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Thread: Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

  1. #24276
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam
    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl222
    I bought a Singer 403 and a Singer Stylist 457. Both have what looks like a class 66 bobbin plastic bobbin. I bought a couple of packs of class 66 at Walmart (metal) and they won't work. Am I wrong in thinking these machines take the class 66?
    The 403 for sure takes a class 66. The WM bobbins are good for dis-assembly and making earrings. I buy mine from Jenny at Sew-Classic. I don't know anything about the stylist
    Thanks! just ordered 20!

  2. #24277
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    motor repair link - better book mark it in case you need it:
    http://reviews.ebay.com/HOW-TO-OVERH...00000004665359

    TNT has a schematic of the slant-o-matic motors:
    http://www.tandtrepair.com/SlantOMat...tor_Wiring.pdf

    sew classic has some info on motors

  3. #24278
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    This is a machine I've been wanting, though the drive would be long for me:< I wonder what kind of elbow grease would be needed?:>
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/hsh/2605306465.html
    :shock: This is one for the CL Sewing Machine Shop of horrors!

  4. #24279
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    This is a machine I've been wanting, though the drive would be long for me:< I wonder what kind of elbow grease would be needed?:>
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/hsh/2605306465.html
    I wonder how it managed to get paint all over it? :-(

  5. #24280
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    Hi Everybody. I am having a problem with my longest owned and most used machine. I have a Bernina Record 830 and have used it constantly (no sitting up...) for the past 25+ years. Lately I have a tension problem I can't seem to get to the bottom of. The top tension is tight, no matter what I do. The machine is kept oiled and the lint cleaned out. I have cleaned real well between and around the tension disc plates. I changed the needle. I have the bobbin set kind of tight to help pull the top thread down, and the top tension is set way too loose, but still I get tight top tension. There just isn't all that much to the top tension and threading and still I can't get it to have an acceptable tension! Any ideas? Could the tension discs be bent if the machine has not undergone any trauma and been used continually for this long? I know this machine like the back of my hand-- it's been my main workhorse-- but I can't figure this out.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. #24281
    Senior Member sew wishful's Avatar
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    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!

  7. #24282
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Hi Everybody. I am having a problem with my longest owned and most used machine. I have a Bernina Record 830 and have used it constantly (no sitting up...) for the past 25+ years. Lately I have a tension problem I can't seem to get to the bottom of. The top tension is tight, no matter what I do. The machine is kept oiled and the lint cleaned out. I have cleaned real well between and around the tension disc plates. I changed the needle. I have the bobbin set kind of tight to help pull the top thread down, and the top tension is set way too loose, but still I get tight top tension. There just isn't all that much to the top tension and threading and still I can't get it to have an acceptable tension! Any ideas? Could the tension discs be bent if the machine has not undergone any trauma and been used continually for this long? I know this machine like the back of my hand-- it's been my main workhorse-- but I can't figure this out.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Have you checked your bottom tension? I know a lot of "top" tension problems are actually the bottom tension. I don't know anything about a Bernina, does it have a removable bobbin case?
    If so, when the bobbin is inserted into the case and threaded, you should be able to pick up the assembly by the thread. A slight shake should make the assembly "fall" a few inches into your palm. If you can't pick the whole thing up by the thread, turn the adjustment screw a quarter turn to the right to tighten and try it again. If you CAN pick it up by the thread, but can't give a light shake and make it fall to your palm, turn the adjustment screw a quarter turn to the left.

  8. #24283
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sew wishful
    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!
    It sounds like a plastic wonder, but if it works okay that's great.
    My step-grandd loves sewing with her Janome Jem Gold 2, she thinks its a good machine. She does like the Singer 99K hand crank that she learned to sew on too; her younger sister sews with the 99K now.
    Sharon W.

