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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2007, 08:22 AM
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Alan, it is a tool much like a punch except the foot is similar to a fork with out a bend and very short tines. You mark your first hole and place the first tine over the mark and align the tool with your direction of seam and strike with a mallet, punching 4 straight, evenly spaced holes. Then put the first tine in the 4th hole and repeat. You end up making 3 new holes each time. I'll try to find you a source for the tools but in the mean time, start looking in local hobby stores. I can't imagine a leather working shop not having them.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2007, 08:35 AM
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Alan: You are correct. #69 Nylon thread has about 6300 yards per pound, and #92 Nylon has about 5000 yards per pound, which makes it noticeably heavier, but not thick. (The difference in Polyester thread is 6500 yards for #69 and 4800 yards for #92.) You won't need a different needle for 69 as compared to 92.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:27 PM
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Trees - I know the tool you're talking about and I do have a source ... thanks. I was thinking of another tool that has prongs situated on a wheel (kinda like a pizza cutter) ... these are used for marking out holes to be punched but, for some reason, they never make them with less than 5 holes per inch.

DanTwoLakes - Thanks for the clarification. I guess there's no such thing a thicker thread, eh? They are all the same thickness ... it's just that some are heavier in weight ... correct?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong: Nylon is stronger than poly ... but poly has a better UV protection and I should use polyester thread rather than nylon?

You also said "They also make a topstitching thread that looks heavier." -- what do I ask for if I want to buy this one? And I gather this one should only be used for top-stitching or french-stitching, not for sewing seams - right?

I found what appears to be an elaborate sewing center in Princeton ... I'm going to go check it out Friday morning to pick up that Roller Foot and whatever else I can get my hands on.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:38 PM
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Nylon is stronger than polyester in the same thickness. In other words: Nylon 69 is stronger than polyester 69, but nylon 69 is slightly less strong than polyester 92. Polyester 69 will last longer in a boat cover sewed with nylon 69, but polyester 92 will last far longer in the same circumstances. Don't be confused with the thickness of the thread, thickness does not necessarily mean strength. Cotton thread 1and 1/2 times as thick as nylon 69 may be thicker in appearance, but has far less strength. As far as the topstitching thread......... Coats makes a specific thread called topstitching thread. It is specifically designed to look heavier than their regular thread for appearance only. It is not necessarily stronger because it is and looks heavier. For example: Coats also makes an orange thread specifically to topstitch bluejeans. It may look heavier, but has far less strength than other threads. In other words: thread manufacturers make certain threads for no other reason than how they look on a specific finished piece, not necessarily how strong they are. What confuses the issue even more is the fact that there are no real sizing standards as far as thread goes. For upholstery work, nylon 69 is the standard, for different looks, there are dozens of threads to present other looks. Polyester 92 and polyester 138 (basically double the size of 92 but the same strength) are used for boat covers. Polyester 138 requires a larger needle (150 in my case and as large as your machine allows in your case) Polyester thread stands up better to direct sunlight. In any other application, stick to nylon for strength as opposed to size. My point is this: use whatever thread gives you a strong seam, and topstitch or french seam with whatever looks good to your eye. Whatever you do...........do not use nylon monofilament thread. This stuff is very cheap, but it heats up and stretches as it goes through a sewing machine, (even at low speeds , but especially at high speeds) and fails quickly. Bass Tracker used this thread to sew all their pontoon seats for two years and all of them failed after 5 years. They may have improved this stuff over the years, but............once bitten, twice shy babe. I apologize , once again , for being so wordy, but I was on a roll. Keep asking questions, dude, you're helping lots of guys when you ask.

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2007, 09:59 PM
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That was GREAT, Dan! Thanks!

I'm finally getting the idea. Nylon (like CoatsD-64) or (better still) Polyester 92 is what I'll be using on all my seams ... for strength.

Then, for looks and because I like the way a fatter thread appears -- and also for the UV protection factor -- I'll be using something like the Polyester size 92 on all French- or Top-stitching, which is mainly there for visual design and also what happens to get beat on by sunlight.

Sounds like the most economical approach would be to just use Polyester 92 for everything.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2007, 10:34 PM
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Here's another question I have:

When you're sewing a French stitch, do you use the regular foot? Or do you switch to a zipper/piping foot?
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horvath
Here's another question I have:

When you're sewing a French stitch, do you use the regular foot? Or do you switch to a zipper/piping foot?
I pretty much leave my welt foot in the and use the inside (thinner) foot as a guide on the main seam. It gives you a nice consistent french seam, side to side.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:09 PM
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That's a good tip ... thanks.

