Saturday, August 23, 2014

Singer Featherweight Repaint Project

Meet my next big project. It is the repaint on a Singer 221 Featherweight. According to the serial number this particular machine was made in 1953. I purchased it at a garage sale several years ago. It is fully functional aside from a few minor repairs. The biggest issue is the finish of this machine. It's original finish is in sad shape and it's lost most of it's decals. It needs a makeover. I had already removed some parts in order to access areas that required repairs.

The Singer Featherweight was introduced in 1933 at the World's Fair. In was revolutionary with it's compact light design. It only weighed 11 pounds so it is easily portable. It is believed that Singer sold 3 to 3.5 million of these machines during production. They are model 221 and 222k The 222k was made at the Kilbowie factory in Scotland. Most of them are black like my machine but white was made for a few years and there are even rumors of a few mint green ones having been made in Scotland. These are a popular machine even today. They may only do a straight stitch but they do it extremely well.
My plan is to take this machine partially apart, clean/sand it, and repaint it. Apply new decals. Since I am repainting it's getting a new color.

Recommended reading: "The Featherweight 221 and I" by Dave McCallum 
That is a great book for regular maintenance and beyond for the Singer Featherweight. Many of the principles can be applied to other all metal vintage sewing machines.

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