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Thread: Thread issues on my featherweight

  1. #1
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    Thread issues on my featherweight

    I pulled out my featherweight to try sewing part of a bed skirt on her today. I haven't sewn on her since I got it back in June. The belt on it is brand new (package was in the case) and is an original singer, however I think it may have been ruined from sitting so long. It seems to have a permanent kink in it from where it was sitting around the small pulley by the motor. I adjusted the motor on the dovetail to tighten it a bit but its still slipping a little.

    The mystery to me is with the thread. I did get it to start sewing a few stitches but the top thread is not picking up the bobbin thread and I noticed that the top thread is getting wound around the bottom casing that holds the bobbin case. I got some tweezers out and managed to get it all out from there but there were 2 colors of thread down there so i know it has happened before.

    I took the thread out of the bobbin and top and followed explicit instructions from the manual and rethreaded both, and it didn't fix the problem. I also took the needle out and put it back in, making sure the flat side was to the left.

    Any other suggestions? the only guy that I trust to service my machines charges 67.00 per machine to clean/service and I'm about to make him a very wealthy guy with some of these recent acquisitions so I'd really like to be able to fix at least one of them without spending cash.

  2. #2
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    I just got an oldie and it wouldn't sew from the start. It was doing the same thing as yours. It's in the shop right now. He charges 99 just to look. Barny P.S. remember that bobbin point has to fit up into the slot.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sammygirlqt's Avatar
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    I had the same issue with my vintage machines and it was the type of needle I was using. I ordered some "Orange " needles off of Ebay and thread issues gone. See my post under Main "Frustration with FMQ". Polyparrot has some good information.
    Sam @ Samantha's House.blogspot.com
    SamanthasHouse @Etsy.com

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    Hmmm, I've worked on sewing machines for 20 some years, on and off. I rewired a 201 I found on ebay last weekend. I'm very familiar with Featherweights, having owned 3 of them, including a 222. A brand new belt sitting unused on a machine for a mere 3 months shouldn't have a permanent kink in it. It sounds to me like the guy cranked the tension too tight on the belt. If you move the motor out too far, in the process of putting tension on the belt, you will get a 'kink' on it.

    Try this: Loosen the motor enough so you can get the belt off the small pulley (don't take the belt completely off the machine, leave it in place around the flywheel). Turn the belt so you can reach the kink. Then 'un-kink' that bump by bending it sharply in the opposite direction. You might need to hold it in place a few seconds. This 'should' fix it. But if it doesn't, you should return it and ask for a new one. The guy definitely put it on too tight.
    Last edited by Christine-; 08-11-2012 at 09:55 AM.

  5. #5
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    As for the thread issue, you might have the needle inserted backwards, check the needle to see if it's inserted with the scarf in the correct direction.

    I hope you're sister is getting better, I watch for updates on your blog and say a prayer when I see new posts. I'm thinking of you!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine- View Post
    As for the thread issue, you might have the needle inserted backwards, check the needle to see if it's inserted with the scarf in the correct direction.

    I hope you're sister is getting better, I watch for updates on your blog and say a prayer when I see new posts. I'm thinking of you!

    I have no idea how long the belt has been on it, it was on it when I bought it, but the package is still in the case with it and it looks to be brand new, so it could have been sitting on it for years. I did try loosening the motor and bending the belt in the opposite direction, but its still slipping, though not as bad as it was.

    I will double check to make sure it has the right needle in it. I didn't even pay attention to what was in it, I just made sure it was in there correctly. Its the needle that was in it and looks brand new as well. Guess it will take just a little more tinkering to figure out. This is the first time I've really messed with anything on a machine so I'm learning as I go. I've been pretty fortunate in the past that Ive only had one issue ever with a machine that required me to have it serviced.

    Thanks Christine. My sister is blissfully unaware of what she should be "feeling" while undergoing chemo. She's having fairly minimal side effects which is also a blessing. Makes me realize there really must be a strong connection between body and mind when it comes to these types of things, because she goes about her days just as she always has, with the brief interruption for treatments. She doesn't even notice or mention anything to question why she looks different from other women in her home. Reconstructive surgery is not covered with her medicare so we haven't decided what to do about that just yet. I guess I should go update my blog. Life has been kinda in the way lately. These machines are such a pleasant diversion from all that unpleasant stuff. Fortunately my mom seems to be coping much better with everything so hopefully our latest designs can be published soon.

  7. #7
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    I had the same trouble with my FW when I put in a new bobbin I had purchased on eBay...sweet little Violet just wouldn't make a stitch! When I compared the new bobbin with the original that came with Violet, I could see that it was ever so slightly bigger and was sticking out past the edge of the bobbin case. When I put the original bobbin back in, the problem went away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jennb View Post
    I have no idea how long the belt has been on it, it was on it when I bought it, but the package is still in the case with it and it looks to be brand new, so it could have been sitting on it for years. I did try loosening the motor and bending the belt in the opposite direction, but its still slipping, though not as bad as it was.
    Oh, my bad. I thought the repairman put the belt on the machine in June. I misunderstood. If I remember correctly, the 221 has a lip around the flywheel that makes taking the belt off a tight squeeze. It's do-able, belts are inexpensive so you might change the belt to keep the motor from shaking every time that part of the belt hits it.

    Another idea I have is to use a hair dryer while you're bending the belt back. A little heat might loosen the belt up enough that it will relax back in shape.

    As for the thread problem, I seem to remember the needle eye is sideways? In any case, check to see which direction the thread goes in the eye, check which direction the bobbin thread is supposed to come off the bobbin, etc.

  9. #9
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Check out Dave McCallum's website. He has some information in his blog to help with FW problems. I also highly recommend his book. It is really well written, easy reading and wonderful drawings.
    http://www.featherweight221.com/fwrx/blog/blog.php
    ~~Cathy~~

  10. #10
    Junior Member KenZ's Avatar
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    You could check to see if the needle is inserted all the way up. If this is a white featherweight tightening the belt to tight can cause the motor pulley to separate. White featherweights do not have the same motor pulley as the black featherweights.
    Ken

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