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Old 24-01-2013, 08:44   #16
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by WMarineCanvas View Post
- Don't go crazy ordering super-expensive scissors from a "marine sewing supply" shop if you aren't going to make this a career (and maybe even if you are). I have great-quality (and expensive) KAI scissors in my shop but I also have several $5 pairs of teflon coated scissors from Home Depot that I use for 90% of the cutting that I do. The KAI's get reserved for specific material cutting needs and if I wasn't doing this as a business I would not have them.
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Thanks for sharing your expertise. One of the great strengths of this forum is that professionals are prepared to share their tips.
However, I am surprised you did not mention a "hot knife" I tried one recently and it was so easy. It also seems to seal the ends.
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Old 24-01-2013, 08:55   #17
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i have some of the 'rubberized" sunbrella for mast boots--loving it and want more for rain cover for summers here in pair a dice...
The "rubberized Sunbrella" is Seamark by Haartz. They take the Glen Raven Sunbrella product and add the textured marine vinyl backing to make the water-resistant fabric truly water-proof (and a lot tougher).
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Old 24-01-2013, 08:57   #18
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by WMarineCanvas View Post
Tenara has improved in its usability but the SolarFix PTFE that I mentioned is actually easier to use than Bonded Polyester.

If you must go with polyester thread then choose V-138 (not V-92) if the project will be under any tension.
I didn't have much luck with the Tendra thread. The SolarFix thread sounds intriguing. Can you let us know a source for it?

Now as for sewing machines, granted there are many heavy duty models that are well suited and some (say with a longer throat) are actually superior for boat canvas work, but I would not recommend a newbie buying one unless they knew exactly what they were getting into.

Yes, the Sailrite machine is expensive and some would even say overpriced. But.... and this is a big but..... when it comes time to service the machine or fix a broken part, you know where to go with the Sailrite and you know a part will be available.

Phaff, Juki, Consew and several other light industrial machines are great and well suited for a shop, loft or basement, but impractical on a boat. And saving a few hundred buying a used machine may very well prove to be a false economy.
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Old 24-01-2013, 09:00   #19
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Thanks for sharing your expertise. One of the great strengths of this forum is that professionals are prepared to share their tips.
However, I am surprised you did not mention a "hot knife" I tried one recently and it was so easy. It also seems to seal the ends.

A Hot-Knife is a great tool to have as well, of course but most of the projects when done correctly don't leave a whole lot of fraying edges to be hot-knifed. For example, when I make a new bimini or sailcover there are no edges that require a hot-knife because they are all finished edges.

If you are in the market for a hot-knife this one makes a great addition to the tool-kit and costs a bit less than the standard one found in a lot of lofts.
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Old 24-01-2013, 09:08   #20
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Thanks for sharing your expertise. One of the great strengths of this forum is that professionals are prepared to share their tips.
However, I am surprised you did not mention a "hot knife" I tried one recently and it was so easy. It also seems to seal the ends.
Absolutely! I could not live without the Engel hotknife. I also do a lot of splicing and it serves well neatly cutting and sealing the ends of rope.

Another of my favorite - if somewhat expensive - tools is the "Press-N-Snap" snap setter.

Pres-N-Snap Installation Tool

The $100+ price was long forgotten when making our dodger. Snaps were set without having to remove the dodger, laying it on a flat surface and whacking each snap with the rinky dink setter.
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Old 24-01-2013, 09:11   #21
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by rover88 View Post
I didn't have much luck with the Tendra thread. The SolarFix thread sounds intriguing. Can you let us know a source for it?

Now as for sewing machines, granted there are many heavy duty models that are well suited and some (say with a longer throat) are actually superior for boat canvas work, but I would not recommend a newbie buying one unless they knew exactly what they were getting into.

Yes, the Sailrite machine is expensive and some would even say overpriced. But.... and this is a big but..... when it comes time to service the machine or fix a broken part, you know where to go with the Sailrite and you know a part will be available.

Phaff, Juki, Consew and several other light industrial machines are great and well suited for a shop, loft or basement, but impractical on a boat. And saving a few hundred buying a used machine may very well prove to be a false economy.

I'm sure that Quality Thread and Notions Co. would be glad to sell some SolarFix PTFE or direct you to a retailer that could. If you are seriously interested in getting some and you can't find a source then I would be happy to sell you some and ship it to you.

About the Sailrite: I started out using a Sailrite while I was a live-aboard crew on a boat, for this the Sailrite was great. Also, as you have mentioned Sailrite is great about customer service especially when one is in need of this service in a far-away port.

That being said if you are going to use the machine in your garage, basement, shop, etc. and it does not need to be portable then have a serious look at some older Pfaff, Singer, and Juki (my personal favorite - LU-563) models. These models are great for this sort of work and there are plenty of shops around either online (Like Keystone and Sloan Machine) or in your own town that carry parts and can service them if you need it.

