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Thread: Refinish Featherweight

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Refinish Featherweight

    DH brought home a featherweight which he found in a house we are remodeling. It is not pretty, but after having it tuned up it sews like a dream. Wow! Is it possible to have the case refinished? It has lots of dings, gouges etc., but is not rusted. Where would you have this done? Our little area doesn't even have a repair shop. Any idea on a price for this if it's possible? I don't want my freebie to get too expensive.

  2. #2
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    pictures! We want pictures! What a find!!!

  3. #3
    Super Member Wine Woman's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your new one! I'm glad it will have a good home. What area are you in? Here in Portland, OR I understand that there is a luggage repair shop that refinishes them. One of the quilt stores I go to the owner was talking about getting her case refinished. I really don't know the price since it wasn't brought.

    I feel its character that was added to my antique. I have rubbed a little black shoe polish after washing it up and it looked a lot better. There is also the antique sewing machine section(on the board) you will find what to use for cleaning and polishing. Have fun, they sure are precious machines!
    Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
    Stay flexible you won't get bent out of shape.

    Barking Frog Winery, Carlton, Oregon

  4. #4
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    Lucky You!!! Hearing stories about FW finds keep me looking! Both of my finds have been on craigslist and neither for free!

    Are you talking about refinishing the case or the machine? I refinished my first case by scrubbing it first with an upolstery cleaner called Tuff Stuff, regluing the loose fabric with Elmers wood glue, then going over it with Kiwi black shoe polish in a dauber bottle. It looks like new! I have yet to go over the second case. It might need a new handle, I'm not sure if I can save it. Lukily, neither have the notorious "FW case stink" that can be hard to eradicate.

    The second FW I bought is a repaint (the purple one in my avatar). I think it was cosmetically challenged, judging by the condition of the case. I don't know who did it, but there are several people online who paint FW and it can be spendy. It is usually done with automotive paint, then new decals, followed by clear coar that is much tougher than the original shellac. Short of a repaint, clean the machine good, being careful of the decals (many cleaning products will silver your decals of the shellac coating is compromised), then coat with 2-3 coats of carnuba wax to protect it.
    Kim
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  5. #5
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Lucky you. Let's see pictures. Spread the envy...I mean joy.
    "In this age of information, ignorance is a choice".

    Heaven and Earth are full of His Glory!

  6. #6
    Senior Member csharp's Avatar
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    I spray painted the outside case of the last featherweight I got...It already had swipes of yellow paint on it...a painter had gotten it in liew of cash for a job and I bought it from his mom...figured I didn't have anything to lose and it already had some yellow on it....covered up nicely...just had to do it outside where there was ventilation and a place to leave it to dry undisturbed. Turned out fine, or acceptable anyway.
    with a passion for quilting and vintage machines
    Colleen S.

  7. #7
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    I meant the machine case. I did not get a carry case with it. I know things are sandblasted, but that seemed a little scary. I messed with the machine again last night and am just blown away with the perfect stitch and power. It climbs right over an accordion fold of fabric without missing a beat. Believe me none of my expensive new models can do that. I dread hemming my jeans.

  8. #8
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    There is someone on this board that just refinished her FW but unfortunately I can't remember the exact post. There is also a company that does it but pretty pricey. If anyone knows it would be Charlee or Joe Miller on this board. Check more of the vintage machine section & it may show up. Good luck.
    Dance like no one is watching

  9. #9
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    Check with Glenn on this board. He set me on the right path for refurbishing my 123 year old machine. I understand that he is an experienced antique lover and may know just what you need to do for your machine and case. He (and the rest of us) would like to see photos especially up close to any problem areas before he offers advice. Congratulations on your good fortune.

  10. #10
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    Congrats on your featherweight machine. Yes, we would like to see pictures of it! If you have some spots on it that you want to touch up, you can do it with Tester glossy Black paint. I used it on some of the places of one of my machines that was down to the bare metal. As for the scratches on it, I think of them as 'battle wounds' that my little machines had to go through. Repainting them takes away the value of a vintage machine, like it would to refinish antiques. I know that the scratches on my machines mean that they were used and appreciated, not just ignored in a closet.
    If you want a carrying case for it, look at Michaels in the yarn department for a rolling yarn tote. They are just the right size for these little machines. If they don't have them there, look in the scrap booking area for the totes. Michaels takes Joann coupons, as well as their own. I think they also take Hobby Lobby and Hancock coupons.

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