  9. #24284
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee
    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Hi Everybody. I am having a problem with my longest owned and most used machine. I have a Bernina Record 830 and have used it constantly (no sitting up...) for the past 25+ years. Lately I have a tension problem I can't seem to get to the bottom of. The top tension is tight, no matter what I do. The machine is kept oiled and the lint cleaned out. I have cleaned real well between and around the tension disc plates. I changed the needle. I have the bobbin set kind of tight to help pull the top thread down, and the top tension is set way too loose, but still I get tight top tension. There just isn't all that much to the top tension and threading and still I can't get it to have an acceptable tension! Any ideas? Could the tension discs be bent if the machine has not undergone any trauma and been used continually for this long? I know this machine like the back of my hand-- it's been my main workhorse-- but I can't figure this out.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Have you checked your bottom tension? I know a lot of "top" tension problems are actually the bottom tension. I don't know anything about a Bernina, does it have a removable bobbin case?
    If so, when the bobbin is inserted into the case and threaded, you should be able to pick up the assembly by the thread. A slight shake should make the assembly "fall" a few inches into your palm. If you can't pick the whole thing up by the thread, turn the adjustment screw a quarter turn to the right to tighten and try it again. If you CAN pick it up by the thread, but can't give a light shake and make it fall to your palm, turn the adjustment screw a quarter turn to the left.
    Yes Charlee, thanks, that is how I check bobbin tension-- the same gentle shake you described. From there I played with going a little tighter to help bring the top thread down. Didn't work. I'm at my wits' end with this thing.

  10. #24285
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Ok then! That's the limit of my expertise!! :lol: ;)

    I'll be watching for an answer tho...if you've already torn the tensioner apart and put it back together I don't know what to tell you to do!

  11. #24286
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee
    Ok then! That's the limit of my expertise!! :lol: ;)

    I'll be watching for an answer tho...if you've already torn the tensioner apart and put it back together I don't know what to tell you to do!
    I may have to take it in to a shop... tho I don't really have anybody locally that I trust to know more than I do.

  12. #24287
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom
    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    This is a machine I've been wanting, though the drive would be long for me:< I wonder what kind of elbow grease would be needed?:>
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/hsh/2605306465.html
    :shock: This is one for the CL Sewing Machine Shop of horrors!
    Sob and I have it's twin...

    I'm betting the bobbin area gears are broken or crudded up. Fixed up, those are a wonderful machine. Don't even try to turn the hand wheel until it has been cleaned way down under the bobbin - actually anywhere... Nice cabinet too.

  13. #24288
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplefiend
    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    This is a machine I've been wanting, though the drive would be long for me:< I wonder what kind of elbow grease would be needed?:>
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/hsh/2605306465.html
    I wonder how it managed to get paint all over it? :-(
    better than bird poop...
    DD who was going to take it to be repaired managed that.
    I have the Elna back though. I can't seem to work my nerve up to do all she needs. I have a service manual but I don't have all the tools. I found another Elna cheap that does work. The disaster is now just a back up for parts. so sad. so embarrassing what a shame.

    The paint may just come off with your fingernail. The one I bought to replace the disaster did. Green paint everywhere - still some on the cord. It was why it was cheap. It works like a champ. The disks could cost a pile of money - I truly love mine. The accessories are low shank. Bobbins cost a fortune. They are domed on one side and flat on the other with holes - be sure to use them - she will be happier. I would give $60 actually if it has all the parts but start at $10... I paid $30 (asking price) for mine. I was walking on air.

  14. #24289
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Hi Everybody. I am having a problem with my longest owned and most used machine. I have a Bernina Record 830 and have used it constantly (no sitting up...) for the past 25+ years. Lately I have a tension problem I can't seem to get to the bottom of. The top tension is tight, no matter what I do. The machine is kept oiled and the lint cleaned out. I have cleaned real well between and around the tension disc plates. I changed the needle. I have the bobbin set kind of tight to help pull the top thread down, and the top tension is set way too loose, but still I get tight top tension. There just isn't all that much to the top tension and threading and still I can't get it to have an acceptable tension! Any ideas? Could the tension discs be bent if the machine has not undergone any trauma and been used continually for this long? I know this machine like the back of my hand-- it's been my main workhorse-- but I can't figure this out.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    I ssssoooooo hope you haven't been praying for patience. Pray for wisdom.

