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Old 11-22-2009, 03:02 PM
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Sewing Machine Question

Hello all. I'm new to this forum, but have enjoyed reading the very informative posts on upholstery techniques and have learned that there are a lot of things I don't know about sewing. My wife does clothing alterations and has a number of garment machines, such as single-needle, double-needle, serging, hemming, etc. As I've been reading here, I ask her questions about types of stitches and how her machines work.

We bought out another alterations shop about 12 years ago and in the machines we got a Union Special 63400 B single needle machine. It appears to be pretty heavy compared to her other machines and the manual says it is for "miscellaneous plain seaming operations on medium and medium heavy weight work, 1 13/64" needle bar travel". It has a 115V clutch motor on it. Can I use this machine for upholstery work? I'm wanting to make some new seat covers and recover the door panels on my 76 Mustang.

I found the manual for it here:

http://www.dixiesewingmachine.tzo.co...63400A%20B.pdf

The needle that is called out in the manual is a "Type 180 GXS or 180 GYS". The sizes it can handle are "075/029, 080/032, 090/036, 100/040, 110/044, 125/049, 140/054, and 150/060". Which of these would be needed for the 92 polyster thread?

If anyone could help me decipher all this, I would appreciate the help.

Marty

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Old 11-22-2009, 04:52 PM
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My exwife and I used to do upholstery. I don't know as much as she did about doing upholstery type of work, but I do know you need a machine with a walking foot. Do yours have that? We did custom boat/vehicle seats, and sewed through quite a few layers of material at times, and the machine with the walking foot had no problem. Maybe inquire with an upholsterer with your plans, type of machine, etc, to get advice on what needle size and thread requirements.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetteman
My exwife and I used to do upholstery. I don't know as much as she did about doing upholstery type of work, but I do know you need a machine with a walking foot. Do yours have that?
It has a feed dog underneath the plate, but I don't know what a "walking foot" looks like.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:37 AM
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If that feed dog moves back and forth as you sew, then it's a walking foot. If it stays stationary as you sew, then it isn't. A walking foot pulls the material as you sew.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:04 PM
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Pics of machine

I managed to clear some space around the machine today and get a good look at it. Also plugged it in and it runs fine. Don't think it is suitable for upholstery though. The shaft for the presser foot only has 1/4"-5/16" of travel, and there is a feed dog under the needle plate that does move back and forth. I've attached a few photos. I think I'll post it up on Craigslist and sell it to fund a machine I can use.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:12 PM
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Compound feed video

Here's a good video I found when I was trying to figure out what "compound feed" means:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90Gt0ydA1Zo
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:14 PM
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And here's one of a "walking foot":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuSD45vGfNM&NR=1

NOW I understand.
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welder4956

The needle that is called out in the manual is a "Type 180 GXS or 180 GYS". The sizes it can handle are "075/029, 080/032, 090/036, 100/040, 110/044, 125/049, 140/054, and 150/060". Which of these would be needed for the 92 polyster thread?

If anyone could help me decipher all this, I would appreciate the help.

Marty
Just like Singer and a few others, Union Special has their own numbering system for needles. The first number is the metric size, and the number after the forward slash is the Union Special equivalent. Any good needle supplier will have the needles for your machine. You can use the 125, 140, and 150 with #92 polyester thread.

Compound feed means there are two types of feed being employed at the same time. This usually means needle feed (the needle pulls the fabric through) and drop feed ( the feed dog and walking foot pull the fabric) but it can also mean any two types of feed working together.
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Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 11-28-2009 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Just like Singer and a few others, Union Special has their own numbering system for needles. The first number is the metric size, and the number after the forward slash is the Union Special equivalent. Any good needle supplier will have the needles for your machine. You can use the 125, 140, and 150 with #92 polyester thread.

Compound feed means there are two types of feed being employed at the same time. This usually means needle feed (the needle pulls the fabric through) and drop feed ( the feed dog and walking foot pull the fabric) but it can also mean any two types of feed working together.
Many thanks Dan. I'm sure I'll have more questions when I find a suitable machine. We do have a Bernina machine with a walking foot, but I doubt is has enough "oomph" to handle upholstery.

Marty
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