Author Topic: Singer Featherweight case  (Read 4058 times)

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Offline annenet

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Singer Featherweight case
« on: October 12, 2010, 01:08:40 PM »
I just bought a 1945 Singer Featherweight in pretty nice shape and the case is also pretty good. Needs a new handle and some touch up but the fabric in side is pretty nice and the hinges and closures are pretty good.

BUT - this poor guy apparently sat in a closet for 10 - 20 years and case is a bit "aromatic". I'm trying the airing out and 150 watt lamp in a workman's light approach and it's sort of working but has anyone figured anything else out that might work? I guess I could remove the interior fabric but I kind of like it.
Too many ideas, not enough time.

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Offline ejvc

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 02:34:20 PM »
Charcoal inside -- you can get it for fish filters, I think, or maybe ordinary charcoal will work.  People on my doll forum use it to get stick out of doll stuffing/hair. Also there are reproduction cases...
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Offline edelweiss

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 05:57:14 PM »
If the light bulb does not work and it stinks of old oil, put some kitty litter in it, baking soda a bar of irish spring soap clse it for a few days and see what happens, I did this with all 10 of my cases and only one did not have a smell. I do not think it will ever realy leave. Put the charcoal in there as well. Good luck

Offline lydia

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 01:21:25 AM »
If you live in an area where the sun is bright and hot, put it on a picnic table for a couple of days and this should help.  I am convinced that all the cases smell a bit - kind of an oil, old age and general deterioration smell. :P
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Offline Pipsy

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 08:51:00 AM »
I tried all of the solutions mentioned here for the smell, which I read somewhere is rancid oil.  Nothing totally took the odor away. Putting the case in the sun worked the best. I do keep an absorbant 'stone' in mine, but it still smells, though not as much as when I first purchased it.  I wonder if there are solutions for rancid and old oil odors in other situations. What about containers that held rancid nuts, such as peanuts? Also, I am thinking about pictures I see of people using wood plant flooring from or in old mills for new households. The Featherweight cases are made of wood so the oil must have soaked into it in some way, from machine itself or oil container. Does anyone clean old oil soak rags?  ??? I hadn't thought of using a lamp. Perhaps a hairdryer would work.  I have one of the original home hair dryers from the 1950's. It has a hood attached to a hose coming off a round motor. I never use the hood, but the hose and heater sure works great when defrosting my deep freezer.

I am not into antique for antique sake so I may purchase a new replica for myself.  My machine, itself does not have an odor.
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Offline Lorraine K

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 09:56:09 AM »
My Featherweight (1953)was found in the trash! I've never been able to get rid of the mildew smell in the case.  I store the machine in a small carryon bag. I keep the case separate from the machine in case I can ever find a solution to the smell. I'm not likely to ever sell this wonderful roadside find.

Lorraine

Offline granmomus

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 03:01:41 PM »
My Featherweight (1953)was found in the trash! I've never been able to get rid of the mildew smell in the case.  I store the machine in a small carryon bag. I keep the case separate from the machine in case I can ever find a solution to the smell. I'm not likely to ever sell this wonderful roadside find.

Lorraine
Oh, that is my dream find! I keep watching the side of the road at what is sitting out on trash day. But I did find a wonderful one at a garage sale for $10, and it & the case had no odor. The people selling was a couple in their 30's moving & selling all of their inherited stuff that meant nothing to them.

Offline annenet

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2010, 03:48:04 PM »
That is a dream! Add $200 to that for the one I got and I thought I got a pretty good deal :o

The smell is disapating a bit. Not gone yet. Not really that awful though. I really don't want to go the replacement way. I want this one to be good.
Too many ideas, not enough time.

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Offline babydoll

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2010, 07:00:20 PM »
there is a featherweight group on yahoo groups that has many different ideas for getting the smell out of cases - just search 'cases smell' to look at previous discussions.

ruth

Offline justgail

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2010, 11:36:04 PM »
Another possibility (after trying all other options) is if you can't get the smell out, seal it in.  Although if it's from oil, I'm not sure what you'd need to use that would not make more of a mess.

Has anyone mentioned ozone(?).  I *think* that's what is sometimes used for de-odorizing items that have smoke-smell from fires?
Gail
U.S. - eastern Iowa
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Offline Jennifer Hill

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 08:41:17 PM »
I've been reading for years about stinky FW cases.  Apparently, the condition only exists in American made cases, particularly ones that have been stored in warm, humid conditions.  The smell comes from molds growing in the glue that attaches the lining to the inside of the box (Kilbowie-made cases used a different glue).  The big problem is, the molds are so well concealed that it is almost impossible to thoroughly kill them, so that they won't start growing again when the temperatures return to their optimal growth range.

Jennifer in Calgary

Offline spinkorama

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 04:11:27 PM »
A little late to this thread but I find this one interesting. The author of "the Featherweight 221 - the Perfect Portable" suggests that the only thing that will work is a bounce dryer sheet left in the case to mask the smell. I'm going to try rock salt - carefully wrapped in a muslin bag - to see if that will work. I've also got a volcanic deodorizer (http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=10175&cat=2,42194,40727,10175) and am going to try that. If my theory works I'll let you know.

When I opened my case for the first time I recognized that smell immediately. It doesn't smell like mildew - it smells like my Mother's old console singer machine from my youth. I had a friend give it a sniff without telling her my theory and she said the same thing. Since I am getting on in body, but still have a 25 year old mind, I have a feeling a lot of people who have purchased the Featherweight are too young to remember when everyone had those big, black heavy sewing machines that had to be greased and oiled. They had a distinct odour but I'm not sure if it's the oil or the grease. I've picked up some good hints from the Featherweight book and I'm going to give my machine a good clean before trying it. I was lucky enough to have a family friend tell me she was cleaning out her basement and was going to get rid of the machine. It hadn't been used for years. I laid claim to it so fast I'm not sure she has realized it's gone from her basement yet.  ;D

Offline annenet

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 04:46:01 PM »
I tried the Murphy Oil soap then locking a couple of bars of safeguard in it for a while. Actually not too bad at this point. I think it's something I can live with. Next I'm taking it to a luggage repair store to get the new handle put on. It's on d rings so I can't really do that myself.
Too many ideas, not enough time.

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Offline Sew-Classic

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 09:39:30 AM »
The organic glue that holds together the case and coverings is often thought to be the source of the FW case stink.   A good cleaning, drying, and airing out coupled with Zorbx (available at Lowes) seems to to the trick for me.  You will need to periodically re-spray the Zorbx in the case.  Always let it dry before putting the machine back inside.
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Offline annenet

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Re: Singer Featherweight case
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 01:28:17 PM »
Thanks Jenny! Lowe's is pretty close to me so I'll try it!
Too many ideas, not enough time.

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