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Old 22-09-2008, 10:12   #16
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DON'T BUY A SAILRITE CLONE! There are several companies that sell the "same machine" as the Sailrite machine. It IS the same base machine, but it does NOT have the upgrades that Sailrite pours into them. We have friends across the pier with one of these - and when he used ours, he couldn't believe the difference.

When you buy a used machine, it has no warranty, and it may be missing parts. We found used machines were selling for just a couple of hundred less than new, and Sailrite will match the price found on fleabay... Then, you get their GREAT support.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:56   #17
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Trouble with Sailrite, and fabric content...

I built a jib with Sailrite, and rented their ultrafeed machine to do so. The rental machine was well-used, of course, and while I absolutely loved the power and portability I cussed and swore for the whole project trying to get the upper foot tension to match the bottom foot. I much preferred the Pfaff our club had available, and it was as portable even though they had it in lovely commercial sewing table.

As for fabrics with natural content which survive the rigors of life afloat... for clothing, linens and wools and blends featuring either do just fine. Silks do okay resisting the organics, but don't survive my handwashing techniques. I wish I knew what the plaid cabin cushion covers were made of - they're 24 years old and where well-used they need replacement, but the rarely-used cushions are still tight and crisp looking. Looks and feels like fake wool, melts (ahem).
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:30   #18
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We found a Singer Slant-O-Matic for about $150 and it is more than capable of doing nearly all out canvas work. It's an all-metal machine with all-metal gears and is really rugged. It's only drawback is that the throat isn't that big, so it isn't great for huge awnings or sails. However, it's compact size and light weight are a big plus. No walking foot, but we've never felt the need for one anyway. These things were made in the 50's and 60's and when you hear the saying "They don't make 'em like that anymore...", this is what they're talking about! There's always a few good ones available on ebay or Craigslist.
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Old 12-10-2008, 13:34   #19
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Accessories

I've decided on the machine but now I need to know what accessories I need. I haven't sewed since Home-Ec but I'm excited about having something new to learn on the boat this year. The buying is always is exciting it's the doing that is frustrating. What accessories do I need? The machine comes with a walking foot, thread stand, array of needles. extra bobbins, sewing felts and standard spool pins. I'm just planning on doing light canvas repair and slipcovers for the salon cushions for now. Do need both right and left zipper feet, what else?
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Old 12-10-2008, 14:19   #20
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So what machine did you buy?
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Old 12-10-2008, 14:40   #21
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I went with the Tuffsew. Since I don't know what I'm doing I figure I don't know what I'm missing. If nothing else it will make a great anchor. I'll keep you posted on how it works out.
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Old 12-10-2008, 15:39   #22
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what else?
We picked up a set of binding tape thingies (e-Bay # 290261140058). These are handy if you're doing windows etc. with bindings. Easily retrofitted to most machines. Acts like a third & fourth hand.
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Old 13-10-2008, 09:16   #23
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That's what's so great about Sailrite... 1) you get most everything you need and 2) they will tell what else you will need as a newbie - because you WILL break needles, etc.

I'm afraid that you just spent $200 needlessly. They may LOOK like a Sailrite, but they aren't. Even close.
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Old 13-10-2008, 09:35   #24
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If price is an issue Sailrite will work with you some. I bought a unit that was returned for cosmetic faults. (I can see where they put touch up paint on it). I save a couple hundred dollars and a have functionally perfect machine. Call them and ask if they have any returns for sale.
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Old 13-10-2008, 16:55   #25
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Mamma just got off the phone with Sailrite a little while ago. She was working on our staysail, which is 10 oz cloth, and the corners are 3X thick, plus 2X Sunbrella, and then the nylon webbing. They walked her through the process, since this was SO insanely thick. She loves those folks.
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Old 04-12-2008, 22:51   #26
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I started with a few different home machines. The Singer Slant o matic as stated worked fairly good. It would use v69 thread, but not the v92.
I then found a used Sailrite Sailmaker. Not sure if Sailrite still sells it. It's a Brother machine with a heavier presser foot spring. It was a fine smooth running machine.
Here are some things I have come to find handy for canvas and upholstery work:
12" throat stapler from office supply store.
Forget pins, staple it together.
Staple remover. Not the claw type.
Seam ripper.
Soap stone for marking. From welding supply store.
Push pins for pinning to table.
Double sided seam tape.
Grommet setting tools. Use "spur" gromets. They use a different setting dies.
Snap setting tools. "Press n Snap is a great time saver.
Hot knife is great on Sunbrella, as it seals the edge.
A circular cutting tool cuts good, but doesn' seal.
4' or 5' aluminum straight edge ruler.
12 or 18" ruller.
1/2" batten, for enlarging a pattern to allow for 1/2" seam allowance.
Punches for 'lift a dot" and "common sence" fasteners.

