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Thread: just got a FEATHERWEIGHT!!!

  1. #1
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Smile just got a FEATHERWEIGHT!!!

    I learned on a vintage machine and have always preferred the ease of use and substantial materials used in production of older machines. Don't get me wrong, I use a newer one, too....I'm not a one machine kinda gal. In any case, my newest addition is a featherweight that starts with AF, possibly followed by a T. It came with several attachments & seems to be in excellent condition, runs perfectly. I'm anxious to learn more and would greatly appreciate any input. I'll post pics when I figure out how to attach my camera to my husband's macbook, my computer died a while ago which is why I haven't been active on my blog or here on the board.
    Thank you,
    Heather
    OVER THE RAINBOW JANE is the name of my Dear Baby Jane----though it should be poor, neglected & may never ever be finished baby jane!
    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com

  2. #2
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    I've got 2 FWs and love them both--the twins, Fiona and Phoebe. I hope you are as happy with yours as I am with mine! Congrats!!!!

  3. #3
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Thank you, MimiBug123! I'm excited that it runs so smoothly. Were you able to find out any info about your machines when you purchased them? I'm wondering about when it was manufactured and anything about the attachments. Oh, and I probably should have mentioned it has a very pretty fancy looking scroll plate....I'm figuring that is important.
    OVER THE RAINBOW JANE is the name of my Dear Baby Jane----though it should be poor, neglected & may never ever be finished baby jane!
    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    You'll love your little featherweight. I just finished oiling mine since I'll be using her while my big machine is in for service. I'm really looking forward to sewing with her. You should be able to find out when yours was made by looking up the serial number on the Singer website. You can find that number by taking off the plate on the bottom. You should probably do that anyway to clean and oil her. If you don't have an owner's manual I think they're available for download if you do a Google search.

    I'd love to have one with the fancy scroll faceplate.

  5. #5
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    I saw dates that are AF but I'm not sure if the next one is a T or a number, it's a little difficult to read. My guess is from the serial number info sites she's about 1938(ish?). =) I'm nervous about cleaning or anything like that & figure I best do a bit of research first.

    I love that it is SO quiet. My biggest reason for doing only handwork when I sew in groups has always been because I can't hear the conversations when machines are humming along. I'm looking forward to packing up my little FW for our library quilt group very soon to see if I can chat as I piece.

    If the owner's manual is a little green book, I have that and a bunch of other stuff in a full tray at the top of the box. The box has attachments, bobbins, a spare light bulb & if the oil comes in a tube in a thin, green box that's in there, too. The scroll faceplate is pretty....does it have any significance?
    OVER THE RAINBOW JANE is the name of my Dear Baby Jane----though it should be poor, neglected & may never ever be finished baby jane!
    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Where is everyone getting these featherweights from? Like I need another machine. Happy for you. Enjoy your weight weight

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retrogirl02 View Post
    If the owner's manual is a little green book, I have that and a bunch of other stuff in a full tray at the top of the box. The box has attachments, bobbins, a spare light bulb & if the oil comes in a tube in a thin, green box that's in there, too.
    Yes, the owner's manual is the little green book. I think the tube is probably motor lubricant and not oil. They're not used interchangeably. The oil that came with mine was in flat a tin can with a spout and comes out in drops. If the stuff in the tube is thick it's not oil. But you can pick up machine oil at any sewing shop.
    Last edited by quiltsRfun; 02-16-2013 at 11:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member didi's Avatar
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    retrogirl02, go to ismacs.net type in the search box, Singer sewing machine serial number database. and you will be able to look up your number to see when it was born. What are you going to name it??

  9. #9
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    I don't think you are supposed to "oil" the gears but rather use the "lubricant" in the tube. You will love you Featherweight.

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyl View Post
    I don't think you are supposed to "oil" the gears but rather use the "lubricant" in the tube. You will love you Featherweight.
    Lubricant for the gears, oil for the other spots indicated in your manual.

  11. #11
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    Do not use any of the oil or lubricant that came with your machine. You have no idea how old it is. It's not that expensive, so pick up some new.
    The AF indicates your machine was made between 1938 and 1941. If the first numbers are a 000-152, it was made in 1938, 152-397 indicates 1939, 397-740 indicates 1940, 740-999 indicates it was made in 1941.
    Google Featherweight and you will find all kinds of information about caring for your machine. They say to use sewing machine oil on a soft cloth to clean your machine. Don't use any type of household cleaner for fear of destroying your decals.
    This is some of the information I have collected: If you have just rescued the machine from a dusty cellar where it has satwithout a case then I'd recommend a gentle foaming cleaner called Tuff Stuff.It's made by STP and should be available at your auto store. I'd recommendwaxing the machine afterwards—neutral boot polish from a Western outfitters isgreat for this. You want a hard wax, not a cream. Don't use a car wax—most ofthese have a degree of abrasive in them designed to remove traffic film—andsome of the paint.
    Always test any cleaner on a small, hidden part of a machine first to ensurethere is no unexpected reaction
    For regular daily cleaning a simple spray-on furniture polish will do thetrick. But mask off the tension assembly or the polish will build up there andavoid getting too much on the outside of the belt where the bobbin winder wheelruns.
    For the case, you can use the Tuff Stuff again, but follow up with a black boot polish asthis will help mask any rubbing on the case.
    I used household cleaner to wash down the inside of my case, then sat it out in the sun with the lid open on a hot sunny day to remove the odors from it being stored. These little machines require regular oiling to remain happily running. Be sure to locate the oiling diagram and follow it diligently!
    Have fun! You'll love her as I do my five!

