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Thread: The cleaning of a 1948 featherweight

  1. #26
    Super Member Rann's Avatar
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    You could also try PB Blaster on it. To me it works better than Liquid Wrench.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms View Post
    s
    Miriam, your pic of the bobbin case base is great. It makes the screw on the left that removes the "gib" look a normal size. There is a piece of thread stuck in that area on my FW and the screw is soooooo tiny! I have several different screwdrivers that fit the slot (from my glasses kits) but I can't get that screw to budge!! I'm so frustrated...the only thing affected is the groves in my hands from the screwdriver. I have spraye
    d it with Liquid Wrench, tried to turn it, sprayed it again and tried again many times. Don't want to strip the screw. Any suggestions? I don't have a "strong male" in my household to use his strength.

    I've posted under the VSMS thread that both my FWs were being naughty girls!!!

    Thanks for any help! Carolyn
    If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it.

  2. #27
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    There are a lot of things you can squirt or dab on but you want to be careful not to take the paint off the machine.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  3. #28
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    Miriam, thank you for sharing the great story and pictures of your Mom's FW. You and sis did a great job. I am sure your mother really appreciates it.

    Caroline, Have you tried a little heat with a hair dryer? Also, you may want to a gentle try a tap with a hammer on the screwdriver while you have it in the slot of the screw.
    Lisa

  4. #29
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. My featherweight is okay, I think, but am going to learn to take care of it myself. At least that is my goal!!

  5. #30
    Junior Member Linkbeth's Avatar
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    Miriam, thanks for the wonderful pictorial and story as well. I relate to certain parts as my Mom sewed on a small 'toy' Singer..I know it sounds unbelievable..but my 2 older sisters confirm all that she made on it..I amazes me the indomitable spirit of the females of that era to overcome the challenges time..Thanks for the sharing...liz

    [QUOTE=miriam;4836496] I'll try to unfold this story as I go along. Perhaps my sister will chime in along the way.
    For Christmas my sister and I cleaned up Mom's FW.
    QUOTE]
    Elizabeth

    Life is a Learning Curve!

  6. #31
    Senior Member Bennett's Avatar
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    I loved reading your mom's story and looking at the pics. My FW is from 1948 too, but I have no idea of the history. I connect it with my mother too because she bought it for me as a present several years ago, and she was born in 1948. It's one of the machines I wouldn't ever want to part with. Let your mom know how much we've enjoyed her machine!
    I have a screw driver and YouTube--I can fix it!

  7. #32
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper View Post
    Thanks for posting this. My featherweight is okay, I think, but am going to learn to take care of it myself. At least that is my goal!!
    The FW manual has an amazing amount of info to maintain your machine
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  8. #33
    Senior Member ORSunshineQuilter's Avatar
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    Miriam - Thank you for sharing this article. I have owned FWs most of my life and never cease to be amazed by these little machines. My DH cleaned up a machine that had been through a hurricane and it works! Amazing. It was frozen when I got it. We painted it with car paint that turns from green to purple as the light hits it. I call it Purple Majesty. Singer really knew what they were doing with those little machines, didn't they?!
    BJ the Oregon Sunshine Quilter

  9. #34
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I mentioned the manual I printed out for mom in large print
    http://www.singerco.com/accessories/instruction-manuals
    Where they want a number it would be 221
    You can print out the free manual or order mom was very happy with hers.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  10. #35
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    Congrats on the great pics and description of the work you did. Your mother sounds like someone I would like to know (and the two of you, too.) This little FW sure took a licking and kept on ticking. With this kind of care, it's likely your granddaughters and great granddaughters will be using the same machine!
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

  11. #36
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Miriam I loved this posting! My mom stopped sewing when I was in grammer school (so about 50+ years ago) and she didn't keep any of her older sewing machines. Pity. In the 1960s she started buying plastic throw away machines that only lasted a few years, and never kept any of those either. Anyway, I got my 1956 FW last year and spent some time cleaning it up, although it wasn't as dirty as your mom's. Mine also has a lot of battle scars, and some that look inflicted by a naughty child, as in bad words scratched into the paint! :-( I'll probably cover those up. Thanks for the post. It was so fun to read.

  12. #37
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I look at all the nicks and scratches at merit badges that machine has earned but I haven't seen any bad words. I guess I don't see covering up all that family history.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  13. #38
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    Miriam, this was truly wonderful! I am still waiting for spring to tackle my mom's FW. She's a 1949. Love the pics and bookmarked it for future reference! I can't wait to clean mom's! I will take pictures all through it so I don't lose any parts. I flipped mom's machine over and the bottom didn't look anything like what you posted....then I took the circle deal off and that bottom plate thing...then it looked the same. Man...cleaning a FW for dummies!
    Proud mom/step-mom to 8 children. We promote awareness of Autism and Huntington's Disease. Please pm me if interested in sending Campbell's Soup Labels or box tops which we collect for our kids' schools.

