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Thread: Featherweight motor question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    Featherweight motor question

    My new housemate arrived today all the way from Canada. I'd forgotten how tiny Featherweights are! She's in perfect condition considering she was "born" in 1948 -- the same year I was born. She was manufactured in Scotland so I knew she was wired as 220v and I would need a stepup transformer to run her.
    However, the motor on her is listed as 110/120v made in Elizabethport NJ. I contacted the E-Bay seller and he wrote that the motor had been rewired as a 220v before he aquired her.
    Now, finally my question. Does anyone know if the motor can be put back to a 110v, and what the process would be? I called the Singer repair shop and he offered to sell me a motor for $120.00 (!), but had no idea how to re-wire one back to 110v.
    The transformer weighs about half of what the machine weighs and is about a 6-7" cube, so it would be really nice to have a 110v motor so I don't have to lug around the transformer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    Where's J Miller when you need him??????
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  3. #3
    Super Member chickadeee55's Avatar
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    Motor

    I believe, the armature & field both would have to be changed in the motor. It is probably best to just find a (nice) complete motor on Ebay and swap it out. If you know someone that has Featherweight parts laying around, maybe you could talk them out of some parts that you would need if you want to do it yourself. Finding an armature & field might be tough since that is what fails on featherweights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belfrybat View Post
    My new housemate arrived today all the way from Canada. I'd forgotten how tiny Featherweights are! She's in perfect condition considering she was "born" in 1948 -- the same year I was born. She was manufactured in Scotland so I knew she was wired as 220v and I would need a stepup transformer to run her.
    However, the motor on her is listed as 110/120v made in Elizabethport NJ. I contacted the E-Bay seller and he wrote that the motor had been rewired as a 220v before he aquired her.
    Now, finally my question. Does anyone know if the motor can be put back to a 110v, and what the process would be? I called the Singer repair shop and he offered to sell me a motor for $120.00 (!), but had no idea how to re-wire one back to 110v.
    The transformer weighs about half of what the machine weighs and is about a 6-7" cube, so it would be really nice to have a 110v motor so I don't have to lug around the transformer.

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    J Miller doesn't know how to rewire a motor to change the voltage requirements. Were this his machine he'd hunt up a US voltage motor and swap it out. Much easier to his way of thinking.

    Actually he has done just exactly this with a German market "Ideal Automatik" ZZ machine. It came with the original 220 or 240 volt motor and system. Sew-Classic had the parts and Joe did the work. Machine works like a dream too.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Senior Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    That is along the lines of what I was thinking; be on the lookout for a broken down FW that someone is practically giving away because it looks "bad"--take your time, you'll find one--but the "take your time" probably wouldn't work with me either; once I have something like this on my mind, I don't rest until I get the results I am wanting as far as making the machine work. Anyway, good luck in your search. I can fully identify with you as you pursue this little problem.
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  6. #6
    Senior Member DanofNJ's Avatar
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    I agree, just swap the motor. 15 min job and the wires are color coated if it's an original motor.

  7. #7
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    Don't understand??? I am from Canada and see NO reason to do anything with this motor. if it is labeled a 110v.
    Do you realize electric cycles for Canada and USA are the same . Europe is not the same but many FW were made in Elizabethtown NJ as was some of my other machines so you just plug it in unless it has exposed wires or you were
    told the motor was bad.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    Why are you trying to do this? Canadian and American electrical wiring is the same. If the motor is made in the states then it will run. I own a 99K which was made in Scotland but the motor was build in Quebec, it works fine and if I were to plug it in while in the US it would work.

  9. #9
    Super Member chickadeee55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Briarberry View Post
    Why are you trying to do this? Canadian and American electrical wiring is the same. If the motor is made in the states then it will run. I own a 99K which was made in Scotland but the motor was build in Quebec, it works fine and if I were to plug it in while in the US it would work.
    I think the original poster mentioned that the motor was converted to 220v
    However, the motor on her is listed as 110/120v made in Elizabethport NJ. I contacted the E-Bay seller and he wrote that the motor had been rewired as a 220v before he aquired her.

  10. #10
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I wonder if they're saying that because it runs slow. How does it run with and without the converter?
    Without the converter, assuming a correctly adjusted belt, it should run at about half the speed of a normal running 110v motor. (or 1/2 the speed of the motor with the converter) No damage will occur.

    http://www.sandman-collectibles.com/...or-voltage.htm

    I would strongly suspect that a motor that has been converted from 110 to 220 would have a label of some sort on it (I'm pretty sure it would have to be for sure to be converted from 220 to 110, due to the risk of fire), and I can't see a lot of reason for it to be converted, most people would replace the motor, as has been suggested here.

    Most of the North American featherweights that I've seen have had Canadian motors on them.

    I read somewhere that this was because of 2 things:
    1. The different power in the UK, but in reality, that doesn't stop them from making a 110 motor, only testing it without specialized equipment.

    and 2. The real reason I suspect: If they shipped an electric machine with no motor from the UK to North America, it wasn't a complete sewing machine, therefore it was a lower or even possibly no tariff on it. Sneaky.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 431G, 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99, 115, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

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