Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Singer Featherweight Repaint: Yay the big day is here!

Let me start this post by saying it's done! Are you ready for the big color reveal? After three years of color indecision I went with....wait for it.....drum roll..... Pale Pink.

After the color paint was applied, and had dried overnight, the decals were applied according to the instructions. I thought these would be more difficult but they were super easy. I ordered the new decals from Keesew on eBay not only did this seller ship the decals out to me quickly but they sent a pdf file of instructions with pictures for applying them. After the decals were applied, 3 coats of clear coat went over everything. It was allowed to cure for 2 weeks before assembling. By the way, I went nontraditional and choose silver metallic decals instead of gold or black (black was used on the white machines).

 I started with oiling and greasing the machine according to Singer instructions. Make sure to use the correct sewing machine oil and grease lubricant. WD40 is not correct so don't even think of using it.
The first piece to go back in was the hook assembly for the bobbin. This part had to be replaced and I am going to tell it's tale in another blog post.

I took that time to clean up many of the pieces as they went on. I don't think anyone cleaned the upper thread tension since the late 1950's. Little tip of you are adjusting, removing and/or replacing the motor, wrap the column with fabric or cardboard otherwise a screwdriver may mar the finish. Other than the electric components there is no specific order to putting the parts on. Just work one section at a time.

The entire upper thread tension had to be reassembled. This looks overwhelming at first but it really isn't. I highly recommend that you reassemble it on the machine because the machine will act as a third hand. This youtube video on it is great as she really explains it nicely. While the machine is demonstrating on it not a featherweight the steps are still the same.

Now, my machine had a boo-boo. When it was being disassembled for painting, the upper tension bar guide broke. It not only broke, it shattered inside the part of the machine body that it fits into. That area had to be dremeled away as there was no way to drill out or remove the fragments. So the replacement is attached to the machine with JB Weld.

Next issue was the badges. Usually the badges on these machines were held on by brass rivets with bent over ends. Except for my machine which had a completely different style of rivet and they were steel. The badges had to be super glued into place. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I can fake it in with brass screw heads. I thought it looked more complete with the badges than without.

Then came the big moment. I admit I was terrified of this. I knew the motor ran, I knew the machine moved correctly but as it had been broken at the time of purchase I had no idea how it stitched or how good or bad the timing on it was. I threaded her up, put a new needle in and...nothing. Umm....I had the needle in backwards. Got the left and right thing mixed up. Took the needle out, put it back in correctly, checked to make sure the bobbin was in correctly in the case, and tried again. Success! terrible tensions but stitches nonetheless. I spent plenty of time adjusting both the upper and bobbin tensions. Don't be afraid of adjusting the bobbin tension. She runs beautifully, stitches are fantastic.

This is where I have to thank my Dad. He did all the painting, did a lot of the disassemble/reassemble, and guided me through all the cleaning and prepping. Could I have done this without out him? Maybe but it wouldn't have looked as nice and I'd probably be sitting in a corner right now crying.


  1. This was exactly the color I am planning to paint a Singer 99 I picked up last week. Silver decals and all. Gorgeous.

  2. Replies
    1. I used a paint recommended to me by the staff at a local autobody paint supply shop. It was custom mixed into a spray can for me. I think it was a paint formula from PPG.

    2. Thank you, Joanna! I think I'm going with Dupli-color. We'll see how it turns out!

  3. There is nothing like a project that you do with your Dad. Those memories are precious forever.

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