The disadvantage of this machine is that it only has 7 1/2" of room to the right of the needle, it only has 5/16" of foot lift, it only has a 1/10th hp motor which is geared down to get enough torque to handle heavier sewing,(this would not be a disadvantage to a beginning sewer because it goes 1/5th as fast as an industrial machine) it only has drop feed instead of compound feed (compound feed is a combination of drop feed and needle feed), and it is a portable machine, all of which can create problems with the larger pieces involved in auto upholstery. It also costs around $700.
For a couple hundred dollars more, you could buy a brand new industrial compound feed walking foot machine that has a table, 1/2" of foot lift, a 1/2 hp motor, and 10" space to the right of the needle. For considerably less than that, you could buy a used industrial machine.
The Sailrite machine is a very well built machine, and would be fine for furniture upholstery, sail making, and lots of other types of sewing, but would be very limited when sewing two pieces of fabric together that are glued to 1/2" sew foam.
No one lives forever, the trick is creating something that will.
Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 01-21-2010 at 08:44 AM.