  14. #39
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    HM maybe I didn't show enough details. Some wise person said to use tape to keep things (like screws) you take off together. I say don't take off much - clean it and put it back together ASAP. Then go do another section - put it all back, go do another section - keep it simple. We cleaned with non pumas goop - we were in the house at her good antique walnut table. Mom said there were things we took apart that she had never taken apart - Folks this machine has been run HARD since 1948 and it is still ticking - well, it could use a bobbin winder... BIL could stand to paint it... nah - I like the merit badges.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  15. #40
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    Since we restore machines we've seen a lot worse then that. Have fun

  16. #41
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    This was a wonderful thing you did for your mom. I loved this thread. You girls are great. I have my grandmothers' Singer Red Eye treadle. Same story, started in 1919, went across country from Baltimore to Oklahoma City. Grandmother started sewing at age eight she was apprenticed to a cotourier in Baltimore. She actually helped sewing hems. By the time she was twelve she was designing and sewing for the fashionable women of Baltimore. She,also, design and made incredible hats to go with the outfits and became so popular they added her name to the front door. At fourteen she was tutored and finished the eighth grade. The store paid for her tutor as they didn't want to lose her presence at the store to take the time out to go to high school. She received her HS diploma at 16. She was a beauty at 16 and designing her own clothes made from leftovers from the store, she became the store's model at private teas. When she met my GF and decided to move to Oklahoma City, it was a blow for the shop and they only lasted another year without her designs. She made all of her clothes her entire life and for my mother and aunt. When I came along in 1938, my mother and dad were doing war work And I went to live with my DGM. She always dressed me like a little princess clear up into my teens. She would keep up with fashion and I had the latest styles before anyone else did. In addition, she sewed for so many wealthy women in Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Little Rock, AR. She continued doing sewing into her late 70's.. All of this on this dear old Red Eye that I learned on and now belongs to me. The stories this machine could tell. It is beat up from moving so many places. I have redone to wooden parts but there are deep gouges in the metal from her buttonhole maker, I guess. The machine sews like a dream. My DGM would never use an electric machine, she said you have no control when you use an electric sewing machine. I treasure this old machine and use as the table for my FW. It's one or the other that I use for everything even tho I have two beautiful Janome's.
    I would love to hear stories about other heroic machines.

  17. #42
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wichypoo View Post
    WOW, I really need to read and re-read this, I received a FW from my Husband for Chiristmas. I just don't know where I should start,,,,,,maybe a professional machine cleaning..... thanks for the photos and info.
    You can clean your machine yourself. Many "professionals" don't have any idea of what they're doing with the older machines.
    Lots of good info at this website: http://www.featherweight221.com/fwrx/index.html

    Also join the Yahoo group Featherweight and you'll have access to the manual for the machine and also good tips on cleaning yours up.
    Sharon W.in Texas

  18. #43
    Member mysewingroom's Avatar
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    These machines have to have a lot of abuse to be no good anymore. I have just gotten the one my mother bought when I was born. It sewed all my clothes, my mothers and a lot of my brothers little out fits. They are one tough machine. Have fun redoing this one. You're off to a good start!

  19. #44
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    Miriam, thanks for the wonderful pictures and story of your mother's machine. You really need to put this all in a little photo album with the pictures and story to keep with her machine. And keep a copy of it yourself in case her copy gets misplaced. What a wonderful machine and mother you have there. If you will send me your address in a PM, I'll gladly send you a little crocheted spool pin cosie to use in place of that little red felt thing that goes under the spool of thread. If there is a special color she'd like, let me know.

    Hobo2000, you also need to write up the story of your machine and grandmother to put with the machine. It is a special story that goes with a special machine, and if you don't do it, the machine won't have it's voice. If you would like of of the crocheted spool pin cosies, I'll send you one too.

    Thanks again to the both of you for sharing your special stories of your machine. I just wish I knew the stories of mine. I can start from here and tell what I do know about them from here on.

