Sewing machine advice
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Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Sewing machine advice on 11/28/2010 21:42:15 MST Print View

Thinking about getting a machine, here's one below, that I'm considering?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Singer-Sewing-Co-4411-CL-Singer-Heavy-Duty-4411-/130443652414?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e5f0c2d3e

Would this machine have the balls to sew through 2-3 layers of mid-weight nylon strap webbing and sew sil-nylon as well. Seems like a good deal for a heavy duty machine, which includes free shipping. Although it seems like they have a lot of these machines for sale, and are new? which troubles me somewhat. I don't want to purchase a lemon or a machine that is not considered easy to use, and trouble free? I want something that I can still get parts for as well, plus accessories, like a different foot I'd need for Sil-nylon?

Edited by mfog1 on 11/28/2010 21:47:18 MST.

Alexander Laws
(lexeverything) - F

Locale: Joshua Tree
rage against the machine on 11/28/2010 22:53:21 MST Print View

I am not familiar with the machine, but if you are worried about it being new/refurbished etc... I do believe that Jo-Ann Fabric store carries that model, and that they often sell it for about that price. If you have a Jo-Ann near you, you can go chat the ladies up... as they will know a bit about it and what it is able and not able to do.

It is my understanding that the 'Heavy Duty' labeled Singer machines of today are not nearly what they used to be... especially at that price point. I could be wrong... but that's what I have heard.

Excellent old and used machines can be found in the local saver, or in thrift stores. They often work very well for simple gear construction.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
True commercial machines = $$$$ on 11/28/2010 23:51:42 MST Print View

Finding out with a little research that this singer isn't so great after all, but true commercial machines are big bucks too. I don't plan to make a lot of gear, other than making a few gear mods and such, although, if I get good enough, I wouldn't mind making my own pack. Mainly stuff sacks,sewing nylon webbing,etc..............

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: True commercial machines = $$$$ on 11/29/2010 00:37:37 MST Print View

Ordinary sewing machines cost much less than $100.

If you plan on ordinary use, that might be the choice.

--B.G.--

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sewing machine advice on 11/29/2010 02:36:18 MST Print View

Well, it is called 'Heavy Duty', and the specs do include sewing leather and heavy fabrics. I doubt it is as rugged as an old black Singer, but not very much is anyhow.

Yes, it should sew 2 or 3 layers of typical webbing, but you will have to use a #100 needle and heavy thread, and do it SLOWLY.

Yes, it should sew silnylon quite OK, but there are many tricks to doing that well which you can find by searching the Forum.

Cheers

Kevin Ridge
(Dblcorona)

Locale: Southeast MI
Trying out machines on 11/29/2010 10:45:39 MST Print View

since your in SE MI, you could test drive a few at Sandy's Sew Machine and Vac Center(one in Livonia and Dearborn Heights). That's what I did. Took straps and sil to try. Ended up with a Baby Lock that is a rebadged Janome Sewist 500. They where realy cool about letting me try the machines.

Edited by Dblcorona on 11/29/2010 10:46:18 MST.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Cost? on 11/29/2010 11:34:27 MST Print View

Is your machine new or used? Thanks for the helpful info.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Sewing machine advice on 11/29/2010 11:58:30 MST Print View

I paid $75 for a 1953 Pfaff 160, that will sew 6 layers of Sunbrella.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Get an older one that has metal guts. on 11/29/2010 12:17:18 MST Print View

Plastic gears will break when sewing heavy stuff.

The 50's German and American Machines.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Get an older one that has metal guts. on 11/29/2010 13:58:06 MST Print View

So its a safe bet that the Janome Sewist 500, probably has plastic gears.

Something like this perhaps?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pfaff-130-Sewing-Machine-Loaded-Extras-X-Nice-/160511614413?pt=BI_Sewing_Machines&hash=item255f3cddcd

Thanks to all for your help, all I really need this machine for is making stuff sacks, pouches, and maybe play with sewing nylon webbing, and if I get good enough, or have the patience, maybe a backpack?
My first small project is to sew some 1" wide Velcro onto 1" wide nylon webbing.

Edited by mfog1 on 11/29/2010 14:11:07 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Get an older one that has metal guts. on 11/29/2010 14:17:31 MST Print View

> Plastic gears will break when sewing heavy stuff.
> The 50's German and American Machines.

And remember that David has more than his fair share of experience here.

Cheers

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Get an older one that has metal guts. on 11/29/2010 14:26:50 MST Print View

quote: "And remember that David has more than his fair share of experience here."

Cheers


Yes, thanks I'm aware of this, as I've bought a few Oware tarps=good stuff!

Edited by mfog1 on 11/29/2010 14:27:52 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Sewing machine advice on 11/29/2010 14:35:42 MST Print View

I lied, I have a Pfaff 130. The sewing machine repair guru I got if from said the 130s were used commecially with larger motors. I know I sewed a lot of sailboat canvas with mine, and it worked very, very well.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Phaff 130 on 11/29/2010 14:41:42 MST Print View

I haven't looked at any of the local sewing repair shops, so no telling what I'll find?

I like this below too, although probably overkill? Seems like it would be much easier to work with a good table and all?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Juki-Model-DDL-227-Industrial-Sewing-Machine-Table-/180593258221?pt=BI_Sewing_Machines&hash=item2a0c326eed

Or this:

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=sears+industrial+sewing+machine&_sacat=0&_odkw=industrial+sewing+machine&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

Edited by mfog1 on 11/29/2010 14:58:52 MST.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
table and knee lift on 11/29/2010 17:36:06 MST Print View

A table and knee lift make things easier. You can use both
hands more of the time. Eliminates the need for pinning
things together.

I had a Pfaff 130 and it was great.
They do zig zag which is nice for stretchy stuff.
I used to sew my climbing harnesses and runners with one.
Tested them on hydraulic jacks and trees with pickups and
logging chains. Stronger than a knot and they don't come
untied.

They still use the 130 on
sail boats with a hand crank to do sail repair.
They also put them in a industrial table with a big motor
and use them overseas for production sewing.

I paid $225 with table for one back in 1983, so if you can get one for less than that, I would.

If you have room, a full-
on industrial machine is very nice. Stay away from compound
feed machines tho if you are using sil nylon. Tends to bunch
them up and lighter threads are hard to use.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
sewing on 11/29/2010 21:30:44 MST Print View

Michael,
If you are not going to buy a good machine, then take the one you have to a pro and find out if it can do what you want it to do. No sewing shops around? There are good seamsters all over the place, just takes a little digging.

If you decide to get a good one, beware the word, "industrial." A lot of the cheap imports use the term to move the merchandise. Have an old Kenmore which does just about everything. Plus Sears outlets will send them to their repair centers for maintenance at a fairly reasonable cost.

Kevin Ridge
(Dblcorona)

Locale: Southeast MI
Cost on 11/30/2010 15:31:29 MST Print View

Hey Micheal,
Sorry, I paid 299 for the baby lock. The place I mentioned before also handles used machines. Let them know what your looking for and they will try to find it.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Good idea on 11/30/2010 20:30:30 MST Print View

Thanks Kevin and everyone else too. Probably makes more sense to look around locally first, as there are a more than a few sew/vac shops in my area for sure.