    Does the manual show how to dis-assemble the tension to clean it? Try running some heavy thread through it like you are flossing it and see if you get any gunk out of it. I somehow got my Consew walking foot tension gunked up and thread kept breaking - nightmare until I cleaned it. There is a 30 Something Bernina Yahoo group maybe they could help. I don't know if you can get a service manual for that machine. There are times when I think the mystery man at the shop who knows all can best take care of it... just be sure of your shop. I know some shops specialize.

    You didn't mention whether or not you took apart the bobbin shuttle. The Bernina is an easy one to do and I know that IS in your owner's manual. I can do it but not from here... I have to tell you a story about one though... I was at a someone's house. Anyway, the lady wanted to show off her Bernina. At that time I had never seen one. So I started looking around and got down there to the bobbin area and I saw lint. So I pulled bobbin out and then pulled the shuttle apart and cleared out all that lint. That lady drew a real deep breath and didn't let it out until I fumbled it back together. Then she hugged me and was real happy. I heard back later that it ran better. She'd had it for years and never opened it up. So I showed her in her manual how to do it.

    Some times it helps to stop and take a break. Then go back and look at it again. There are some videos on Utube on adjusting tension - don't know if they have yours.

  15. #24290
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sew wishful
    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!
    I don't know about not being able to take it apart. I think mine can be. I have/had one. It is with my DD currently. It works well, and can be used for a lot of things. For heavy use, this is NOT the machine you want. But it has been handy for her mending, and for a backup machine when my go to machine was down - before I started gathering my 'herd' of vintage machines. :lol: When I deliver the centennial FW promised to DD, she may give up the little one, may not. She does tell me the plastic one won't go through the layers to hem her DH's pants.

  16. #24291
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    Quote Originally Posted by sew wishful
    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!
    I think someone on the board purchased a new FW recently and seemed to love it. You might want to do a search to see if you can find the thread...

  17. #24292
    Senior Member sew wishful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovelyl
    Quote Originally Posted by sew wishful
    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!
    I think someone on the board purchased a new FW recently and seemed to love it. You might want to do a search to see if you can find the thread...
    Thanks, I'll do that. I thought she could do some piecing on this machine. She loves pretending she's doing that. Thanks for the advice!

  18. #24293
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam
    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Hi Everybody. I am having a problem with my longest owned and most used machine. I have a Bernina Record 830 and have used it constantly (no sitting up...) for the past 25+ years. Lately I have a tension problem I can't seem to get to the bottom of. The top tension is tight, no matter what I do. The machine is kept oiled and the lint cleaned out. I have cleaned real well between and around the tension disc plates. I changed the needle. I have the bobbin set kind of tight to help pull the top thread down, and the top tension is set way too loose, but still I get tight top tension. There just isn't all that much to the top tension and threading and still I can't get it to have an acceptable tension! Any ideas? Could the tension discs be bent if the machine has not undergone any trauma and been used continually for this long? I know this machine like the back of my hand-- it's been my main workhorse-- but I can't figure this out.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    I ssssoooooo hope you haven't been praying for patience. Pray for wisdom.

    Does the manual show how to dis-assemble the tension to clean it? Try running some heavy thread through it like you are flossing it and see if you get any gunk out of it. I somehow got my Consew walking foot tension gunked up and thread kept breaking - nightmare until I cleaned it. There is a 30 Something Bernina Yahoo group maybe they could help. I don't know if you can get a service manual for that machine. There are times when I think the mystery man at the shop who knows all can best take care of it... just be sure of your shop. I know some shops specialize.

