Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Liz Taylor of Featherweights

Who was a gorgeous movie star in the 1950's with shiny black hair and violet blue eyes, like the shiny black finish and blue badge on this gorgeous machine?

This is a drop dead gorgeous machine with a perfect, beautiful stitch.  I plowed her through a swatch of 16 layers and the stitch was absolutely flawless.  But she sews much more slowly than my 1956 Featherweight. The first side by side test I did, she was 25% slower.  Then I tinkered, adjusted and re-oiled BOTH machines, ran the test again, and she was 40% slower!  But I'm not sure if the one speeded up or the other slowed down.  ????

My 1956 model (I'll call her "Debbie," who is Liz's rival) isn't quite a dazzling but simply has more power.  The thing is, I can't figure out why.

I am just an amateur hobbiest tinkering around and figuring it out as I go, so in the pursuit of figuring out the discrepancy, I filmed the motors running, trying to visualize what could be the difference (I have already inspected, tweaked and adjusted everything I know including the belts.)

This is the 1951 motor running without the belt:

Here is the same motor (1951) running with the belt:

This is the 1956 motor running with the belt:

Not sure if this will clarify the problem in any way, but I'm still working on it.  Its a disappointment to have such a cosmetically beautiful machine only to find that it is underperforming.  If I didn't have the other machine to compare it to, I'd never even realize it.


  1. I'm no expert either, but why not switch the motors between the two machines and see if the slowness follows the motor. If it does, put the better motor on the pretty one and see how you like it.

    These things take up less than 1 cubic foot when stored. I'll BET you can find room for both somewhere!

  2. Thank you for the suggestion - and yes I have thought about switching the motors. But at the end of the day, I just can't face that chore and I don't want to risking banging up the beautiful finish on these machines (put a screwdriver in my hand and it immediately DIVES for the nearest flawless surface!) I guess I'll just accept them as they are...and make room for the newcomer to stick around for a while. ;)

  3. I would suggest you try loosening the belt a bit. MY FW ran sluggishly until I loosened the belt and it was much much better.