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mmiller 07-16-2010 03:38 PM

new (to me) sewing machine
My dad past away and my mom gave me his sewing machine. He was a leather worker and always talked about how well this machine worked for him. I know he did a few interiors with it among a long list of other leather items. I learned alot from him but I never asked him to teach me to sew with this machine. So here I am wanting to learn and I have no idea what I have and what I need to do to learn.
The sewing machine is a Nakajima dbu 180l-2. I have alot of leather experience but it is with hand sewing thicker leathers and tooling/carving. Very little with machine sewing. I am having a hard time finding much information about it and can't find a manual or user's guide.
Can anyone help me out? Is it a decent machine? Anywhere I can get information on maintanence or how to use it?

Thanks in advance.

DanTwoLakes 07-17-2010 06:51 AM

Nakajima was bought out by Juki. This machine, if it is like a Nakajima 280L, is a single needle, lockstitch, compound feed, walking foot machine and would work fine for auto upholstery.

When you search the internet, leave the other numbers off and search for Nakajima 180L and you should be able to find an instruction manual.

JeffB 07-17-2010 11:38 AM

Too bad Dan could not start up an apprentice program and pass on His skills ;)

mmiller 07-18-2010 07:45 AM

Thanks for the info. I'm still having a hard time finding information. I have found info for the 280L which looks exactly like my 180L. Any ideas what the differences are?

DanTwoLakes 07-18-2010 08:35 AM

My guess is that they are basically the same with possibly some minor differences. I'm sure the 280L is a newer version of the 180L. A 180 L-2 would be a newer version of the 180L. I think if you find a manual for the 280L it will be of use to you.

mmiller 07-18-2010 07:32 PM

Thank you've been a real help. I've got somewhere to start now.

dsmithcae 08-26-2010 02:26 PM

Nakajima made great planes and Bombers for world war II. During occupation, several american companies got them making sewing machines.
The 180L is a walking foot, small bobbin, bottom loader. Its too old for me personally, I have several 280L models that have same configuration, but a large bobbin and parts are interchangeable with a Consew206RB. Juki Bought them out and produced the same machine as Juki DNU 241-HS. They added a kickout clutch and competed with Consew 206RB-3,4,5. They have since discontinued the 241 and have another MFG making the replacement. Nakajimas are really good, tuff machines. Use a 135/16 #23 needle with a cutting point and it will sew through an old shoe.

mmiller 08-27-2010 08:37 AM

Thanks alot for the info. That's the kind of information I was hoping to come by. As I said earlier in the post I don't know much about this machine and finding information has been difficultJuki . So if I read your response correctly the Juki DNU 241-HS would be a similar machine? I'm concerned about the maintanence. There are oil holes all over and I don't want it to fail because of improper care. Would a manual for a Juki DNU 241-HS be close enough to cover these things?

Again, thanks


DanTwoLakes 08-27-2010 09:33 AM

Mike: Most industrial sewing machines have the oil holes marked with red paint to help you with the oiling process. Put a little sewing machine oil (don't use regular oil, if it gets on fabric it can stain) in each of the holes, and a little next to the bobbin case. Take the end plate on the left side off the machine, and look for places to oil in there also. If you do that, you should be fine.

dsmithcae 08-27-2010 10:28 AM

A juki 241 manual will do just fine , I sew all day every day, and I check, oil my machines about every three days, or Listen to the ole Girl.When she is properly lubricated it has a smooth sound, when she needs oil she will get louder or chatty.If you lean your head back there is a main oil reservior in the bottom. Fill it up to red line on glass. Not all oil ports are marked. Look for journals with oil holes in them. These are different from the red marked main journal / moving parts oil holes.If you sew every day / all day put 2-3 drops in all Red Ports. You can cheat in the head, Pull back the face plate and spray the whole inside with a spray lubricant.
I clean out the machines every two weeks. Lean back the head and use carb cleaner with spray tube to get in tight places to wash out fuzz, thread and dirt. Place paper towels or rags in the pan to catch the dirt, crud, and carb cleaner. the cab cleaner will evaporate quickly and leaves it clean with no residue. Warning!!!, do not spray card cleaner on the site glass or any rubber parts as it could dissolve them.Use a Snorkel bottle of machine oil available in most hardware stores. These have a retractable tube about 6 inches long. You pull out the tube and it allows you to stick it down in the red Ports till you feel it hit some thing, When it touches give it three drops. I would reccommend getting a sewing machine mechanic to check out your head and adjust everything, he can then show you all the fine adjustments, lube points and the minor adjustments that the operator normally does when operating the machine. It would be the best 75-100 dollars you ever spent as it could save your 1500.00 machine. Keep it properly oiled and it will be making seat cover for your grand kids

DanTwoLakes 08-27-2010 12:06 PM

That's all very good advice, especially about spending $75 to $100 to have a pro look at it. You will never spend $100 more wisely than that.

leaver_red_jr 11-02-2010 01:16 AM


Do you know what the proper position of the oil adjustment screw (juki 241hs) for the hook reservoir might be? The manual states that oil flow is increased when the screw is turned in (cw) and flow is reduced when the screw is turned out (ccw). Based on the the design of the screw, this seems counter intuitive to me. The manual does not specify any "factory" setting either.


gsx750r93 11-24-2010 06:41 PM

Clockwise increases lubrication.

Here is the manual..
"NOTE" that in the manual it tells when timing needle & hook turn the wheel towards you until 2.5 mm from lowest point. It needs to be 2.5mm but You must bring the needle all the way down first then go up to 2.5mm to the lowest point.

Probably a good idea to take it in and have it gone over at least once. I didnt and through frustration of constantly breaking threads I finally figured out I needed a new hook.

One problem I am having now is breaking threads instantly and bunching them up like crazy under fabric. on reverse stitch even after re timing. I'm about to go over it again and replace needle, check timing, and thread tension but I don't think that is going to fix it. Other then the reverse breaking threads the thing sews perfect.

JacsPie 06-08-2011 10:29 AM

Nakajima 181L-2
Hi everyone,

I'm looking at a Nakajima 181-2 sewing machine this weekend and I'm having trouble finding any information about it online. I know Juki has taken over the company but does anyone have any more information about this particular machine? I need to find an owners manual but no luck so far. I was told that there was a replacement model DBU180-2 but is now discontinued as well.

Any help would greatly appreciated.

DanTwoLakes 06-08-2011 11:15 AM

You are right, Juki bought Nakajima and started producing the 180 280 series as their number DNU-241. Juki doesn't make the 241 any more. Both of those machines are copies of the Consew 206. If you find a manual for the Consew 206, that should help you. Here's a link for the 206 RB-5 which is a newer model of the 206, but it should still be very similar to the 180. CLICK HERE

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