Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Rusty the Singer Featherweight

Remember this Featherweight?  Frozen solid and rust on every component 2" from the bottom.

After I gave the owner an estimate for a new motor, new hook assembly and new bobbin case, she decided not to have it repaired and it has been sitting in the shop for almost two months waiting for her to pick it up. Friday, I called her to remind her it was there and she told me if I could use any parts from it to keep it.  While it would be prohibitively expensive to rebuild it, the body is nice and all the exterior components (bobbin winder, spool pin, tension) and the foot control and power cord are all in usable condition, so I was tickled silly.

Of course, the tinkerer in me would not be satisfied to just start ripping off parts and I decided to see if I could get the machine to sew again. Hours of soaking the shaft in Liquid Wrench finally got the motor to break loose and Liquid Wrench/sewing machine oil also got the mechanical parts to spin freely again.

But, a Featherweight won't sew without a smooth hook and this hook had lots of rust on it.

The hook needed to be removed and disassembled for cleaning but the setscrews securing the hook to the shaft were some of the more corroded pieces. It took lots of LW to break them free and I made so many attempts that the screws were damaged and had to be replaced.

I wish I had taken photos of my hook cleaning attempts, I removed it three times to clean, smooth, and polish and, after borrowing a bobbin case from another machine, finally have a half-decent stitch forming. The machine is still not ready for prime time, it has to be started by hand if it sits overnight, isn't running as fast as it should, and is noisier than a Featherweight should be. It will take some more fiddling to make it right, if it ever can be made right.


Tammy said...

A true labour of love Ed. Hope you get it running like new.

Anonymous said...

i have a twin that i got for $6 with everything on it stuck HARD! It Even the motor. It sews good now but I'd love a better bobbin case/hook.