Sunday, September 15, 2019

Featherweight Bobbins

Bobbin Information

From: Shelley440
Subject: From a true FW Fanatic

Regarding bobbins, this is a new topic.  I like the old ones that came with
my first machine.  They have an extra little hole in the rim to run the
thread through when starting to wind a bobbin.  I bought a box of the new
bobbins and they don't have that little hole.  I am constantly sorting out
bobbins so I can use only the ones with the little hole, wish I could find
more of that kind.

From:(Carrie Bryan)
Subject: bobbin winding on a 1934

Margaret says,
> I can loosen the knob on the wheel, but the needle still goes up and down
> when I am winding the bobbin.

My 1934 does the same thing, but only at the start of bobbin winding.  When
I get the speed up, the needle stops.  I don't worry about it.

From: O2bQuiltin
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 

In a message dated 95-09-28 07:04:20 EDT, you write:

The only problem I am having is in winding the bobbin.  I
can loosen the knob on the wheel, but the needle still goes up and down when
I am winding the bobbin.  Any thoughts on what I can do to remedy this?

I have had this to happen occasionally, but give the wheel a extra twist or
two, and it stops. It's not good to have the needle going up and down, I
guess, but I wouldn't take it to the mechanic.

From: LyndaQults
Subject: Bobbin Winding and "reproduction Featherweights"

I bet everyone is getting sick of this,  but "MIMI SAYS' ,  When we were in
class, Mimi mentioned that it is very common for the needle to still go up
and down when winding a bobbin despite having lossened the wheel.  Apparently
she couldn't find any good solution for this problem.

From: David Weisbrod 
Subject: Bobbin Winding

Well, well, well!  You know that rusty ole FW I rescued?  It is home from
the shop and it sews real good.  Its ID starts with AL which tells me it
may be a 1955 model.

According to my 80 yr ole Singer repair man, about 50 of these models were
recalled by Singer.  The bobbin housings were manufactured in Canada and
the specs were a bit off, causing the thread to wound around the bobbin
and get all tangled up.

Back in '57, before the recall, two of these models were given to Larry
for fixing.  It took him awhile but he eventually tracked down the cause
and found a solution by doing a little grinding here and a little grinding
there.  Now that he knew what had to be done, he told the Singer District
Manager to give the machines to him to correct the problem, but the recall
was official and all these models were returned to Singer.

Except....Yep, you guessed it.  I got one of those.  When I cleaned the
rust from the bobbin shuttle, I had to remove some old tangled thread.  At
the time, I thought how odd that the owner didn't bother to remove the
thread.  Now I know why. >BG<> I think Larry must be the only Singer
repair man in the U.S. who knows how to correct this little problem.  He
also feels that the machine was hardly used because of it.  Now that it's
all fixed, I have a back-up to my '38.  And even though it was hardly
used, it sure looks like it has been to war and back.

In running it through its paces to learn its idiosyncracies, I found that
the needle goes up and down when winding the bobbin.  Holding the stop
motion screw during the winding process stops the needle action.  For
those who have this happening, let us know if this works for you.

From:  (Gail Pickens-Barger)
Subject: Bobbin Winding problems

Hi All!
Bobbin Winding Problems:
The only problem I am having is in winding the bobbin.  I can loosen the
>knob on the wheel, bu the needle is still goes up and down when I am winding
>the bobbin.

My Mom, Deloris Pickens had the following to say:  "The trouble is in the
belt.  The belt is too thick in one place where it joins--most likely.  If
you purchase a new belt (the 17 1/2 inch size) then this should take care
of this problem."

If you cannot find a belt, then give my Mom a call and you can purchase
one from her.  Mom has most all of the accessories that go with a
featherweight, original manuals, and current has about 70 FW's, of all
varieties and vintages!  Her number is (580) 765-6125.


From: (Gordon D. Jones)
Subject: Singer sewing machines

About the needle bar going up and down while winding a bobbin.  On some
machines, the clutch (knob on wheel) will not release fully.  One of mine
is this way, so I just put my finger on top the looper arm.  This prevents
it from going up and down during bobbin winding.  Having the needle go up
and down during bobbin winding doesn't hurt any thing as long as the foot
is up.  Having the foot down with no cloth present means the feed dogs are
grinding on the bottom of the foot, metal to metal, which is not good!


Subject: Misc.

From: Terry  

The first FW I purchased in 1984 had a touch of rust in the bobbin case
and the bobbins didn't turn smoothly.  Through a friend I was able to
purchase a new bobbin case wholesale for under $20.  It is a TOWA Bobbin
Case, Made in Japan.  Unfortunately this never worked properly causing
thread jams so I went back to the original case, wiped the inside with a
touch of Singer oil and it has worked perfectly ever since.  The rust itself
isn't rust-colored, just a black, rough spot in the silver finish.  Has
anyone else had trouble with a TOWA Bobbin Case?  Any solutions?


From: Jgm1011
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest

I also wanted to try to provide some info about removing threads from the
bobbin area. The machine I bought was used very little because the woman's
engineer brother had tried removing the bobbin case holder the wrong way and
broken off the finger and it's expensive to have replaced. The directions in
NJS's book don't seem detailed enough to me, so I thought I'd quote from my
book and hope it helps some of you:
"If there is any one thing to plague the user of this almost perfect
machine, it is the tendency to lock up. The tolerance is so close in the
bobbin case-hook assembly that a single thread or piece of lint can lock it
1. To correct, remove screws and lift away the needle plate.
2. Remove pressser foot.
3. Remove the bobbin case.
4. Loosen screw (as in NJS's book) and move retaining shield outward.
5. Remove bobbin case holder (the part with the position finger) and clean
the area thoroughly. Check the track (groove) inside hook.
6. To replace, reverse above steps (Use caution when replacing the small
7. Replace remaining bobbin case components and position bobbin case holder
with position finger UP.
8. Replace needle plate with slot over position finger of bobbin case

The man who fixed my featherweight said he often saw the finger broken off,
so BEWARE. I think the most important part is to remove the needle plate
first and I don't think NJS says to do that. Sue M.


