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Thread: Featherweight Wiring Question

  1. #1
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Featherweight Wiring Question

    This is my most recent Featherweight purchase. Her serial number is AF941450. According to the ISMAC dating site http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...-database.html she should be a model 15. Not! The Featherweight 221 book authored by Nancy Johnson-Srebo gives the production dates of mid 1938 to mid 1941. I also know that it was not uncommon for Singer to allot a range of serial numbers for one model then run another model number. So I am going to go for an allotment date of 14 May 1941.

    This Featherweight and her case are really, really clean for her age. The case handle is nigh on perfect. I did replace the drip pad which was smelly of course. All she needs is some surface cleaning.

    I do have a question about the motor wiring which has some white stuff (efflouresence?sp) on it. It is the first time I have seen it. Is it a problem? Otherwise the wiring is what I would term excellent.

    There was quite a little collection of parts in the case top including a "what is it" in the last picture. The red seam ripper has the name Necchi on it. Is the silver bar thing also a Necchi part of some sort?
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    Sweet Caroline

  2. #2
    Senior Member harrishs's Avatar
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    I don't know the answers to your questions, but wanted to say that I think you have a lovely machine!

  3. #3
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrishs View Post
    I don't know the answers to your questions, but wanted to say that I think you have a lovely machine!
    Yes, I purchased this Featherweight sight unseen as a package deal with four other sewing machines which included an Elna Supermatic, a Singer model 15 in a cabinet, a Singer 127 Sphinx and the Singer 27 with the crinkle finish. What I really wanted was the Elna. All five sewing machines cost $300. I guess I did OK except for the 27 crinkle finish.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Pictures of the wiring would help.

  5. #5
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    Pictures of the wiring would help.
    Here it is, fuzzy white stuff on wiring Will try to get a clearer pic if needed
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    Sweet Caroline

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Caroline,

    By the looks of the speckles all over the area I'd guess it's either mold or corrosion. A better pic would help.

    I do know our Featherweight has cloth covered wires underneath, but nothing like yours has.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Caroline,

    By the looks of the speckles all over the area I'd guess it's either mold or corrosion. A better pic would help.

    I do know our Featherweight has cloth covered wires underneath, but nothing like yours has.

    Joe
    Better pic tomorrow. I am thinking corrosion. That is the only area that shows the white stuff. All of the other wiring appears to be OK. I will do some light brushing on that wiring and do a before and after pic.
    Sweet Caroline

  8. #8
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    Mine has that. my dh said it is oxidation on the Aluminum that covers the wire. He was thinking it was there to keep the wire out of the gears. I took mine outside and brushed it off, and have had no problems.

  9. #9
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    Here's a little bit about it on this blog. Sounds like you might find out more on rains blog. And I guess it's lead, not aluminum like my dh was thinking.
    http://mysewingmachineobsession.blog...221-motor.html

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    If it is lead then that is lead oxide and it is toxic. Do not breath or ingest it. Wear a face mask and gloves when you clean it. Probably a good idea to shellac it after cleaning it.

    Joe

  11. #11
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskira View Post
    Here's a little bit about it on this blog. Sounds like you might find out more on rains blog. And I guess it's lead, not aluminum like my dh was thinking.
    http://mysewingmachineobsession.blog...221-motor.html
    That is it Misskira. Now I know it is lead and will be careful about cleaning it up. Thanks Joe for the advice since those little white particles of lead are all over. I will do the cleaning outside and with protection. Now I am curious about why they covered the wire with lead?
    Sweet Caroline

  12. #12
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    I have a Two-Digit Dating System for Featherweights that I got somewhere off the internet. This is the information I have for the serial number you've given.

    ...221__AF 86-89 ….. 04/01/41
    221__ AF 99 ……….. 07/01/41 *****transitional production run
    221__ AG 00-01 ….. 07/01/41...


    So yours should be in this period of time:
    "221__AF 99 ……….. 07/01/41 *****transitional production run"

    Karen in Kentucky

  13. #13
    Junior Member KenZ's Avatar
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    I have read that he leaded wires were so it was easy for repairmen to move them out of the way and they would stay out of the way. They are the wires to the light. I dust them off while wearing a mask and cover them with sewing machine oil. However, the shellac idea sounds better to me and I will start using shellac. It will probably last a lot longer. (Thanks Joe.)
    Ken

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    The shellac idea comes from old time cartridge collectors. Lead bullets oxidize over time and look terrible. So a bit of clean shellac keeps them clean.

    Joe

  15. #15
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    This is my most recent Featherweight purchase. Her serial number is AF941450. According to the ISMAC dating site http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...-database.html she should be a model 15. Not! The Featherweight 221 book authored by Nancy Johnson-Srebo gives the production dates of mid 1938 to mid 1941. I also know that it was not uncommon for Singer to allot a range of serial numbers for one model then run another model number. So I am going to go for an allotment date of 14 May 1941.

    This Featherweight and her case are really, really clean for her age. The case handle is nigh on perfect. I did replace the drip pad which was smelly of course. All she needs is some surface cleaning.

    I do have a question about the motor wiring which has some white stuff (efflouresence?sp) on it. It is the first time I have seen it. Is it a problem? Otherwise the wiring is what I would term excellent.

    There was quite a little collection of parts in the case top including a "what is it" in the last picture. The red seam ripper has the name Necchi on it. Is the silver bar thing also a Necchi part of some sort?
    Yes, the white fuzzy stuff is very common on Featherweight and is COMPLETELY HARMLESS to the function of the machine and the wires! You can clean it off if it bothers you, but you don't have to and can leave it alone.
    Last edited by quiltgal; 08-20-2012 at 09:29 AM.
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  16. #16
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltgal View Post
    Yes, the white fuzzy stuff is very common on Featherweight and is COMPLETELY HARMLESS to the function of the machine and the wires! You can clean it off if it bothers you, but you don't have to and can leave it alone.
    I have found it best to just oil it to keep it more under control as it will come back.
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  17. #17
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Update to Wiring Question

    I spent some time today doing a clean up on the fuzzy lead sheathing the light wiring. I used Joe's suggestion to coat the lead after cleaning with shellac. Before and after pics for your viewing.
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    Sweet Caroline

  18. #18
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Second Update, Cleaned the Case

    I also spent some time cleaning the case. I made a new felt drip pad and tossed the old one. I then cleaned the case with some Murphy's Oil Soap and a damp rag. I then dug out my Father's old shoe shine kit, vintage of course, and treated that case like a pair of shoes. I applied black shoe polish, buffed it with the shoe brush and then did another polish with a soft rag. It looks almost new.
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    Sweet Caroline

  19. #19
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Sweet! And I learned something new too.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  20. #20
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    Caroline, what a good deal you got in buying your 5 machines. A lot of times, the featherweight will got for the price that you paid for all of them. Your FW looks like it is in great shape. Congratulations on getting it. You will love how it sounds when sewing!

  21. #21
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    Wow I'm envious of the deal too! Mine looks just like yours so I'm relieved to hear it will not upset the function of my machine. I will clean it gently then and get her back together soon!
    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)

  22. #22
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    wow, what a fantastic improvement on the case! great job cleaning and polishing it. thanks for sharing the before and after pics.

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