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Smelly Singer Featherweight Cases

221 222 222K Featherweight Featherweight 221 Featherweight 222 Featherweight 222K Singer Singer 221 Singer 222 Singer 222K

Smelly Singer Featherweight carrying cases. Some do and some don't. Many have that "old " smell which is common to many vintage items and is acceptable but a lot of cases have developed an absolutely knock your head back putrid smell.

Below are some suggestions to try in order to get rid of that horrible smell. How many methods and which ones you try is dependent on your level of frustration. To be honest, in most cases it is more reliable and easier just to buy a replacement case. (Disclosure: We do sell original Singer Featherweight cases which do not smell.)

After having purchased and sold almost a thousand Singer Featherweights over the last twelve plus years I have come across a large number of Featherweight cases with varying degrees of the notorious Featherweight case smell. All have been 221 Featherweight cases.

The 222K Featherweight is a relative 'Johnny Come Lately' compared to 221 Featherweights and their carrying cases do not seem to get the 'plague'. Probably by the time 222K machines started to be produced in 1953 the organic glue, which is the problem, was switched to a different type of glue.

Suggestion 1: Try to cover up the smell with shaved scented soap in a muslin bag. This will give you a sickening combination of smelly soap and smelly case.

Suggestion 2: If it is summer and you have a hot spot on a deck put the open case in the sun for several days. The first day or so the deck may not be usable due to the smell but after a few days it becomes more tolerable. Instead of using the deck you will get to go to the beach. This is the first method I ever tried and for some cases it either removed the smell or greatly reduced it. The heat will kill off whatever is feeding on the organic glue. UV rays from the sun might also be involved.

Suggestion 3: After having to give up the deck just when you want to use it you might want to try my third suggestion. About ten years ago I got a piece of plywood that would fit into the bottom of the case, attached a light socket with electrical cord, screwed in a 200 watt incandescent light bulb and placed it in the bottom of the case with the lid closed. In the garage, I plugged in the cord, left the whole thing for several hours and worried the whole time about burning down the garage. The garage never burned down and it nearly always worked. Occasionally I had to repeat the above a couple of times.

Quite a few years ago Dave McCallum ask for and was given permission to include the above method in his book "The Featherweight 221 and I".



Suggestion 4: This by far the best method but has side effects, one of which is a potential family dispute. Empty the trays from your oven. Place the open case into the oven making sure that the case handle is not hanging down and touching the element. Close the oven door and set the temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the timer for an hour. Turn the vent fan onto high and open as many doors and windows as possible. The smell in the house will be stronger than the smell in the case and will stick around for a few days. Your family may not be too understanding about an obnoxious smell lingering around for a few days.

Do not heat the case at a higher temperature or for more than an hour or you will run the risk of damaging the case covering.


Suggestion 5: Save yourself a lot of grief and purchase an original Featherweight case that does not have that putrid smell from a reliable seller (the cases we sell do not have "the smell") or you could buy a new replacement case from Glenn Williams in Florida. No matter who you buy a used case from, ask if the case smells or not or you might finish up with two smelly cases.

The bottom line is that if the smell is very bad it may never go away. There is a good reason why getting rid of the smell in a Featherweight carrying case is a topic that is discussed at length in blogs and chat lines all across the internet.

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