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Thread: My Featherweight is trying to kill me!

  1. #1
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    My Featherweight is trying to kill me!

    I have a ~1935 Featherweight I have had since 1996. I haven't used it for several years (probably 8-- maybe more) but recently got it out again and made a "shocking" discovery.

    At first I though I had stuck my wrist with a pin. Ow! Then I let my daughter stitch a line (I was teaching her) and she complained that the bed of the machine scratched her left wrist . Hmmmm....

    I tried stitching again, no pain at first and then-- there it was again!

    Then I noticed that when I had both shoes off, (bare feet on tiled floor) or one foot tucked under me, my wrist stung when I sewed. When I slipped at least one (rubber soled) shoe on and kept that foot on the floor-- no pain!

    Well, those of you smarter than I am have already figured it out, I'm sure--- my machine was shocking me! It never did this before! Does anyone have any ideas what the problem might be? DH is a fixit type, and if it's something relatively simple like an unshielded power cord or something, he can fix it. If it may be something inside, he won't touch it because , in his words, "if I mess up your Featherweight, I know you'll divorce me!"

    Any ideas? There are VERY few places in my neck of the woods to get ANY sewing machine fixed-- much less my precious! (It was made the day my mother was born and I found it and bought it for a ridiculously low price 2 days after she passed away.)

  2. #2
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    Your machine is very special for two very good reasons. You need to inspect your wiring and see if it's OK. Sew-classic has some things you might read on it:

    http://blog.sew-classic.com/categori...ne-repair.aspx

    And you can google 'rewiring a featherweight' and see what you can find out about it. There are probably some videos on how to do it.
    Good luck. I want to know what you find out.
    Janis
    You could try PM'ing lostn51 (Billy), Glen, or some of the others you find on the vintage machine site and ask them.

  3. #3
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I agree, look on line for info and Sew classic may have some wires and info - I don't know where you are living but there may be someplace close to you that could get it done and returned in a reasonable amount of time.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  4. #4
    Super Member abdconsultant's Avatar
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    Go to 221parts.com and order a new cord. $12.00 approx. and your hubby can change it out.
    Just passing through!

  5. #5
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abdconsultant View Post
    Go to 221parts.com and order a new cord. $12.00 approx. and your hubby can change it out.
    It could be internal as well - use caution in any case
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  6. #6
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    use caution!
    Carol

  7. #7
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I had the same problem with my feather weight. DH checked the wiring but we couldn't find anything. I replaced the foot peddle and it took care of my shocking problem.

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    replacing the wiring is an easy fix - you can also have the internal wires tested by someone who knows electric.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  9. #9
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    It is called a voltage leak. There is electricity feeding back through the machine from a short. Don't use it until it is fixed. Replacement parts are indeed cheaper than postage to a reputable shop. If you have an electric tester, check the machine at various places where it may be leaking from poor or cracked insulation. Your husband can do that without removing parts, only inspection ports etc. THen you will know if it is from the foot controller or the machine itself. It can be visible on FWs. The wiring doesn't age as gracefully as the machines. It was made froml rather primitive formulations of rubber.
    You don't find many lamp cords of that age that haven't been replaced. Just remember or number the terminals when he replaces the cord, if needed. If he is as handy as you say, he already knows this. Take pictures and post them to Billy and he can advise you if it needs to be shipped for repair though.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  10. #10
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    I would get it rewired right away. Perhaps you could do it yourself.

  11. #11
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    you would get it back quicker if you take it to a local shop and you won"t have to pay postage you would save in the long run.

  12. #12
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieQ View Post
    I have a ~1935 Featherweight I have had since 1996. I haven't used it for several years (probably 8-- maybe more) but recently got it out again and made a "shocking" discovery.

    At first I though I had stuck my wrist with a pin. Ow! Then I let my daughter stitch a line (I was teaching her) and she complained that the bed of the machine scratched her left wrist . Hmmmm....

    I tried stitching again, no pain at first and then-- there it was again!

    Then I noticed that when I had both shoes off, (bare feet on tiled floor) or one foot tucked under me, my wrist stung when I sewed. When I slipped at least one (rubber soled) shoe on and kept that foot on the floor-- no pain!

    Well, those of you smarter than I am have already figured it out, I'm sure--- my machine was shocking me! It never did this before! Does anyone have any ideas what the problem might be? DH is a fixit type, and if it's something relatively simple like an unshielded power cord or something, he can fix it. If it may be something inside, he won't touch it because , in his words, "if I mess up your Featherweight, I know you'll divorce me!"

    Any ideas? There are VERY few places in my neck of the woods to get ANY sewing machine fixed-- much less my precious! (It was made the day my mother was born and I found it and bought it for a ridiculously low price 2 days after she passed away.)
    You definitely have a short. Usually where the 3 prong plug goes into the receptacle. You should be able to see where there is a problem with the cord.
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  13. #13
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Yes, I had one of those that used to do that, you have a loose wire OR exposed wire in the foot pedal cord, PLEASE get it serviced, as that little tingle is not a love pat!
    pat design

  14. #14
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    It would be quicker to just take it too a repair shop near by.

  15. #15
    Super Member BluegrassGurl's Avatar
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    I had to replace the cord/foot pedal on my featherweight (breakage where connects to machine). I found it on-line for a very reasonable price and quick shipping. I don't have the web address handy.... but will be glad to look it up if you want me to. Just let me know.

  16. #16
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    Please use caution, and get her checked out. I'm sure your DH will be ok doing this work to get you "happy" again!
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

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