Graham Forsdyke's Featherweight Chamber of Horrors
It's nightmare time folks -- check out these terror tales from Graham.
Be very glad your fine machine is safe in the sewing room.
Worst Featherweight in the World
This sad machine was discovered in the basement of an English coastal dealer. Aluminum will certainly oxidize, especially in a salty atmosphere, but this is the first machine I've seen where the base is, in places, totally eaten through.
Two different machines but a joint, and not unusual, problem. Poor connections have led to heat build-up which, in turn, has melted the insulation on the wiring. The picture on the left is of a lighting unit – the melting insulation can clearly be seen in the housing. The picture on the right is of a potentially lethal plug assembly. The owner complained of a "tingle" through the machine – she was lucky that's all she suffered.
Now here's the story... The lady owner of this machine had problems with the motor and took it to her local dealer with instructions to fix it. When she next saw it, the original motor had been removed and a cheap and nasty unit substituted. But that wasn't the worst part. In order to fit the new motor, this engineer had taken his hacksaw and removed the motor lip on the base and, as the new pulley was further to the rear, he also sawed off half the guard at the top of the machine to get clearance for the belt.
There are those who will brand me a Philistine for dumping Singer Featherweights, let alone publishing a picture of the graveyard. Let me explain: These are machines in such poor cosmetic condition that their only useful function is to provide parts so that others, which have survived in a better state, can be rebuilt and serviced using genuine Singer FW parts rather than reproduction spares. Why are they sitting in a corner of my backyard with vines growing through them? Well, I guess I'm just not enough of a Philistine to throw them away. Maybe one day we'll have a funeral service at Elizabethport or Clydebank.