The Sailrite's greatest value is in its portability.
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Old 24-01-2013, 09:12   #22
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by WMarineCanvas View Post
A Hot-Knife is a great tool to have as well, of course but most of the projects when done correctly don't leave a whole lot of fraying edges to be hot-knifed. For example, when I make a new bimini or sailcover there are no edges that require a hot-knife because they are all finished edges.
.
Thanks for the comments and the links.
I (well my wife) used the hot knife to cut the sunbrella plus. It seemed much easier to cut the fabric with this than with scissors. Nice straight edges. Like "a hot knife through butter" as they say.
From your post I get the impression you more often use the hot knife to seal the edges after cutting, but maybe I misinterpreted.
It was the ease of cutting that impressed me. The sealing was simply a bonus and I agree, there should not be and edges left.
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Old 24-01-2013, 09:16   #23
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Thanks for the comments and the links.
I (well my wife) used the hot knife to cut the sunbrella plus. It seemed much easier to cut the fabric with this than with scissors. Nice straight edges. Like "a hot knife through butter" as they say.
From your post I get the impression you more often use the hot knife to seal the edges after cutting, but maybe I misinterpreted.
It was the ease of cutting that impressed me. The sealing was simply a bonus and I agree, there should not be and edges left.
You are correct, I use the hot-knife after I cut when using it for Sunbrella and other fabrics. The only time I use the hot-knife to make the cut is for things like line and webbing.
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Old 24-01-2013, 09:56   #24
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Re: Sunbrella Help

Hi everyone, this is great source of information and I appreciate everyone's input. It's a nice rainy day, so I can spend time looking at the referenced sites. I want to start with a few simple things working my way to our tattered bimini. I had some zippers replaced last year and I was shocked by the cost. With all the canvas on our boat, I have to figure this out!
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Old 25-01-2013, 06:18   #25
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Re: Sunbrella Help

The Pfaff 130 has a longer throat and weighs less than the Sailrite. I bought it specifically with an eye to portability, selling my Sailrite LSZ shortly after. AFAIC, the Pfaff is just a much better machine.

Parts for older machines have not been a problem, largely because so many are still in service. In fact, there is a fella "Zeusmachines" (google the name) who does modified Pfaff 130 in particular. I have a heavyweight wheel from his shop. Another good resource for machine parts is Henderson Sewing Co.

130 with what looks like a Zeusmachines wheel
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Old 25-01-2013, 06:22   #26
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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You are correct, I use the hot-knife after I cut when using it for Sunbrella and other fabrics.
Why, if I may ask, do you not just use the hotknife to make your cuts?
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Old 25-01-2013, 06:38   #27
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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The Pfaff 130 has a longer throat and weighs less than the Sailrite. I bought it specifically with an eye to portability, selling my Sailrite LSZ shortly after. AFAIC, the Pfaff is just a much better machine.

Parts for older machines have not been a problem, largely because so many are still in service. In fact, there is a fella "Zeusmachines" (google the name) who does modified Pfaff 130 in particular. I have a heavyweight wheel from his shop. Another good resource for machine parts is Henderson Sewing Co.

130 with what looks like a Zeusmachines wheel

Yep, the Pfaff 130 is a great machine, definitely better than a sailrite all-around if it's in a portable case like that one shown is.
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Old 25-01-2013, 06:44   #28
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Re: Sunbrella Help

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Why, if I may ask, do you not just use the hotknife to make your cuts?
Of course you may ask! I don't use the hot-knife for cuts because of a few reasons:

- It messes up my shop tables, I work on vinyl-covered plywood tables.

- It's not accurate enough, even if the blades are changed out regularly the cut is too large and adds just one more way to accumulate error in the process of taking a pattern through to a finished product.

- It tends to be messier than scissors

- It takes longer for me to cut something with the hot-knife than it does to cut the same thing with scissors.

- And finally, most edges don't need it when they are finished.

Just my personal preference of course, if it works for someone else then that's great!
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Old 25-01-2013, 06:56   #29
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Re: Sunbrella Help

Zeehag,

When you used the 'rubberized' sunbrella for the mast boot...just how did you attach it? hose clamps or maybe large plastic wire ties....any caulking used between the sunbrella and the mast? caulking between the overlapping seam? ...how much overlap? Thanks
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Old 25-01-2013, 07:02   #30
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Re: Sunbrella Help

as my masts are wood, the canvas place where i bought the material made the stitching(essentially hemmed on 4 sides)--and i placed around my masts with 2 hose clamps--huge ones--and lots of goo---wires must be goo'd so no water comes in around them. lotsa goo...i used sillycone, marine..lol...but anything goooo-y will be good. not 5200.
overlapping seam, also--lotsa goo...

i also changed out my wedges, as the old ones were failing--compressed and smaller than when installed originally. no one had done this to this boat since 1976, when she was completed and first sold....
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