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Old 11-06-2010, 06:00 PM
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Beginner Sewing Machine Recommendation

I am looking for a sewing machine to do the interior of a project car. I am a beginner, and will only be doing a few projects for myself - not starting an upholstery shop.
Through some books and searching here, it appears a machine with dual or compound feed is required. The ability to sew in reverse is desired, and the maximum space under the foot is a limiting factor for sewing multiple layers with foam. Some brands suggested are Nakamichi (Juki), Pfaff, and Singer. There are also apparently many clones of the Singer 111W made by many manufacturers - Consew, Tacsew, Sailrite, etc. In some posts the Pfaff is not recommended based on its non-commonality with the Singer clones and therefore higher parts cost. Unfortunately, there are too many brands and models for someone without in depth knowledge to intelligently choose from.

So what would be a specific recommendation (brand and model) of a machine suitable to do an interior by a beginner, and where is a good place to look for one? I would rather not spend $1000+ on a full fledged industrial machine if possible, and have some time to look for a deal on a good machine (I am still fixing rust ) Thanks!

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:32 PM
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There is no one exact brand and model machine that would be the perfect choice. Look for a used industrial machine, that's where you will find the bargains. The Singer 111W and its clones are what you are looking for. Juki, Pfaff, Consew, Artisan, Brother. All of these machines are patterned after the original Singer 111W, and there are many more.

The Sailrite machine is not a true industrial machine in my opinion, although it would probably work O.K. for one or two jobs depending on what you are sewing together. Read this thread: CLICK HERE
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:36 AM
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Juki 563, Pfaff 545 or 1245, Consew 206, 226R or 255 RB-3, and Singer 111W or 211W. The Singer 111W was the original industrial compound feed walking foot sewing machine, and all of the others are basically clones of it. There are lots more brand names like Seiko, Brother, Artisan, Mitsubishi and Toyota who all make the same basic machine. A lot of these machines use the same exact feet. Look for a good used machine, it's really hard to wear one out that has been reasonably well maintained.

Compound feed means that the fabric is fed through the machine in more than one way. These machines are a combination of needle feed and drop feed, which means they use feed dogs also. The needle feed pulls the fabric forward, and the drop feed pushes the fabric forward. Walking foot is a term used to describe alternating presser feet, which is part of the drop feed system.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Juki 563, Pfaff 545 or 1245, Consew 206, 226R or 255 RB-3, and Singer 111W or 211W. The Singer 111W was the original industrial compound feed walking foot sewing machine, and all of the others are basically clones of it. There are lots more brand names like Seiko, Brother, Artisan, Mitsubishi and Toyota who all make the same basic machine. A lot of these machines use the same exact feet. Look for a good used machine, it's really hard to wear one out that has been reasonably well maintained.

Compound feed means that the fabric is fed through the machine in more than one way. These machines are a combination of needle feed and drop feed, which means they use feed dogs also. The needle feed pulls the fabric forward, and the drop feed pushes the fabric forward. Walking foot is a term used to describe alternating presser feet, which is part of the drop feed system.
What is a reasonable price to pay for one of these machines?
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:35 PM
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It depends on where you buy it, and what condition it's in. If you buy a used one from a sewing machine shop, it will have been put in perfect working order and will cost more than if you buy one from a private party. You could pay up to $1000 for one from a dealer, and the Pfaff machines could cost even more. Expect to pay half of that from a private party. If you can find one of them for $500, it would be a good price.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
It depends on where you buy it, and what condition it's in. If you buy a used one from a sewing machine shop, it will have been put in perfect working order and will cost more than if you buy one from a private party. You could pay up to $1000 for one from a dealer, and the Pfaff machines could cost even more. Expect to pay half of that from a private party. If you can find one of them for $500, it would be a good price.
Dan, is this a good machine at a decent price? Thanks OF.

http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/for/2125155854.html
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:42 PM
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This is a clone of the Consew 206, which means it has a horizontal hook and bobbin that loads from the left of the needle. The Singer 111W clones have a vertical hook and bobbin that loads from the right of the needle. It was not $1800 new, more like $1200. It is an O.K. machine for a reasonable price. I can't tell if it has reverse or not. While you don't need reverse, it sure makes sewing a lot easier. It also has a clutch motor which is harder for a novice to learn on.
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:26 PM
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If I understand you correctly a servo motor is easier for a beginner to use?
What difference does it make as to where the bobbin loads and the orientation of the hook?

Its not an auction, just a private sale> If he really wants to get rid of it this weekend then I think $400 will buy it.

thanks.
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:38 PM
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Yes, a servo is easier for a novice to use than a clutch motor.

It doesn't make any difference about the hook and bobbin position. I was just trying to tell you the difference between this machine and the 111W clones. The way this one works is you have to remove the bobbin case from underneath to change the bobbin (it's very simple to do) as opposed to the 111W clones where the bobbin case is held in place in the hook assembly and the bobbin just drops in from the top.

If you get it for $400 and put a servo motor on it, you'll have something.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Yes, a servo is easier for a novice to use than a clutch motor.

It doesn't make any difference about the hook and bobbin position. I was just trying to tell you the difference between this machine and the 111W clones. The way this one works is you have to remove the bobbin case from underneath to change the bobbin (it's very simple to do) as opposed to the 111W clones where the bobbin case is held in place in the hook assembly and the bobbin just drops in from the top.

If you get it for $400 and put a servo motor on it, you'll have something.
I contacted the seller and she said yes it does have reverse.
What would be involded in changing to a servo motor? both the mechanics of it and the $$.

More thoughts, does the servo motor give speed control or smoother engagement or?
I could put an electronic speed control on it if that would help a total greenhorn like myself get a handle on things..

Thanks, OF.
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Old 12-26-2010, 12:45 PM
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The motor is held in place by 3 bolts that go down through the top of the machine table. It is a direct replacement with the same footprint as the clutch motor. The only thing you may need to change is the belt, but you can get that at any full service hardware store. You may have to adjust the linkage between the treadle and the motor to get the linkage to line up straight up and down. This is a very simple common sense type of adjustment.

As far as money, I use Reliable 4000 servo motors which cost
$179.00 with free shipping. Here's a link: CLICK HERE

The servo motor gives infinite speed control with constant torque. In other words, the more you push on the foot pedal, the faster the machine goes. It has it's own electronics built in, you don't need anything else.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:57 PM
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I'm an aspiring auto trimmer and have been looking for a good starter machine. I have experience with pfaff, Juki, and consew machines but I'm not having much luck finding one in my area but I found a yamata for a really good price. Anyone know anything about them? Are they any good? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:03 AM
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Yamato makes industrial sewing machines, but their specialty is overlock, chain stitch, and coverlock machines. I'm not sure they make a single needle lockstitch walking foot machine, which is what you should be looking for.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Yamato makes industrial sewing machines, but their specialty is overlock, chain stitch, and coverlock machines. I'm not sure they make a single needle lockstitch walking foot machine, which is what you should be looking for.
Here's the Craigslist ad for the machine. I just thought for the price they're asking, it's either broken or is a low quality machine. I sent an email asking if it were lockstitch with walking foot.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:19 AM
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That's a Yamata, with an "A" on the end. I thought you were talking about a Yamato, with an "O" on the end.

The one you're looking at is a copy of the Consew 206, and the Tacsew 111. If it's an FY 5318 it has reverse, lockstitch, and a walking foot. They sell new for about $600 on E-Bay. I have no idea of the quality of the machine. It will work fine for most auto upholstery work.
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