Featherweight Fanatics Archives



Featherweight Fanatics A Service of Sue Traudt's Valley Brook Botanicals

Digest of postings from Tuesday, December 5, 2000

From: "donna sallstrom" 
Subject: Alex's cat
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 12:11:15 -0000

Alex, what a wonderful story about the cat.  The rest was great also, =
but the part about the cat was spectacular.  I laughed until I cried.  I =
think I would have been compelled to rescue the poor machine by grabbing =
it and running for the door.  I hate to think of the poor machine having =
to live in that household.  No doubt you'll be called to repair it again =
in the future.
Donna In NC

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 16:34:28 -0800
From: Jack & Carol Whiteaker 
Subject: FWs

Hi All.  A lady brought me a featherweight to check out and told me a
story of how she got it.
    She was visiting her Mom when an elderly man knocked at the door.
He said his DW had recently passed away and he had 2 sewing machines to
sell.  He had been asking around the neighborhood ,but no one was
interested.  When asked , he had 2 FWs and was asking $50 for them.
Sharon asked $50 each?. He said no, $25 each. She wrote him a check For
$100 for the 2 FWs. The one I saw was easily a condition 8.      
Jack on The Calif. Central Coast

From: Allview
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 18:31:31 EST
Subject: treadle

Hi feathers.

This is for Linda in Mountain View who got a rusted machine.  Other people 
will tell you with more expertise than I have about how to get the parts 
moving.  My DH put a frozen Spartan that really looked like a boat anchor in 
a shallow tray.  Then he put wd40 all over it.  The tray is because you leave 
it drip over night and the next day you do it again.

What I do know about is the treadle frame.  There is a product in auto parts 
stores called X-tend.  It is meant for stone chips or small scrapes on cars 
and it combines with rust and does not let it spread.  My DH painted the 
entire rusty treadle frame with it and it looks great.  When it combines with 
rust it turns black and black is what we want for treadles, right?  I think 
he meant to paint over it, but I like it the way it is.

It's been cold and bright in Ohio.  Just what you need for Christmas 
shopping.  Supposed to go down to 10 tonight.


Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 18:43:13 -0800
Subject: Stories, etc.
From: Marie L Singer 

Har, har.  Those lower tension setting instructions had me hooting out loud.  
He's totally right about using a consistent type of thread.  I always
cough up for the good cotton thread for my quilting projects and that
keeps me out of trouble.

I just wanted to put in a plug here for Stepping Stones Quilts.  I
ordered some stuff from them and it is Fantastic.  I love that Alphasew
foot.  I can get an exact quarter inch and no being off because of the
angle I at relative to the clear acrylic one.  So, get those felt things
and sewing feet and machine feet from them.

I'm finishing up a batch of lap quilts for my family but taking tonight
to go to my local Trabuco Canyon women's club meeting.  I just love
getting to know my neighbors out here in the country of Orange County,
CA.  I'll bet some of you didn't think it existed beyond the sprawl of
Disneyland and Irvine but it does.

Keep those stores coming.

Marie Singer (really!)

Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 06:25:53 -0800 (PST)
From: Elizabeth Templeton 
Subject: eBay slowness

To Gerald and other eBay users:

Image-loading response times are affected by all the
variables you mentioned.  EBay's servers do get
heavily loaded, as anyone who has tried to browse
on Friday evening or almost any Sunday morning or
evening can attest.  The servers for auction
management (Andale) and image management (Honesty)
often get bogged down.  Your own ISP may have traffic
or system-related delays, as will any eBay seller who
uses their own ISP to host their images.  Sellers who
host their images on AOL will often find that their
images take FOREVER to load.  Some sellers don't do
very good image management and have weird file types
or haven't sized their images well before loading
them, and that slows things down.

In short, image load time is a function of the weakest
link in the chain, whatever that may be at the time.

I have a few strategies, though. First when an image
is hung, I click STOP and then I click Reload.  About
75% of the time that fixes things. If I find something
I'm really interested in whose image won't load, I put
a watch-this-item on it and come back to it later, a
lot later.  (If it won't load when I go back there's
something wrong with the listing and I give it up.)
The problem with the watch list is the 18-item max. 
If you're browsing out of a search list you can save
the HTML page if you're really compelled to do so, and
thus keep track of that page's item numbers in the
process.  An HTML page takes up a LOT of memory,

I have bought and sold on eBay but I would hardly
qualify as a Big Player.  You may not find these
suggestions suitable if you're on eBay a lot and need
a fast response to conduct your business. But it may
help some.

This is an enjoyable list to be a part of.


