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221 Featherweight sewing machine question

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  • 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

    I was looking a featherweight machine to purchase, but I don't know much about them. I found one for sale (1947 221 featherweight) and the woman said when she had the machine checked a few years ago to replace the belt and the Service man said it works but moves slow. The seller didn't know what it meant and I don't know if that means there is something wrong with the featherweight. Any thoughts? And any advice on what to look for when buying a featherweight?
    Hugs and Smiles
    This is what I am doing when I am not here--

    www.etsy.com/shop/ckquilter

  • #2
    Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

    I'm not an expert but it probably needs oil and lubrication.
    Rescued is my favorite breed.

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    • #3
      Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

      Maybe the motor isn't right. But if the price is right, you can get a replacement motor. The one I bought off eBay had a leather belt that shredded when I ran the machine. It got its little orange replacement belt very quickly, and now sews just fine.

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      • #4
        Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

        Mine got slow and I had it serviced. He warned it the motor would need a replacement someday. I finally replaced it and it's much better now. Mine is 69 years old, so I guess it was time. But definitely try the oil and grease before replacing the motor. New motor was about $100.

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        • #5
          Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

          The foot pedals can also be an issue. I bought a newer electronic one and it provides a more consistent source of power for the machine. There are a couple of really great Featherweight groups on Facebook. I didn't know a thing about them until February when I got the idea to get one for travel. Learning about them is really fascinating.
          Connie

          Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

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          • #6
            Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

            My featherweight sews fast.
            would be weary of a slow one

            probably needs a new motor
            whoever serviced that would know that
            I do not think the seller is being totally honest with you
            Happy Quilting!

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            • #7
              Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

              Sometimes it isn't the motor that's bad, it's a matter of the tension on the belt. Featherweight motors are made to slide onto a bracket (at least mine are) and if you adjust how far the motor slides up or down on that bracket it will effect the speed . . . it is often a simple tension issue on the belt.

              Another thing to keep in mind - a machine shop that rewinds motors (replaces the copper wiring) will rewind your defunct sewing machine motors for a fraction of the cost of a replacement . . . probably less than half. And sometimes it is a simple matter of replacing the brushes (the carbon sticks that create the electrical transfer??? - not an electrician so I don't know the exact function). A machine shop can also do this and they are pennies to the dollar . . .
              Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
              it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

              "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."

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              • #8
                Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

                There are some Facebook pages devoted to Featherweights. They're FULL of great advice from the experts. Lots of files. Lots of info about cleaning, lubing, setting up. Lots of info about what to do when the stitches aren't quite right. Lots of resources for replacement parts, etc. I have three of the little darlin's now - and if it weren't for those Facebook pages, I would have been lost.

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                • #9
                  Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

                  A little off the topic, but you should read the post http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/gen...ng-lawyer.html. It's a long read, but good. Especially the part about a featherweight and TSA.
                  One yard of fabric, like one cookie, is never enough!

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                  • #10
                    Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

                    Originally posted by Lightwriter View Post
                    The foot pedals can also be an issue. I bought a newer electronic one and it provides a more consistent source of power for the machine. There are a couple of really great Featherweight groups on Facebook. I didn't know a thing about them until February when I got the idea to get one for travel. Learning about them is really fascinating.
                    I agree, I once had my foot petal go out and thought my whole machine crapped out. It probably needs plenty of singer oil. Do not use WD40 as this will build up minerals which your machine does not need at it's age.
                    Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

                    https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

                    https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

                      Thanks for all of the info.
                      I am having a difficult time deciding on which featherweight machine to buy. There is a big price range and all the different years they were made and models. I am probably over thinking it.
                      Hugs and Smiles
                      This is what I am doing when I am not here--

                      www.etsy.com/shop/ckquilter

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                      • #12
                        Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

                        When you find one in good shape at a price you are willing to pay, buy it, you will not be sorry.
                        A featherweight fiend here.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 221 Featherweight sewing machine question

                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Novas...47475461943838
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