Featherweight Case Restore Along Part 2: Featherweight Case Outer Hardware Removal
by Ashley Fritsche
Welcome back to the Singer Featherweight Case Restore Along! If you are just joining us, you can catch up on Part 1 of the Case Restore Along right HERE! Earlier this year, we crossed paths with Annette on our Singer Featherweight 221 & 222 Facebook Group, showcasing one of her beautiful Featherweight Case Restorations. She was kind enough to create a very informative journey of her restorative process and we hope you enjoy following along!
Now that the Featherweight case is completely stripped down of all the old tolex, and sanded to a smooth finish, we are moving on to the next step by removing all the outer hardware from the case: latches, hinges and handle.
Products Used in Today's Restore Along:
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Needle nose plyers
- Wood putty or plastic putty
- 1” putty knife
- Sandpaper (80 - 100 grit used for the initial sanding of the the old tolex. 220 grit sandpaper used for the second sanding to smooth the finish of the wood and any minimal remaining old tolex.)
Part-way through the video, Annette mentions re-gluing and clamping the corners of the Featherweight case after the old Tolex has been removed and it has been thoroughly sanded. Please refer back to Part 1 for some additional photos and clamping tips.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CASE CLASPS AND LOCKS:
We felt it was important to address this right at the beginning. Vintage case clasps (and the locks they latch into) are a very scarce commodity in the Singer Featherweight world. These particular vintage original parts only come available on our website a few times a year and they are gone within nano-seconds because of so many Featherweight owners wanting to replace the part. Regrettably, there is currently not a suitable replica that is an exact match and obtaining a manufacturer for the original design has proven very difficult. This is compounded due to the numerous clasp and lock styles that Singer incorporated into the design of the Featherweight 221 as well as the 222 case over the years. The only way, as it currently stands, to obtain replacement parts is to wait until a case is totally unsalvageable and then offer the hardware parts as they come available.
With an increase in restoring original Featherweight cases, however (whether it be to an original style appearance with tolex or completely personalized with fabric such as the demonstration in this tutorial) demand for the part will increase while supply for vintage original case clasp and latch parts will decrease. A double-edged sword to be sure, but we wanted to address this question and answer so there would be no surprises as you proceed:
Q: "Where can I get a clasp or latch for my case?"
A: We carry the clasp part here, and the case latch/lock here, but they will show as out of stock until we have a fair number to make available for sale - about two or three times a year. You can sign up for the in-stock notification and you will be notified via email as soon as one is available. That said, do not delay when that notification email arrives because they are gone before you can even say "Singer Featherweight!". Otherwise, periodically check eBay or Etsy and be on the lookout for a totally unsalvageable case.
Other Secure Case Alternatives:
While you're waiting for a clasp, you can carry the machine in its vintage original case safely using a Case Tote Bag (available in a wide selection of colors).
New, Singer Featherweight replica cases are available as well, at least until a clasp can be found for your original case.
(No, the clasps and latches are not interchangeable on the new cases with the vintage original cases.)