Thursday, January 5, 2012

Singer Featherweight Oval Cabinet


 These are photos of my cabinet.  Pictured in Nancy Johnson-Srebo's Featherweight book.   Gail

Subject: Adapting a Used Cabinet for a FW
From: Terry ragdoll

Although I do have one of the original FW tables, it is too large for my studio space so I adapted a used cabinet and just love it. I found an old Singer for $36 but it was the cabinet that caught my eye. Everything that isn't oak is mahogany to me so I guess this is mahogany. :-} It has one drawer to hold FW attachments, two boxes of bobbins and manual. My little parrot likes to get in it and play when I sew.

To adapt this for my FW, I simply set the FW into the existing hole cut
out for the old machine. I measured from the top of the bed of the FW to
the sewing surface of the cabinet and it was exactly the height of the
thickness of a 2x4. Not owning a table saw, I used a handsaw to cut two
lengths of 2x4, removed the FW, screwed the 2x4s to the metal bars down in
the hole (depending on what is IN the hole one could simply epoxy the 2x4s
in place), and then simply set the FW on top of the 2x4s.

There is a space to the right of the FW which nicely accomidates the 3-
prong plug. I moved my FW as far forward in the hole as possible so it is
flush with the top of the cabinet and I have a smooth sewing surface. There
is a 2" gap behind the machine where, if one had a scroll saw, one could cut a piece of wood to fit the space and it would fill in. Many modern sew.
mach. have a plastic insert to fill in this area on cabinets. My solution was to cut a piece of hard styrofoam (leftover from computer packing) to
wedge into the space and cover it with black, shiny electrical tape. It matches the finish on my FW, removes easily for machine cleaning, but stays
in place when sewing for a smooth, flat surface. You can't imagine how neat my FW looks in its little cabinet.

This cabinet's original machine has a wood curved cover so that the owner
could convert it to a "portable". One mistake I made was not to refinish
this cover when I refinished the cabinet so that it could cover the FW when
not in use. Many times I was going to give the old machine away or haul it
to the dump but that cover stopped me. After reading this digest I am
anxious to see if that ugly grey thing actually sews, what model it is, etc.

It has a boat bobbin and is electric. But that will be another day.

Hope this sends some of you looking for cabinets to convert. There are
plenty of junk machines sitting in shops that they can't give away so ask
yourself if the cabinet isn't worth the price. The stuff you usually find
in the cabinet drawers is always like a treasure hunt, too. Good luck!
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