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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-18-2007 04:08 PM
armysniper Dusty those long seats, straight seams, with easy rounded corners, should be a good project to get going on. You might find yourself sewing and if things go astray, just ask away. I am sure somone here can guide you.

Also you may want to consider reducing some of the insert "drama". Instead of the center of you seats having 8 double stitch lines, do maybe 4. Or just leave em plain. And also piping, if you decide to go back with piping (more difficult) find the color you want to buy it pre-made.
02-18-2007 03:50 PM
horvath Surely you *can* do it yourself, Dusty! I know I'm gonna do my truck and it's gonna be killer! I also know I'm gonna make some mistakes and do some things 2 or 3 times, but that's what learning is all about.

I'm getting ready to re-do my armrests ... the correct size motor-pulley belt I need for my Tacsew will be here tomorrow and I'l start my practicing. I'm gonna recover the armrests in cheapo vinyl; making sure the patterns I made are good, and once the cheapo vinyl fits the way I want it to, and I know my patterns are working right, I'll do them up with elk.

I'll post my results here, as I hope you will, and I'll note all my discoveries and mistakes, too.

PS -- I noticed my balance wheel was feeling a bit tight when the needle was in the down position ... something was creating resistance ... and it was bugging me for a couple of days. I kept turning it back and forth by the tough spot, looking at anything that moved but I couldn't find anything that explained the resistance. THEN ... I took the two screws off the feed-dog plate so it was loose and watched it closely as I turned ... when the needle was in the down position, the feed-dog was at it's highest and I saw the plate move!!! "Ah-haaa!" says I!

When I removed the plate, I could see a very slight wear spot on the side of the feed dog - it was rubbing on the bottom-side of the plate. I turned the plate over and saw that there was an area that was ground out for the passage of the feed-dog ... got out my dremel and did some refining, grinding that area out more.

When I put the plate back on I left it loose and went through the motions again ... no movement. Then I tightened the plate back down and there's no more drag in the wheel. I'm so proud of myself for discovering this and fixing it ... I mean, I'm a novice and I did a pro's job!
02-18-2007 02:46 PM
Dusty82 It's a 16' Larson tri-hull with the walk-through windshield. One of those open bow fishing boats. It has the lounge seats that fold out into a bed, but I'll probably buy those new - the old ones were beyond salvage. I'm currently waiting for the weather to warm up so I can do some fiberglass work on the floor, then it gets new carpet and upholstery. With the help and encouragement you, Armysniper, and Alan have given me, I know I can do this myself.
02-18-2007 02:15 PM
DanTwoLakes Absolutely, start with something simple. It doesn't matter if you go slow or one stitch at a time as long as it gets done right. Speed comes with experience. What kind of boat?
02-18-2007 01:28 PM
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
BTW, your wife was right on the money as far as sewing practice (not in marrying you. JUST KIDDING).
Hey - you been talking to her? That's what she says. Oh well, after 19 years, she's stuck with me now. I'm too old to try to train another one. Yeah, right...

I've decided I'm going to try to learn how to use the machine. It's in the shop still (I found out Friday that one of their techs is on vacation, so they're running a bit behind) but as soon as it gets home, I'm going to put it back on the table and give it a good go. I have some old canvas, denim, and a bit of old vinyl out in the garage that I'm going to practice with.

I've been playing with the borrowed Brother machine, and am getting better at keeping a straight line. I'm finding that in tight corners, I actually take my foot off of the pedal and turn the machine by hand, one stitch at a time, until I get through the corner. It's slow going, but the result is worth it - at least as far as practice goes...

I was originally going to give this machine to an upholsterer in exchange for doing my boat's interior, but now I've decided that if I practice with it for a few months, I can do that interior myself and still have the machine for use in my panel van - if I ever get it to that point. In looking at my boat's interior, the upholstery is very simple - all flat panels, with no curves at all. I know I can do this. I figure it'll make a great first project.
02-16-2007 10:22 PM
DanTwoLakes Dusty: If you don't want that Juki, let me know. That's a step above my Consews. I'm glad you took my advise and had it gone over by a pro, It will last forever for you. The Consew 226R I have now has lasted 18 years with three tune-ups, and I use it every day. you lucky (@%$#(*) guy. BTW, your wife was right on the money as far as sewing practice (not in marrying you. JUST KIDDING).
02-16-2007 10:07 PM
DanTwoLakes Tack Bradley: Alan is right: Absolutely,............. learn on a home machine before you invest in an industrial machine. Go bback and look at what "teach" had to say.
Sew a lot of straight seams first and then turn some corners. An industrial machine will go a lot faster and be a little overwhelming until you get used to it than any home machine, but you don't need to go fast, you need to be accurate. Dusty fell into a deal (you lucky dog) that none of us will be able to duplicate. I just bought a new Consew 255RB-3 this summer and paid $1600 for it. ( machine, table, etc.) That was the lowest price in the country.
DON'T LET YOUR FINAL PROJECT BE THE FIRST THING YOU SEW on an industrial machine. It won't be anyway because you will make mistakes. If you don't make any mistakes , give me your recomendation( is that spelled right) for a bet on the Daytona 500 before Sunday, or the World Series. I've been doing this for 34 years, and I just made a big (but not uncorrectable) sewing mistake today. All of you: Practice make perfect. Practice before wasting your time and money on a new (or faster) machine.
02-14-2007 06:55 PM
horvath By all means, TackBradley, practice on your mothers machine with regular material! At least you'll get some experience at sewing and controling a straight and/or curved stitch line, etc.

