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Old 03-12-2009, 08:53 PM
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What are you using for sewing machines?

Hey guys, I'm wanting to do some upholstery on the side (yes, I do know how to sew...LoL) and wondering what machines you guys are using so I can get a good idea of what to look for. I'm not looking for the pnumatic machines that run off of air...just a nice Juki or Consew or something. Thanks for the help in advance!

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Old 03-13-2009, 04:20 AM
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Do you know how to sew with an industrial machine? The difference between a home machine and an industrial machine is like the difference between a ferrari and a motor scooter. You are looking for an industrial compound walking foot machine with reverse. Compound feed is a combination of needle feed (the needle moves perpendicular to the bed of the machine pushing the work forward) and drop feed (employing feed dogs to also push the work forward). Most of the machines like that are copies of the original Singer 111W. Newer Consews are made by Seiko in China, and are not as good as they used to be, so if you're looking for a Consew, find an older one. I have a Consew 226 and a Consew 255RB-3. Consew also makes a 206, but it has a vertical bobbin that loads from the left side of the needle, and I don't care for that configuration. I like a horizontal bobbin that loads from the right of the needle, but that's just my personal preference. Juki makes a good machine, as does Pfaff. The Pfaff 1245 is a great workhorse of a machine.

Whichever machine you decide to get, if it still has a clutch motor, replace it with a servo motor. Clutch motors are either on or off at full speed, and the only way to slow the machine down is by slipping the clutch which requires a lot of experience. Servos are much easier to control because they are true variable speed constant torque devices. The less you push on the pedal, the slower the machine sews, and most servos have a rheostat to adjust the speed range even further.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:13 AM
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I just bought one. Been using it for about a month. All i can say is wow. What a difference from my old Pfaff and Singer. Very happy with it so far. I did put an under drive pulley on. Because it was way to fast for my skill level. Bought off of ebay. With servo motor. Its a seiko. It does say made in Japan on it. The table did come from Chine. Great machine though. Model # STH-8BLD-3. Good people to deal with. Machine is very heavy. Like 80LBs worth. Altogether i probably have 1500 in it with gearing it down and all of the feet i needed. But it will sew anything you put under it and do a nice job. http://cgi.ebay.com/SEIKO-Walking-Fo...3A1%7C294%3A50
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:51 AM
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Wantabe's Seiko is the same style as a Consew 206.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:48 AM
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Yes, I do know how to use an industrial sewing machine...that's all I've ever used. I do work at an upholstery shop, but my boss is super busy lately with other stuff and doesn't have time to help me buy a machine. I don't remember the model numbers we use at work, but they are all industrial Jukis and Consews with a few Brothers, but the Brothers are not walking foot machines...smooth as hell though!
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:56 AM
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That's what i heard. Never have even seen one till i bought mine. Dan you know more about these machines then i ever will. If i had it to do over. I wouldn't buy the servo motor i have. I'd get one like yours Dan. A Little more money. But i hear its much better motor. Only about 20 to 30 bucks more. They charged me 99 dollars extra for this one. My machine does have bobbin to the left and is a pain to load a times. Is a pretty cool toy.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:13 PM
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I have a singer 251-12 which was "ok" and I managed to get my seat covers for the front buckets sewn with it but wasn't easy. Not to mention getting used to it vs a home machine and I never really did much on a home machine either. I'm waiting on a 111W155 to get here so I can figure it out.

I can't afford a servo motor at the moment but somewhere read that some foam stuck under the back of the foot pedal helps and it sure did. I had a hard time starting and sometimes would go too far and be like stomping the gas on a jet or something! The foam gives me a little more resistance to keep it under control better. Should be interesting getting used to a whole different style of machine but sure should make things easier when sewing vinyl once I do a bit of practicing.

Deb
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:41 PM
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I know its not an industrial machine - but I just picked up a Singer 66-16 that works great on my leather vest. The vest is thicker than automotive leather. I converted it to a handcrank. the motor was too touchy/feely for me. I have more control with the hand crank. What a nice tight stitch!
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:54 PM
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Any sewing machine, even the smallest home type machine, will sew two pieces of upholstery leather together. You run into problems when you try to sew two pieces of leather with 1/2" sew foam attached to them together.

