Help on Featherweight Machine bobbin noise

Hi,
I am new to quilting, and had to have a Singer featherweight, after hearing
they were the best piecing machine. So I just got one and have to say I am
quite unnerved with the noise that comes from the shuttle/bobbin. I have
taken the entire shuttle out, cleaned and oiled it, still I get this tinny
sounding noise. I notice when I remove the bobbin and run the machine, it
doesn't make this noise. I tried a different bobbin, and still have noise.
Is this a characterstic of this machine, or am I missing something? Do I
need to use a lubricant/grease instead of oil?
Thanks for all your help.
Reply to
SewingMachine13
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The Featherweight is not one of the quietest machines. The internal motor on the 301 makes it very quiet. Make sure that you are using the proper bobbins, I have found that some of the repro bobbins and bobbin cases, are a bit wobbly so will make more noise, but generally my FW;s are noiser than the 301, which is the best piecing machine I have found yet, and big enough for quilting too. I am currently using it to free motion a queen size. I started with the Featherweight, but after a couple of years struggling with the size of the machine I purchased a 301A and am sold. Many of the quilters I teach have now gotten this mode and are now bringing it to class. With the FW's at home the classes are geting quieter. The prices are starting to climb as more quilters discover the convenience of this machine so grab one now before they are out of site like the FW's. You will be surprised at the qualtiy of the stitch formation, (better than the FW) quiet operation and WOW drop feed dogs. Also the slant needle configuration is excellent for quilting and more accurate than the FW. You can see what your doing. I will probably part with my 4 FW as the prices are tremendous so they were a great investment, but since getting a 301A and now a beautiful black 301 I no longer need them. What out on these as the many were scavenged for parts for FW's over the past 10 years. May keep the 222 for the Grand daughter as it has the fingerguard and free arm and is great for doll clothes.
Sun, 22 Feb 2004 03:07:42 GMT, "SewingMachine13" wrote:
Reply to
Quiltteach
You do not say if it is an old (real) Featherweight or one of the new plastic ones or reproductions. The old ones were the quieter of the lot. If it is noisy in the bobbin area put one drop of white sewing machine oil on the hook race, look in there and see where it turns around the stationary part.
Reply to
Ron Anderson
Ron, It's a 1960 model 221k, and is using the original bobbins. Have tried what you suggested and I still think it too noisy. Thanks
Reply to
SewingMachine13
Quiltteach, You're right, I have been bidding on a 301 for the last 3 weeks, and they are getting pricier. I am determined to get one in the next week, no matter the cost. I sewed on a slant machine many years ago, think it was a 401 at a friends house and liked it. But never went looking for one. Now I am convinced the 301 is the machine I want. I find the FW a little small for me too, being a guy. I like a little heft in the machine. I am using the original bobbins, like I said, I have changed them 3 times and still get the noise. But I am very glad to hear it's not just my machine, I will have no problem parting with it if I need to. I considered keeping it for my first grand-daughter, who is only 5 months old, but maybe she would like the 301 too! Thanks for all your help.
Reply to
SewingMachine13
Are you using new bobbins? Or old ones?
I have much better luck with vintage bobbins than I do with newer ones, both in terms of noise and stitch. They're made of thicker metal, so I think they don't vibrate as much. =20
The FW are not the quietest of machines. My 301s are quieter. =20
On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 03:07:42 GMT, "SewingMachine13" wrote:
------------------------ Adult: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing = in the middle.
Reply to
IMS
Are you using reproduction bobbins? Does the machine sew well, excepting the noise?
No, not in the bobbin area.
Reply to
Ann Knight
I am using the original bobbins and bobbin case. I think I am getting the picture that FWs are not a quiet machine. Thanks for your response.
Are you using new bobbins? Or old ones?
Reply to
SewingMachine13
Ann, Thanks for taking time to reply. The machine didn't sew at all when I got it, which was just a week ago. The ebay seller didn't mention it would sew, but didn't mention it wouldn't either. For the price I at least expected it to make a stitch! But anyway... There was thread wound around the shuttle, didn't notice it until I took off the bottom cover. Kept getting thread breaks. Both top and bottom tensions were fiddled with, and someone just left it that way. Took me nearly 5 hours to get a stitch going, now it is running fine, sews a beautiful straight stitch, but I don't like the noise coming from bobbin. It appears as though I will have to live with it, or replace it with a 301. But doesn't the 301 use the same bobbin case and holder? Would I get the same noise? If anyone knows, let me know. Thanks.
