Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My First Job

 Who knows why this post was stuck in drafts?  I wrote it last February.  Here it is.  I guess I am on the FW topic these days.  

As always, I was chatting about my obsession at work one day.  A woman I know mentioned that she had a little sewing machine in her attic that she hadn't used because it wouldn't stitch anymore.  After more inquiry I knew that it was a featherweight.  She brought it by work on Tuesday for me to fix.

Of course I could not wait until I got home to look at it.  When I initially talked with P. about the machine I figured it had a thread lock.  Then when I looked at the machine yesterday I saw that the "finger" on the bobbin case base was not positioned appropriately. 

 This morning I set to work. I went through the whole machine and oiled every place indicated in the manual.  I like to give the machine a drink FIRST THING.  In this photo, you can see the errant thread. I took the bobbin case and bobbin out and got out my favorite Brownell bit (150-3) and removed the gib screw.

It took a bit of jiggling but the bobbin case base came out and so did the thread.

When I am driving to and from work this time of year, I know enough to look for more deer if I see one in the road.  Such is the case with thread locks in 221s and 301s.  I looked, and sure enough there was another tail of thread sticking out of the hook.  DANG.  So I had to get out the screw driver AGAIN.  The hook set screws are accessible through a "window" in the base of the machine.  I did not know that one of them sits in a flat.  I arbitrarily selected this set screw to remove all the way so that I would know which one of the screws would need to line up with the other screws at the bottom of the machine.  This way I would not replace the hook in the wrong position.  Turns out that this set screw was sitting in the flat. 

The arrow in this photo points to the hook shaft flat.  Now there's a catchy phrase.  Sounds like it could be a Country Music Song.  I couldn't get her stitchin, cuz I missed the hook shaft flat.

In order to get that piece of thread out, I had to remove this screw to get the looper off the hook. Can you see those scrapes on the back of the hook?  I think an errant needle made those.  Certainly the looper had some burrs on it.  I left them and these needle marks.  I decided that if it did not stitch well I could go back and sand them down. 

That was the biggest part of this job.  Once I had the thread lock out, the hook cleaned and back on the machine, I finished the servicing.  The bobbin winder was pretty dirty and required a fair amount of rinsing and spraying with canned air.  But finally it was suitable and I re-assembled the machine and got it stitching.
I spent two hours on it.  I am horribly inefficient.  I spent too much time getting the hook back on, despite my knowing about the hook shaft flat.  I did NOT remove the feed dogs or dis-assemble the tension.  I did clean them, of course.  I did have to adjust the tension number dial so that it would read at "4" .  I cleaned the machine itself with some Awesome and T3-3. The motor sounded happier and happier the more I ran it.  I think it was happy it got greased.  The brushes looked fine and the commutator was not too dirty so I did NO MOTOR work.

I think it looks lovely and what is more, it stitches.


  1. Yay!! Good job! I love the looks of these little machines, but I don't enjoy sewing on them. I burn my hand on the light bulb every time! Sew, sew cute though!!!

    1. I never thought of that. I have yet to sew anything on a featherweight, though I have two. They both need cleaning. Time to get to work!!!

  2. Woot, Woot! What does a COA cost in your neck of the woods? My inefficiency is how I end up making $8/hr. But I am educated and entertained. Just haven't performed enough procedures to be fast yet. It will come.

  3. Replies
    1. Clean, oil, adjust I would guess. Kind of a late answer to your question but I only ran across your site a couple days ago. Nice!