I upgraded to a real walking foot, actually a compound feed machine (Singer 211w165) Compound feed, is where the needle moves with the feet. This is the machine type that Upholstery shops use.

And if you need any zippers, PM me. I have marine #8 zipper for $1/yd and the pulls for $.50/each. Also have #10 continuous zipper.
Also have snaps, etc.
Good luck with the sewing.
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Old 26-12-2016, 08:38   #27
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Re: Sewing machine

Hi there --- a bit of thread necromancy


Mrs_dergon would like to replace her sewing machine.


She wants to mostly replace her machine for standard domestic use (silks, dresses, hemming etc), but he also wants to be able to sew sun sunbrella covers and perhaps reupholster our cushions.


Her concern is whether by buying a heavy duty machine she will lose the ability to work well with finer lightweight fabrcis.


Can anyone advise?

Thanks!

dergon
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Old 26-12-2016, 09:07   #28
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Re: Sewing machine

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Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
I have not tried them but Sunbrella has many new types of upholstery.
Printed styles, breathable, some with holes in them for more breathability. I would think it would not be as uncomfortable to sit on. Sailrite has lots of info. I took a short class with the son of sail rite cant remember his name but did he have the info. I had no idea how many different types sunbrella had. I would not use cotton or natural fiber. IMOHO
Yep, Sunbrella makes upholstery fabric. Look on their website for details.

Also, if you are thinking of buying a sewing machine for just one project, you may be better off spending the money to have a pro do it. It's not all in the machine, skill and experience comes into play here. You'll be looking at that upholstery for a long time and you won't want to be looking at crooked seams or other beginner defects.
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Old 26-12-2016, 11:26   #29
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Re: Sewing machine

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Originally Posted by dergon View Post
Hi there --- a bit of thread necromancy


Mrs_dergon would like to replace her sewing machine.


She wants to mostly replace her machine for standard domestic use (silks, dresses, hemming etc), but he also wants to be able to sew sun sunbrella covers and perhaps reupholster our cushions.


Her concern is whether by buying a heavy duty machine she will lose the ability to work well with finer lightweight fabrcis.


Can anyone advise?

Thanks!

dergon
I think I can offer some help. My wife is a sewing addict to put it mildly. When we first got together, she had a simple Brothers machine. I had my Pfaff 230 which was built in the mid 1950's. I bought it because it is one of the last machines with an external motor, in case I ever decided to convert it to a DC motor. However, you can run any 110VAC through an inverter but they never seem to run as smooth.
My wife "borrowed" it for a few jobs and soon became her "go to" machine. We bought a Pfaff 260 (internal motor) so I could have my machine back. The 230 does zig-zab and has a lot of embroidery cams...no...I don't use those...thank you. I have sewen 5 layers of Sunbrella with it. It's a work horse without going to a full out commercial machine. I bought it for $50 (craigslist), had it serviced for $75 and rarely use it anymore.
My wife now has well over a dozen machines, including Singer feather-weights (plural) and a computerized Viking full on embroidery machine.
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Old 26-12-2016, 11:28   #30
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Re: Sewing machine

Dergon,

A good quality (!) home machine will handle Sunbrella and upholstery fabric just fine.
The proper needle size and type is also important.
If you're willing to invest in the best for your wife, seriously consider a Bernina, (not a Bernette).

Steve ( Sewing Machine Greenbank, WA - S & J Sewing Machine Services )
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