sometimes its fun to let someone else lubricate your machine so you can just sit back and watch
nail your shoes to the kitchen floor lace 'em up and bar the door and thank the lucky stars for the roof over you
But, 3 in 1, Singer, Lilly White all have virtually identical ingredients according to their MSDS. In fact, I would be willing to bet that many of them have the same source and are just re-branded. Hoppes lubricating oil is the only true single part distillate I know of; I guess that is why it is a bit more expensive.
Also, you may see 10W-20 motor oil referenced as a light machine oil, and it is in reality, but it also contains detergents that we do not want on our machine surfaces.
To make Rev's point though, a light machine oil must be used; do NOT use penetrating oils like WD-40, liquid wrench or that sort. They are NOT lubricating oils and will not protect your machine.
And yes, pinpoint oilers are nice; sometimes one drop from a 3 in 1 is too much! But for us, if you get too much, just soak up a little with the cotton swab/patch.
I don't know why 3 in 1 always gets a bad rap. Even on the bicycle forums people talk bad about it and it was formulated for bicycles!
If in doubt read the MSDS, it's all in there...
Thanks for the great post---very helpful!
“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”
Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
As for it's bad rep... It advertises as a _cleaning_ and _anti-corosion_ agent as well as lubrication. It is also owned by the WD-40 company now. That may be where the penetrant charges emerge. WD-40 has been called kerosene in a can. It is not a lubricant as stated. In any event... I would trust oil by the sewing companies over one by WD-40 for my machines. But that's me. As said before OYOM.
I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.
"Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn
We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series
Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies
Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint
The other question I have about lubrication is the frequency. The older machines like the Singer 221 have oiling intervals of daily and weekly translated to 8 Hr for the head and 40-50 hrs for the bottom. I'd need to watch the video to pin it down. Oiling is a user operation so there are instructions in the use manuals if there is one on line. The other issue worth enforcing is that all one needs is a drop in the right place. Too much oil will result in getting it where you do not want it.
If one does not have a manual but has an older machine the Singer 221 manuals are all on line. I expect the bearing and oiling requirements are all about the same for the older machines is it is material driven. Pulling one of those manuals up would at least give a clue what to look for.