    You didn't mention whether or not you took apart the bobbin shuttle. The Bernina is an easy one to do and I know that IS in your owner's manual. I can do it but not from here... I have to tell you a story about one though... I was at a someone's house. Anyway, the lady wanted to show off her Bernina. At that time I had never seen one. So I started looking around and got down there to the bobbin area and I saw lint. So I pulled bobbin out and then pulled the shuttle apart and cleared out all that lint. That lady drew a real deep breath and didn't let it out until I fumbled it back together. Then she hugged me and was real happy. I heard back later that it ran better. She'd had it for years and never opened it up. So I showed her in her manual how to do it.

    Some times it helps to stop and take a break. Then go back and look at it again. There are some videos on Utube on adjusting tension - don't know if they have yours.
    Yikes, can't believe that lady never cleaned her bobbin shuttle. Yes, I do that every few days if I have been sewing a lot. They are wonderful to just pop open and snap all back together. So easy.

    I flossed the tension discs with some light tulle fabric that I use to clean parts of my vintage machines. Nothing seems to be in there. I will try again and also look for the stuff online you mentioned. Thanks!

  19. #24294
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sew wishful
    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!
    You know Randa, these little plastic light weight machines are great for the kids to learn on. I have had several quilt camps at my house for the GK's. Some of them have asked their parents for machines - the machines the parents purchased were the bottom of the line types - cheap. I expected a couple of the really bottom of the line Kenmore's, Singers, Brother's etc., to burn up during the quilt camps because we sew non-stop for a week. Well, those little cheap machines surprised me, some are still going! Of course, those machines are not meant to last - they will burn up with long hours and use, but to learn on I think they are just fine. Besides, it takes using a plastic modern machine for the kids to appreciate the work horses our vintage machines are!

    Any one know what this machine is? You know me, I like the ones that are different.

    http://sacramento.craigslist.org/atq/2617643335.html

    Nancy

  20. #24295
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Hi Everybody. I am having a problem with my longest owned and most used machine. I have a Bernina Record 830 and have used it constantly (no sitting up...) for the past 25+ years. Lately I have a tension problem I can't seem to get to the bottom of. The top tension is tight, no matter what I do. The machine is kept oiled and the lint cleaned out. I have cleaned real well between and around the tension disc plates. I changed the needle. I have the bobbin set kind of tight to help pull the top thread down, and the top tension is set way too loose, but still I get tight top tension. There just isn't all that much to the top tension and threading and still I can't get it to have an acceptable tension! Any ideas? Could the tension discs be bent if the machine has not undergone any trauma and been used continually for this long? I know this machine like the back of my hand-- it's been my main workhorse-- but I can't figure this out.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Sewbizgirl, have you changed your thread? Everyone now is using the new Bottom Line bobbin thread, which is a 60 weight - very fine thread. Some of the older machines can't tolerate that light weight of a thread. I have found with my treadles to keep the top and bottom thread the same. Even my Long Arm doesn't tolerate the really light weight bobbin thread - I spent several hours ripping out a quilted quilt due to the Bottom Line thread. I know these new threads are made for the bobbin, but be careful some machines won't tolerate them. Also, if you are using a really inexpensive thread, it may be the thread not your tension. The top tension should always be tighter then the bobbin tension. When you pick up your bobbin by the thread, it should only lift up on end not come off your hand unless you bounce it.

    Nancy

  21. #24296
    Junior Member justtrish's Avatar
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    Miriam,

    You are quite the wealth of information .... thanks for the links!

    :thumbup:

  22. #24297
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    Quote Originally Posted by sew wishful
    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!
    You know Randa, these little plastic light weight machines are great for the kids to learn on. I have had several quilt camps at my house for the GK's. Some of them have asked their parents for machines - the machines the parents purchased were the bottom of the line types - cheap. I expected a couple of the really bottom of the line Kenmore's, Singers, Brother's etc., to burn up during the quilt camps because we sew non-stop for a week. Well, those little cheap machines surprised me, some are still going! Of course, those machines are not meant to last - they will burn up with long hours and use, but to learn on I think they are just fine. Besides, it takes using a plastic modern machine for the kids to appreciate the work horses our vintage machines are!

