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Old 26-08-2011, 14:24   #1
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Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

Yeah, I've done a few searches

Use:-

To repair my Winter Cover (Heavy Taurpaulin) and maybe get it fitted a bit better in places.

I have a very good sprayhood / dodger (on a s/s frame). and also two good (rear) cockpit covers......the problem is that they are clearly from a former sprayhood - so neither joins up (nor come close) to the current sprayhood, but all of them too good to throw away........the answer is quite simple by adding a 3rd panel in the middle (I will revisit that word simple in later months ).

A couple of dodgers each side might be nice.

Some semi fitted throwovers for the saloon would be a painless make over (not looking to actually get into making berth cushions themselves).

.....and maybe even some curtains........


None of the above really desperate, just on my "nice to do" list..........



Thereafter, maybe some "just in time" sail repairs - but no making sails, nor anything commercial


Requirements:-

Most of the work would be done ashore (in the warm and with space) - but would be useful (no power on my mooring) if I could use it afloat for adjustments / 5 minute repairs (whether that be by hand power / battery power - or bring her alongside a power point in the harbour).

Capable of being kept onboard (so size is important )

Available s/h in the UK (E-Bay).

Specs:-

I like the look of the older Singer models.........but not totally wedded to them. Anyway, this is what I have come up with as what I need:-
  • A floating Foot
  • Knee or foot operated
  • Consumables still readily available
  • Electric (and Manual?)
  • Zig Zag Stitch.
Not a big Spec Anything I have missed? I am always torn between simplicity (KISS) and flashing lights and bells............but on this I feel KISS is the way forward for me........and a few actual model names / numbers would be useful.........budget is always a consideration, especially for things like this that won't have much long term use (just very handy when it is needed).


FWIW as a kid I did have a couple of goes on an electric sewing machine - but never really understood WTF was going.........and nor did my "teacher" ......mostly seemed about constantly untangling thread and going blind re-threading needles......
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Old 26-08-2011, 14:39   #2
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

I don't have any model numbers, but a 1960 or earlier Singer is pretty rugged. I've got one (labeled Sears, the store chain that sold it) and found it suitable for canvas (Sunbrella) projects and sail repairs. If needle sizes are designated the same where you are, I've found that #16 ball point needles work well for Sunbrella, while #18 canvas needles are better for sailcloth. I've succeeded in installing a 2nd reef on the main for a 32 footer sewing webbing to patches (the webbing holding a SS ring). I've also succeeded in sewing my finger to the sail, but was able to back up from that.
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Old 26-08-2011, 14:54   #3
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_hendry View Post
I've also succeeded in sewing my finger to the sail, but was able to back up from that.
It's stuff like that which is important to know I will swap you a tip about not picking yer nose when using Epoxy Resin. Twice
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:27   #4
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

so will an old kenmore sew the tabs back onto a jibsail?
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:47   #5
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

I have found that most domestic sewing machines will sow the grade of acrylic canvas used in canopies and the like, especially using waxed thread etc. Gets a little tricky on turns and foldbacks and when you add clear vinyl , but I have done it. The main bugbear is the small throat on the machines, so big area projects are a PITA.

Dave
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Old 26-08-2011, 21:16   #6
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

Singer model 500 or below. Metal gears.
301 and 401 are high water mark.
All models after that are garbage imho.

Pfaff makes generally good machines, although I don't understand the cultish following of the 130 at all. It's just a sewing machine imho.
Get one with the drop down walking foot. I used to have a 1471 and loved it.

Metal bodied Sears and Rubbish Kenmores are good.

Bernina anything if you can find them, but almost the only way to get one is if somebody dies. Particularly good for your use would be the 801, 830 or 930.

Several old Japanese models will do as well. Look for metal gears, not plastic.

Most decent quality machines in good condition will sew what you are asking.

Don't expect ANY new $100 machine to do what you want to do.
Better to buy a $25 clunker from the above list and have a local tech to a tuneup to it.

I'm a Certified Bernina Technician and don't sell machines.
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Old 26-08-2011, 21:45   #7
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

Hi David, came across this one which says Heavy Duty etc and the testimonials sound pretty good. Brother - Singer - Janome - Pfaff & more - Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches.

Might be worth a look.
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Old 27-08-2011, 09:34   #8
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

senormechanico do you have an opinion on a Necchi 521?Its metal and made in Taiwan I think.Its going cheap because it has no power cord but I think I could rig one.
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Old 27-08-2011, 09:40   #9
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

There are lots of Sailrite LSZs on Ebay in the States, that's what you want, with a monster wheel for using it without power. Price is the problem, but consider what you will save doing your own.
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Old 27-08-2011, 11:35   #10
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

Hi,

I have used a couple of home type machines for canvas works and they do not seem to differ much. I mean they are all pretty crap.

What you want is a machine that will:
- chop thru as many layers of canvas as possible (the bigger engine helps),
- be easy to fix, tune, and buy parts for,
- have as many metal, not plastic, parts (on the mechanical side) as possible.

Look for something with both zig-zag and straight stitch. Triple-step is a nice to have optional extra.

The longer the arm, the better.

From what is available today, some cheap Pfaff models seem to work fine. From second hands, a Bernina can be a good buy.

I found 'manual' machines next to useless for sail/canvas works.

I would put a 150 USD cap on the buy (new).

b.
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Old 27-08-2011, 17:23   #11
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Re: Sewing Machine Specs (Basic) - Am I On the Right Track ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonam View Post
senormechanico do you have an opinion on a Necchi 521?Its metal and made in Taiwan I think.Its going cheap because it has no power cord but I think I could rig one.
Not intimately familiar with model numbers, but I'll bet it's quite similar to the Brother just posted.

Go for it.
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