The thicker the fabric you sew together, the tighter the stitch will be if you don't adjust the machine to what you are sewing. That's not necessarily a good thing in most cases. Too tight a stitch can cut into what you are sewing and damage it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:30 AM
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In my case, I had picked up my machine before I found this board so I had gone with the recommendation of a local store - the machine I've got is Sailrite's LS-1 Ultrafeed. A little bigger than a home machine, a lot heavier duty, and easy to stow away in a closet when not in use. So far, anything I've stuck under the foot (it's a walking foot, but not compound feed) has not slowed it down - 2 pieces of 4 oz leather (with a standard needle as an experiment), 10 layers of heavy vinyl/canvas, vinyl & sewfoam, etc. Haven't tried plywood yet but I'd imagine it wouldn't even notice.

You can see it behind the shifter boot I made for a friend of mine (black marine vinyl with #92 blue poly thread). This is just after I added the 7 lb balance wheel with handcrank upgrade (vs the original plastic wheel).
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:58 PM
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I use a cut-line 225C. It is an older model, but it works like a new one very dependable.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:20 PM
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I have a Mini-Brute and a Juki LG-158. The Mini-Brute is fine for hobbyist use. The Juki will handle pretty much anything.

Chris
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone
In my case, I had picked up my machine before I found this board so I had gone with the recommendation of a local store - the machine I've got is Sailrite's LS-1 Ultrafeed. A little bigger than a home machine, a lot heavier duty, and easy to stow away in a closet when not in use. So far, anything I've stuck under the foot (it's a walking foot, but not compound feed) has not slowed it down - 2 pieces of 4 oz leather (with a standard needle as an experiment), 10 layers of heavy vinyl/canvas, vinyl & sewfoam, etc. Haven't tried plywood yet but I'd imagine it wouldn't even notice.

You can see it behind the shifter boot I made for a friend of mine (black marine vinyl with #92 blue poly thread). This is just after I added the 7 lb balance wheel with handcrank upgrade (vs the original plastic wheel).
This looks like a very well built machine, and would do well for furniture upholstery. The problem with this machine is that it only has 7 1/2" space to the right of the needle, and for auto upholstery, that would be tough to use. It only has 5/16" of lift, and only has a 1/10th HP motor. It costs around $700.00. If anyone is really serious about doing auto upholstery, I would suggest spending a few hundred dollars more for a larger industrial machine that has 2 1/2" more space to the right of the needle, 1/2 HP motor, and 7/16" of lift to allow you to get more thicknesses of fabric under the foot. I'm also wondering if there are very many different feet available for this machine. That can make a huge difference for many different things that need to be sewed for a car's interior.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:57 AM
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Yea, I kinda have to agree with ya on your points - I had attempted my first seat cover (90-ish Cavalier bucket) last weekend and the limited space on the right really made things interesting. I will say that I was able to cram 3 layers of 1/2" sewfoam/gripstitch and vinyl assemblies under the foot, but ya had to watch and make sure it fed correctly and didn't get hung up. I will say that the smaller HP motor was perfectly adequate for what I've done so far. There's 2 sets of belts/pullies so it's geared down quite a bit for the increased torque - don't know how the speed compares to a real industrial machine except that it's plenty fast for my skill level.

As for feet, its got the standard, left-zipper, right-zipper, and leather foot - mainly the basics. The leather foot doesn't have the sharp teeth that the standard one does, and both the leather & standard have channels for piping.

It works good for shifter boots, though
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone
There's 2 sets of belts/pullies so it's geared down quite a bit for the increased torque - don't know how the speed compares to a real industrial machine except that it's plenty fast for my skill level.
The Sailrite has a max speed of 600 stitches per inch, and a regular industrial sewing machine will do 3000 stitches per inch. Not that the speed makes a difference, no one can sew at the max speed for very long. Your machine is geared down so that you are getting 1.5 ft. lbs of torque out of it, which is the same as a 1/2 hp motor with no gear reduction.
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