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Thread: The cleaning of a 1948 featherweight

  1. #61
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Phil put some alcohol and naptha on a rag and cleaned it:
    Name:  vindex special refinish makeover 4-9-12 007.JPG
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    This is a pic of when he did it to the Vindex Special. We had the best results with the Vindex. I think it wasn't in as bad shape when we started.

    Then he used shellac on a rag - maybe he thinned it down a bit. Somewhere Glenn has a tutorial.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  2. #62
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    My Singer FW after some French polish:
    Name:  April 19, 2012 Martha's 185 & 301 my 128 & 66 042.JPG
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    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  3. #63
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Link to Glenn's tutorial: Cleaning and repairing the shellac clear coat on vintage sewing mcahines
    Basically if you clean a FW use something that you would use on old shellac finished furniture. It will make spots or take off the finish or decals if you use the wrong stuff to clean. Glenn's method is for any older machine with the shellac clear finish on it. It is easy to do and looks real nice when you are done. Oh and it doesn't take very long.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  4. #64
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I mentioned somewhere that my mom used her Singer Featherweight to sew her wedding dress out of a parachute. I ran across a website that had a vintage ad for parachutes on it: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art23275.asp
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  5. #65
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    You can also go to Snapfish and have the photo books made. My daughter on Long Island has them made all the time for us for Christmas for her sisters and Grandpas and Grandmas. They aren't that expensive either as I recall.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    WOW! The memories are really something! I lost my Mom 15 years ago. I remember her teaching me to sew (as well as the home ec classes I took) Mom's first machine was a treadle, but with three girls to sew for, as well as her mother and my dad's mother, well, she stayed very busy, not just sewing but taking care of five children. Mom eventually had the treadle machine motorized, but it was completely lost when our house burned. My mother made my wedding dress -- lace over satin, and about a hundred of those tiny little satin-covered buttons down the back! I bought the material and Mom made my dress, maid of honor's dress, bridesmaid's dress, my grandmother's dress and her own dress for the wedding (all in about 3 weeks) I did help cover the buttons! I stumbled onto a Featherweight (or my son did) a couple of years ago. It's in excellent condition (a white one) and I really love it for piecing! Thanks for the memories!

    Jeanette Frantz

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I've been having all sorts of problems with the pictures - hang in there - only a bunch more to try to load on here. Mom said she never had the throat plate off the machine. She was a bit horrified when we pulled it off. My sister gladly dug out all the lint - I'm wondering how it would work if she never cleaned it - my guess is that she did clean it but has forgotten about it. Ok let's try for another picture. Attachment 299947
    I learned to sew on my mom's FW. I don't think she ever cleaned or oiled it (I know she never taught me to do it) and it worked great for over 40 yrs. In fact, I sewed on that machine for many yrs after she gave it to me and it never saw a drop of oil (I had no idea I needed to oil it). My husband recently took it apart and cleaned it up and it is humming along beautifully again. These machines were built to be indestructable. IMHO, your mom could be right about never cleaning it and it worked just fine!

  8. #68
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novicequiltergrandma View Post
    I learned to sew on my mom's FW. I don't think she ever cleaned or oiled it (I know she never taught me to do it) and it worked great for over 40 yrs. In fact, I sewed on that machine for many yrs after she gave it to me and it never saw a drop of oil (I had no idea I needed to oil it). My husband recently took it apart and cleaned it up and it is humming along beautifully again. These machines were built to be indestructable. IMHO, your mom could be right about never cleaning it and it worked just fine!
    Well, I know she never taught me to clean one. I learned that when I got a finicky Elna...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  9. #69
    Senior Member Raine54RN's Avatar
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    I enjoyed reading this and looking at the pictures. So much love! I have had my FW a few months I so wish I had learned about them longer ago. My daughter is crafty and when she saw my beauty fell in love Guess who got one for her B day? The special cleaning you did for your Mom is amazing. The fact it never failed attests to the quality. What a lovely story. Will read this more than once.
    Rain

  10. #70
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    I have two FW's. I purchased both used. I would really love to know the sewing history behind both machines, would be so fascinating to put together a small booklet and keep with each machine for historical purposes. One machine is a 1935 and the other a 1937. I love your history about your Mom's machine, and thanks for caring enough to clean her FW and keep it in working order. These little jewels were made to work and last, as were so many things in our earlier history, not like many things today, that seem to last only until paid for then require a new one such a shame. I guess because we live in such a fast paced world anymore, everything needs to be like (fast food service), and all of the disposal things we use now, use it and throw it away or buy new.

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