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Thread: And Yet Another Craig's List Post with Questions

  1. #1
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    And Yet Another Craig's List Post with Questions

    Here is another interesting post from our local Craig's List:

    http://lubbock.craigslist.org/hsh/3048087524.html

    What is that middle vintage machine?

    I have a question in to the seller about the FW, but doesn't it look like the needle plate is missing?

    Dayle

  2. #2
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    Yes, it does look like the needle plaate is missing.

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    You can get a feed dog plate. Google for replacement parts. You can figure if it's worth it to you. But I think any FW under a $100 is one to consider!

  4. #4
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I agree with Candace on the FW... easy fixes!

    That middle one has to be some kind of industrial, I would think...but I don't really know what it is...it's interesting tho, and I'd be tempted for that reason!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Fascinating, the second machine appears to be a Singer serger of an early form factor I've never seen. While I'd be curious to see it, I'd never buy it at any price because of the visible rust.

    Likewise, with the Featherweight, beware. A new needleplate can run you anywhere from $10 to $60; the 221 needleplates have a spring mechanism attached to their undersides, so they're more expensive than the ones for other Singer models. I also wonder if it's missing the bobbin case as well, which is not cheap to replace.

    More importantly, if you look closely you'll see rust on the 221's bobbin-winding tensioner. That's never a good sign as rusty parts usually have friends in other places around the machine--like inside, where it would be a problem. Likewise, machines that are exposed to enough humidity to cause rust often have wiring problems as well. And if there's aluminum rot on the body, you're in for it.

    Based on the photo alone, I'd pass on the machine even if it were offered to me for $50, because I know the money I'd have to put back into it would eat up any savings. Plus the rust, which is not a problem that goes away on its own.
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Super Member sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    The featherweight can be totally reconditioned. At $75 it's a steal, even if you only resold it for parts.

  7. #7
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    Dayle, technically speaking yes, any machine "can be totally reconditioned"--it is a matter of what condition it is in, plus time and money. Your money. People seem to lose their minds where Featherweights are concerned, and I worry that others will encourage you to buy the machine no matter what. But what you definitely ought to do is check the machine out in person before you agree to anything, and open up the bottom panel to see what's going on inside.

    Here's why: If the machine has been exposed to moisture (as the rusty bobbin tensioner would indicate) and there's rust inside, it is not a steal at $75. Rusty Featherweight parts aren't worth much, and neither is a shot motor. And if the wires are gone, you'll have to put a fair amount of time in if you're going to replace them yourself, or money in if you're going to pay a place to do it.

    If the bobbin tensioner and needleplate are the only things you need to replace, and the machine runs well otherwise, then you'll have done well for yourself. But as someone who goes through, looks over, and fixes a lot of vintage Singers, I can tell you the rust is a red flag. Please check the machine out carefully before you open that wallet!
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Good points Rain, and ones I had not considered...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    Hi Charlee, I love hearing about a good Featherweight bargain, but I hate seeing people find out it wasn't a bargain after all. One of my Ray White classmates found one for just $130, at a time when they were all going for $200 and up. She was pretty excited and snapped it up. Turned out the clearcoat was gone and the hook was snapped off.

    Then an acquaintance of mine scooped up a 221 for "just" $150 and he, too, was excited. The machine began to seize as soon as he started trying to sew with it. Turns out the gib screw was missing and the bobbin case was rusted out. He had to order parts for it off of eBay (I can't remember exactly what he paid but I remember thinking "Jeez, that ain't cheap!"). I was able to help him fix the machine and get it back together, but if he'd paid a repairperson (at least one in NYC) to put in that kind of time, he would've been out at least a couple hundred extra bucks including parts and labor.

    The rust thing I learned about the hard way. A few times I drove more than an hour to purchase a machine with a price too good to be true. The last time was for a 237 that looked beautiful, but the Craigslist photo showed a bit of rust on the bobbin winding assembly, which I disregarded. But once I got there I found the machine didn't want to turn over by hand, and when I flipped it up to look up the bottom with a flashlight, I found the internal parts were rusted up.

    It makes sense if you think about it; rust doesn't just magically appear on one part and leave the rest alone. It typically pops up when a machine has been exposed to moisture, and sometimes the insides look a lot worse than the outsides.

    Anyways, Dayle and everyone, sorry for going on and on! Am just hoping to help others avoid some hassles I've seen and experienced.
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I would rather see a machine coated in dried or gummed up old oil everywhere than rust. Some times it can look like rust so probe a bit with a needle - see if it feels like oil or rust. I also had one once I thought was rusted but it was rust colored lint packed in everywhere in the bobbin area. That machine cleaned up just fine.
    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

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