Reply to
SewingMachine13
Yes the 301 and 221 use the same bobbin/case and as such should produce the same noise from the bobbin area. What we do not know, and have no possible way of knowing is the noise You deem to much actually normal. Are you comparing with another machine? Is it a 221 or 301? I bet if you compare with a class 66 or 15 you will find it rather quiet. Perhaps the quietest is the 201, but I have never found any of them 221, 301, or 201 what I would consider noisy, but then I get my share and then some of really noisy machines, those $100 Wal mart specials come to mind.
Reply to
Ron Anderson
Ron, Compared to any machine I have ever used, I find the bobbin noise unnverving. It's a tinny sound, like it's a toy machine. I believe it the sound of the bobbin hitting the center post and vibrating. I am going to buy some bobbins (original replacements) and see if that corrects it. It could also be the case, maybe it is worn, I doubt it unless it was switched. It is marked Simanco. The rest of the machine looks to have been used less than 100 hours in it's lifetime. Oh, but I just realized something, I removed the old rotted rubber feet and the replacements haven't arrived yet, so maybe that could be causing it to sound louder than normal. If worse comes to worse I will try soaking the shuttle assembly in oil, wiping it and replacing. Thanks again for your responses.
Reply to
SewingMachine13
What kind of surface is the machine sitting on when you're sewing? That certainly could be the cause of some of the noise. It's very difficult to diagnose these things from afar.
Reply to
Ann Knight
While the 301 does use the same bobbin and bobbin case as the FW, the 301 is a gear driven machine whereas the FW is belt driven. I've have eight 301s and four FWs and IMHO the 301s are somewhat quieter than the =46Ws because of the gear drive (it makes them more powerful, too).
On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 19:47:47 GMT, "SewingMachine13" wrote:
------------------------ Adult: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing = in the middle.
Reply to
IMS
This is a person after my own heart. ;-)
Joanne (caretaker for 30+ odd machines, some odder than others)
Reply to
Pogonip
Well, I thought about it, keeping it, but I am already getting too many according to my wife, but I suspect I will keep it. Today I decided to pull the entire shuttle out, soak it in oil, take every piece apart and clean it. I just finished reassembling everything and ran a test, it is at least 75% quieter now. I have noticed that the ext bed has a slight rattle/vibe, so I think I will use a felt washer on the screws. I also read the original had a felt washer on the oil pan, which mine does not. I set it on a mousepad and couldn't believe the difference in noise. I'm sure when I put the rubber feet on, it will be the way it should be. THanks to everyone for your advise and opinions. What a relief!
Reply to
SewingMachine13
Jim at
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sells reconditioned ones with a 6-month warranty. Maybe if they are getting pricier this might be an option.
NAYY and all that... ended up not even buying a machine from him because I ended up getting what I wanted on Ebay, but I was glad to look there.
Reply to
Melinda Meahan - remove TRASH
Good for you on finding the problem. However the FW is still a noisy machine. For some reason the 301 even though it uses the same bobbin assembly is not. And welcome to cult of the Featherweight. I have seen some sell on e-bay for $400 and up that would not sew without some serious work. There is currently a lady on one of the vintage lists that is having real problems with one she purchased from e-bay. But this is the 'buyer be ware' part of their statements. There is really nothing wrong with the FW other than they are not the most practical machines for quilting. Yes it does form a nice straight stitch, but then most machins that only do one stitch do it well. They became a cult about 10 years ago and the prices do not reflect the real value of the machine but rather the cult status it has obtained. I know of a former Singer rep who has 24 of them but still prefers and uses the 301's for piecing and quilting. He uses a 201 for most of the heavy work and a 306 for fancy work. The 3 best machines that Singer ever made. FW's win in the cute category, although some of the 99 and 66 models are darn cute too.
Reply to
QuiltTeach

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