Friday, January 6, 2012

More Machine Makeovers

                                                                         The Before:

1904 Singer 66:  Before soaking the bobbin mechanism in Evapo-rust. The machine worked, but was noisy and looked pretty grungy.

The After:
After a good soak and some polishing with metal cleaner the parts are restored back to their shiny condition and the sewing is much quieter.

Another example of what this cleaner can do: the knob on the left was soaked overnight and polished; the one on the right was just polished. I was shocked to see the difference! You can bet I'm soaking all 4 overnight tonight. The cabinet is going to be real purty once the drawers are urethaned and put back on. 

The Before:

1951 Singer 15-91
A great gear-driven machine that will sew through practically anything, it leaves a little bit to be desired in the looks department. The decals on the front of the bed have been worn away from so much use.

The stitch-length indicator's numbers have been rubbed off and the plate is scratched and dull. 

The After:

Stitches per inch are once again visible after many unsuccessful tries at repainting the plate. Who knew spray paint wouldn't stick to galvanized steel? And who knew the plate was galvanized steel in the first place? Well, now I do.

Repainted bed of the machine with brand-spankin' new decals. Thankfully, spray paint sticks to cast iron. It's not perfect but it is much better and I'm pleased with the results! 

Old Cats, New Tricks

Ever since I picked up a book on toilet-training cats years ago I've been intrigued by the idea. The author claimed that it was possible to toilet train a cat by incrementally moving the litter box close to the toilet, raising it up, placing it on, then in, the toilet and once the kitty is used to this spot for doing his/her business, finally removing it.  He made it sound quite reasonable and the thought of not having to scoop "treasures" out of the litter pan is appealing. The girls are smart enough and willing to learn new things so I figured we have nothing to lose (except the use of the downstairs bathroom while the training is going on!)

Over the course of 2 weeks we moved the box next to the toilet, raised it up on books gradually so that it was at the same height, and then placed it on top. So far, so good. Granted, we do have 2 other litter boxes in the basement which we'll keep there for Gomer and so the girls don't decide to leave 'surprises' around the house if the training doesn't go well, but there is plenty of evidence that the box on the toilet is being used regularly.

Today I replaced the litter pan with a small tray that fit perfectly down into the toilet bowl; this is a big step as it is much smaller than the girls are used to. Hopefully they'll be in the habit and will continue to use it.  If not, I'll need to go back to the bigger box set on the toilet for a few more days and try again with the tray next week. With any luck, in another week or two they'll be making deposits into the toilet without any litter there.  Best of all, we'll have the use of our downstairs bathroom again.