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Old 02-12-2013, 05:23 AM
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clamp on walking feet any good?

Question for you upholstery experts out there. I was wondering if those clamp on walking feet for standard machines are any good at all?

I have a not so regular machine, an old Singer shuttle bobbin foot treadle machine that I went all the way through a few years ago, It will handle multiple layers of leather and other heavy fabric without any major problems, but it does have issues bunching, like any non walking foot machine will if you get too thick.
So before I drop thirty +bucks on one of these contraptions, it would be nice to know if they are worth fooling with. We are going to have a lot of interior trim to fabricate on our latest project and my son really wants to take a shot at making as many pieces as possible

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:41 AM
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"Walking foot" is a generic term for alternating presser feet. The feet for this type of machine are in two parts, and ride on two separate shafts. When the outside part of the foot is down, the inside part of the foot is up, and vice versa, hence the name alternating presser feet. An industrial machine with a "walking foot" has three vertical shafts, two for the foot and one that holds the needle like in the picture. These machines almost always have compound feed, which means more than one type of feeding system. In this case, it refers to drop feed, which employs feed dogs, and needle feed which should be self explanatory.

The machine needs to have the three vertical shafts or it is not a walking foot machine. That being said, there is no attachment of any kind that will change a non walking foot machine into a walking foot machine, so don't waste your money.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:42 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to post the picture. The rear shaft holds the outside part of the foot, the middle shaft holds the inside part of the foot, and the front shaft which also rocks front to back (to help feed the fabric you're sewing) as well as going up and down, holds the needle.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:23 PM
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Hey Dan,

This is what he is talking about. Have you ever looked at one? Just curious. If it works it might be better than a regular machine for small jobs?
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by crownver View Post
Hey Dan,

This is what he is talking about. Have you ever looked at one? Just curious. If it works it might be better than a regular machine for small jobs?
Exactly what I was thinking I'm familiar with real walking foot machines, an old friend of mine had a room full of the things at one time and I got to play around with them, impressive machines., but im not going to invest that kind of cash for an individual project.
We've done some seriously heavy stuff on the old foot run Singer, but it ends up taking 2-3 people to wrangle the material and play tug of war with it to keep it all in position or the feed dogs will just try to take the bottom layer or two and run with them, doesn't matter how much you back the spring pressure out ., but as long as the material stays lined up, that critter will go through just about anything.

Then again, the little add on jobs might only be stout enough to ride over quilt tops and explode in your face if you sent them off to ride over 4 layers of leather .... but considering I'm using a machine thats about a hundred years old, I dont think singer makes anything quite that crappy
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:22 PM
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Well if it works at all, it's got to be better than nothing. I'm in the same situation. Would like to do a few things, but not worth spending the money for a industrial machine. We did some vinyl for a boat and found that spraying it with silicone helped a lot. I don't sew but my wife does. Unfortunately she doesn't enjoy it much, so it's hard to get her to do it. Maybe it's time I learned!
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:27 PM
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I don't care what they call it, or what it is supposed to do, there is no attachment or bolt on, clamp on, glue on, weld on, tape on anything that will make a non walking foot machine into a walking foot machine. You asked if you would be wasting your money buying the attachment, and the answer is an emphatic yes.

When I was younger, I had a series of Volkswagens. The first thing I did was put headers on all of them. That reduced the back pressure from the stock muffler and gave them a little more zip. What didn't happen was the Volkswagen engine performing like a Porsche engine.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crownver View Post
Hey Dan,

This is what he is talking about. Have you ever looked at one? Just curious. If it works it might be better than a regular machine for small jobs?
If all you're doing is small jobs then you don't need anything at all. I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy a walking foot machine, I'm telling you there is no attachment that will make your home machine into one. No matter what they call it, it can't be a walking foot machine.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
If all you're doing is small jobs then you don't need anything at all. I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy a walking foot machine, I'm telling you there is no attachment that will make your home machine into one. No matter what they call it, it can't be a walking foot machine.
I know its not going to turn it into a walking foot machine. I have no illusions. Heck, my old model 27 was the bees knees for upholstery shops and redoing old buggy seats.... 130 years ago It would just be nice to have a way to release some of the tension on the pressor foot while the dogs are pulling back, otherwise you really have to manhandle the heavy material to keep it lined up, and if it gets out of whack, things get bad fast. That thing is a beast and it likes to grab on and pull hard, so I wont call it a walking foot attachment, Ill call it a little gadget to release the foot tension ( which looks like essentially what they are even though they call them a walking foot attachment )

I may try pulling the machine apart and see if I can find a lighter spring to stuff in there, or maybe rig a 2 stage spring, that would probably accomplish the same thing. As old as that things is, whos to say its got the right spring in it right now?
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