From: Penney Gurrola 
Subject: Re: FW bobbin cases

Hi, the prices for FW bobbin cases from 'A Stitch Back In Time', are actually
$72.00.  The prices keep going up from my supplier.  I do have packs of 4
bobbins for $1.40.  (800) 352-1174

Thanks, Penney in Lubbock, TX


From: Sweigak
Subject: Ramblings :)

DID You know...Kolleen checked this out for me and apparently the bobbin
cases are identical for the 301 and the FW. Thought this might help someone
find one to salvage. Thanks Kolleen.


From: LyndaQults
Subject: Bobbins

Just yesterday, I was at my local fabric store buying bobbins for Leanne in
Australia.  Singer bobbins are easily available in my area at New York
fabrics,  I think that it is Joanne  Fabrics by you.  The bobbins are 4 for
1.50  and are item #2137  marked for singer sewing machine models 221 and
301.  hope this helps.      Lynda Carswell


Subject: FW Bobbins

For Lydia Pratt:
FW bobbins should be available at your singer dealer or many places
selling sewing supplies.  They are still marketed by Singer, item #2137,
pack of 4 at $1.65 retail.  In addition to Singer, they are available at
the wholesale level from Brewer Sewing Supplies in Chicago.  Your local
sewing dealer probably already buys from them, so ask him to stock them.


From: Sweigak
Subject: FW  Bobbin Source

Newark Dressmaker Supply carries FW bobbins:  item number BB34, price .55
each or $5.50 for a dozen.  Their phone number is 1-800-736-6783. Their
address is:

Newark Dressmaker Supply
6473 Ruch Road
Lehigh Valley, PA18002-0730.

These bobbins will also fit Singer 301s. Hope this helps someone. Katy

From: (Karen S. Nantz)
Subject: FW Bobbins

I don't know if this has been discussed--so bear with me if it has.

I have owned in the last 4 years seven different FWs--all ages and
conditions.  Some has come with bobbins and some have not.  What I
have noticed is that the original bobbins are not the same as the
after market bobbins.  The original bobbins have an extra small
hole toward the core of the bobbin.  I don't know what it's used
for, but I do know that when I use these bobbins in the machines,
they sew better than the ones that don't have it.  In fact, a
tension problem on one machine disappeared when I used an original
bobbin.  It's not the height of the bobbin--we used calipers to
measure and they are exactly the same.

Anyone else come across this?

K. Nantz


Subject: White FW Bobbin Winder
From: Terry 

SUE IN MINNESOTA:  With regards to the white FW you purchased and
discovered the broken bobbin winder.  I bought a black FW with the same
problem.  Last spring I purchased a replacement winder from a sewing machine
shop in Tempe, AZ for about $12.  It looks almost identical to the original
black one.  I also have a white FW.  I just went to my studio and removed
the winder from the white FW and put on the reproduction bobbin winder and
as long as I apply pressure with my finger so it makes better contact with
the belt, it winds a perfect bobbin.  Perhaps if I tightened the screw a bit
more, I wouldn't have to press with my finger at all.
 The original white winder matches the white machine but the "wheel"
that makes contact with the belt is black. My replacement winder is black
with a silver "wheel" so it does not match the white machine.  I don't know
if they are available in white but if you really want to keep your machine
maybe the black would suit you.
 I question why the bobbin wound on a black FW wouldn't work in your
white FW.  It sounds as if this white machine was not in working condition to
begin with, not to mention that the bobbin winder was obviously broken.  Why,
if the seller didn't tell you the machine was broken, are you expected to
pay the cost of shipping if you return the machine? And why is "she"
pressuring you to make a decision in just two weeks?  I don't think that is
fair and frankly it makes me angry. Many of us order things from sellers on
this digest and depend on their honesty and integrity.  I hope everything
works out well for you, Sue.

Goodness, is your back sore from being at the computer or sewing machine for hours on end?  
Go to Gail's Chair Yoga Fitness website for a set of yoga poses seated on the chair to help ease back pain!


Linda said...

Help after winding my bobbin I can't seem to get the needle to engage, if I turn the wheel by hand it does, but pressing the foot pedal just makes the belt spin. any ideas?

Emily said...

Hi! I just started using a featherweight that was handed down to me and I think I may have jammed it. When I take out the bobbin, there are several threads that seem to be stuck inside. I can grab them from the bobbin area, but they are really stuck in there. The needle won't move and when I run the motor, the wheel will not turn. How do I unjam the machine? Please help! I am so happy I discovered this site!

Thanks so much,

Kaffy said...

I have two FWs; each has a problem.
1. Runs smoothly, but extremely SLOW! I greased and oiled, to no avail. What next? Examine motor?

2. Baby doesn't want to 'get started' - difficulty getting started and when running slow. It groans also; cannot determine the cause. I watched the movements, and it ran harder when in the uptake stroke.
PLEASE HELP on both machines.
Thank you so very much.

Yoga and Zumba® with Gaileee, E-RYT `n` Licensed Zumba® Instructor said...

Call my mother, Deloris Pickens at 580-765-6125 for additional help!

Gail Pickens-Barger