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im ready for a big boy sewing machine
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William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
im ready for a big boy sewing machine on 10/17/2011 12:00:24 MDT Print View

hey guys my old singer finally died on me im ready for a big boy one!! i sew about 20 hours a week and it will soon be more. i mainly build packs but also do quilts, tarps, clothing, and just about any other gear. i will have a 1 car garage all for my sewing stuff and material inventory. so space isnt a huge issue. i know a walking foot would be nice but in all honesty i never studied up on sewing machines. i am a fine seamster but dont know all the techie terms for sewing machines.

Scott Littlefield
(sclittlefield) - F

Locale: Northern Woods of Maine
sewing machine on 10/17/2011 13:01:13 MDT Print View

I think you might find a walking foot to be more use with quite heavy fabrics - sail makers and boat top cover makers tend to like them a lot. For light fabrics a walking foot might not be that much help, maybe even a hindrance. Hopefully others will chime in on that aspect.

I would recommend a machine with a separate base/motor system. The Tacsew T20U I have is great, it's the same as the Singer 20U - that's a pretty standard "big boy" sewing machine and worth looking at. Many companies make a comparable machine. That's just one fair direction to go - but whichever you choose, I recommend looking for a used one and just take it to a local repair shop if required to tune it up. You'll save big that way - a new "big boy" sewing machine can be very very expensive!

Chris Peichel

Locale: Eureka
sewing machine help on 10/17/2011 17:07:09 MDT Print View

If you are looking at industrial machines I would highly recommend getting a servo motor vs a clutch motor. Way more control, and most servo motors have a speed dial on the motor so you can bump up the max speed the machine will sew as you get used to it.

Sounds like one machine may not do everything you want it to. Heavier fabric plus webbing, a walking foot is awesome. Lighter weight fabrics, something along the lines of a singer 20u class machine.

Feel free to pm me.

Scott Littlefield
(sclittlefield) - F

Locale: Northern Woods of Maine
servo on 10/18/2011 09:17:04 MDT Print View

The ones I mentioned above have clutch systems - and I agree with Chris. I would prefer the servo style as well. I'm happy enough with what I have, but if I had to do it over...

I also run a Singer 301 as my table-top machine. That's pretty nice, but it doesn't have the ability to move the needle left or right of center (like most zig-zag table top machines do). I miss that, it made zipper installation extremely easy - I didn't need to use zipper feet ever that way.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
portable commercial sewing machine on 10/18/2011 09:23:16 MDT Print View

I have also been looking for a portable commercial walking foot sewing machine that I can use in any room.
From what I can gather most of them have the same chassis like a consew but the differences come in with type of gearing and other things to make it run smoother. The walking foot is great on any fabric thickness because you get a nice even stitch on both side of the fabric 5mm to 8 mm or lower stitch in length.
Their is a binder tool attachment for cross grain ribbon to feed through to fold evenly in half and feed it to the piece of fabric your trying bind with cross grain ribbon or shoulder straps your binding the edges with cross grain ribbon for a more evenly sewn professional look to the packs your selling and make your sewing go faster more efficient . Also you can use thicker more durable needles, thicker thread to make your pack more durable.
From what I understand Sailrite reworks the gearing and upgrades to the motor that make the machine run smoother and more durable in the long run a great portable sewing machine kind of pricey though.

But keep your old machine to do bar tacking on your projects. Because a commercial bar tacking machine is expensive and needs to be bolted to the floor and are really noisy sound like a small jack hammer.
I called Cold cold world to see how my pack was coming along and the owner had to move to another room to talk to me because the bar tacking machine was so noisy.

Edited by socal-nomad on 10/18/2011 09:25:49 MDT.

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
whooo on 10/19/2011 01:49:48 MDT Print View

man that sailrite looks nice time to sell some more gear

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: whooo on 10/19/2011 04:20:14 MDT Print View

Keep in mind that the portable machines are not as powerful as a machine with an external motor. The SailRite machines are also geared low and slow for upholstery work.

Servo motors are very nice, but you can adjust a clutch motor quite a bit and it becomes fairly tolerable. I have a Brother 755 for light work (7D,10D,20D,etc.) and was at one point planning to get a Consew 206rb (or older 225/226) for packs.

Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Sailrite LSZ-1 on 10/19/2011 12:50:04 MDT Print View

I upgraded to a Sailrite LSZ-1 and i love this machine! For building ultralight packs you can't go wrong, it has done everything I have needed it to do. It has more then enough power to sew through just about anything you can fit under the foot. It handles light weight fabrics just fine with a few adjustments. It wont win any races on stitches per min. but it is just as fast as a home machine. Sailrite also has great customer support as well, lots of videos on how to fix anything that might go wrong with it. Might not fit everyones needs, but it has worked great for me.

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
speed on 10/19/2011 20:02:49 MDT Print View

i would like a faster machine to up production speed so a servo motor is faster?

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
Thompson Model PW400 on 10/19/2011 20:06:33 MDT Print View any input on this machine?

Josh Panelle
(JPanelle11) - F
Not trying to high-jack on 12/01/2011 23:35:18 MST Print View

Ok so I am just starting off and I want to start making my own gear. What would be the ideal machine? Not looking to spend an arm and a leg! Thanks everyone,


warren mcclintock
(the_gr8t_waldo) - F
cheap entry level machine on 12/02/2011 11:32:47 MST Print View

the singer 15-91( gear driven, reverse, and heavy) is pretty cheap, as these things go. i spent 20$ to purchase one mounted in a cabinet( i settled for this, even though i started out looking for a portable unit)and spent another 20 to replace wiring. on craigs list i see that if a person looked around they could find one with some attachments for about 50-60. if you limit your search to portables. the ones that are mounted in a storage box, the price usually climbs by 40 or more. the cabinet style does have the advantage of extra work surface,and some stowage. there are other machines to be had,and i'm sure others will chime in-good luck on your projects

Edited by the_gr8t_waldo on 12/02/2011 11:36:42 MST.