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Old 08-27-2010, 12:44 PM
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Tons of questions for Dan & others with knowledge

I just picked up the Consew 226r2 I bought last night and will get to practicing as soon as I finish the nasty body and paint work ( I hate body and paint work). I have lots of questions since I know very little about upholstery.

My Consew 226 has the small bobbin, I really wanted the large one, so how much will it actually sew on one bobbin? Can I do two bucket seat covers with several panels each on one or what?

If you run out of bobbin in the middle of a long top stitch or french seam, what do you do?

What size needle and thread for vinyl and leather work?

Does the bobbin thread need to match the size of the top thread exactly?

What type of thread do I use?

I plan on getting a Reliable Quietsew motor, the 3000 has been replaced by a 4000 that has only one knob. Will it sew slow with power like the 3000 on #1 with the other knob udjusted up?

If I use thick 1 inch sew foam in place of 1/4 like to build up a bolster or something do I need to make the pattern larger to allow the fabric to rise up? How can I tell how much larger?

I have many more ? but this is enough to bomb at you guys for starters.

This forum is great and I would like to especially thank Dan for all the helpful stuff he posts. I have read some of the tutorials and they are helping me get a good picture of what to do.

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Old 08-27-2010, 01:55 PM
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If you are just starting get some remnant fabric and vinyl and just run some seams and such to get the drift of how our machine works..as far as the bobbin size is concerned the small bobbin will go quite a ways before running out and one gets in the habit of checking so you do not run out mid seam of bobbin thread..the same thread that you are using goes on the bobbin as well. as far as the rest of the questions are concerned you will figure it out by making sample pieces to go by before making finished pieces..Just call it cost of education. You may want to get some extra bobbins so you can have one to go with each color of thread that you use..

If you were in school you would be making some small items to get the feel of the machine and how things work..

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Old 08-27-2010, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg2
I just picked up the Consew 226r2 I bought last night and will get to practicing as soon as I finish the nasty body and paint work ( I hate body and paint work). I have lots of questions since I know very little about upholstery.

My Consew 226 has the small bobbin, I really wanted the large one, so how much will it actually sew on one bobbin? Can I do two bucket seat covers with several panels each on one or what?

If you run out of bobbin in the middle of a long top stitch or french seam, what do you do?

What size needle and thread for vinyl and leather work?

Does the bobbin thread need to match the size of the top thread exactly?

What type of thread do I use?

I plan on getting a Reliable Quietsew motor, the 3000 has been replaced by a 4000 that has only one knob. Will it sew slow with power like the 3000 on #1 with the other knob udjusted up?

If I use thick 1 inch sew foam in place of 1/4 like to build up a bolster or something do I need to make the pattern larger to allow the fabric to rise up? How can I tell how much larger?

I have many more ? but this is enough to bomb at you guys for starters.

This forum is great and I would like to especially thank Dan for all the helpful stuff he posts. I have read some of the tutorials and they are helping me get a good picture of what to do.
I do the majority of my sewing on a Consew 226R. The bobbin it uses is a "G" bobbin which is usually plenty enough to do one seat cover. The only reason to have a sewing machine with a larger bobbin would be because you are sewing large boat covers and don't want to remove your work from under the foot to replace the bobbin. Pretty much everything else you would sew won't be a problem. The idea is to plan ahead and not run out of bobbin thread in the middle of a topstitch or french seam run. Yes, you can replace a bobbin in the middle of a run, but why do that when simply planning ahead and putting in a new bobbin before you start sewing will avoid the situation?

You can use anything from a size 16 to a size 24 needle and anywhere from a size 69 to a size 207 thread. It depends on what you're trying to do. The smaller the thread, the smaller the needle, and the larger the thread the larger the needle you can use. It doesn't make any difference if you're sewing leather, vinyl, fabric or Ultraleather, it depends on what you're sewing, and what look you're going after.

You will never sew 1" sew foam, as far as I know it doesn't exist. The biggest I have ever seen ready made is 3/4" thick. If you need to build something up, you use 1/2" sew foam and add a layer of foam to the seat foam to build it up.

