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Thread: Featherweight motor question.

  1. #1
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Exclamation Featherweight motor question.

    So here's the deal and my newbie mistake... I accidentally oiled my featherweights motor. I've read this is a big no no and so now I'm kind of panicking that I've ruined my nearly mint featherweight. What do I do now?? Is it safe to remove the motor and open it up?? Will I accidentally short something by doing so or electrocute myself?? what should I use to clean my mistake if possiable. I have not turned my machine on since and it wasn't a heavy oiling but it's been sitting a few days. But I'm frightened that I made a mistake so help! Please!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Leaveright. Leave her right there.

    Get some Singer lube in the tube and grease it. Grease it good. Then run it. As you were told before one oiling with a small amount of oil will most likely not hurt it at all. I'd worry if you flooded it, but you didn't so grease and sew.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe! youve been very helpful! im curious though how does greasing the outside of the motor help the inside?? its a weird concept to me. :P again thank you!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  4. #4
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    im curious though how does greasing the outside of the motor help the inside??
    Where did you put the oil?
    Where Joe's referring to is in the "grease tubes" - see the pic. (Sorry about the absolutely disgusting FW. It's been sitting waiting for a cleanup, but it's a repainter, so it's taken a backseat. It was disassembled completely tonight, and I'm going to pick up some stripper for it tomorrow, so it won't ever look like that again.)

    If you used oil to just shine up the motor, like the rest of the machine, it's completely fine. The grease tubes should have grease in them.

    And yes, if you were really worried, you could open the motor without frying anything, including yourself, but a few drops into those grease holes (there are 2 of them btw) shouldn't hurt anything.

    The grease tubes end at a bearing or a shaft inside the motor. (depends on which of the grease tubes we're talking about)
    They supply a little grease, slowly, to that bearing or shaft so that when it gets warm from rotation and friction, it doesn't burn up (not fire like, just discolored and melty for the things around it) or seize.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Yes there's that one and one on the otherside faces the back wall if the machine is facing you. I mean I did apply it directly to those points. I'm going to the store today to buy some singer lube because I forgot to include it with my online order. I just wanted to know can the two mix or should I really open it up and try and dab out the oil before putting the lube. That kind of thing.

    Joe and archaic always have the best answers. you guys have been life savers to a newb like me.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    Where did you put the oil?
    Where Joe's referring to is in the "grease tubes" - see the pic. (Sorry about the absolutely disgusting FW. It's been sitting waiting for a cleanup, but it's a repainter, so it's taken a backseat. It was disassembled completely tonight, and I'm going to pick up some stripper for it tomorrow, so it won't ever look like that again.)

    If you used oil to just shine up the motor, like the rest of the machine, it's completely fine. The grease tubes should have grease in them.

    And yes, if you were really worried, you could open the motor without frying anything, including yourself, but a few drops into those grease holes (there are 2 of them btw) shouldn't hurt anything.

    The grease tubes end at a bearing or a shaft inside the motor. (depends on which of the grease tubes we're talking about)
    They supply a little grease, slowly, to that bearing or shaft so that when it gets warm from rotation and friction, it doesn't burn up (not fire like, just discolored and melty for the things around it) or seize.
    Good info!

    Off topic, but have you seen Dave mccullums newest blog post on stripping featherweights? I thought it was interesting...
    http://www.featherweight221.com/fwrx/blog/blog.php

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    Thanks Joe! youve been very helpful! im curious though how does greasing the outside of the motor help the inside?? its a weird concept to me. :P again thank you!
    You DONT grease the outside of the motor! There are two little metal ports, one on each end of the motor you put the grease INTO.
    Doing this lubricates the motors bearings.

    Putting oil or grease on the outside of the motor just makes a mess.

