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Old 09-04-2016, 16:07   #1
jwr
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Sewing Machine

looking to buy a sewing machine for canvas work... any suggestions
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Old 09-04-2016, 16:21   #2
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Re: sewing machine

I love my Sailrite LS-1 basic walking foot machine. This model is straight stitch only. They make an LSZ that also does zigzag but I have never missed that feature and have had it for close to 20 years and it's reliable as day and night.
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Old 09-04-2016, 16:29   #3
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Re: sewing machine

It depends on what type of canvas work you're going to do - ie how thick is the canvas, how many layers are you going to sew, any other material like Strataglass?

For double layer Sunbrella (hatch covers or cushions) I used a sturdy old metal Singer for a while. Worked great.

For Biminis, dinghy chaps, or 2-4 layer canvas projects my Sailrite works just fine.

For Dodgers or multi-layered heavy upholstery, I used an industrial Pfaff.

But most importantly, a machine that is not worn out, has been regularly and recently oiled and serviced, has fresh belts, and a supply of sharp needles. And the thread and bobbin tension is adjusted properly.
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Old 09-04-2016, 16:49   #4
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Re: sewing machine

My Sailrite has no problems with 6 layers of Sunbrella and a layer of 40thou O'Sea, however, if you are planning to do this as a business, I would pay a visit to your local canvas shop and see what they use. A big industrial machine is a whole different animal.
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Old 09-04-2016, 16:52   #5
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Re: sewing machine

jwr:

Please petition the mods to consolidate your three threads all on the same subject. I answered another one of them.


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Old 11-04-2016, 11:55   #6
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Re: Sewing Machine

Go on ebay or some other used website and find yourself a sturdy 50 year old machine with METAL gears. I use my wife's old machine all the time and it works great.
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Old 11-04-2016, 16:07   #7
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Re: Sewing Machine

What I suggested before was Googling on re-conditioned industrial grade sewing machines. There are a number of sources here in Oz, and probably more in the US.

If what you're thinking of is professional use, as in making dodgers and biminis for others, you may find that even with the good old metal built machines have developed enough wear to have tension adjustment problems that they didn't have when new, and while they would do fine for one dodger and bimini, will not for very many.

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Old 11-04-2016, 17:10   #8
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Re: Sewing Machine

I'll throw a vote in for the Sailrite ultrafeed and clones. I have a Reliable Barracuda that is I believe is a Canadian clone of the sailrite machine. It definitely can do most of the jobs required on the average boat. I'm almost done with my dodger and the machine has handled multiple layers of sunbrella and 40g strataglass with no noticeable problems. I have upgraded the machine with the Monster II wheel which probably does help with the power and control.
Buying a barely used clone saved me about $500. I got mine for $300 locally off of craigslist.

I would also put a plug in for the Janome HD1000 which is $300 new. I have one that I used for my interior and cockpit cushions. It definitely was good for that. I wasn't 100% sure if it would have handled the 40g vinyl so I picked up the sailrite clone. I suppose I should get it out and try some of the scrap pieces of the 40g vinyl to see how it does.
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Old 11-04-2016, 17:41   #9
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Re: Sewing Machine

I'll agree with Yeti regarding the Reliable Barracuda. Great machine, specially with the "monster wheel" for lower gearing and more "flywheel" torque.

It's not however, a "Sailrite" clone. I believe that these machines both originate from the same factory. The Sailrites are "modified" before sale. Parts that are prone to getting loose are welded up and some parts are substituted eg. the flywheel. The Sailrite base is routered MDF, whereas the Barracuda has a flimsier plastic part. Most parts and accessories are interchangeable between the Barracuda and the Sailrite LSZ. All in all, neither is a true industrial machine and the price difference makes the Barracuda great value.
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Old 11-04-2016, 17:52   #10
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Re: Sewing Machine

+1 Sailrite Ultrafeed.
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Old 11-04-2016, 18:59   #11
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Re: Sewing Machine

Have sailrite. I have made a complete boat cover, shade cloth, dingy chaps, cushions with no problems other than routine care for which they have excellent instructions.
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Old 11-04-2016, 23:52   #12
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Re: Sewing Machine

Where exactly are the Sailrite LSZ-1 and the Reliable Barracuda manufactured in?
Surely not in any of the western developed countries?
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:06   #13
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Re: Sewing Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
Where exactly are the Sailrite LSZ-1 and the Reliable Barracuda manufactured in?
Surely not in any of the western developed countries?
Taiwan, I believe.

I'm told that they are made to an old Singer patent, given to them post WW11 in order to initiate a manufacturing industry. Third world technology works fine on a cruising yacht! They are sold under many other brand names as well as the two mentioned.
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:23   #14
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Re: Sewing Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
They are sold under many other brand names as well as the two mentioned.
Thank you tuskie. I would really like a Sailrite or a Reliable but it would be very expensive to get one shipped here and I hope to find a more affordable solution, especially being in Asia that shouldn't be a problem if know where to look.

I have read that the Sailrite is the most seasoned one of the ones for yacht use, especially with their supreme customer service and support. But, if I could be fairly confident that the parts are interchangeable then why not consider getting a "clone" and upgrading it with Sailrite parts/accessories? Would that make any sense? I reckon a clone could be had for a mere few hundred dollars. LSZ-1 in the US 1000+ USD?

Do you remember any of the names of those other brand names please?
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:10   #15
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Re: Sewing Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwr View Post
looking to buy a sewing machine for canvas work... any suggestions
Firstly, to be blunt (& in line with my handle): Have you tried the search function at all on this topic?
There's a Lot of information on these forums on sewing/sewing machines. Including a full sub-forum on sewing, & sewing projects (the link to which is contained in my below attached link).

Secondly, it would help if you could better specify what use to which you aim to put the machine to. Particularly given that you're a Marine Service Provider.
As if you intend to use it professionally, then you need a different type, & grade of machine, than one for lighter use.

And the starting 3 different threads on this topic speaks to not knowing what you want your machine for, or what functions & capabilities that it needs to have.
So that for us to be of assistance, you need to delineate those kinds of things for us (& especially, yourself).

Plus, since it sounds as if you're on the steep portion of the sewing learning curve, then as with anything, you'll likely go though a few machines as you better learn to sew, & what you want to sew. So that your tool(s) best match the task(s) at hand/most common tasks which you take on.
--> Just as no one learns to sail on a VOR boat. But rather, comes up through the ranks, & many, many different boats, & a multiplicity of learned skills/skill sets, along the way; before getting to that level of sailing.

Also, it would make sense to reach out through your professional contacts to ask about this as well. Have you gotten much feedback via such? And if so, do you have a synopsis of this? More for yourself than us, but sharing it would help us direct you towards a machine.
Plus, being in the "industry", if you parley such correctly, it could garner you a substantial discount on a machine; new, or used. In addition to affording you a lot more contacts (first & second hand), than are available to the average person.

For example, once you roughly define what you're looking for in a machine, & you put out feelers for such in the marine community via word of mouth. And then, odds are you'll be able to get a much better deal on a machine, than say, the average boat owner.
And not just an average machine, but a semi-pro, or fully professional grade one. Assuming that you want something with more; horsepower, capabilities, & reliability, than just a home version.

Finally, here are some thoughts on machines. But as I said, there's plenty more on here, but for the looking.
Sewing Machines
There are some Key points in there, for anyone looking for a machine.

And, yeah, now I'll go find the coffee pot, plus put on a something of a veneer of social graces. Maybe


PS: You may take note of the title of the linked thread... if you're so inclined.
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