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NCbird 03-18-2010 09:12 AM

advice on Singer 211
First let me introduce myself. My name is Grant and I live on the N.C. coast. I have built several cars including a chopped A, chopped 35 ford sedan delivery and have a chopped 35 ford roadster project in storage. I am in the process of putting a 60 bird convertible that was my dads back together. I have always wanted to learn to do my own interior work and have the time now to learn. I have read as much as I can on here with the search function and the singer 211 comes up as a good machine. I love the tip on the plaid material to practice on. I have found a used 211u166A at a clearance company. It is one of several machines used by a high end furniture company that has closed its doors. The clearance house says it is not a walking foot machine but all my "research" says it has presser feet. Are presser feet different then a walking foot or could the presser feet have been optional and this machine doesnt have them? I can pick the machine up for 300 dollars and this includes the table. I did check and the machine does have reverse.
Your advice and counsel is appreciated. thank you Grant

Coodeville 03-18-2010 10:04 AM

I believe a walking foot would have a "w" instead of a "u"

DanTwoLakes 03-18-2010 11:17 AM

That machine is a compound feed machine, which in this case means it employs a combination of needle feed and drop feed. Needle feed means the needle pulls the material forward, and drop feed means it employs feed dogs to push the fabric forward. The machine has alternating presser feet, as does a walking foot machine, but not a walking foot, which means the foot lifts on the backward stroke. In other words, with the alternating presser feet one foot is holding the fabric down and the other foot is lifting off the fabric, and they alternate that way as the fabric goes through the machine. The walking foot feature helps push the fabric through the machine better, which is very important in sewing auto upholstery, specifically fabric with sew foam under it. The fact that it has compound feed and alternating presser feet is good, but if I were you, I would pass on this one and get a 111W (or one of it's clones) or 211W instead. The machine would be fine to do furniture upholstery.

Also, the price scares me. This machine should sell for a lot more than that. Is it just the machine head, or does that price include a table and motor? A table and motor will cost you $350 to $500 more.

NCbird 03-18-2010 01:00 PM

Dan, the price includes the table. It is a clearing house that takes a companies assets and disposes of them. They have six of these machines and all have been on a maintenance contract. I have been given the name of the local company that did the work. At that price I am ahead to get it and learn on it and if a 211w head comes along to swap them out. I have followed your advice on this board and value it. Thank you for responding.
here is a link to a picture of the machine

DanTwoLakes 03-18-2010 07:29 PM

I just looked at the picture. That would be a steal at that price. You really can't go wrong. Good luck with it.

NCbird 03-19-2010 07:08 AM

thanks for the insight
Thank you. You have explained the feed on the machine better and in a more concise way then anyone else. I now understand why when I was trying to research the machine I got confused. Many forums equated presser feet and dogs to a walking foot which I now understand it is not. I have been unable to find a machine locally I can afford and the ones for sale on the net with a table cost as much to ship as the machine cost. You have provided me in a succinct way a plan forward and I appreciate that. I applaud your ability to assist others and have read a lot of your posts as a primer. This board is a great resource because of people like yourself and the others who contribute. Grant

DanTwoLakes 03-19-2010 07:11 AM

I'm glad I could help. You are very kind, thank you.

NCbird 03-22-2010 07:43 AM

proud owner
Dan I picked up the machine saturday. All in all the machine and table look great

It is a stepper motor machine and that also looks very good. With out a manual for the stepper I am not sure of the settings. Can you explain?

They gave me a bunch of extras including extra feet and several packs of needles so I can practice. Following I think it was your advice I got some remnants to practice on..couldnt find plaid but I did get some with stripes to practice straight line sewing on. I have found the service manual online which gives me the adjustments and oiling points so now just have to find a guide. thanks for all the assistance . Grant

DanTwoLakes 03-22-2010 10:09 AM

Is it a stepper motor or a servo motor, there is a difference?

A stepper motor could be used for a home machine that has different type stitching capabilities, but I am not familiar with any stepper motors that are used on industrial sewing machines.

NCbird 03-22-2010 10:35 AM

The technician I talked to said it was a stepper motor machine not a clutch motor if it had the sensor on the hand wheel connecting to the motor control. I guess in reality trying to answer your question is it looks like a servo motor and what I am looking at is the control panel for the motor control. There are two switchs along with the speed control and I was trying to figure out their function. This is like trying to play battleship when you dont have a manual. thanks for your patience. Grant

DanTwoLakes 03-22-2010 11:38 AM

There's not a lot of difference between steppers and servos, they both are constant torque variable speed devices, but generally servos are a little smoother. A stepper would need the feedback to make it a closed loop system.

If I were you, because it was used for upholstery work, I wouldn't try to adjust anything and just use it like it is.

Coodeville 03-22-2010 12:02 PM

Once you've used an industrial machine, you'll never go back.

lamx 03-23-2010 05:45 AM

"I believe a walking foot would have a "w" instead of a "u""

The "u" signifies that the Singer machine was made in Japan, a "w" would show that it was made in USA and a "g" would denote a machine manufactured in Germany. The only way to tell if a machine has walking foot (without actually seeing it) is to have the complete model number and check the instruction manual or some other reference for that specific model.


NCbird 03-23-2010 06:43 AM

practice practice practice
I appreciate all the help now I just have to practice. I have tried a few passes and it is quiet and the speed is fine for me. I have decided the switchs on the control box are one: to set the needle height and depth which should not need to be adj unless there is some problem and second: whether you want a soft start or regular. I am leaving them where they are with a nod to Don on his sage advice. Now I am trying to learn about needle designations and thread...gotta love it. Grant

DanTwoLakes 03-23-2010 07:38 AM

All you have to remember about needles is that your needle system is 135X17, and there are a number of different size needles available from about size 18 to size 24. The smaller the number the smaller the diameter of the needle shaft.

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