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Oil Cans

Oil Cans

Industrial sewing machines need to be oiled and to have a reservoir of oil inside the case at all times. It’s time to refill the reservoir of one of my Babies, er, machines.

I’ve cut my product line down to only 2 items since my illness and the passage of the wrong-headed, anti-scientific, tomfoolery called the CPSIA. My commercial sewing is very limited these days, not like the old days when I sewed full time for months on end. Now I sew up a mess of products 3 or 4 times a year. Anyone who has sewn the same thing over and over (AKA production sewing) all day long knows that it is quite a different experience from home garment sewing. I am so relieved to be free of the production pressures, but I do miss having the challenges of designing new materials.

But I won’t do it in light of the CPSIA and the unsettled guidelines, rules and regulations. The Gov has put me out of business which is awful at my age (over 60) and in this depression economy. I thought we needed more jobs, right? Go figure.

(Google the CPSIA if you don’t know what it is. It was passed at the end of the Bush administration by an almost unanimous vote so it can’t be blamed on any specific political party, but on hysteria over [finding] lead in [imported Matel] toys. Enough said.)

I currently have 4 machines in the commercial workroom: 2 Merrow overlocking machines, an early 1950’s Singer Featherweight for it’s even top stitching, and a “semi” industrial, super fast and portable Janome 1600P straight stitch. Each one has a specific use and purpose.

Of the 2 Merrows one is the MG-2DNR-1 purl edge serger and the other is an older, used, MG-3DW-2 that is set to serge 2 or 3 layers of cloth tightly together.

The older machine, one of my first ever ebay purchases, needed to have replacement parts and adjustments after a few years, so it was sent off to the mechanic for repair. It came back to me full of Merrow oil and ready to go.

Now it needs more oil and I could not find a way to get the thick oil into those tiny holes without emptying another oiler, which I didn’t want to do. Online I found this company: Dutton-Lainson and their wonderful old time-y oil cans.

Do you remember being a child and playing with the tiny oil can that operates by pressing against the bottom of the can? I couldn’t find one in the local hardware stores and all the other oil cans came with oil already in them.

Other Merrow owners may have their own solutions but I use only the Merrow oil for my machines due to the “throwing” of oil in the tray at the bottom of the case and I was so glad to finally find a spring bottom oiler.

Call me “Easily Pleased” or “Overly Particular”: I love my new Goldenrod oil cans 🙂


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

5 responses »

  1. I have an oil can that was left to me by my great-grandmother. It sits in a place of honor on my bookshelf.

    I will not get started on the CPSIA. Idiot law…

  2. I do not sew professionally, but I do thing CPSIA is wrong-headed, perhaps with good intentions, but still ill-informed and wrong. I used to work for a anti-fatigue mat manufacturer. When the company decided not to continue to use use a molding facility here in Tennessee and move that operation to Sri Lanka, it was difficult to control the actual quality of the rubber molded into drainage mats. We got an entire shipment of mats that stank to high heaven. No one knows what was in the rubber. Overseas operations are difficult to control as standards are not the same. Not the fault of US workers and plants but they are being punished.

  3. Oh, I want to add that I remember the little oil cans. i loved them because the flow was easier to control and the neck was long enough to reach into tight places.

  4. Cool oil cans! My foolish ex-husband threw away the ones I once had 😦

  5. Thank you for this post. As a home sewer, I like reading about Industrial sewing machines thouug I avow being scared by them. I know it is stupid. If I had a space of my own to sew and/or a bigger house I would love to have one.
    BTW thanks for paying regular visits to my blog, you are encouraging me to improve my knowledge in sewing.


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