best applied with strong cotton string or crochet cotton. Loop one end of the string around the back of your chair or anything else that happens to be handy, twist the string into a single strand and put on a splodge of metal polish.
Next, twist the cotton once round the bobbin. If you are cleaning a long bobbin, use the same method, but it is harder to keep a good grip on it. It will go flying across the room at least once.
Then hold the string taut, hold on tight to the bobbin and run it up and down so that the metal polish is rubbed on with the string. It's a vigorous job. All the rust will rub off, the string will turn black and fray and you will end up with a very hot thumb and forefinger from the heat generated by the friction.
Here is the same bobbin, still discoloured and blemished, but free of rust and with a distinct shine to it. I found that the manufacturer's badge was lurking under the rust, with the clearly discernible word "Japan" .
I used Peek Metal Polish which I buy from the hardware shop down the road and which can be bought online direct from the manufacturers through their website. It is the only metal polish I use on sewing machines, and my brother in law has been converted to it after I gave him a tube of it so he could clean up a copper kettle.