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Thread: Featherweight questions

  1. #1
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I know there's a thread for vintage machines but it's about eleventy billion pages long and I can't look at them all. So if anyone knows these or knows what page of that mammoth thread they're on:

    1. can I use the oil that joann's sells?
    2. should I open up the motor cover and check the wiring? in my reading, I've read about people getting shocked and since I am hoping to teach my 13 yo on this, I don't want her (or me) getting shocked. If I should, what do I look for?
    3. can it sew through denim? What about 2 layers of cotton plus a layer of warm & natural?
    4. I've read that some lube the motor and some don't. Some say that lubing too much makes the wiring insulation rot away. What do you do?
    5. what brand of needles do you use in it? What kind of thread?
    6. how do you know your seam allowance? Moleskin? Dr. Scholls? Is there an easy procedure to put those on in the correct place?

    I may think of more later. I did order the Singer Featherweight & I book but won't get it for a week or so. thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    There is a wonderful tutorial that Billy did that helped me a lot I will find the link
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-45816-1.htm
    This is a 3 part series and it is very user friendly helped me clean my machine

  3. #3
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Any sewing machine oil should work on your featherweight and I have never touched my motor or taken the case off. If your featherweight is stitching well and not growling, it should be fine. A visual check of your cords should show you if they should be replaced ($8) at my local dealers. If they're not cracked and feel pliable and not stiff or hard, they should be fine. Any good quality needles (schmetz) and thread (Gutterman works on mine) will be fine. I haven't found the featherweight to be picky about any thread or needles. Just make sure that the flat side is inserted correcly and you don't get any little bits of thread stuck in the bobbin case. Check your manuel for the correct threading. Featherweights will sew demim or a couple of layers without skipping or jumping. Your machine may have come with a guide as to seam width or you can purchase one. Plates with seam widths marked are also available. This little machine is tougher than it looks.

  4. #4
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gale
    I know there's a thread for vintage machines but it's about eleventy billion pages long and I can't look at them all. So if anyone knows these or knows what page of that mammoth thread they're on:

    1. can I use the oil that joann's sells?
    2. should I open up the motor cover and check the wiring? in my reading, I've read about people getting shocked and since I am hoping to teach my 13 yo on this, I don't want her (or me) getting shocked. If I should, what do I look for?
    3. can it sew through denim? What about 2 layers of cotton plus a layer of warm & natural?
    4. I've read that some lube the motor and some don't. Some say that lubing too much makes the wiring insulation rot away. What do you do?
    5. what brand of needles do you use in it? What kind of thread?
    6. how do you know your seam allowance? Moleskin? Dr. Scholls? Is there an easy procedure to put those on in the correct place?

    I may think of more later. I did order the Singer Featherweight & I book but won't get it for a week or so. thanks!
    They have 1/4" feet for the featherweight. They can be purchased at Hancocks and some other fabric shops. Also you can get a magnet that fits on the bed of the machine at JoAnns. They work well as the bed is metal.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Bobbin along's Avatar
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    remember that the needle goes in with the flat side to the left, and you thread it the needle from the right.

  6. #6
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltforme
    There is a wonderful tutorial that Billy did that helped me a lot I will find the link
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-45816-1.htm
    This is a 3 part series and it is very user friendly helped me clean my machine
    I saw that thread but it doesn't look anything like my machine. Are they all basically the same? At this point I really don't want to completely disassemble it and it appears that they maintained it well. I just need to know about the general ongoing maintenance like the oiling plus the safety issues like the motor. I guess I should just wait for the book before I try to use it.

    thanks everyone for all the great info!! :mrgreen:

  7. #7
    Senior Member darlin121's Avatar
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    I, like you, am waiting for my featherweight to arrive. I won it at an ebay auction. These are good questions I had not thought of yet so I will be watching for the answers too. Congratulations on your new aquisition!

  8. #8
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    Okay here I am!! The only thing about the magnet is that it will not stick to Aluminum. It will stick to the needle plate is you can get it in there!!

    FW's are a really neat little machine although I prefer its bigger sister the 301 I still thin they are cute. :wink: (Yes I said it, they are cute)

    Be careful about oiling the motors of any machine 1 drop per orifice is all it needs for 6 months to a year if you use it daily. If your like me and only use the fancy electrified machines once in a blue moon then once every other year if that. The grease is for the gears in the machine and sometimes the motor.

    Billy

  9. #9
    bleighw's Avatar
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    I have two FWs and use them both as primary machines for quilting. One is always packed for travel; the other is in a sewing table at home. The book to beat all books is the Nancy Johnson-Srebro latest version on the featherweight. It has everything except the technician's manual, which available online. Singer recommends oiling the about every 8 hours of sewing. NEVER oil the motor area. The Singer lubricant is used in the two small holes of the motor housing. Use a toothpick to clean out dried lubricant from the holes, then seat the singer tube of lubricant into the holes and squeeze until the lubricant tops off. At that point, wipe across the two holes to remove the excess. I lube my featherweights about every 3rd or 4th time I oil. It is really important to do exactly as the instruction books say for where to oil vs. lube. My babies are from the 30's and 40's. I have taught FW maintenance to most friends and frequently take care of their machines for them as well. I have NEVER had the need to open a motor. The book I mentioned is a very thorough reference as well as interesting reading.

    When it comes to heavy seams of denim, I switch to my Bernina. My FW's balk at 8 layers of quilters cotten for instance.

    There are several quarter inch foot options. Little Foot makes a clear plastic one for FWs and there is a metal 1/4" foot available through Singer.

    Oiling your machine is NOT difficult. Get a book and a small screwdriver. Have fun. Your FW will immediately sound happier.

  10. #10
    bleighw's Avatar
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    I forgot a couple of your questions:
    1. I use Singer oil. It is a known quality of light machine oil that is pretty cheap. I have used the JoAnn's brand once and don't like the bottle's ability to last and stay closed.
    2. The standard Singer needles sold at JoAnn's are made to work with the FW, and most other Singer's. I read the packages and purchase according to the fabrics I am planning to sew. Most often the red tops.
    3. As a quilter, I generally sew with 100% cotton sewing thread. The lower the linting the better. I use Masterpiece from Superior Threads for miniatures. It is a thinner strong cotton that reduces the bulk of seams when you press. It is enough to make a difference in miniatures. Both of my FWs required a bit of tension adjustment. top and bobbin, to work with Masterpiece. I have thought about using it exclusively because it is very low linting, but the tension is sometimes tricky. Still considering.
    4. Be sure to remove the throat plate and clean there often. That is the worst lint gatherer and can mess with your machine.

    I LOVE my FWs and hope you enjoy your new acquisition!

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