I bought a roller foot today, hoping it'll help increase my stitch size and add consistency to sewing leather. I haven't tried it yet, but it's got to be better than the welt foot. We'll see.

I also found some black "Jean Thread" ... it sure looks thicker. I'll be trying that on my french seams.

I have 3 boots I want to make this weekend; shifter, hand brake and foot brake. These ought to be nice and easy projects ... and a great test for the roller foot, the French seams and the Jean thread.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2007, 09:45 AM
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I just have to say thanks to all the members who have posted all this great info. It will be quite some time before I get to upholstery but I am saving this info in my favorites so I can come back when I do my upholstery. Thanks again guys!
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 02-02-2007, 07:58 PM
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I'm thinking about buying a Tacsew machine now. The old Singer I got and modified is amazing ... and I'm getting 5 stitches per inch when I sew on the suede sides but when I sew on the leather sides, there's just too much friction and I get like 9 stitches per inch (NG!). I tried a roller foot to no avail ... next week I'm gonna try a teflon foot and see if that works ... but if it doesn't, then I buy the Tacsew.

Looks like I won't be making my boots this weekend.


I found a great Tacsew, Model T111-155, on eBay (brand new) for only $850.00 - including shipping - and that includes the table and everything. It has the compound walking foot, too, which is absolutely crucial. You can buy just the head for $600.00 but what the hay.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2007, 08:07 AM
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Alan: before you buy the Tacsew, check out www.sewone.com. A new Consew 206RB-5 is $1195.00, and comes with 110 volt power stand, 6 month warranty, set up and sew off with a welt foot, left and right zipper foot, 30 needles and 6 bobbins. This machine uses larger M style bobbins so you don't have to change bobbins as often. The guy that runs the place (Cody Sigmund) is a great sewing machine mechanic, and if you ever need service, you can ship it to him and he'll fix it and ship it back. I just had my 226R gone over, it only cost me about $100, and it runs perfect. He has other deals too.

I posted this before, but it didn't show up: When you use different threads, don't mix them up. If you sew with 92 polyester, use 92 polyester for bobbin thread. If you sew with 69 nylon, use 69 nylon for bobbin thread. If you mix threads, you run the risk of one thread cutting and breaking the other.

I also leave my welt foot on the machine all the time.

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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2007, 09:41 AM
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Thanks, Dan. I appreciate the heads-up on this.

I'm checking the Consew out and downloaded the PDF sales brochure ... but this machine is almost $400 more (that's 50% more) than the Tacsew.

Can you compare the two and tell me what the Consew does that the Tacsew doesn't do? The Tacsew has a large rotary hook; double normal size -- doesn't that mean it also has the larger bobbin size?
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2007, 10:51 AM
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Alan: I took a look at the Tacsew on E-Bay and it appears to be a pretty good machine. It's a copy of the Singer 111 which has been around forever and is a good machine. I'm sure it will serve you well. The lift is slightly more than 1/2", so you will have no problem getting Mr. Moose and Mr. Elk under the foot. Large rotary hook would mean that it uses the larger M size bobbins. M bobbins have 52 yards of thread on them, and G bobbins have 31 yards. Be careful to find out if the bobbins load from the front or from the top, right next to the foot. If it loads from the front, it can be a pain in the butt if you need to change bobbins while you are still sewing. You can solve that problem by making sure you have a full bobbin before you start.
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:48 PM
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You sure have been a great help to me, Dan ... thank you so much for taking the time to look at the Tacsew for me. I'll ask about the position for loading the bobbin.

I got an elk hide today ... this should be all I need for the black in my interior. I'm going to look at the hides and colors offered on the site you linked to (above) -- looks like they have some really cool hides and they look to be lighter than Mr. Moose's and Mr. Elk's 4.5 ounce weight.

Next week I test the teflon foot on the Singer ... I hope it works!
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:33 AM
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Great to see you back online, Alan! I've followed your truck both here and on the Old Trucks e-mail list, and your posts have always been some of my favorite reads. Haven't seen you around in a while and was wondering what was up. Real life has a way of sneaking up on you, doesn't it? One of my favorite quotes, although I don't know who said it, is, "If you want to hear God laugh, just let Him know you have plans..."

You all need to check out the other pages in the "Alan's Ride" section of his website. He does a fantastic job of chronicling his work - lots of pics and good write-ups. Also remember that he's a great musician - give him a listen. You'll not be disappointed.

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