    Basically the same thing ArchaicArcane said, but she got to you first.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    I will take a closer look when I get home then. I thought it was all screws on the outside of the motor. Clearly I didn't look close enough? Maybe I haven't messed anything up yet. Still need to buy the lube for it anyhow.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Kittywolf,

    This is just a friendly suggestion but it's meant in all sincerity. If you have an owners manual, read it carefully. If you don't download and print, or order one then read it. Everything you've asked about as far as oiling and lubing a FW is well documented in the owners manual.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    I do. In my excitement I just browsed it and should have read it all through. It's totally my fault. I also like to hear someone I guess reiterate the information to make sure I read it correctly or to understand it better. I hope your not offended! I don't mean to upset anyone.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  11. #11
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    I do. In my excitement I just browsed it and should have read it all through. It's totally my fault. I also like to hear someone I guess reiterate the information to make sure I read it correctly or to understand it better. I hope your not offended! I don't mean to upset anyone.
    Kittywolf - I think Joe must have worked tech support Different people are definitely different in how much they'll glean from reading a manual - even one that's really well put together. I'm not all that hot at it myself but I seem to integrate what I read and didn't understand well when I actually see something. OTOH, I'm way too likely to be the person Joe was thinking of - ask first, read later. I'm working on that since it's so easy to search these days.

  12. #12
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Nah, I 'm not offended in the least.

    It's just that when you have all the info in your hand, it does save time and effort if you read it first. Then ask for clarification if you need it. I've had to do that many times.

    Joe

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    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    misskira! Thanks for that link! How timely. I read it with great interest. I may just try some of that with this repaint!

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    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    So I threaded her up today, wound a bobbin fine, the machine has a smell that I can't tell if it's heat off the light, oil burning off the motor, or something electrical. I don't think it was electral. You can usual tell that smell right away! I'll have to see once I get the darn thing to pick up the bobbin thread. Needle to double check my needle and the direction of my bobbin maybe. See why it is giving me issues. Me and bobbins really don't get along. Sheesh.

    Oh and Joe I read the manual today. :P sometimes I just can't comprehend what I'm reading due to mental fatigue so I have to make sure my mind is fresh to read or I won't retain any of it. I was excited to give it a try today so I had the mental clarity to read it. it does help. Have to read it out loud to myself to understand the diagrams though. Haha.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  15. #15
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Ok so I got my featherweight going finally. she has a faint smell of I assume the oil burning off but I'm having trouble with the bobbin thread now. It wouldnt pick it up till late last night it finally did. So this morning I ran some test stitches and she sews beautifully! However when it's time to end the sewing and remove the fabric I noticed the underside has three threads going and the fabric won't move. I'm pretty new to seeing so I'll ask first is there something I need to do first to finish it off? On my other machines I just gently pull and both the top thread and bobbin thread give and I can pull enough to snip the thread. This one is rather stuck like either the top thread and the bottom thread are snagged somewhere. :/ I snip it and then have to remove the bobbin casing out and pull out the random loose thread that is neither attached to the top or bobbin thread! Any idea why it's doing this. I re-read the manual and I didn't see anything specific for finishing the thread. :/ help!
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

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    Have you looked for more thread tangled behind the bobbin housing? You might be able to see it if you remove the needle plate. Otherwise I'm not sure. There should only be one thread coming from the bobbin and it should pull smoothly.

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    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    I guess I'll have to look again. But it's the same thread I wound for the bobbin. Same color and not dirty with age or lint or oil. So Ill have to check again. I just didn't want to remove the entire bobbin house and chance messing up the timing. :/ hmmm
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

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    If that happens on a newer machine you just turn the handwheel toward you and it lets go. Try that next time you notice the thread caught. Turn a few inches and try to pull again and it should be fine. My 80's New Home did that a lot.

  19. #19
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    The other thing that will do that is if you've threaded the wrong way. A FW threads right to left, and the needle has to be flat side to the left.
    If the threading is wrong (I've seen it on 2 other machines that I threaded the wrong way i.e they wanted left to right and I did right to left) and they brought up 3 threads instead of 2. It was sure a WTHeck moment when it happened the first time.

