Friday, 22 May 2015

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Oil Cans


Vintage Singer Sewing Machines like to be oiled and run smoother if you do this on a regular basis.  The rules are you MUST use sewing machine oil (not like my niece suggested, vegetable oil!!!, she has a white featherweight which she got for Christmas from her mum, might have to take if off her is she doesn't behave herself!).

For those who are interested, I have put  the Simanco (which stands for Singer Manufacturing Company) part numbers under each style of vintage can.

I first used a new Singer own make bottle but it is a bit messy to use and tricky just to put the one drop in the oiling holes.  The handbooks show you where to oil.

So I bought a vintage oil can which drops one drop when you press the bottom. It is tiny, very easy to use but it leaked (cos its old).  The spout screws off so that it can be refilled.

So I went on the hunt again and found another dinky can, this time it drops one drop when you press the sides. Don't think that is made by Singer though. This one leaks like a sieve so very messy. Again the spout screws off so that it can be refilled.

Finally got these two shiny ones, these don't leak.  One is marked Singer the other isn't.

36569 - Tin Plate oil can with detachable spout for refilling

This design was made for years, the bentwood case on my Singer 28, the fake croc skin case for the 201 and the 201K table all have a special clip for it to sit on.

Then I found this one on eBay, so cute but its empty.  The cap screws off but the spout doesn't so can't figure out a way of refilling it

120862 1 1/3 FL OZ Oval Oil can with lead screw cap

 There is a clip in the Featherweight carry case which this fits in perfectly.

Found this larger can on eBay which has the added bonus of being nearly full.

120862 - 3 FL OZ Oval Oil with lead screw cap

My Singer 201K in the table came with an oil tube but as it has a clip for the little oil can don't think that this oil tube is original to the machine.  The other was in a box of attachments that I got of eBay.

161609 - Oil Tube

Finally, this larger tin.  Perhaps it was from a Singer shop, there is a dinky funnel that neatly sits upside down in the top of the can and the lid holds it in place for storage.  They probably filled the neat little cans from this one.  This is my latest purchase.  Couldn't find a Simanco part number for this one.

Quite a little collection going on, might have to stop now but there is one more style to get!

Getting excited over oil cans, not sure if I am right in the head.

Footnote:  There is a tube of Lubricant for Electric Motors 161609. This is the original tube from my 1957 Featherweight. This is for using on the electric motor, there are little tubes on the motor that you fill with this.  You can buy new lube for your motors but if you have the old stuff, it will still work.  If your motor (as in the White Featherweights) doesn't have lube tubes then they don't need it.  The handbooks explain where they are.   NEVER EVER USE MACHINE OIL ON THE ELECTRIC MOTOR IT WILL BREAK IT.



  1. How can oil cans look so cute? I love them too :)

  2. How can oil cans look so cute? I love them too :)

  3. A short video of my wife's Singer Oil Can Collection.

  4. What a great collection, thank you for sharing. I have added to mine will have to update the blog post.