No, the bobbin thread size doesn't have to match the top thread size, the machine will still sew but you run the risk of having the stronger thread cut the weaker thread. That doesn't make sense, so use the same size and type top thread as your bobbin thread. This also holds true for different types of thread. Don't use nylon top thread and polyester bobbin thread or vice versa. You run the risk of the top or bottom thread being stronger than it's counterpart and cutting the opposite thread.

I switched to all polyester thread a long time ago, because I sew furniture, cars, boats, airplanes, and a multitude of other things. Polyester is slightly weaker than nylon, but polyester is far more UV resistant and holds it's color better than nylon. Nylon weakens in direct sunlight, so if nothing else, use polyester on anything that will be outdoors for any length of time. The reason most people use nylon is that it is cheaper than polyester. Other than the price, thread choice is more a personal preference than anything else. I also don't use anything smaller than size 92 thread, which is also a personal preference.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:11 PM
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Thanks to both of you for the replies.
Is there a chart that matches thread size to needle size somewhere? Should i use the smallest needle I can get the thread through? I am confused because the Consew manual says use size 5 thread with a #23 needle and size 40 thread with a #16 needle.

The guy that sold me the machine gave me several packs of #17 and #23 needles and several kinds of vinyl to practice on. He also gave me a spool of size 137 thread.

Dan, please share your thoughts on fabrics with me. I originally was going to use ultraleather but several upholstery guys have been trying to talk me out of it, saying it streches, puckers, and mats up where it gets wear. They also say it cost almost as much as leather, so why not use leather. Others have told me ultraleather is actually better than leather. I like the uniform look of the nicer Faux leathers and vinyls but fear they will not breath and then be uncomfortable in the hot months. I have a lot of money and even more time (6 years so far) into building a very customized 52 ford truck. I have done all the work including building the eng, trans, diff, making a frame and independent frt and rear suspensions, all body and paint, all plumbing and wiring. I want to also do the interior to a high quality that matches the rest of the truck and be able to say I "dun it all". I was thinking about leather seats with some vinyl use on the headliner, cab suuround and door panels, but only if that saved me a bunch a money over all leather.
Suggestions welcome!
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:24 PM
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Go to the www.thethreadexchange.com in order to see what thread to use with each needle size. That's what I did.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg2
Thanks to both of you for the replies.
Is there a chart that matches thread size to needle size somewhere? Should i use the smallest needle I can get the thread through? I am confused because the Consew manual says use size 5 thread with a #23 needle and size 40 thread with a #16 needle.

The guy that sold me the machine gave me several packs of #17 and #23 needles and several kinds of vinyl to practice on. He also gave me a spool of size 137 thread.

Dan, please share your thoughts on fabrics with me. I originally was going to use ultraleather but several upholstery guys have been trying to talk me out of it, saying it streches, puckers, and mats up where it gets wear. They also say it cost almost as much as leather, so why not use leather. Others have told me ultraleather is actually better than leather. I like the uniform look of the nicer Faux leathers and vinyls but fear they will not breath and then be uncomfortable in the hot months. I have a lot of money and even more time (6 years so far) into building a very customized 52 ford truck. I have done all the work including building the eng, trans, diff, making a frame and independent frt and rear suspensions, all body and paint, all plumbing and wiring. I want to also do the interior to a high quality that matches the rest of the truck and be able to say I "dun it all". I was thinking about leather seats with some vinyl use on the headliner, cab suuround and door panels, but only if that saved me a bunch a money over all leather.
Suggestions welcome!
The idea of what needle to use with what thread is simple. You want the thread to be as big as the needle you're using to fill up the holes the needle makes. The only thread sizes you need to worry about are size 69, 92, 138, and 207. Those are the sizes that will work the best in your sewing machine. The next thing is to pick which kind of thread you are going to use, nylon or polyester. Just make sure whatever thread you buy is bonded.
If it was my truck, I'd do the seats out of leather and the headliner and door panels out of vinyl or Ultraleather. Vinyl is made of poly vinyl chloride. Ultraleather is made of 100% polyurethane, and there are a lot of them out on the market now that are cheaper than Ultraleather.

Yes, Ultraleather stretches, but not as much as leather. I think Ultraleather makes a beautiful seat, and it would be far cheaper than leather. It is not better than leather, nothing is better than real high quality leather to make a seat out of. My personal opinion is that it is a waste to use real leather on door panels and headliners, but that's just me.
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:40 PM
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thanks again for the replies.

