Anyone have a plastic pipette?

Does anyone have access to plastic pipettes? I’m bringing in some sewing machine oil, and one of those would make it easier to use. If you do, could you put it next to the sewing machine up in the loft? Thanks in advance.

I don’t have plastic, but I do have glass ones. If you don’t get what you need by tomorrow afternoon, I can bring a small bottle with glass pipette when I come to do some filming (I figure bottle + pipette is probably better in this situation to protect the pipette from breakage and could also keep a little extra oil in there if you have some to spare)

Ooh. One of those little glass bottles would be great. Thanks @valerie

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Sweet! I’ll bring it with me tomorrow and put it in the loft by the Juki. Will by mid/late afternoon time.

I have this plastic bottle with sewing machine oil in it already. the spout isnt very long though.

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I think that bottle would work perfectly. If the oil is old, give it a sniff. Sometimes it can go rancid. If it smells like, well, anything, best to dispose of that oil, and I can refill it with the stuff I’m bringing

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Rancid? That would indicate a “natural” oil with a lot of impurities (ie. plant-matter derived oils, etc.). All oil is “organic” in some sense, but industrial-quality stuff tends to go through a “fractional distillation” step that cleans out a large quantity of the general gunk leaving the specific weight of oil you want.

You probably want to be careful about that on a professional-grade machine. The gears are metal (instead of plastic) and tend to move at higher rates and so get significantly hotter than your average machine. They can scorch the oil and put wax deposits on the gears.

Normally, these kinds of machines have a “standard” for the type of oil they use. The Juki Professionals seem to use a “Juki Defrix No. 2” while the home ones use a “Juki Defrix No. 1”. They tend to be stupidly expensive because … Japan. I think the standard domestic brand is “Lily-White”.

I don’t think brand matters as much as long as you get a mineral or synthetic oil. These are all clear (don’t want dark oil on textiles), non-detergent, low viscosity and have a very consistent oil “weight”. A synthetic oil is probably more useful for a machine that’s going to take general abuse and then have intermittent periods of no use, but it is more expensive.

Both @stepho and I have machines, but if you prefer to buy some particular oil then you should go ahead and buy it, then document it so everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

Hopefully no one puts vegitable oil or motor oil on the thing, but to be honest, either of those would probably be better than running it dry. Given that there was zero oil around it, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s been run dry several times.

Anyway, I’ll drop the bottle off today at some point and you can either use the oil or not. I used it on my machine and it smells fresh and sews strong like bull.


If anyone ever needs them, there are tons of pipettes in the clean room. I believe they are in the drawers by the sink.


I left 3 bottles of oil next to the sewing machine.

Two of them have standard sewing machine oil and the bottles have telescoping stems so they can get into very tight areas.

I also left a bottle of Tri-Flow which is a clear, synthetic oil. I recommend using the Tri-Flow (especially on internal gearing) as it has Teflon in it which means that even if the machine goes dry, there will be something lubricating it a little. Tri-Flow also has a tendency not to attract as much gunk.

I expected Tri-Flow to be easy to find in Austin given how many bicycle shops are around, but I actually had a hard time finding it.

I also left some small acid brushes for the poor soul who next has to do a degunking of the machine.

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Thanks for adding sewing machine oil. I’m not sure how the tri-flow should be used, I saw some suggestions that it’s good to bring a machine up to running again but maybe not for regular use. It’s also recommended that it not be used on parts that may drip onto the fabric area due to possible staining issues. Some also suggested that it’s so thin it can be flung off during high speed operation but I’m not necessarily putting much stock in that claim.

Anyway, the main thing is that the machine be lubricated regularly and liberally with the clear sewing machine oil. The first few users should really hit all the moving parts and wipe down, which will aid in clearing out the gunk along with maintaining lubricant. I generously lubricated it the other night and ran it for a little while. It seems to run just fine. It’s somewhat dirty inside but it wasn’t preposterously bad. The brushes will definitely help though.

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@gordoa40 oiled it on Friday as well, so it should be feeling the love :blush: It will be good once we can get the new Textiles room set up to get it completely out of the dust zone. That will be post disposition which we will be kicking off very very soon (hopefully this week :crossed_fingers:).

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I use the TriFlow on my wife’s Pfaff because she often tends to suddenly need something quick after she pulls it out of mothballs. The Teflon residue means that she doesn’t have to sit and re-oil the whole machine and wait for everything to wick around when she needs something done right now.

I’ve never seen the TriFlow permanently stain anything, but I could be convinced that it might leave a residue on something like leather that can’t get washed effectively–it has Teflon to leave a coating for exactly that reason, after all. However, I also tend to be a light touch on the oil near the fabric/thread areas. That Juki video put a lot more oil right next to the bobbin case than I ever would in one sitting, but I also don’t use machines at industrial throughput levels and speeds.

If you’re not going to use the Tri-Flow, then just put the bottle down in the electronics lab for me and I’ll pick it up. I’ll make use of it, I assure you.


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@buzmeg, your logic seems sound. It’s likely good for periodic maintenance but a waste for the daily lube. Also, I definitely saw other folks using triflow for just the scenario you described with your wife’s machine.

The Sailrite folks have some sort of silicone or maybe teflon spray that they sell as a way to coat the machine as part of periodic maintenance, but then recommend regular sewing machine oil use daily. Sounds like a similar hypothesis to yours. I haven’t tried it on my personal machine but maybe I should. I probably use mine less that your wife uses hers.