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Thread: ok which model machine should I use for this?

  1. #11
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    For extra heavy stuff like you're describing, I don't think a 201 is what you want to go with, and certainly not a slant-needle machine like a 301. If you absolutely had to do this with a domestic I'd say a Singer 15-91 is a better bet than the 201, as the 201 has a horizontal bobbin (vs. the 15-91's vertical bobbin), and that extra turn the bobbin thread has to make in a 201 may become a liability.

    Be aware that about the heaviest thread you can get in a model 15, or any domestic Singer for that matter, is #69. If anyone's successfully used #92 in a 15-91, please let us know, I'd like to hear about it.

    Before you buy that industrial you mentioned, find out what that particular model was designed to do. People seem to think "industrial" just means "super strong for thick material" and that's not what it means at all. For example, a lingerie factory will be filled with industrial machines, and none of them would be suited for sewing webbing to Cordura.

    I have one machine that I use to make dog leashes and collars. I'm never going through more than four layers of webbing, but it's a Singer 15-90 (not -91) that I converted to handcrank. There's no motor to burn out, and the handcrank is great for the slow, precise stitching required to do a proper Box-X on material that's only one inch wide. I use #16 or #18 needles, depending, and #69 thread top and bottom.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage.Singers.NYC View Post
    For extra heavy stuff like you're describing, I don't think a 201 is what you want to go with, and certainly not a slant-needle machine like a 301. If you absolutely had to do this with a domestic I'd say a Singer 15-91 is a better bet than the 201, as the 201 has a horizontal bobbin (vs. the 15-91's vertical bobbin), and that extra turn the bobbin thread has to make in a 201 may become a liability.

    Be aware that about the heaviest thread you can get in a model 15, or any domestic Singer for that matter, is #69. If anyone's successfully used #92 in a 15-91, please let us know, I'd like to hear about it.

    Before you buy that industrial you mentioned, find out what that particular model was designed to do. People seem to think "industrial" just means "super strong for thick material" and that's not what it means at all. For example, a lingerie factory will be filled with industrial machines, and none of them would be suited for sewing webbing to Cordura.

    I have one machine that I use to make dog leashes and collars. I'm never going through more than four layers of webbing, but it's a Singer 15-90 (not -91) that I converted to handcrank. There's no motor to burn out, and the handcrank is great for the slow, precise stitching required to do a proper Box-X on material that's only one inch wide. I use #16 or #18 needles, depending, and #69 thread top and bottom.
    The industrials belong to a military alterations business, so while they might not be used to sew tactical gear, I know they are at least equipped to handle the heavier fabrics.

    I guess thats really what I'm struggling to decide and I'm not knowledgeable with all these machines enough to know what would be the best addition to my studio. I only suggested the 301 and the 500A because I already have them and it would give me a reason to use them instead of them just sitting in my studio doing nothing. I've sewn purses and diaper bags and baby bedding from these fabrics, and I do all the alterations for my husband's unit free of charge for them, and that all is done just fine, usually on my Bernina, at least until I get a walking foot for my new Viking. I may move that over to one of these machines. My goal with all the machines I have is to be able to leave some of them set up for specific things so I'm not constantly having to change out bobbins, needles, threads, etc just to sew on a set of stripes or repair a bag when I'm in the midst of a quilt. I want a machine dedicated to uniforms, and one dedicated to tactical sewing, and the others I can use for regular sewing projects.

  3. #13
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    If you don't want to go industrial - think about finding a class 15 Japanese clone zig zag machine and a generic walking foot. It isn't the perfect solution, but with careful handling a Japanese zig zag machine will do what you want to do, since you are not doing production work. You can leave it set up and ready to go and if you burn out the motor - oh well - they made millions of them, buy another one.

    Good ones to look for, and this isn't a complete list, only what I can think of at 5:30 am
    Morse Fotomatic
    White: post 1950 to pre 1970
    Wizard
    Fleetwood

    These brands usually use regular short shank feet. With Kenmore and some other more familiar brands you may need specific feet.
    Last edited by Mitch's mom; 07-27-2012 at 02:37 AM.

  4. #14
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    I have a couple.of zig zag machines and.a couple of clones. The zig zags are not near and dear to me so maybe thats an option as i wont care if they wear out. Ill consider that.

  5. #15
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The men are correct - you need an industrial machine. They are made to handle the heavy thread. An industrial walking foot machine has a bigger bobbin, bigger hole in the throat plate, takes bigger needles.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
    It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  6. #16
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennb View Post
    I have a couple.of zig zag machines and.a couple of clones. The zig zags are not near and dear to me so maybe thats an option as i wont care if they wear out. Ill consider that.
    If you use heavy duty thread you might make some adjustments to the bobbin tension, needle hole and see if the machine will accept a larger needle and stay in time. As you said there are cheap machines that are not so dear. I wouldn't try it on a large heavy item - too much pull on the needle bar.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
    It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  7. #17
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    You don't need an industrial machine. I've used my 15-91 Centennial to sew thick leather. I'm including a photo of my machine and the leather is sitting in a heap next to the machine. Sewing 2 pieces of that together made it a full 3/8" thick! And the leather that came off the cow's shoulders was 1/4" thick when sewn together. The old Singer machines go through it like a hot knife through butter. My 15-91 didn't even need the tension adjusted. I went from sewing the leather to quilt fabric the same day and didn't touch the tension. It was fabulous!

    I have a 201 as well as a 66-15, I'd use any one of them to sew military tactical items.

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    Last edited by Christine-; 07-27-2012 at 09:54 AM.

  8. #18
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I agree with Christine. Sure an industrial would make short work of the project but a class 15, with a size 18 needle and some 69 wt thread, will do what she wants to do. It may take having to use the hand wheel to make a stitch at a time on some areas, but it will get the job done without having to buy an industrial machine set up in a 42 x 20 motor stand.
    If she was making gear for the whole platoon on a daily basis then yeah - get an industrial.

  9. #19
    Senior Member captlynhall's Avatar
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    I use to have a Sailrite Sailmaker machine when I was sailing. I could sew thru heavy dacron sails with it and also Sunbrella for making bimini covers. It was one heavy and very tough machine. It wasn't cheap, but was the only thing I could find that could do sails and wasn't an 'industrial' machine. At the same time I had a White Jeans Machine that I was told (by the salesman) could sew thru 12 layers of denim. NOT! Hated that machine.
    When a dying man asked his pastor "How long does it take to die?" his pastor's heartfelt reply was "A lifetime." Live life to the fullest, but stop now and then to enjoy the sunset.
    Lynda

  10. #20
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    Did you know there is a sail makers sewing machine on shopgoodwill.com? Sale ends 8/3.
    Currently $16.00 USD

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