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How to Oil a Riccar Sewing Machine

Maintaining older sewing machines, like the Riccar, usually involves oiling the machine regularly so that the internal working parts remain well lubricated. One of the benefits of regularly oiling your machine is that you will become more familiar with the machine and you will be able to quickly see and remove stray bits of thread or fabric that wind around the moving parts.

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  1. Open the casing at the needle bar. This is the front of the head. With most Riccar machines the casing opens to the left on hinges in the back. Add three drops of oil above and to the left of the tension wheel, behind and to the left of the thread arm, one drop at the small rectangular metal piece, one drop below the rectangular piece and one drop at the small wheel. Add one drop near the bottom, just above the needle bar. Close the case.

  2. Loosen the two arm cover screws with a screwdriver and remove the arm cover. The arm cover is across the top of the arm. Remove any threads or debris you see. Apply a drop of oil at every spot where metal turns on metal. This will be at least 12 spots across the arm. Turn the sewing machine rotor wheel to make sure all of the inner parts are coated in oil. Replace the cover and screw the screws tight.

  3. Release the catch that holds the machine in the case and tilt the machine toward the back. Remove any threads, fabric or other debris in the bottom of the case. Use a soft brush to brush off debris in areas hard to reach. Vacuum out the case if it is full of threads and felting.

  4. Apply a drop of oil in every spot where metal turns on metal. Turn your rotor wheel while you oil the machine. Wipe off excess oil with the rag and return your machine to the casing and catch.

  5. Tip

    Some Riccar machines will have oil-through holes in the casings and covers. If there is a hole in the casing that is just above a spot you regularly oil then you can oil through to these parts using the oiling hole. These spots often indicate parts that require more frequent oiling.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Soft brush
  • Rag
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Machine oil for sewing machines

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.

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