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Old 27-02-2013, 04:58   #1
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Choices for a Sewing Machine

I'm new to the forum, but already throughly impressed over the last few evenings I have spent on Cruisers researching my questions, but can't seem to find an answer. If this subject has been beat to death, I appologize in advance.

I'm a go fast boater, wanting to make a camper top for my boat, sew some new covers, and sew some webbing and an ocassional blanket in our horse barn. Quotes on a camper top in the $2K to $3K range are not going to happen, so here I go. I know by reading the threads, the Sailrite LS-1 and LSZ are the obvious favorites, but I simply cannot spend $800 for an ocassional use machine and don't require the absolute bomb proof performance the you trans-oceaniac travelers do. So, I've narrowed my choices down to the following and I'd like your input as sewing vetrans, to help me decide which way to jump.

1. A much cheaper, clone of the LS-1 or Z. There are Rex and WSM, Morse, Sewstrong, and others in the $295 to $375 range, new. I've watched all the Sailrite videos and think I know all the reasons to buy a LS, but I can't spend that much. Still, I'm a little leary of these. Talked to John at Westchester Sewing and would buy from him if I go this route. Would like to have a name and business to fall back on for after sale support vs buying blindly in ebay.

2. I'm in love with the older Singer 401a. It's not a walking foot, but it's reputation and rugged construction seems to make it a good choice. There are several on ebay in the $250 to $400 range with loads of accessories. It also seems very versatile, sewing ultra thin materials up to a 1/4" of compressed denim.

Any and all comments are appreciated.

Thank you,
Arlie
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Old 27-02-2013, 10:22   #2
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Re: Choices for a Sewing Machine

A 401 a is a good machine, but you can do much better at a thrift store.
Last one I saw went for $25 in a floor cabinet.
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Old 27-02-2013, 10:28   #3
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Re: Choices for a Sewing Machine

I may have just found a 403A locally on Craigslist and they are asking $100. 403A about the same as a 401A?
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Old 27-02-2013, 12:46   #4
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Re: Choices for a Sewing Machine

I guess my question is a moot point now. I called the guy, he still had it. What a cream puff. Man bought it for his wife new in early 60's, she got sick shortly thereafter and passed away. Not a scratch on it. He estimated, maybe, 8 hours of total running time. I just tried it out (not sewing), runs like a dream. He delivered it to my at my office....... $100
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Old 27-02-2013, 13:27   #5
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Re: Choices for a Sewing Machine

Good buy !
Even though it's only got 8 hours on it, all the lube has probably evaporated by now.

Be sure to use only sewing machine oil.
It's available at any sewing store.

DO NOT USE motor oil, 3 in 1 etc.

The eccentric cam in the top right side needs a light grease. I use teflon based SuperLube for that purpose in my sewing machine service shop.

Steve
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