Elizabeth Templeton
 -- btemplenj
 -- singfasola

Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 18:55:58 -0500
From: "Sharon Highfield" 
Subject: Featherweight case tray

Hi, I am trying to locate a tray for my Featherweight Machine Case. Does 
anyone have any leads or advice? Also, how do you clean or care for the 
finish on your machine? I haven't had it very long and I'm afraid I'm going 
to do something wrong. It is so cute. I was surprised with the message that 
stated that they liked to be used. I don't use it very often, is it better 
for it to be used than stored. When I bought it from a friend she had it 
stored for about 10 years but, with a good cleaning and oiling she purrs. I 
enjoy reading very message. Thank you and take care, Sharon  

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 16:02:59 -0500
Subject: frozen up W&W 9 treadle machine--long

Hi, everybody!  Linda here.  Linda, (what a GREAT name!)it is going to
be much easier to restore the treadle cabinet than the machine.  If the
machine is totally frozen, then your best bet may be to buy some
kerosene, get one of those 5 gallon plastic buckets with lids (fast food
places usually have empties they'll sell), remove the treadle head from
the base (two set screws underneath the machine loosen so you can remove
the head---if they're frozen too, then do use WD-40 or Liquid Wrench on
the screws so you can remove the head), put it into the 5 gallon bucket,
pour in the kerosene, cover the whole thing (put it in a safe
place---kerosene does have volatile fumes, so outdoors is best, and put
a brick or rock on the lid to keep curious animals out)and let it sit
for a while.  Every so often, take the head out of the bucket, and see
if you can get things moving, ANYTHING moving.  You may need to soak it
for quite a bit.  After all, it's been in that barn for decades!  Can't
expect to get the machine all shiny and operating in hours when decades
of rust work have been put into it.  I personally haven't had to bring a
machine back from the dead, as it sounds like you have to do.  Others
may be able to help you there.

I've got a bit of experience with restoring cabinets with veneer
problems.  Thanks to clerks at Woodcraft stores (bless them!), I learned
that the glue used to attach veneer in the late 1800s and early 1900s
was hide glue, which can be re-activated.

Get yourself an old iron (otherwise it gets very messy on your good iron
and you have to clean it), a press cloth, some waxed paper larger than
the area to be restored, a piece of flat plywood as large as, or
slightly larger than the area to be fixed, several large spring clamps
or C-clamps, a large piece of plastic (like a dropcloth), and a
respirator if your lungs are compromised or if you are allergic to
molds.  You are limited in area to the size of your piece of plywood,
but multiple sessions will work too, just take longer.  

Put the plastic dropcloth on the floor near where you will be restoring
the veneer.  Plug the iron in, and turn it to the Cotton setting (dry
iron).  Get the press cloth damp, then wring out excess liquid.  When
the iron is hot, have the waxed paper, clamps, plywood within arm's
length of your work area.  Put the moist cloth on the veneer, covering
only the area you are working on this time.  Press the hot iron onto the
press cloth and count to about 15 seconds in each area.  Move the iron
as needed to cover the entire area to be fixed.  This part is where
clouds of steam with whatever has been lurking on the surface for
decades rises into your face and lungs.  If at all allergic, use a
respirator, or get somebody else to do this.  A paper mask won't protect
you much at all.

OK, when the entire area to be fixed has been pressed with the iron, set
the iron in a safe place, whip off the press cloth (careful, that baby
is HOT!) and fling it onto the plastic dropcloth.  Grab the waxed paper,
slap it onto the area that was pressed, put the plywood on top of that,
then clamp the dickens out of it (I usually used 6 clamps to provide
coverage around the perimeter of the plywood)and let it sit for 8 hours
or overnight.  If there is any old glue still left under the veneer,
this WILL WORK.  Like magic.  And a lot faster than the work on the
machine head will take.

But since you have emotional ties to both, then my advice is to keep
trying on the machine.  If you can manage to remove any of the screws
and access plates, slide plate, bobbin, etc. on the machine head, do so,
and put them into labeled ziplock bags so you know where they go.  This
might take months to a year, and you do forget (I found out through
experience here, don't make my mistake thinking I'd of course remember
where everything went), so take notes!  If you can't remove any access
panels at first, then keep trying after the machine has been soaking in
the kerosene for a while.  Or you could try some Liquid Wrench at the
beginning, right on the screws, and see if you can get them off.  With
portions of the head open, more kerosene can get into the inaccessible
areas to help free things up.  And the more open areas, the faster the
process might go.

Good luck, and hang in there---this is going to take a while, but if it
works you'll have the blessings of your grandmother, as well as a great
treadle machine.  And if you can't breathe life back into the machine,
well, there are lots of W&W9 treadle heads out there in operating
condition that can take the original machine's place!

Linda from Oxford, Ohio

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 00:03:28 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/3/2000
From: Melody 

> A well-deserved lunch of beans on toast topped with fried bacon and a
> cup of tea was waiting to be demolished. And stories to be written. Happy
> Christmas everyone.
> Dec 2000

Merry Christmas to you and thanks for sharing that story.  I must ask
though..what kind of beans prepared how on what kind of toast?  I am a beans
person and have never contempalted or herad of beans on toast here in New

Live & Let Live... but do it with your own money  (as long as you're hurting

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 23:18:03 -0500
Subject: treadle catalog
From: "Jan Drechsler" 

About four years ago, I saw a catalog from a midwest company which still 
sold treadle machines.  No, I do not want to buy another treadle, thank you.
But I am trying to locate a copy of this catalog or the name of the company
which i believe focused on trade to the Amish and/or Memmonite communities.
It carried some very basic, old fashioned kitchenware as well as other house
or farm implements and tools.

