Thread Number: 38452  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Kirby 518 restoration COMPLETED
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Post# 409183   5/7/2019 at 19:33 (501 days old) by Kirbytex85 (Houston, TX)        

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After several months of cleaning/polishing/rebuilding Iíve finally finished the restoration on this 518. I tried to keep it as original as possible and reuse most of the old parts. I replaced the bearings and had to source the light cover from a D80. The light cover trim was replaced and I found the cord online. On the bag, it is the genuine Kirby replacement for these models and wasnít easy to locate, I then created the logo, tried to match the red to the trim then had it screen printed onto the bag. Too bad you canít find the gray bags anymore. I figured the red would look better than solid black behind the logo. I get itís not 100% original but since you canít find the originals I figured this would work.

Only issue now is the wires on the light socket came apert so Iíll have to source that and address. Hope yíall enjoy seeing the restored 518.

I look forward to your thoughts.

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Post# 409184 , Reply# 1   5/7/2019 at 19:44 (501 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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You certainly got creative in making that logo for the bag! I agree that the original gray bags from back then (1953 to 1962) are hard to find now, especially in new-old-stock condition!


Post# 409186 , Reply# 2   5/7/2019 at 19:54 (501 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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That is a beautiful makeover. I'd only suggest red wheels or paint red wheels.
That is a one of a kind bag. I have a bag that is original but it's 519 560. I still think your bag has wow factor.
I'd recommend ditching safety switch have vacuum turn on and off with power switch. This way a classic 3 red hose would match and work on this machine.
The lights quick solder job. If you have to cut off order used assembelly solder old to new heat shrink over it then put black cover over and light will be good as new.

Post# 409189 , Reply# 3   5/7/2019 at 20:19 (501 days old) by Kirbytex85 (Houston, TX)        

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Thanks! I wanted something to stand out and not just be the plain replacement bag. If I could have found a plain gray bag I would have recreated the original styled logo as it would have been.

Post# 409191 , Reply# 4   5/7/2019 at 20:43 (501 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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They make no grey bags. The material on the black bag is heavy duty. I think the color is perfect as it's a Kirby bag that's way heavier duty than original bag. I really like it alot. I thought about doing a black bag with d80 logo similar to yours. I'm not sure black and greens look as sweet as black and red though.
I'd say coolest bag I have seen.

Post# 409201 , Reply# 5   5/8/2019 at 06:00 (501 days old) by Kirbytex85 (Houston, TX)        

kirbytex85's profile picture
Thanks Les!

Post# 409203 , Reply# 6   5/8/2019 at 08:40 (501 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Although, I'm stricktly HOOVER

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myself, I MUST say that is a fantastic restoration!!!!!!!! Excellent work there!

Post# 409208 , Reply# 7   5/8/2019 at 12:44 (500 days old) by Kirbytex85 (Houston, TX)        

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Thanks John

Post# 409294 , Reply# 8   5/10/2019 at 01:18 (499 days old) by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        

This turned out great. Wonderful idea for a bag logo.

Post# 409295 , Reply# 9   5/10/2019 at 02:38 (499 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Bag actually looks REAL sharp in black with the red logo.

Post# 409399 , Reply# 10   5/13/2019 at 13:43 (495 days old) by scudo (uk)        

Beautiful, very well done.

Post# 409539 , Reply# 11   5/17/2019 at 14:05 (491 days old) by ABCVacPlacentia (California)        
Hey Dustin

What's the diameter of the Kirby logo on your reproduction bag?

Post# 409552 , Reply# 12   5/17/2019 at 22:54 (491 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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It looks 3.5"-4"
Take a pic of the belt lifter pic and blow it up 3 time's. The 560 belt lifter
Is the starburst belt lifter.
Notice the bag topper has a small red piece of material. It's cuurdoroy I'd go dark grey maybe get like a waterproof spray add some glitter or clear coat paint mixed with sparkles. The 513-560 bags have same greyish color. Curdouroy material has fabric lines making replication almost impossible. Finding odd grey and getting sparkles idk.
My 1920s royal bag is burlap. They used house paint. You could tape off and use house paint.
The creator of the thread just install a zipper and could install fill tube assembelly himself.
I'm just throwing suggestions out there. Making a bag from scratch isn't easy. Getting a black Kirby bag and going from there is easier. Like the part of the bag that goes over emtor you really and I mean really probably not be able to replicate it.
I talked to alot of people and I replicated it. Just the small details like what you use on top of the bag has to be correct. It can be done but buying a bag installing zipper will save you alot of time.
I rambled enough.

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Post# 409754 , Reply# 13   5/24/2019 at 21:35 (484 days old) by DoraDave (Memphis)        

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That looks Grrrreat!!! That gives me encouragement to tackle the lost and forgotten

beauties I've acquired. Great job! Just super! 

Post# 411640 , Reply# 14   7/17/2019 at 23:27 (430 days old) by Kirbytex85 (Houston, TX)        

kirbytex85's profile picture
It was 6.5 inch diameter on the logo for the bag. Itís a little bigger than an original.

Post# 411641 , Reply# 15   7/17/2019 at 23:38 (430 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst NB)        

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What a great Job!

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