    Any one know what this machine is? You know me, I like the ones that are different.

    http://sacramento.craigslist.org/atq/2617643335.html

    Nancy
    Don't know what it is but wouldn't it be fun to play with?

  23. #24298
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles
    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl
    Hi Everybody. I am having a problem with my longest owned and most used machine. I have a Bernina Record 830 and have used it constantly (no sitting up...) for the past 25+ years. Lately I have a tension problem I can't seem to get to the bottom of. The top tension is tight, no matter what I do. The machine is kept oiled and the lint cleaned out. I have cleaned real well between and around the tension disc plates. I changed the needle. I have the bobbin set kind of tight to help pull the top thread down, and the top tension is set way too loose, but still I get tight top tension. There just isn't all that much to the top tension and threading and still I can't get it to have an acceptable tension! Any ideas? Could the tension discs be bent if the machine has not undergone any trauma and been used continually for this long? I know this machine like the back of my hand-- it's been my main workhorse-- but I can't figure this out.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Sewbizgirl, have you changed your thread? Everyone now is using the new Bottom Line bobbin thread, which is a 60 weight - very fine thread. Some of the older machines can't tolerate that light weight of a thread. I have found with my treadles to keep the top and bottom thread the same. Even my Long Arm doesn't tolerate the really light weight bobbin thread - I spent several hours ripping out a quilted quilt due to the Bottom Line thread. I know these new threads are made for the bobbin, but be careful some machines won't tolerate them. Also, if you are using a really inexpensive thread, it may be the thread not your tension. The top tension should always be tighter then the bobbin tension. When you pick up your bobbin by the thread, it should only lift up on end not come off your hand unless you bounce it.

    Nancy
    Nancy, you do have a good point. It could be the thread. It does sound like it isn't a cleaning problem. Those Bernina machines are true champs.

  24. #24299
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justtrish
    Miriam,

    You are quite the wealth of information .... thanks for the links!

    :thumbup:
    I was afraid I was going to have to write that or do a video like that myself. I couldn't hold a candle to those videos though. They are wonderful and first class. The same are posted under tutorials and Charlee moved them to the Vintage Sewing Machine Shop!!! Please look at them! Most of the sewing machines I have cleaned up did not need the all out spa treatment. The videos show exactly what needs to be done - it is pretty much what I do. The difference from one machine to another whether electric or the oldest treadle should be in the owner's manual. I also like the way she just does one thing at a time, not a total knock down all at once. So much more manageable.

    Now don't get me wrong there are a few I've had to do Billy's Spa Treatment on. And that was before I saw his wonderful tutorial on here. I only wish I had seen it sooner.

  25. #24300
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilt Mom
    Quote Originally Posted by sew wishful
    I found one of the new Singer Featherweight machines at a local GW! Plugged it in and the motor ran and the needle went up and down. Brought it home and played a bit on it and it seems to run well. I think I will put it away for a granddaughter, eventually, but just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on these machines. I know...they are plastic (I'm unable to take it apart....no screws, so it must be a throw away machine) but that's all I know about it. Certainly not the Featherweight from 1954 I have upstairs!! LOL!
    I don't know about not being able to take it apart. I think mine can be. I have/had one. It is with my DD currently. It works well, and can be used for a lot of things. For heavy use, this is NOT the machine you want. But it has been handy for her mending, and for a backup machine when my go to machine was down - before I started gathering my 'herd' of vintage machines. :lol: When I deliver the centennial FW promised to DD, she may give up the little one, may not. She does tell me the plastic one won't go through the layers to hem her DH's pants.
    I acquired one of those plastic FWs with a box of parts... I'm wondering if the thing is all there and if it works. I should go look. I just figured it was junk - haven't given it the time of day.

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