Selma in PA, are you still with us?  I think you left it at my house after a
featherweight gathering.  I am trying to replace something for my elderly
mom.  Any help would be much appreciated.


Jan Drechsler in Vermont
Quilt Restoration; Quilting teacher

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 10:13:00
From: Jake and Jacqui Van Meppelen Scheppink 
Subject: Re:  Blue book values

Hi guys:

Haven't posted in awhile, but the 'blue book' discussion caught my eye.
Don't forget that values are vastly different depending on the setting.
I've gone to sewing machine stores that sell their old trade ins which they
have serviced and fixed up.  They have lots of 328's, 227's and other
brands of machines....metallic blue/green/pink Brothers and Whites.  They
are usually priced at $149.00- $200.00 which is proably a fair price to pay
for a solid sewing machine.  From a collector's point of view, I wouldn't
buy them for that price...I don't even buy them for $5.00 at a yard sale,
because they don't speak to me at all.  If a sewing machine shop had a 301
in their lineup of 50/60's era machines, I'd look at it totally differently
than the 328 beside it.  At yard sales, to most people, an old sewing
machine is an old sewing machine.

Jake and I always have a real laugh when we go to a local auction.  We've
bought FW's there regularly and the auctioneer has no idea about sewing
machines.  Now whenever he gets an old machine in, he's expecting us to bid
on it.  He wanted to start the bidding on a beat up 50's model 99 at
$350.00..."that's what these old Singer's go for!!"  Yeah right.  But, then
again, if you're looking for a reliable, good quality sewing machine and
you keep it in a cabinet and don't have to lug it around all the time, why
not pay $100.00 for a 99 or a 15?  They're definitely worth it as a good
sewing machine. These are just some of my musings when I sit at an auction
and watch what things go for big bucks and which things go dirt cheap.
Interesting to analyze :-).

Jacqui in Canada 

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 10:47:11 -0800
From: Gayle DeForest 
Subject: Sewing machine stores

Graham is right about finding bargains at sewing machine sales/repair
shops.  I bought my white FW for $185 about 18 months ago at just such a
store in Sacramento.  It was serviced, as he said, and purrs like a
Gayle in Chico, CA

From: GrahamCres
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 15:16:49 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/4/2000

      Regarding the large eye needles you require try embroidery needles
      made by Smetz they have larger eyes than normal domestic needles 

         Good luck Graham Cresswell in the UK

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 15:02:35 -0400
From: Jacque Johnson 
Subject: Steam irons.

Hello Fluffies.
To answer the many questions I have had about the steam irons.  These
are travel irons which were manufactured in the fifties for Airline
Hostesse, came with a little carry case, and sack.  The good thing about
them is they were made to use oridinary tap water. The handle folds down
and in a polar fleece sack they can be carried right in the FW
carry-case.  They are really handy for classes.

From: "Christine" 
Subject: Question about FW attachments
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 07:07:20 -0500

Hi all!  I am wanting to purchase some attachments for my FW, the ad says
they are for a Singer 301 machine though.  Do these attachments work on the
FW? The boxes are identical to those I've seen sold with FWs but I thought
I'd better ask the experts!

Thank you!!!!  I find this list is a wealth of information.

From: MMquilts
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 17:57:15 EST
Subject: Singer 206

Hi Feathers:

    I have not written in a while.  The posting are always so much fun to 
read but I cannot remember when I read anything about a Singer 206.  I bought 
one today for $25 with attachments, however no case or manual.  The gold is 
in great condition, there are the usual pin scratches but all in all it is in 
great shape.  Can anyone tell me anything about this machine?  I have a 319 
which I know takes the same needles.  The 206 looks a lot like the 306 
however it does not use any cams.  Anything else I should know???

    Also I found a 1940 featherweight with table and case of attachments.  
Not the box but the little suit case with the pinker, hemstitcher and all of 
the other goodies.  Yes, I am doing the happy dance, the price was what you 
would pay for a really nice featherweight by itself so the table and 
accessories were like a bonus!

    Thanks for letting me share.

    Marsha, proud owner of the Plum Crazy 221

Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 21:37:05 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/4/2000

In a message dated 12/4/00 11:04:40 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
FWFanatics writes:

What have you got to loose by trying to resurrect this wonderful old machine? 
 Get your Grandmother to tell you the whole history of this machine, write it 
down, and keep it with the machine.

There is a lot of information averrable  on how to at least get started.  One 
of those places is  Captain Dick and Treadle On Home Pages    
 Captain Dick and Treadle On Home Pages

Captain Dick is an old friend of FWF.

Remember, no one says this will be easy and fast, but when you finish you 
will have bonded with this grand old workhorse, and preserved a bit of your 

My advise:  Go for it!

Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2000 00:20:37 -0500
From: c n 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/3/2000

Sorry Graham. I got my g!s mixed up . Nice
job Gerald. How much ? I have a
either 66 or 99 not sure but no 221.


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