Sunday, July 14, 2013

Singer Featherweight Presser Lift Lever

One of the Featherweights I bought off Ebay had a broken lever to lift the presser foot. Thinking this would be an easy fix, I set out to remove the old stub and cannibalize a good lever from a parts machine. I could see that the lever was held in by a pin or a screw but could not get it to move if it was a pin and could not find a slot to fit a screwdriver if it was a screw. Not wanting to damage the machine, I asked the experts on one of the vintage sewing machine forums and learned it was a pin and it had to be driven out from the back side. Easier said than done because there is no room in that minuscule throat to swing a hammer and the pin wouldn't budge from the measly little taps I was able to provide.

So, I thought, "how can I apply pressure to drive out the pin without a hammer?" My solution was a wheel puller in reverse.

Using a nail set to push the pin and a 'C' clamp to provide the pressure, I was able to push the pin out far enough to grab it with a pair of pliers and removed the broken lever.

I had intended to rob the new lever from another machine but decided to check our sewing machine parts distributor and learned that replacement levers are available without disabling another machine.

I haven't yet installed the new part but don't expect the installation to be as confusing as the removal.


Y said...


Sheila R said...

Definite genius.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you so much for posting your solution.

I need to replace the lifter-arm on my Featherweight because the chrome is severely flaking.

Swinging a hammer at an awkward angle (probably in the wrong direction) next to that lovely paintwork, is not a comfortable experience. I concluded that the Pin must be tapered or that it has a captive 'C'-clip inside. So I gave-up until I could source a new pin - thinking I'd have to drill the old one out. Strangely, there's no reference to replacing this in Singer's Service Manual.

Your efforts have saved my Featherweight too. Thank-you!
Essex, United Kingdom