The Sewing Place

A couple of 221k questions


A couple of 221k questions
« on: August 05, 2020, 11:08:10 AM »
This is my first foray into here I think.  You may or may not have seen my post in the cafe yesterday about the gorgeous Featherweight that my husband presented me with.  It would appear from the exterior condition to have been used very little or by someone who took extreme care.

It was sold as having had a replacement motor (time of replacement unknown) and I can see that all the wiring and possibly the foot pedal are new.  I've had a look at the innards that are all clean and fluff and dust free.  The belt is new. I have run it just for a couple of short lines of stitching but want to oil it before trying it in earnest.  I have the instruction book and can see that there are a zillion places for oil.

I have discovered, thanks to posters here, the Singer Featherweight Shop website and can see that there are tutorials and videos covering just about everything.

I have a couple of questions
Motor  The manual says that the motor should have a lubricant down two holes on the top - there is an original, unused tube of lubricant in the box.  However, the motor has been replaced and there are no holes for lubricant.  DH says that it is a sealed unit that doesn't need lubrication.  Does this sound ok?

Thread tension  On my stitching sample the top thread tension is too tight.  I have checked that I have it correctly threaded through the tension discs.  I have read that you should start by getting the bottom tension correct first.  When I hold the bobbin thread the bobbin / case drops very fast which would suggest to me that the bobbin tension is too loose.  Before I fiddle with bobbin tension, is there any common top tension problem that I may need to fix first?

Needles  There are 2 packets of new needles with the machine but they are all size 16.  Where can I get needles?

Thread Stand Is it normal on these machines to use a thread stand for cross wound reels of thread?
Life's too short for ironing.


Re: A couple of 221k questions
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2020, 11:15:17 AM »
Motor:  If the motor is closed, then no.  It shouldn't need lubricant. 

Tension:  The FW thread weird, and the needle is placed backwards.  At the eye, it goes the opposite way of most machines, and the needle goes in like the D metal part on the bed.  The flat side of the needle will go the same side that is on (also backwards).  Try that before anything else, since this can mess up the tension.

Needles: They take the same 15x1 system most home machines do.  I imagine they're anywhere you can get needles.

Thread stand: yes, or the part that acts as one.  Most vintage machines need it with modern thread.


Re: A couple of 221k questions
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2020, 14:07:30 PM »
Bottom tension is much the same as any machine which has a bobbin case - it should only just drop down under it's own weight.  Tighten the screw in very small increments.

Needles are bog standard - 15x1  130/705

Thread stand for crosswound threads - try it with and without to see whether it makes a noticeable difference to that machine.

If it doesn't already been done change the old incandescent bulb for a modern LED.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.


Re: A couple of 221k questions
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2020, 14:13:13 PM »

If it doesn't already been done change the old incandescent bulb for a modern LED.

Doh! I still haven't done this but it is needed. The light is the worst thing about the machine.


Re: A couple of 221k questions
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2020, 14:14:40 PM »
Thanks @BrendaP I have sorted the tension by not actually doing anything.  The bobbin fell out of the case and I put it back in and now it is stitching beautifully.  I may have had the bobbin in the case back to front because I know that the thread clicked into the slot when I first put it in.
I saw that you had recommended replacing the bulb with an LED on an old thread so I will do that.
Life's too short for ironing.