  20. #20
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jen C View Post
    If that happens on a newer machine you just turn the handwheel toward you and it lets go. Try that next time you notice the thread caught. Turn a few inches and try to pull again and it should be fine. My 80's New Home did that a lot.
    My featherweight is from 1952. So I don't know if this counts as a newer machine but I will give that a try. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    The other thing that will do that is if you've threaded the wrong way. A FW threads right to left, and the needle has to be flat side to the left.
    If the threading is wrong (I've seen it on 2 other machines that I threaded the wrong way i.e they wanted left to right and I did right to left) and they brought up 3 threads instead of 2. It was sure a WTHeck moment when it happened the first time.
    I put and threaded as the manual instructed. The flat side of the needle faces to the left so the eye is sideways. (now I did this to MY left. Since the machine is facing me should it go the other way???) and then I threaded going right to left. I had to remove the needle and push it further in to get it to even sew. Also will it not sew if the light is off? It happened at the same time I adjusted the needle so I wwasn't certain if that prevented it or not. I'm slowely figuring her out. the good news is that her tension and timing seem good. I adjusted the tension just a smidge because there was a little looping on the underside of the fabric.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

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    They do sew with the light off. In fact, if your lightbulb is anymore than 15 watts I would keep it off until you can replace it. Mine came with a 50 or 75watt bulb in it and I have a nice burn scar just above the wrist to show for it. :/ it had only been on for just a couple minutes too.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Mine has what I assume to be the original bulb and is 15 watts. I keep it off because it does get warm and I sew with an OTT lamp on my desk so it isnt really nesacary. But thanks for letting me know.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  23. #23
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    So I threaded her up today, wound a bobbin fine, the machine has a smell that I can't tell if it's heat off the light, oil burning off the motor, or something electrical.
    Sorry about the quick response last night, I was tired from a busy weekend, but didn't want to leave you with a non-working machine if I had a possible solution for you.

    One thing I find with the old motors (ie the ones hanging on the backs of the machines, fw motors, etc) is they always have a smell to them when they're fired up after a long rest. It's -probably- OK, as long as there's not a lot of heat to go with the smell. (touch the outside of the motor when it's running, or even a minute or two after, and feel it. It can be warm to the touch, but not hot.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    However when it's time to end the sewing and remove the fabric I noticed the underside has three threads going and the fabric won't move. I'm pretty new to seeing so I'll ask first is there something I need to do first to finish it off? On my other machines I just gently pull and both the top thread and bobbin thread give and I can pull enough to snip the thread. This one is rather stuck like either the top thread and the bottom thread are snagged somewhere. :/ I snip it and then have to remove the bobbin casing out and pull out the random loose thread that is neither attached to the top or bobbin thread! Any idea why it's doing this. I re-read the manual and I didn't see anything specific for finishing the thread. :/ help!
    The random threads you're finding are because you snipped the threads in the step above. It sounds like the upper tension was off when you did the test sewing. The 3 threads are probably 1-2 wraps of the upper thread and the bobbin thread. The beginnings of a bird's nest.

    A FW is a lockstitch machine, just like your758, and most of the other machines you'll ever use. It will finish a stitch the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    I guess I'll have to look again. But it's the same thread I wound for the bobbin. Same color and not dirty with age or lint or oil. So Ill have to check again. I just didn't want to remove the entire bobbin house and chance messing up the timing. :/ hmmm
    If you remove the bobbin case, and even the plate that the bobbin case sits against, you won't ruin the timing. That takes a little more effort. In the manual, you would have seen instructions on removing that portion. It's pretty necessary sometimes to get those stray threads out in order to let the machine stitch properly again. I once pulled what I'm sure was close to 10ft of thread out from behind there. It just kept coming out, and when I thought it was done, I found more. Poor machine, explains why it wouldn't sew when I went to see it. You couldn't even turn the hand wheel it was that bunged up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    I put and threaded as the manual instructed. The flat side of the needle faces to the left so the eye is sideways. (now I did this to MY left. Since the machine is facing me should it go the other way???) and then I threaded going right to left. I had to remove the needle and push it further in to get it to even sew. Also will it not sew if the light is off? It happened at the same time I adjusted the needle so I wwasn't certain if that prevented it or not. I'm slowely figuring her out. the good news is that her tension and timing seem good. I adjusted the tension just a smidge because there was a little looping on the underside of the fabric.
    OK,.. This is how Dave McCallum explains it: You see the "D" that the needle plate makes? The needle orients in the same direction.

