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FW problems: Broken-off bobbin winder, broken bakelite brush cap

FW problems: Broken-off bobbin winder, broken bakelite brush cap

Old 08-10-2015, 05:37 AM
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Default FW problems: Broken-off bobbin winder, broken bakelite brush cap

A friend/coworker recently asked if I could help her figure out how to fix, clean and use her grandmother's machine she had just inherited - of course I said yes. Turns out it's a Featherweight! A little beleaguered, but still working.

Most of the problems are just standard issues with needing to be cleaned and lubed but there are a couple things I'm not sure what to do about.

The worst, probably, is the bobbin winder arm has been snapped clean off. It looks like someone had trouble with it moving too much so they epoxied that pivot joint, and then later tried to force it to move and snapped the whole thing right off the machine. So there's a busted part that's been epoxied solid into a bad position. Is there ANYTHING I can do to fix that, that doesn't involve needing to know how to weld aluminum? Without having any clue what this epoxy is (it's very hard, and amber in color), any ideas for getting it off? Even if I can join that piece back to the body, if I can't get this hard junk off it's not going to do any good! If it can't be fixed...do those Sidewinder things fit FW bobbins? Or anybody have another creative solution?

Second issue I could use some advice on - one of the bakelite screws for the brushes has had its head sheared right off. The screw is now basically a plug that's a little lower than flush with the motor body. I don't want to drill it out because I'm afraid of getting bits down into the motor. I was thinking maybe I could try to cut a slot into it and try to screw it out? Or maybe glue something to the screw part itself and try to use that as a handle to unscrew it? Anybody have a slick solution for that?
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:08 AM
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Some epoxy will soften a bit with heat. That's what I'd try first. Pictures would help a bit there. You might actually have to grind the epoxy off. Hopefully not.
As for the actual parts they'd have to come from someplace such as { http://pages.suddenlink.net/joyof301s/glenn.htm }

The motor brush caps can be had at Sew-Classic { http://www.shop.sew-classic.com/Moto...-Parts_c21.htm } along with new brushes and springs.
You might be able to turn the broken part out with a shop pointed object.

Joe

Last edited by J Miller; 08-10-2015 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:21 AM
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I agree with Joe, try heat on the epoxy and if that doesn't work you probably will have to carefully sand/grind it off.

I've removed a couple of the broken brush caps before. First you score the remaining piece so that it has another slot to fit a screwdriver. It's takes awhile and you need to find an object that does a good job of it. Work carefully and be sure to get the slot deep enough or you will just strip it out again.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:05 AM
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Hmm, heat! I'll give that a try and see what happens. Grinding or sanding it off doesn't seem like it would work for all of it because they glued over the screw pivot so it's all down in the crevices and around the screw threads, etc. (ugh) But maybe it'll get gummy with heat and I can pick it all out (or put the owner to work doing it!)

Assuming I can get the epoxy off and get this part moving again - anybody have recommendations for what type of glue/epoxy to use to hold the broken aluminum parts together? I've never glued aluminum so I'm not sure what's best. I can ask Google but I figure someone here probably has direct experience... Fortunately they did NOT try to make that repair, so I have clean raw metal edges to deal with.

I don't have the machine in my possession or I'd post some pictures. She will probably be bringing it over sometime this week or next, so I have a little time to do research.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:11 PM
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You asked about the Sidewinder. That's how I wind all my FW bobbins. I do 20 at a time so I don't have to stop and do it in the heat of battle. Once they are wound, I put those little pony tail holders from Wal-Mart on them to hold the tails and they are good to go. Good luck with the epoxy.
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:28 AM
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My Mom's FW bobbin winder is missing a part. For the last 30 years Mom just runs the bobbin on the hand wheel. LOL The hand wheel is rather polished.
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:01 AM
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That's funny you say that Miriam - I was at her house last night (helping her read & understand her first quilt pattern!) and we were talking about her FW and she told me she asked her mom about how the bobbin winder broke. Apparently it broke off when the machine was nearly new, so her Grandma added the epoxy herself to keep it straight and has been just holding the assembly against the belt to wind her bobbins all these years!

So now she doesn't want that fixed, she wants to keep doing it the way her Grandma did. I think that's cute and funny and I'm happy not to fuss with it so that totally works for me!
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:30 AM
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I have used the Sidewinder for the FW bobbins.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:33 AM
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Problem solved before it became an even bigger problem. I guess the lesson here is "if it is broke, but it has been working for umpteen years, then just leave it alone."
"
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
That's funny you say that Miriam - I was at her house last night (helping her read & understand her first quilt pattern!) and we were talking about her FW and she told me she asked her mom about how the bobbin winder broke. Apparently it broke off when the machine was nearly new, so her Grandma added the epoxy herself to keep it straight and has been just holding the assembly against the belt to wind her bobbins all these years!


So now she doesn't want that fixed, she wants to keep doing it the way her Grandma did. I think that's cute and funny and I'm happy not to fuss with it so that totally works for me!
Mom's BW has been broken a long time, too. I just leave it alone.
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