Thread Number: 37018  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Updates on my project D80
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Post# 395643   7/26/2018 at 21:31 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        

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Iíll try to be quick.

3 months ago, I bought a heavily used, terribly worn Kirby. A Kirby with an aftermarket cloth bag, a Classic III bag topper, a very faded green insignia on the belt lifter, and red trim. I live in St. Augustine, Florida - this machine was confirmed by the seller to have been in the shed (the shed that flooded) when hurricanes Matthew and Irma came through. Could have been hit by a couple more, we donít know. Not sure why I bought it, just a voice inside me said ďdo it.Ē It was only $5.

To my surprise, it ran! Not very well, but it ran. I replaced motor brushes, and did some tweaks on the inside bits and gotnit going like a champ (Iím impressed by its performance every time I turn it on).

Well, it was time to get to restoring the aluminum. What a chore. Sadly, I didnít take but a couple of before pictures, but youíll get the idea.

Here I am tonight, this is where I am at. I have ordered the original green, should have it all next week sometime.

Let me know what you think... you wonít hurt my feelings, this is my first ďcompleteĒ restoration, as others have only needed light polishing, small things. Iíd love criticism, itíll help me for future projects.

Iíve tried a couple of times, but the pictures arenít in the order I want them posted... but you can see.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 8         View Full Size

Post# 395652 , Reply# 1   7/26/2018 at 23:59 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Safety switch or do you have just one speed hooked up.
Nice job polishing.


Post# 395669 , Reply# 2   7/27/2018 at 16:35 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

rivstg1's profile picture
incredible polishing job!!!! love to see old vacs saved and restored!

Post# 395670 , Reply# 3   7/27/2018 at 18:01 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        
Thank you!

hmc1981's profile picture
Thank you!

This is my very first total restoration project. To say Iím extremely excited for it to be finished would be an understatement.

The speed switch is on order. As purchased, it is hooked up on one speed, that will soon change.

The polishing was quite a challenge. There was just so much oxidation I wasnít very confident Iíd be able to do it. I managed to remove all of the oxidation and clear everything up by hand. I used a die grinder with some polishing wheels to bring out the shine,

Thank you for the compliments on the polishing. Again, Iíve never gone this far with any Kirby Iíve obtained and restored. This has been so much fun for me. Iím very excited to have everything complete, but also liked having it there to work on...I guess itís time for another! Speaking of, just had an offer accepted for an Omega. Iíll be picking that up tomorrow!

Itís an addiction. So many of my friends and family canít understand why I have so many vacuums (I only have 5, I think my collection is tiny) so it is very refreshing to be a part of this community where people understand.

Again, thank you for the compliments. Iíll be sure to post a picture of the D80 once it is complete.

Post# 395673 , Reply# 4   7/27/2018 at 19:19 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        
What a mess! WAS!
Outstanding polishing job - not sure if I would have even bought it in that condition. But, for 5, I might have. Looks like all you need is the decal in the handle, but leaving that as is would give an eerie glimpse of its past.
Keep it up - I did 5 of them last year as the outcome was addictive.

Post# 395685 , Reply# 5   7/27/2018 at 22:14 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        

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Decal is ordered! All original green trim (bag and everything is ordered). Itís at the finish line. Performs like it is new. Itís got a history for sure. Iíve decided to keep the belt lifter as is... I want a part of how I got it to remain as it was, and I figured because the lifter has the Kirby logo on it, thatíd be the most sincere.

Polishing was really a nightmare of a job, but it came out much better than I had anticipated.

Thank you for the compliments! Iíll post pictures once I receive and install the ordered parts...

Post# 395691 , Reply# 6   7/27/2018 at 23:35 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
fantastic work there!

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Although I'm not a "Kirby guy", I'm extremely impressed by your skills.

Post# 395718 , Reply# 7   7/28/2018 at 14:59 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        
Thank you!

hmc1981's profile picture
Thank you for the compliment! I have a lot of fun doing the polishing, it just relaxes me.

Post# 395720 , Reply# 8   7/28/2018 at 15:11 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I must say I am impressed with polish. In particular the bracket on front plate for nozzle/hose did you take that off when polishing. I have a d80 I ordered green led light. I have finished 4 bag assembls. I have one for 505 series and one for 515 above series. I also found a belt lifter new in package with magic finger on it. I do love my d80.
I can polish well but this is ridiculously good. Kudos. I'd polish up handle as it gets to you real quick.

Post# 395751 , Reply# 9   7/28/2018 at 22:17 by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        
Goodness me...

hmc1981's profile picture
Well, I certainly appreciate the compliments.

I did not remove the bracket, just cut the sandpaper really small and used a q-tip to guide the piece of sandpaper and then painstakingly polish.

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