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Thread: Featherweight Question

  1. #1
    ForestHobbit's Avatar
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    Hope to see a featherweight in my future soon. Have looked at those "born" in the 1930's to 1964. Does the age of the machine make a difference or do they all work pretty much the same? I am trying for the best price for the best machine that fits into my budget and have not considered the year "born". They all seem to have the same attachments. Do any of you have suggestions as to important things to look for specifically in featherweights? Appreciate your help all you talented people!

  2. #2
    shaverg's Avatar
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    They are all pretty much the same. There are some Anniversary machines that sell for a little more. But as long as the condition is good, they all are the same. I bought my Birthday machine, made the year and month I was born.
    Quote Originally Posted by ForestHobbit
    Hope to see a featherweight in my future soon. Have looked at those "born" in the 1930's to 1964. Does the age of the machine make a difference or do they all work pretty much the same? I am trying for the best price for the best machine that fits into my budget and have not considered the year "born". They all seem to have the same attachments. Do any of you have suggestions as to important things to look for specifically in featherweights? Appreciate your help all you talented people!

  3. #3
    Super Member shequilts's Avatar
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    My husband collects and occasionally sells Featherweights. I personally sew on one as much as I do on my more expensive
    Bernina. The stitch is wonderful, always tight and straight. The birth year doesn't really matter. I got my first one for my birthday and it was born the same year as I was. I might say, it's in better condition, and runs much better too!
    These little work horses are extremely well built and will outlive most of us. They are simple to maintain and like Timex, they just "keep on a tickin'."
    Odor/mold can be a problem with the cases. (The little black boxes they come in.) It's hard to get the odor out, in fact, if it's really musty, nothing really works. I have a friend who got sick everytime she used hers. She had ordered it from EBAY. She had mentioned that it smelled musty, but when I saw it I nearly choked. The odor was very strong and mold was all up under the side attachment box. The lesson here is to BEWARE of anything with even a slight odor. None of mine smell and they date back to 1938.
    Don't rush to buy, there are plenty out there. I bought one just this last weekend. Good luck in your search, you'll love your Featherweight.

  4. #4
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    There are two for sale at a sewing machine shop near me. One is $100 more than the other. What determines the price?
    How can you tell one is different from another?

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    There are two for sale at a sewing machine shop near me. One is $100 more than the other. What determines the price?
    How can you tell one is different from another?

  6. #6
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    They say condition. Like the gold decals should be in good shape.

  7. #7
    Super Member shequilts's Avatar
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    It's a good thing for the decals (gold) to be intact, but they aren't always, Where the right hand lays on the machine usually wears away the gold. Also, the faceplate on the end of the machine may be either striated or scrolled. The scroll plate is the most collectible. They were made prior to the war. After the war began, they required less metal for the straight striated plate.
    Age is not really a price factor unless its a centennial edition machine. You can determine this by looking at the little decal on the front right of the machine. The centennial medallion is circled in blue vs. black on the other models. Centennial models demand a greater price because of the relative rarity.
    The plug where the cord plugs into the machine should be inspected for damage. These are easily broken when the plug is removed. The cord should always be removed straight away from the machine to prevent cracking/breaking the plug. A replacement plug can cost 25-35 dollars.
    Look at the black carrying case. Inspect it for an intact handle. The older ones were leather, new or reproduction ones are frequently plastic. Smell the box. If it smells moldy, don't buy it. There may be a faint smell of old glue. (Glue was made from horses hooves.)
    Accessories include a variety of pressor feet, a few small tools, (i.e. screwdrivers, foot screws, etc.) It's always good to have an manual with the machine. Many people take them out and sell them independently from the machines.
    Also check the bobbin and bobbin case. The bobbin case (where the bobbin fits into the machine) must be there and be intact. These can become bent and therefore useless. The bobbin itself is subject to being bent if dropped. If this happens, it's also trash. Replacing a bobbin case is expensive. Most sellers remove the bobbin while displaying the machines because they are frequently stolen. Alos, check for a key. They are hard to find, but they are out there. The little black case originally had a key for the two locks on them.
    I hope this info helps you in your search. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

  8. #8
    shaverg's Avatar
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    If you have a case that smells musty, if you use the x strength Febreeze and put it in the sunshine, most of it will come out. You may need to do it several times and, store it with the lid open, until most of the smell is gone. I bought one on ebay and the smell was really bad and that seem to work really well. It usually isn't from moisture. The machine is in excellent shape, it was just the case. I use it all the time, in fact looks like a brand new machine. The Featherweights have a oil felt in the bottom of the machine. If it hasn't been cleaned or changed, that is where most of the smell comes from and it transfers to the cloth or paper that lines the cases.

  9. #9
    ForestHobbit's Avatar
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    Shequilts you ROCK. Thank you for so much information.

  10. #10
    ForestHobbit's Avatar
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    Thank you Shaverg. Have been looking on ebay so probably won't be able to check one in person.

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