Feather Beds Are Over-Rated

Now we get to the meat of the machine.  Some of the most important areas to look at on a machine you want to refurbish / repair are interior mechanics and the exterior bobbin case and hook assembly.  A cosmetic finish can be replaced. But the mechanical components must be functional to make it worth it. A machine can look beautiful on the outside, but be a hot mess inside.  Let’s look inside of this cutie.

After removing the oil drip cover, there is some evidence of rusting, but nothing that concerns me. Those mechanics should clean up well with some kerosene and machine oil.   The part that worried me was the bobbin case and hook area.  There is significant evidence of rust.  The bobbin case was completely seized onto the hook assembly, and the hand wheel and assembly could not move.  This machine wasn’t going anywhere.  Furthermore, the bobbin case lever was “free swinging” and no longer moved the bobbin case slide.  The bobbin case became the first order of business!

First, get it out, carefully.

Second, remove as much rust as possible and try to disassemble it. 

Original, vintage bobbin cases are always best if your machine has one, and can be cleaned up enough to function.  A replacement can cost anywhere between $75 – over $120 depending on if you are after a reproduction or a replacement vintage model.

As luck, and patience, would have it, I was able to use machine oil to gradually get the case to budge.  Normally, you could remove the case with part of the hook assembly, but that was rusted in place too. 

Here are some pics of the bobbin case after extraction and before I was able to get the bobbin removed.  Yes, the bobbin was also stuck in the case. Fun fact.  As I accessed the bobbin and started removing the threads so that I could see better, I took off no less than five different colors of bobbin thread!  Is that a thing, to wind many colors of thread on the same bobbin?  

I mentioned that the slide was seized on the case from rust. After soaking it overnight in kerosene, scrubbing it, leveraging some WD40 and some gentle tiny mallet tapping, I finally removed the slide. To my utter surprise, the tiny spring inside was not rusted out, just surrounded and the slide unable to move.

This story has a happy ending in store I think.

I was able to get the case cleaned up and buffed. I might have to work on the interior more and test out the other spring. However, the slide and lever is now functional again, AND will fit on and off of the hook assembly! This is a very good point to be. The next line of business is the hook assembly itself, another $110 part to replace. Let’s hope we don’t have to do that.

Scorecard so far: Only one part that must be replaced, the belt, and that part is ordered and in the mail!

To be continued…

2 thoughts on “Feather Beds Are Over-Rated

  1. Kayla says:

    You’re not afraid to try anything. I admire you!

    The little white machine is precious and I’m sure you’ll get it running smooth.

    Do you have plans to paint it or keep it white?


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