For my next Worshop project, I decided on a Kirby 508 I recently won on eBay.

This is a factory-rebuilt Kirby 508. I could tell from the eBay listing photos that the machine was in nice condition and when it arrived, I was not disappointed.

I have not done this sort of work in a quite a while, and I'm sure I've partially lost my "chops" in the interim. This relatively easy job will ease me back into the tedious and difficult job of machine-buffing metal.

Although the machine was in perfect running order, I decided just for fun [yes, I know, I'm out of my mind] to take it completely apart, down to the last screw and doohickey, to completely clean and refurbish it, and also to document the procedure.

And, thus, here is said documentation!

 

"Pre-Makeover"

 


Here she is, "a faded rose from days gone by" (apologies to Helen Reddy).

 


Those deep "coffee table" gouges on the light housing and the deep scratches on the rug nozzle will be a challenge.

 


Overall, the machine is in very nice condition. This will not be a difficult refurbishment, although I know from experience that the "liver spots" in the rug nozzle will also be a challenge. (btw, I plan to retain the sirocco-tan "factory rebuild" color.)

 


You think it looks nice now ... wait til I'm done with it!

 


Ugh. And it smelled even worse than it looked -- this machine came from a smoker's house and the bag reeked of stale cigarettes. In fact, the entire machine did. Even the dust on the metal housing stunk.

 


On the workbench in preparation for disassembly.

 


Sani-Emptor and rug nozzle removed.

 


Brush roller ends -- I've seen worse! Amazingly it was still revolving.

 


Stuck the motor outside and turned it on to blow the dust out from the fan case and exhaust passageway.

 


Light housing and wheels removed.

 


On-off switch and safety switch dismantled.

 


Switches removed.

 


Fan case removed.

 


Fan and front bearing plate removed.

 


Armature removed.

 


Field coil cover & screws removed.

 


Field coil and light bulb wiring pulled out.

 


And here she sits, in all her naked disassembled glory.

 


Reluctantly (because it stunk so bad), I ran the bag over the Hoover Bag Cleaner. I had already vigorously shaken it out but there was still a lot of fine, clay-like dirt insde. The bag cleaner treatment was necessary to dislodge that oily, powder-like matter.

 


The bag receiving a spa treatment: immersed in a bucket of cool Woolite and a whole box of baking soda (to neutralize the odor).

 

Transforming Beast into Beauty

The first step was to wash everything, and I mean everything, in a bath of hot water, baking soda and dishwashing detergent. The plastic trim bits were rag-polished and treated with ArmorAll.

Then the grueling, dirty, dangerous job of machine-buffing the metal housing components commenced; and, then, reassembly.

 


One-half of rug nozzle polished, showing unpolished side.

 


One-half of rug nozzle polished, showing polished side.

 


The polished rug nozzle with belt lifter and trim added.

 


All the parts are polished and clean and ready for reassembly.

 


"Before and After" -- side by side.

 


Closer view of the "after."

 


Isn't the Kirby just a beautiful machine!

 


Showing the other side - full view.

 


Showing the other side - close view.

 


"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

 

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