featherweight questions

Old 11-25-2011, 07:30 AM
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Question featherweight questions

I've got a lead on a CL Featherweight, and will be going to see it--and hopefully bring it home!--today or tomorrow. According to the ad, it has its "original box, tray, manual and extras." Besides the machine and foot pedal, the pictures show the case, tray with misc stuff in it, and manual.

The case will be nice to have, but as long as the machine works, I don't care about the extras. But it did get me to wondering, what sort of extras originally came with the Featherweight? Were there extra extras available after that? (Like, buy the machine and it comes with Stuff A, but you could also buy other Stuff for it after that, if that makes sense.) I know about the penguin walking foot, but were there any other attachments meant specifically for it?

Also, I think I know that the bobbins are specific to the machine-am I right? Which means if there isn't one in the machine or the tray, my Class 15 bobbins won't fit? I'd like to test-sew it before I buy it, if I can.

Any other advice, or something I haven't thought of? This will be my first Featherweight, but my Nth old machine.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:45 AM
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The bobbins are thinner (top to bottom) and wider (side to side) than other bobbins but if you have a 301 among your old machines then those bobbins will also fit the FW. Don't forget to post some pictures when you get her home!!
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:54 AM
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I'm not sure when they came out what they came with and then what you could buy extra. I do know I have bought them with and without attachments. Yes the bobbins are smaller then most bobbins, they are narrow.
The main thing is does it sew. Does the motor smell when running. You thread it through the needle from right to left.
The serial number is on the underside above and to the left of the bobbin area. It should have 2 letters followed by 6 numbers. Is the spoolpin there? Is the elc cords in good shape? a bobbin casing and bobbins if they are not there will cost around $40.00. Make sure it is a singer, and not the china made newer model that has come out.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:26 AM
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I always listen to them. The material when sewing should feed straight through some have a slight curve to it when running. I don't guide it with my hand let it do the guiding. Also they are very quiet and I always take the side panel off and watch the action when sewing. I also remove the bottom panel and take a good look. This will also tell you how the machine was taken care of. Feed dogs packed with lint? Lots of lint underneath?

I have bought several (8) and sometimes people don't oil them often enough so there might be a slight clicking to them. Usually the needle needle needs replacing. I would bring one and thread. And of course make sure the stitches are even. Have fun and I hope it comes home with you! I haven't passed one up yet. If you are unsure of something see if they will come down on the price.

I got a centennial for 70.00 I felt it had some issues but it just needed a cleaning and husband was able to fix the foot pedal wiring that was exposed. I did politely tell her I didn't want to affend her but all I was willing to pay was 70.00 because of and told her my concerns and she said that is fine!! I just oiled and cleaned it up and it is beautiful and a lot more quiet! I think she was thirsty for some new oil and grease.

Appearance is very important too. Make sure the gold doesn't have a lot of wear to it and for the most part the scratches aren't too deep. No cracks or pits if possible.

Please post pictures.

Last edited by Wine Woman; 11-25-2011 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:46 PM
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Thanks for the advice! I have an appointment at noon tomorrow to see it, so it won't be long now!
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:04 PM
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How exciting be sure to post picks if you get her.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:04 AM
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I bought one on ebay. It needed cleaning, new drip pad and belt. It smelled horrible before that. It sews like a dream. I tried to post a picture but forget it. I also bought a 1/4 inch foot with guide and a new light bulb. I need some more bobbins and needles too. The case smells terrible. Its out in the garage with coffee beans in it! Good luck with yours.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:40 AM
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I own 5 featherweights and have researched this extensively because I wanted each machine to at least have the original set of attachments. This is what I found:

Original Featherweight Attachments
The attachments that originally came with the Featherweight seem to have varied by year. There are several original/copies of instruction books which show attachments as follows:
1937 - Foot Hemmer, Adjustable Hemmer, Binder, Tucker, Ruffler, and Cloth Guide
1941 and 1946 - Foot Hemmer, Adjustable Hemmer, Binder, Edge Stitcher, Gatherer, and Ruffler.
1952 and 1955 - Foot Hemmer, Adjustable Hemmer, Multi-Slotted Binder, Edge Stitcher, Gatherer, and Ruffler.

1964 - Zipper Foot, Binder, and Seam Guide. Optional extras are listed as Buttonholer, Edge Stitcher, Gatherer, Foot Hemmer, Quilter, Ruffler, and Tucker. This book is for the Standard white model 221K7 although it's dated 1964 and other references to the 221K7 that I've seen say it wasn't introduced until 1968.

1977 - Foot Hemmer, Seam Guide, Binder, Zipper Foot, and Ruffler. Optional extras are Automatic Zig-Zagger, Buttonholer, Edge Stitcher, Gatherer, and Tucker. This book says Rev 1177 and may be a reprint. The machine appears to be white but is gear driven, has the longer bed extension, a toggle light switch and a different bobbin winder than the others. The face plate is painted like the standard 221K. The case is like the standard 221K except that it has 2 closure latches. I think it is for a model 221K5.

All of the above attachments are the same as the ones that came with other straight-stitch low shank Singer models of the same year except for the foot hemmer which was different for Class 15 and Class 66 machines. The FW uses the Class 15 foot.

The only attachment made specifically for the Featherweight that I've seen is the darning and embroidery attachment. It consists of a very large feed dog cover and a darning foot. The box says it fits 15 Class and 221 machines. The date is 1952. The feed dog covers were either black or chrome.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:36 AM
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Karen, thanks for all of the information on attachments.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by KyKaren1949
I own 5 featherweights and have researched this extensively because I wanted each machine to at least have the original set of attachments. This is what I found:

8< snip 8<
Wow, thanks so much for the info! I bet if I go through my dragon hoard I can come up with most of that.

Do you by any chance have a picture of a 1941ish tray with all the stuff in it? Or, actually, the case? I'm trying to figure out where the foot pedal fits. I can't believe it just rattles around in there, but can't figure out where else it would go.
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