Forum Index » Make Your Own Gear » first industrial machine purchase; your thoughts?


Display Avatars Sort By:
David Schreiber
(dschreiber41) - F - M
first industrial machine purchase; your thoughts? on 03/22/2011 15:02:19 MDT Print View

juki lu 563Just purchased a used Juki LU 563 from a local upholstery supply highly recommended to me good friend who does upholstery (no, there were no kick backs). Completely tuned up. Head, table, 110 motor, all included. 90 day warranty. Plus the standard table light installed.

All that, with something like twenty needles, two cones of their recommended thread, four extra bobbins, two hours of time with the technician using the machine (who is willing to do house calls, for a pretty penny I'm sure) for $850. Not to mention the benefit of having a company close by to form that relationship with... They are sales men in the end, but they know repeat business keeps them afloat, which makes for a pleasant experience.

As the manual states it is "a single needle, unison feed, lock stich industrial sewing machine with a reverse feed mechanism, producing speed of up to 3,00 s.p. (depending on material). Equipped with a horizontal axis rotary hook which is drive by a timing belt. Lifting range of the presser foot is (19/32)"

Anyways, here are the questions I should have asked you all before I made the purchase:

1) Anyone have any experience with this machine; have any tips?

2) People knowledgeable on the subject, how does the deal I got look?

3) It's clear it can handle the heavy stuff, and I have a smaller machine with zig zag capabilities, but how will this machine handle thinner, slippery fabric e.g. silnylon. I've yet to run any through, but I've heard the pull is powerful enough to occasionally leave impressions in the fabric.

I'll be using it for my backpacks, sleeping bags, and potentially tarps. I'm sure there are plenty of specs I'm leaving out, so let me know. Any wisdom you can impart will be greatly appreciated. Love this site!

Thanks.

Chris Peichel
(momo)

Locale: Eureka
industrial machine on 03/22/2011 18:15:11 MDT Print View

Looks great, sounds like you got a decent deal. Does it have a clutch motor or servo motor?

You will most likely be limited to a 70d and heavier fabric, you will have to try it out though.

Have fun, it's nice sewing on a big machine/ big table

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Worth it? on 03/22/2011 18:32:07 MDT Print View

Depends on whether you have the skills to profit from an industrial machine.
Honestly, I don't, so an old metal Kenmore does all that I need, and Sears takes it back every 5-10 years for refurbishing at little cost.
But if you take the time to develop those skills, you will surely benefit in terms of saving time and gaining quality.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
first industrial machine purchase; your thoughts? on 03/22/2011 18:45:12 MDT Print View

Why not go to Ray Jardine's site and ask him? He is pretty much the Elder God of MYOG along with others. Personally I've bought a lot of woodworking equipment. I'll buy the heavy duty machine when I'm going to need it again and again. But I've never bought the machine that would cause me to use it every single day to justify the cost.

John Canfield
(jcanfield) - F

Locale: Cascadia
walking foot on 03/22/2011 19:52:17 MDT Print View

Anyways, here are the questions I should have asked you all before I made the purchase:

1) Anyone have any experience with this machine; have any tips?

I have used this machine. Depending on the motor it will last you the rest of your life with little maintenance. Put a dot of machine oil on the hook in addition to the other oil points. It helps.

2) People knowledgeable on the subject, how does the deal I got look?

Deal seems good, a good walking foot can be hard to come by.

3) It's clear it can handle the heavy stuff, and I have a smaller machine with zig zag capabilities, but how will this machine handle thinner, slippery fabric e.g. silnylon.

Use this machine only for heavy applications or ribboning (get a folder, it is REALLY helpful for ribboning). It works poorly on everthing light (in my experience).

Use your home machine for the lightweight seams and other applications- otherwise it is like bringing a cannon to a gunfight.

JC

Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: walking foot on 03/22/2011 22:27:25 MDT Print View

"Use your home machine for the lightweight seams and other applications- otherwise it is like bringing a cannon to a gunfight."

I agree with the rest of what John said too. Did you explain to the shop what you wanted to use it for? The price sounds good. It's really up to your local market though. In some places you'd pay half, in others 50% more for the same machine.

I have a newer but very similar design compound-feed Juki as yours. I got it for a side business of making custom tactical gear with heavy 1000-denier fabrics and webbing. A compound-feed machine is great for upholstery and leather work, but not at all suited for sil-nylon and the like. The large feed dog slot will likely eat up lighter fabrics. I haven't seen the type 135X17 needles smaller than a size 12/80 anyway.

This machine will be great for backpacks made of packcloth or heavier fabrics. XPAC is a joy to work with on a walking foot machine. You can find plenty of plain tape binders like John mentioned for $20 or so on eBay and elsewhere. They take some fiddling and practice but are worth it if you bind a lot.

If you've got the extra time then try your hand at some upholstery projects! Ladies love custom accent pillows and they're easy to make(a good way to pay down/recoup the machine!)

David Schreiber
(dschreiber41) - F - M
Thanks everyone on 03/23/2011 09:31:15 MDT Print View

@Jared

Fortunately we had the same idea! We've already lined up a few upholstery side jobs that will come close to recouping the cost of the machine (my relationship with the upholstery shop that recommended the supplier has helped with this).

