My new best friend is a Featherweight 221. A recent estate sale find. Birth year is 1957.
One of my dreams was to find a nice clean FW at a garage and/or estate sale at a frugal price. My wish partially was fulfilled recently after many years of searching. I was at a conducted estate sale (one which is run by a company). Upon walking into the family room another shopper already had the FW (with case) in his possession. Drats! Then to my own astonishment, I heard myself offer him more money then it was priced. He accepted my offer.
I left the well-kept home almost skipping down the street. The cost of my FW was not a wishful price like we all hear about of one paying a few dollars at a garage sale. However, it was still a bargain as I paid a lot less than ebay or antique store prices.
Upon arriving at its new home for the real test drive, the motor seemed to run hard/sluggish. Oh dear. After a few repair quotes were obtained from several professionals ($70-$150), I decided to attempt to fix it myself.
With the combination of the manual and FW online resources, I was able to get the machine running smoothly. Actually, the end result was that it was a simple fix and only required minor surgery:
My “surgery” supplies:
- Natural daylight
- Old vinyl tablecloth and bath towel to protect my kitchen table
- Magnifying glass
- Rubberband (for gripping purposes)
- Hair dryer with nozzle (to blow out the lint)
- Cotton swaps (Q-Tips)
- Liquid Wrench (one drop to clean old gunk out of gears)
- Sewing Machine Oil
My main sluggish problem was due to lint and threads entangled around bobbin spindle and casing. This is called a “thread jam” per Nova Montgomery on her FW website and is common with FWs.
At a later date, I may have FW professionally cleaned. In the meantime, I plan on sewing and learning more about care and maintenance. Below are unsolicited FW websites that were beneficial (in no particular order):
A future purchase may be a book about Featherweights by Nancy Johnson-Srebro. I is recommended by many and has good reviews.
Perhaps, you share the same dream of finding a reasonable-priced Featherweight? Don’t give up. It will come when you least expect it.