  20. #45
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I believe each little mark on the machine has a little story all its own.
    Each little mark means that machine made something at home.
    Was it made by a grandma sewing her wedding dress?
    Was sewing a wedding quilt?
    Was someone sewing the family's clothes?
    Was it made by a kid learning to sew?
    Was someone sewing up a torn tent?
    Was sis making a new neck tie for dad?
    Did the living room get totally redecorated with new curtains and new upholstery on the couch?
    Prom dress?
    bicycle clothes?
    school clothes?
    baby clothes?
    What do the scars represent???
    I am beginning to look at the pristine looking machines in a different light. I think I've actually seen more wrong with the nice looking machines than the old beater machines. It really didn't take much work to clean that machine for mom and get it running in top shape once again. Mom called last night and I read this all to her. She brought up more and more memories. This is good. Mom has a lot of problems with her memory. She loved Hobo's story especially. I think I will print out the stories and give it to mom.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  21. #46
    Super Member mimiknoxtaylor's Avatar
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    Miriam, thanks for the inspiration to get my little FW cleaned up. Adjusted the tension & thanks to your photos put the bobbin race in correctly to hold the bobbin case & now she (Sally) sews like a dream!
    Joyce

  22. #47
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Miriam, my "tale of the tiny screw" is that I'll never take that thing out again. My grandson finally got it turning and out for me so we were doing the happy dance. Uh huh...never dance too early! (sigh). We moved the gib to the right as shown in the manual and I pulled the last of the thread out (I hope) so....now to put it back together. Grandson has gone to bed so I said "I can do this...I am WOMAN!!" So using the magnetic screwdriver, I put that tiny sucker..I mean screw..on the end and gently place it in the hole...about 10 times later after throwing up my hands, I rested. Deep breath, try again, then I drop that @#%& screw and it bounced off the thick placement I had it on. I looked high, low and in between. Got out my magnetic wand (the long one for mechanics), ran that thing over every surface, under my couch (we won't discuss what came out from under there!), cleaned off my coffee table and even got out of my pjs carefully to make sure that @#%& screw wasn't stuck in them. Ok, that's it....take drugs and go to bed...new start in the morning (this morning), So get up, my calm restored, and search for screw again....after about 20 minutes I picked up my tiny flexible magnetic flashlight to shine light around area and THERE WAS THAT STINKING SCREW ADHERED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE FLASHLIGHT AND IT HAD NEVER BEEN MORE THAN 6 INCHES FROM MY MACHINE!! Ok, nice girl sends a big Thank You to God above.

    Now gotta get that screw back into the gib and base. I tried for about 20 minutes and then my grandson tried. Now he's 21 and has large hands. I'm sure that he can't get that thing screwed in. He played around with it and thankfully didn't utter too many bad words in front of his grandma. I told him not to stress over it but in a few minutes I heard him yell "YEAH!" Success, it's back in."

    Wohoo! We are on a roll. Wait!!! I put the bobbin in the bobbin case and put the bobbin case in the base . So far so good. THEN, I replace the throat plate checking to make sure that Position Finger (A2) enters the Notch (B2) of the position plate attached to the underside of the throat plate. NO GO!! There is no complete rotation of the bobbin/needle, etc when turning the handwheel. Neither will the top thread pick up the bobbin thread. I have positioned the base just exactly as shown in the manual and then replaced the throat plate exactly as stated. I am totaly aggravated when this is suppose to be something soooooo siimple. I even used my white FW as a model for what I was doing!

    What could I possibly be doing wrong? I'm so bummed out that I'm ready to throw her in the car and take her to the SMRG although it will cost me $65.00. Grrrrrrrrrrr!!

    Maybe I'm just not cut out to do any repairs on these machines.

  23. #48
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Do you have a repair manual? Maybe there is something needing to be adjusted. I can sympathize but I can't advise much. I have a big honkin' Consew walking foot that gets thread tangled up in the shuttle shaft... To get the thread out you have to take off the shuttle and pull out the thread. One time it too me a month to get the thing back in time - I should have taken it completely apart and put it back together. I've fought with that machine for 10 years now and I can time one pretty fast. Last week I wanted to use it and figured out that one of the shuttle shaft screws worked it's way out and went AWOL. I would try to find a manual and see if there is some adjustment you missed. Maybe that is what was really wrong with the machine in the first place. Does it turn with out a needle in it? It is also possible that there is something wrong with the machine in another place. I've been saving up my problem sewing machines for a sewing repair class I'm wanting to take. Some times the LSMR guy is what you have to do - but if it happens again you have to take it right back... sigh
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  24. #49
    Senior Member littlesurfer's Avatar
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    These little featherweights are amazing! So glad you got it all cleaned up!
    Lynn

  25. #50
    Junior Member oowee's Avatar
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    That is so awesome I so wish I had a FW from my great grandmother. They are the smoothest running sewing machines. Happy Quilting!!

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