    Always seat a needle in the FW, and all Singer's I've used, until they stop. There's a guide that stops the needle when it's seated high enough.

    Tension is always an ongoing thing. You'll need to address it depending on the fabric you're using, etc. What is it set on right now? What number?

    Quote Originally Posted by misskira View Post
    They do sew with the light off. In fact, if your lightbulb is anymore than 15 watts I would keep it off until you can replace it. Mine came with a 50 or 75watt bulb in it and I have a nice burn scar just above the wrist to show for it. :/ it had only been on for just a couple minutes too.
    Agreed, except that I've burned myself with the 15watt bulb too. I would think that 50 or 75 watt would be bad for the wiring too! They weren't designed for that sort of wattage...


    Quote Originally Posted by Kittywolf13 View Post
    Mine has what I assume to be the original bulb and is 15 watts. I keep it off because it does get warm and I sew with an OTT lamp on my desk so it isnt really nesacary. But thanks for letting me know.
    Ott-Lites are way better quality of light too. Your eyes won't get as tired as fast.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    i will take a look at "Tucci" again soon! Today i distracted myself with getting my W&G up and running. i will take a peek and see if there are any other strands stuck in the bobbin. I did feel the motor a few times and it didnt feel warm to the touch. granted i wasnt sewing for a long time, but i figured if it was a problem it would probably heat up rather quickly. Is a birds nest just a "nest" of tangles in the bobbin?

    the tension is set between 3 and 2. i lowered it to 2 when i first started sewing it and i could see loops on the top thread. it was between the 3 and 2 when i first brought it home so i figured it was the tension it was last used at. (which i guess doesn't necessarily mean its whats best. ^_~ )
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  25. #25
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    A nest is basically a lot of needle threads under the needleplate. They don't usually end up -in- the bobbin, though they can "tie" the bobbin case to the needleplate. Lots of fun.

    I've made nests in probably every color under the sun. I really hated that 290C I started on. In retrospect, it really wasn't the fault of the machine. I blame my dad. He never let me take lessons or Home Ec, and just thought I'd figure the machine out. Keeping in mind that's before the Internet days.

    That and I'd asked for a bike for my 10th birthday and got a sewing machine. Doomed from the start I tell ya!

    Typically, a properly adjusted machine, with "Regular" thread, and average weight fabric will be between 3 - 5 on the upper tension.

    That said, if someone's messed with the upper tensioner, or it has fuzz in it, or someone's adjusted the lower tension, this could be different. There's information in the manual about resetting the upper tension. It's intimidating the first time, but work through slowly, and you'll be fine.

    Were the loops on the top or the bottom?
    Bird's nests are top tension issues. Bottom thread problems usually just look like the thread isn't tight against the fabric, or the stitch makes its "knot" on the top side (too loose) or the bottom of the fabric (too tight). (Or at least that's the worst I've run into.)

    Best the thread with 2 different colors while testing, so you can see what's happening.

    One weird little trick I do when threading the needle thread is:
    I know the manual says to thread with the pressure foot up, and I do, up to the tensioner. Once I've threaded through the tensioner, I put the foot down for a second, tug up on the thread coming into and out of the tensioner to make sure it's completely seated, then put the presser foot back up and resume threading. This makes sure that the tension is what it should be, and I don't have phantom problems from the tensioner not having a good grip on the thread.

    Might help.

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