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Old 07-05-2010, 15:28   #1
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Best Sewing Machine

what is your swing machine ? and can you saw tarpolin and dacron fabric?
and used it in the boat, by hand or electric?
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Old 07-05-2010, 15:54   #2
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Sailrite
Yes and yes - not sure what you mean by tarpaulin but I've done sail repair and sunbrella awnings, etc.
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Old 07-05-2010, 16:08   #3
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As an experienced Machinist, any walking foot industrial machine will do the job.
I had a singer walking foot that went through leather 6-8mm thick.
When I was in Morocco Xmas 09 there I saw men sewing heavy shop awnings on a Singer treadle machine.
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Old 07-05-2010, 16:21   #4
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I have a Singer "Commercial Grade". It does fine with multiple layers of Sunbrella.
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Old 07-05-2010, 16:59   #5
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pinklady54 is right on when it comes to industrial quality machines.
I used to have a Pfaff that I believe could have sewed 2x4s.
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Old 07-05-2010, 18:43   #6
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I repair sewing machines for a living, and am a Certified Bernina Technician.
Several brands of machines will work for your needs, but my personal machine which I use for the same things you want is a Pfaff 1471. It has needle up/down, is mostly mechanical and well built. It ought to survive living on a boat. My only wish is that it was more powerful to sew all the way into the corners of a big sail. It's as powerful as most home machines.

If you find a Viking with switchable gears (Circa late1970's vintage) in good shape it would be a good choice as well. The problem is most of them are getting arthritic because lack of maintenance.
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Old 07-05-2010, 18:59   #7
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Sailrite. Ours is the LSZ1. It can be run by hand crank or 110 volt, and has the walking foot. It can run through 10 layers of blue jean and 8 layers of sail cloth or sunbrella.

Great machine.

Ken
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Old 07-05-2010, 21:41   #8
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Had a sailrite sailmaker, kicked myself for getting rid of it.. we own 7 different machines within our canvas shop.. my favorite is a JUKI with a walking foot..
The biggest problem is the power to drive the neddle into the fabric.. many machines lack in this..
The new model sailrite LSZ1 has a gear reduction to able the machine to opperate slower and deliver more power.. BUT it also has an ossolating hook and if the hook takes a miss from the neddle bending and it scars the plate, it starts skipping stitches, and the plate needs to be changed, you often need to carry an extra plate for a spare.. I've owned a couple of them..
The early singer, pfaff, and such from the 50s or 60s are strong but lack a walking foot and the ability to do a zig-zag stitch.. many dont have reverse to lock the stitch.
We've been looking at the Singer 20U73 for the zig-zag but it lacks a walking foot and the under-bar area is small.. a real worry for large sails..
Zig-zag is something you can do without but not recomended.. it takes 3 to 4 passes with a streight stitch machine to give you the same holding of a zig-zag..
And when making multipull passes, you work harden the fabric.. try it some time.. run 3 to 4 passes across a couple pieces of sunbrella, about 1/8 of an inch apart, and you'll see the fabric becomes stiff..
We're leaving again soon, this time for areas unknown..
What we've decided to do is to use a stock Singer "Quilter" to do the zig-zag work and our second machine aboard will be a JUKI DU1181N , modified with a sailrite MC-SCR, DC motor.. kind of a hi-bread....
And the wife,
She wont go anywhere without her Singer 221 featherweight......
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:11   #9
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I have been using an Sailrite LSZ1 as well - wonderful machine! (Only used it w/ electric motor; don't know how well it does by hand crank)

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Old 08-05-2010, 09:27   #10
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Singer

I use a 40 year old electric Singer that my mom used to make us clothes. It will sew through 4 layers of sunbrella and more with manual help. I've sewed dodgers, sails, sail covers, biminis, winter boat cover etc.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:51   #11
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One of the most bulletproof old Singers was the 400 series (401, 403). Metal gears.

I wouldn't give you a dime for 500 and up series. Cheap plastic gears that go south just from age, and cheap stamped steel linkages which can rust and bend.
Newer ones than that have a belt drive and even cheaper guts. Still newer, the whole chassis is PLASTIC, not aluminum.

Don't even THINK about buying a Singer Touch & Tangle, er, Touch & Toss, er, Touch & Swear, er, Touch & Sew.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:03   #12
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I sew with an adler 67 class industrial walking foot. Servo motor 400watt w/electronic speed control. Runs easily off 700 watt inverter. Punches through just about anything up to 9/16" thick. Have expandable table built into setee, dedicated and not portable. Most sail repairs are luff and leach tape repairs and taping rings onto foot, head and or clew. Straight stitch works fine for these. Might get an appropriate zig zag if sailmaking Is in future.
Steve
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:46   #13
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If you don't have a ton of experience sumbrella sewing, I'd go with the Sailrite zigzag model. Their support has been just plain excellent. It would be hard to put a price on how much help they have been to us.
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Old 15-05-2010, 14:43   #14
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thank to all for all your reply
i take note and see what i can find in Australia
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Old 15-05-2010, 14:59   #15
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Sailrite LSZ-1 because that is what we have and I use :-)

I don't know if they are as common outside North American waters. We'll bring spare parts when we cast off but foreign support is still something to consider.

My only complaint about the machine is that the motor/crank can slip on the shaft in really heavy going even if you tighten it as much as possible. The walking foot is superb.

I don't like the Sailrite spam.

More than you wanted to know ?



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