Yes it is needle feed.
I had some time to clean it up, oil it and sew some marine vinyl last night
I did try to sew some vinyl to foam and it passed it through fine. My sewing technique however has a long way to go.
I do need to slow down the machine. I have ordered a small motor pulley and I am going to try that along with blocking the treadle to gain some control.
As it is now, I don't have much control over the speed, I can feather it to get the motor going but I don't have the touch yet to keep it at the slower speed. It likes to take off at full bore. I know about the servo motors, I'm not sure if I want to invest in one just yet especially if I don't have the skill needed to do my project.
I also need to figure out the correct thread tension trial and error I'm sure. I know how to adjust the top thread tension, I need to figure out how to adjust the bobbin thread and presser foot tension.
It sews through eight layers of marine vinyl with no problem. I don't think I'm going to practice on it much more until I get the new needles I ordered, the one that's on there came with the machine and I'm sure it wasn't helping my results. The new poly thread kept breaking but I can't attribute that to any one factor - it was probably a combo of thread tension, needle, and technique.
From the manual I can figure out how to thread the machine but it doesn't tell which way to thread the needle. I was threading the needle from left to right since that's the side the thread groove in the needle was on, does anyone know if this is correct?
Thanks for the help - this forum is great!