    Karen in Kentucky

  12. #12
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    I'm still dreaming of a featherweight.

  13. #13
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    Yes, scrollplate is much more expensive than the plain plate. My husband works on Featherweights. He refurbishes them and then sells them - just for a hobby. He just loves working on them. He thinks the scrollplates came from the earlier Featherweights. They cost about $60.
    Cynthia

  14. #14
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    I just got one yesterday. I oiled everything and buffed and dusted it. It sews a beautiful beautiful stitch.
    A bed without a Quilt is like a Sky without Stars..Sew On!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyKaren1949 View Post
    Do not use any of the oil or lubricant that came with your machine. You have no idea how old it is. It's not that expensive, so pick up some new.
    The AF indicates your machine was made between 1938 and 1941. If the first numbers are a 000-152, it was made in 1938, 152-397 indicates 1939, 397-740 indicates 1940, 740-999 indicates it was made in 1941.
    Google Featherweight and you will find all kinds of information about caring for your machine. They say to use sewing machine oil on a soft cloth to clean your machine. Don't use any type of household cleaner for fear of destroying your decals.
    This is some of the information I have collected: If you have just rescued the machine from a dusty cellar where it has satwithout a case then I'd recommend a gentle foaming cleaner called Tuff Stuff.It's made by STP and should be available at your auto store. I'd recommendwaxing the machine afterwards—neutral boot polish from a Western outfitters isgreat for this. You want a hard wax, not a cream. Don't use a car wax—most ofthese have a degree of abrasive in them designed to remove traffic film—andsome of the paint.
    Always test any cleaner on a small, hidden part of a machine first to ensurethere is no unexpected reaction
    For regular daily cleaning a simple spray-on furniture polish will do thetrick. But mask off the tension assembly or the polish will build up there andavoid getting too much on the outside of the belt where the bobbin winder wheelruns.
    For the case, you can use the Tuff Stuff again, but follow up with a black boot polish asthis will help mask any rubbing on the case.
    I used household cleaner to wash down the inside of my case, then sat it out in the sun with the lid open on a hot sunny day to remove the odors from it being stored. These little machines require regular oiling to remain happily running. Be sure to locate the oiling diagram and follow it diligently!
    Have fun! You'll love her as I do my five!
    Great advise Karen....I have two featherweights, Cornelia Mae and Lula Mae and love them both. They make the neatest stitches and work every time. I also have several other vintage machines but use my FW's mostly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deedum View Post
    Where is everyone getting these featherweights from? Like I need another machine. Happy for you. Enjoy your weight weight
    I bought my first one off of Craig's List. The next two I bought from eBay. I love sewing on my FWs. I take turns using them. The cheapest I paid was $265, the most expensive was $465. I have a 1951, 1953 and a 1964.

    I just recently saw another one on Craig's List that was just gorgeous for $300. They are still out there, you just have to look for them.

    Gail

  17. #17
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    Just a little tip on oil for a FW. I was running out of oil, so the fabric dept. mgr. said to just get something from the Hardware Dept. That sounded strange, so called my tech. He said;" absolutely don't use that; it is too heavy, and will not do the job but will mess up your machine!" Always use sewing machine lubricants!!
    Mariah.
    Have a wonderful Quilting Day, make it your way!
    Marta
    Martha Tompkins

  18. #18
    Super Member gramquilter2's Avatar
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    Congratulations, I hope you enjoy sewing on yours as much as I love sewing on mine.

  19. #19
    Junior Member sjdal's Avatar
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    Buying FW

    Quote Originally Posted by deedum View Post
    Where is everyone getting these featherweights from? Like I need another machine. Happy for you. Enjoy your weight weight
    I just bought a very nice, clean, and serviced FW with a Centennial badge at an antique show for $250. I looked at 2 others in a secondhand store priced at $450 each. Keep looking they are there. I now own 6 of the little cuties.

  20. #20
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for your comments! I'll be sure to check it out and yes, it's lubricant and not oil...will definitely do some more homework before working on it. I loaded pictures on to my husband's laptop this morning and will try to post.
    OVER THE RAINBOW JANE is the name of my Dear Baby Jane----though it should be poor, neglected & may never ever be finished baby jane!
    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com

  21. #21
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    KyKaren1949, thank you so much for taking the time to post all that info. I am feeling more comfortable. It's been in a case and the keys were included in the box. I'm not sure where it was stored but it looks like it was very well cared for. The person who bought it for me said they had to decide between this one and a white one but that this one looked like it was in much better condition & had more attachments.
    OVER THE RAINBOW JANE is the name of my Dear Baby Jane----though it should be poor, neglected & may never ever be finished baby jane!
    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com

  22. #22
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    thank you for the additional info, CGail...the plate really stands out----I love it!!
    OVER THE RAINBOW JANE is the name of my Dear Baby Jane----though it should be poor, neglected & may never ever be finished baby jane!
    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com

  23. #23
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    OK, I tried posting pix to the picture section and I keep getting error messages. If you'd like to see photos, I added them to my old blog without problems. Maybe they are too big but I do not know how to make them smaller files on my husband's apple.....missing my PC today. =)
    Thanks everyone!
    OVER THE RAINBOW JANE is the name of my Dear Baby Jane----though it should be poor, neglected & may never ever be finished baby jane!
    http://retrofabulous-retro.blogspot.com

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