I just tried to get started practicing on some vinyl and I am already at a hyper level of frustration. I can not even get the machine to stitch 6 inches without breaking the top thread. I have tried all kinds of tension adjustments and it does not stop the breakage. The thread will fray at the needle a lot of times before it breaks and other times it just snaps. the bottom stitches were balling up like the top tension was to low. Then after I adjusted awhile the bottom stitches looked good but the top stitch was straight, not pulled into the hole enough like the top tension was to high. But no matter what the stitch looks like the machine still breaks the thread.

The thread is 137 poly that was already running in the machine and the needle is the one that was in the machine with this thread (not sure what size it is). It had sewn four layers of cloth just fine that was still stuck under the needle when I brought it home.

Should I continue to try things or try to find a sewing machine mechanic to look at it. The guy I bought it from was supposed to be a sewing machine mech but he is 3 hours away.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:37 AM
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Take it to a pro and find out what is wrong. It will probably be something very simple. You'll save yourself a lot of frustration.

One thing to check: Is the thread going through the thread guide just above the needle? If it's not, it can create all kinds of problems.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:38 PM
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Thanks. I called the guy I bought it from and he is going to come look at it. He works on Industrial machines exclusively, and said he sewed a lot to test it and tune it when he got it. Will see how this goes! I know now that the problem is that the top thread gets hung up somehow after the hook picks it up and does not get pulled around and up before the hook catches the next time and it gets all balled up and breaks.

According to the way I understand the thread guide in the manual the bobbin should be put in with the thread coming off the spool closest to you from left to right. In other words this makes the bobbin spin counterclockwise, is that right?

Hey, theres always a learning curve, right? Mine just usually looks like a tight wound coil spring.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg2

According to the way I understand the thread guide in the manual the bobbin should be put in with the thread coming off the spool closest to you from left to right. In other words this makes the bobbin spin counterclockwise, is that right?
The thread should come off the bobbin from right to left. If you have the bobbin in backward it will not sew correctly. The thread being pulled off the bobbin would make it spin counterclockwise, yes. This is how the bobbin goes in.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
The thread should come off the bobbin from right to left. If you have the bobbin in backward it will not sew correctly. The thread being pulled off the bobbin would make it spin counterclockwise, yes. This is how the bobbin goes in.
I've never seen this. What type of bobbin is this?
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:03 AM
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It's a size 138 polyester "M" bobbin I took the paper covering off. Pre-wound bobbins are available both ways, with the paper covering top and bottom, and with no paper covering. Either one works fine. I actually prefer the ones with no covering 'cuz you can see how much bobbin thread you have left. When I'm top stitching, I always take the paper off.

This is a box of size 69 nylon "G" bobbins that came with no paper.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
It's a size 138 polyester "M" bobbin I took the paper covering off. Pre-wound bobbins are available both ways, with the paper covering top and bottom, and with no paper covering. Either one works fine. I actually prefer the ones with no covering 'cuz you can see how much bobbin thread you have left. When I'm top stitching, I always take the paper off.

This is a box of size 69 nylon "G" bobbins that came with no paper.
I learned something new today.

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Old 09-01-2010, 09:17 PM
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is Naugahyde Majestic urethane as good as Ultraleather?
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:44 AM
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Naugahyde products are all very good, and are made in the USA. Naugahyde Majestic is a urethane based contract grade product. Contract grade means it is intended to stand up to heavy use like in a hospital or beauty shop. In the past, this meant the product was heavy and stiff. I have not seen a large sample of it close up, but it's supposed to be very soft and easy to work with.

The only way to compare it with Ultraleather is by it's specs, the most important of which is it's durability, or abrasion resistance. Majestic is rated for 500,000 rubs on the Wyzenbeek test, which is very good. Ultraleather is rated for 400,000 rubs. This is only relevant for comparison if you know what was used to do the rubbing in the rub test. In comparison, there are a lot of basic vinyls that can only go 100,000 rubs in the same test before failing. In any event, Majestic compares very well with Ultraleather, and is significantly less expensive.
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