Friday, September 16, 2022

Featherweight Maintenance Class

Before Covid started I used to enjoy attending Treadle On meetings in the US to learn from the antique sewing machine gurus how to maintain my herd of machines. But since Covid took over life as we knew it, and the Canada/US border was closed, I was unable to attend any events/classes. 

But last week I was excited to attend my first in-person class with Ian Plumb at the Cherished Pieces quilt shop to learn once again. I took my 1952 Featherweight machine for a spa day and here is a photo of her guts spread out on the table!

I finally located her  problem deep inside ...see the old thread wound up in there? That is why the stitching wasn't even.

We learned all the oiling points (chart can be found here) and how often each place should be freshly oiled. That was fun, and I learned that I have under-oiled my vintage machines. And I haven't ever greased them, so that was also interesting.

Ian recommended not using the old oil from the can that came with the machine, and to use new oil instead. He added that we should definitely keep the original oil cans with the machine as they can be valuable, just don't use it!

This class renewed my interest in vintage machine maintenance and repair. But there were a few tense moments at my table when I couldn't get the machine running properly! Here is Ian trying to fix my featherweight that I disassembled and then reassembled incorrectly! Oops! He quickly fixed it and all is well, and my machine is refreshed and ready to sew once again!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

that is great that it is working again. I have a 1952 as well and it is not working - I have the book and took it apart and still my tension issues were not good - I ordered a new assembly and my husband said he would fix it as I was having issues - well he ruined it I don't know how and he didn't understand that the numbers have to be on it a certain way as he just thought he could do it his way. I have it put aside for a long time now and one day I need to bring it in and have someone else fix it - someone that knows what they are doing - but I am happy with my modern machine so it is no rush. It might just be a decoration for a long time to come

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

So you keep a herd of sewing machines...learn something new about you all the time! This is just so neat that you got to do this workshop. I would love to be able to do this too as I feel like a fool when I try to fix anything on my Singer.

Jayne Honnold said...

This is a very interesting topic to me as my 1952 Featherweight is in need of some TLC, as well. I would love to learn to do it myself. Thanks for the interesting details!

Deb A said...

So glad your machine got a spa day and you learned how to do that. I really should exercise my grandmothers machine one of these days.

MissPat said...

How brave you are to take the machine apart completely. And how lucky you had someone who could get it back working.

Susie Q said...

I use to take my machines in one a year.... but..... not sewing as much AND the fix it place "retired"..... no idea where that fix it guy went --- the owner went home. So then we had Covid and no one went or did anything which has added to my not get the machines taken in BUT this chart has me thinking I better at least oil some things !!!!!

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Somehow I missed this post. Great post. I have 2 Featherweights and need to sell one, a Designer 1, a Sapphire, and 2 antiques that I purchased around 2015. I should sell them too but won’t. I am so blessed because Hubby maintains them. It’s like saving all that fabric that I will never use up! They are like comfort food that I cannot eat. LOL It is great that you learned how to maintain the Featherweight Hugs,