I should have mentioned the fact that we had upholstery jobs in mind when purchasing the machine. Add that to friends and a family of sewers/upholsterers/cutters/'transitional' ultralighters around me, the machine will be getting plenty of use with the heavier materials. Again, (I keep using the word transitional) transitional backpacks are what I'm intending on moving forward with. The requests I'm getting are not for sub 1 lb. packs, but packs that aid in the difficult to manage balance between going lighter/farther/faster and remaining comfortable.

I did sit down with the technician and run through many combinations. Obviously it had no problem with multiple layers of foam, xpac, and webbing all at once, whatever you could shove under there. Oh man, nothing like a good power tool. The thinnest material we tested was the ripstop nylon from JoannFabrics I had been trying to just get rid of. With minor adjustment, and minor tension on the material, the machine was not tooo over powering, but not ideal in any respect. Understandably, this fabric is no silnylon, but I had to ask. . . So I'll stay away from the thin stuff with this baby.

@John Nausieda I will certainly get an opinion over on Ray Jardine's site. Good idea.
"But I've never bought the machine that would cause me to use it every single day to justify the cost."
Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, and you're experience is your own, but I'd say that's a bit of an exaggeration. Personally owning two welders and a grizzly cabinet saw each well over the 1K range, by no means did it take everyday use to recoup those costs, not even close.

What type of woodworking do you do? Just curious. I was a scenic carpenter/welder for years, and now do mount-work for museums, galleries, primarily the Smithsonian galleries in DC, seismic isolators, the whole she-bang. If you're at all interested, here is some of my most recent work (a current exhibit with my work): http://tinyurl.com/buddhistcaves . They will be touring the country, stopping in San Diego, so they had to be built earthquake proof. Haha...right; the mount-making industry does its best, but mother nature knows no bounds. (Pretty proud of the work in case you couldn't tell haha).

Anyways, All of that has surprisingly made the transition into sewing easier. This is a concept that I have tried to explain to many people with a befuddled look on their face. So much of the two disciplines (welding/sewing) consists of more preparation time than working time (80/20 usually I find). All of the work is performed at a very defined fine point of the machines. Depending on the materials you are joining/the materials you are using to join those materials (thread/filler metals), the machines have to be adjusted, often finely. But on a most basic level, both machines put raw material together in a way that finds the balance between structural integrity and aesthetics.

Maybe that should have been a new thread...

I will say that treating myself to this sewing machine has put some pressure on me to make the best of it.

This place also keeps multiple densities and thicknesses of closed cell foam/every webbing you could imagine in stock.


So what have I learned:

1) This machine, with proper care will last.

2) Stay away from silnylon, stick with the heavier stuff

3) I can handle the price I've paid

4) No question, pickup a proper tape binder

5) Ladies love upholstery projects

5) Personal note: Stay on topic!


Thank you all for your input. I'll be sure to post photos of what I produce.

David Schreiber
(dschreiber41) - F - M
sil nylon on 03/25/2011 19:17:33 MDT Print View

Handling sil nylon fine. WOOO!

Pic above is a pic I found online, not actual setup.

Edited by dschreiber41 on 03/25/2011 19:18:47 MDT.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
first industrial machine purchase; your thoughts on 03/25/2011 19:37:08 MDT Print View

Woodworking. My friend George bought an entire sawmill and so it became the game. I used his shop while it still existed to build Walnut cabinets from the rough lumber on down.6 months of shop time. I have extensive Landscaping experience and have noticed how the tractor operator, the track-hoe operator , the Spider-hoe operator are pretty much 24-7 . In your case you are already way up there so no big deal. But local pitfalls can still snag. i was doing a project last year bonding copper sheet to 50's slab doors with very tricky 3m adhesives and a bag veneering set-up. A month after I was out the door the shop got shut down because the landlord got behind hence a big mess. Jardine is interesting. The Quiet Life . But in many ways he lit the candle. I'm going to look at your stuff!

Edited by Meander on 03/25/2011 19:39:40 MDT.

dan mchale
(wildlife) - MLife

Locale: Cascadia
good deal on 03/25/2011 19:54:13 MDT Print View

David, that's a great deal, especially considering a new one is more than 3 times that. You should be able to make a living with that machine. I have had quite a few of the 563s over the years and still have several.

For sewing lighter fabrics you can easily convert the foot setup and create a needle feed machine out of it. What you do is remove the front foot and get a needle feed foot for the rear. When the front foot does not come down, the rear foot does not lift, so the feed-dog just pushes on the remaining needle-feed rear foot. Ask your technician about it. It's very simple to do and the foot is about $40.00. It might sew sil even better but we have lighter machines for that stuff.

Edited by wildlife on 03/25/2011 19:54:59 MDT.

Paul Gibson
(pgibson) - F

Locale: SW Idaho
Re: sil nylon on 03/25/2011 23:14:31 MDT Print View

We use a Juki 8200 for all our sil tarps, stuff sacks and a dozen of our other products. As does several other cottage guys I know. Takes some adjusting to dial it in but Sil and other 30D fabrics are easy enough to run though it. We have also hammered though 1/4" strait grain leather just to see if we could. They are great machines that will run any fabric you put under the foot. Enjoy