Thread Number: 13280
Kirby Classic iii restoration questions
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Post# 141393   6/28/2011 at 23:33 (4,623 days old) by Impfac ()        

I've been reading through the forum since I found a Kirby Classic III for $4 with buffer, crystallizer, paint gun, original owners manual, and some other misc accessories and jumped on it.

It runs like a champ and I absolutely love it, but it has some pretty good scuffs and scratches in the metal and is rather old, so 3 questions:

What should I use to clean and then polish the metal?

What should I do and with what materials for cleaning/lubrication? (I'm particularly worried about the motor simply due to age).

On the regular metal floors attachment there are three holes on top under where the headlight swings down that look like something should have bolted in. This was taped over; what was it?

Eventually Its going to go up for sale (not my choice), so I'd like it to look good and last as long as possible. Usually I just go at it myself but this is much older and nicer than any vacuum I've played with.

Once she's ready then maybe someone here will want to take her home ;)

Post# 141398 , Reply# 1   6/29/2011 at 00:14 (4,623 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

For the gouges in the metal, you need to use sand paper (starting off rough to get the gouges out, then progressively finer to smooth over the surface), then you need to use polish (this can either be a paste like Mother's polish, or a benchtop polishing wheel using wax polishes), and just go at it until the thing shines, hand polishing requires a lot of effort though, so don't expect it to be done within a day... :)

The holes in the top of the floor nozzle (which the brushroll resides in) is for a suction relief valve (See link below), something that was dropped on the Tradition onwards, this just slots into the hole and you use that to stop the Kirby from sticking to the floor... :)

The motor doesn't require lubrication, if there is a loud howl or a grating or grinding noise, you need to replace the bearings, which you might as well do as you're stripping the machine down for polishing (fix first, then polish!!), there are detailed instructions on how to do this in other Kirby threads here, but if the motor is pretty quiet and doesn't have any grinding noises on spin-down, then you should be okay... :)

Have fun... :)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO twocvbloke's LINK on eBay

Post# 141406 , Reply# 2   6/29/2011 at 03:20 (4,623 days old) by Impfac ()        


The motor isurprisinglyly healthy sounding, so I guess I'll leave it be. I was alssurpriseded the bag seems to be the original but does fine holding the dust in.

Since its over 30 years old and probably never had to be serviced, I'm pretty impressed with the little bugger.

Post# 141415 , Reply# 3   6/29/2011 at 06:53 (4,623 days old) by KirbyLover (Louisville Kentucky )        

If you have no experience with a benchtop buffer/grinding wheel I would not suggest going out and buying one without some training, they are very powerful and can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.

I would suggest a buffing kit that fits on a drill such as this:
Other makes out there but get something similar with black/brown/white compounds

Depending how bad the scratches are, you may be able to "knock down" the scratch with black emery compound and firm pad.

Post# 141440 , Reply# 4   6/29/2011 at 12:23 (4,623 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Dremel Tools seem to work pretty good for me with buffing; just rub a little Mothers M&A on the buffer pad and get goin! Then wipe it off with an old sock when youre done.


Post# 141447 , Reply# 5   6/29/2011 at 14:15 (4,623 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

There is also the Handi-butler kit that can help with polishing, still takes longer than a benchtop buffer, but speeds up the process, and I find that using wax-based polishes helps to retain the shine longer than if you use wet polishes, as the wax adds a layer that protects the metal from moisture... :)

Post# 141523 , Reply# 6   6/30/2011 at 04:08 (4,622 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

From a person who is a tool collector and also sold tools--Bench grinders SHOULD NOT be used with buffing wheels of any sort-they usually run at 3450RPM and are too fast for cloth buffs.A bench grinder is for GRINDING ONLY and should only be used with grinding wheels or wire wheels rated for 3600RPM.Buffers have 1725 RPM motors.Check the nameplate on the tool.and buffers don't have wheel guards as grinders do.

Post# 141546 , Reply# 7   6/30/2011 at 10:10 (4,622 days old) by Impfac ()        

Wow, spellcheck did a number on my last post! I need to start paying attention, idefinitelyly and rehypermoderderned are not words spellcheck... what the heck?


A bench grinder definately not the rout I would go, due to the already stated, but sandpaper is a little more doable. I already have a lot of finer grit stuff from car work as well as the rougher stuff. I'm not trying to get it back to a showroom gleam, just clean it up enough that I like to look at it sitting in the corner. A couple of the scratches are very deep so I know I'm not going to get them to go away.

Love the sleek design, very 50's hyper-modern to me, even though its not 50's or hyper-modern =)

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