Over twenty years ago, totally frustrated with inaccurate and misleading descriptions of machine condition, Graham Forsdyke devised the Condition Chart for the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society (ISMACS). It was quickly picked up by enthusiasts all over the world and is now the universally accepted way of describing a machine. No more "pristine", "mint", "like new", etc, but a method of honestly assessing a machine. Graham commends its use to all and claims no copyright for this information; it may be freely copied, reposted or distributed in its original form.
This scale takes no notice of the mechanical condition. If something is broken or missing this should be stated, not hidden behind a number. All Featherweights that we offer will fall in the top three to four categories but the full list is included here for general interest.
10 - Just like the day it left the factory. Not a scratch or mark on it. (Graham had seen only two machines in this category, and we have seen one.)
9 - As 10 but with the small, odd scratch or wear mark evident to very close inspection.
8 - Very good used condition. All paint good; all metalwork bright. What the average antique dealer would call "perfect".
7 - Good condition but rubbing of paint evident and/or some nickel plating worn.
6 - As in 7 but more wear to paint and/or some light surface rust to the brightwork.
5 - The average, hard-used, ill-cared-for machine looking for someone to love it.
4 - Poor condition, chipped enamel, rusty metalwork but acceptable for a collection if a rare machine.
3 - In need of restoration but a reasonable job for a dedicated enthusiast.
2 - Total restoration needed to paintwork and bright metal. It's a brave collector that takes it on.
1 - Spare parts only and these would be in need of extensive restoration.