I've seen the Tacsew I bought (just the machine) selling for more than $900; it's the T111-155 ... but the guy I bought mine from sells them for $600:

He sells the Tacsew T111-155 with a table (you *must* have a table with these because they sit atop an oil pan), thread stand and clutch motor for only $750 (shipping is $99, bringing it up to $849) ... but I upgraded the motor to an electronic servo motor for another $99 (they sell for $150 alone). So I dropped a total of $947.00 for my setup -- and everyone who knows this stuff says I did extremely well ... I'm sure I did because I'm grinning from ear to ear.

Keep an eye on my site:
I post photo-tutorials on everything I do there ... I also have links there to buy those 2 upholstery books I mentioned on another thread.
02-14-2007 06:09 PM
Dusty82 As I mentioned in my first post, I spent $200 on mine, and the tune up is costing me $99. I fell into a deal though, so I wouldn't expect to get away that cheap. I've seen machines like mine go for as little as $700, and as much as $1500.

While mine is in the shop, I'm using a borrowed Brother home sewing machine just to get used to the idea of running it. It's teaching me to sew straight, and I'm about to start some curved pieces. I know controlling this thing is going to be nothing like the Juki, but it's giving me some insight as to how the whole sewing thing works.

Maybe I'm wrong here (Dan? Sniper?) but I don't see a thing wrong with learning the basic skills of material control on a small home machine if you can't afford to go out and buy an industrial machine. We'll see how much I've really learned when the Juki comes home and I get on it.
02-14-2007 05:48 PM

what are you guys spending on these machines? is there a cheaper one i can practice on? or should i just use my moms for practice? im completely new to this and im super excited to get started doing this. thanks guys!!!
02-09-2007 08:21 AM
horvath Thanks, Dan ... the Tacsew automatically backstiches by pressing a lever; simple enough. But it doesn't cut the thread for me - that's a cool feature! Nonetheless, I'm grinning bigtime ... can't wait for the servo motor to get here so I can start practicing!
02-09-2007 07:45 AM
DanTwoLakes Alan, you should have bought an automatically backstiches when you lean your foot back on the foot pedal and cuts your thread for you when it finishes backstitching. Of course it's a tad more expensive than the Tacsew.
02-08-2007 08:47 PM
horvath LOL! You've got me pegged, Dan!

But, today I received my Tacsew!!! I was in shock; I ordered it on Tuesday and it arrived on Thursday! And Friday is my birthday -- how cool is that!?

I spent the whole afternoon and evening watching the DVD, hitting the pause button, assembling a section, and so on. I don't have the motor yet ... the servo comes a day or two later ... but I stitched a few short runs with some leather, turning the balance wheel by hand, and I am one happy camper! This is really gonna make a difference!

02-08-2007 02:21 PM
DanTwoLakes Armysniper is right on the money. Learn to sew straight seams first and then graduate to 6's and 8's to learn the curves. Get to know how to make it go slow and then increase your speed after you've practiced so that you know how the machine reacts to your foot on the foot pedal. That's a great machine, and my only suggestion (for ANYBODY who buys a used machine) would be to have a pro go over it, time it, thread it,and get it set for you when you're ready to do an interior. If you don't want it, put it on E-bay and they'll kill each other bidding on it. (Horvath is already drooling over that idea. LOL. Sorry Alan, I couldn't resist!) I have one other comment: I never use old parts and trace around them onto new material. I always make cardboard patterns from the old parts to trace and cut from. You don't need to make a pattern for everything:..on straight, square or rectangular pieces all you need is the measurements. Good luck.
02-04-2007 09:33 PM
horvath You're really fortunate to have a machine like that, man. I'm glad you're getting into it! Sewing can be a lot of fun!

You could make some boots for your brake and clutch pedals (just the brake pedal if you have automatic like me) ... I'm making boots for my brake pedal, shifter and hand brake ... these would be the easiest projects I can think of to start with and I wouldn't be surprised if, after you made a couple of boots, you just kept on going.

The boots I already have, have stainless trim rings and the vinyl is glued under the *inside* circle of the trim ring. I'm going to glue leather on the *outside* of the circle of the trim ring ... in order to do that, and still be able to access the screws to mount the trim ring to the floor, I'm going to make a slit up the front of the boot with holes punched to lace it up (like a shoe) and will do a French stitch on each side. I think this is going to look really cool; I found a nice looking black hemp cord at a crafts store that I'm going to use for the lacing.

So far, I've made a radio faceplate, a faceplate for a clock and some switches, and I covered the center (horn cover) of my steering wheel ... all are covered with moose (black) and none involved any sewing.

Next I'm going to cover the backside of the steeringwheel (3 arms) with moose (black) and then make a steeringwheel cover with elk (black). The backside of the steering wheel will require some sewing and French stitches and the steering wheel cover will only require one very simple seam (completing the circle) - the trick with the wheel cover will be punching holes by hand, all the way around on both edges and then hand-stitching the edges together for a tight fit.

These are all simple projects in terms of sewing ... although the steering wheel will present some challenges in fitting ... but the real serious job will be recovering seats. I plan on getting a pair of power seats out of a late model Caddy (or something similar) and recovering them in a two-color leather scheme.
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