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Thread: Industrial sewing machines

  1. #1
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    I have seen a lot of industrial sewing machines for sale on Craig's list and at garage sales and was wondering if they would be good for free motion quilting since they have a large throat bed. Thank you for any help. Carole

  2. #2
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I was tempted by one on craig's list also, until I researched the model number online. The ad didn't mention it, but this particular model had a trimming knife to automatically trim off the edges of seams. This would make it useless for quilting.

    Just make sure you read up on it before buying. The commercial machines I've seen aren't cheap.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stitchalong's Avatar
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    I have wondered that myself. I will be watching to see what others say.

  4. #4
    Senior Member grammy17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroleLee
    I have seen a lot of industrial sewing machines for sale on Craig's list and at garage sales and was wondering if they would be good for free motion quilting since they have a large throat bed. Thank you for any help. Carole
    I have a Singer 191. It will sew through very thick stuff. It is great EXCEPT there is no dual feed foot to fit it so the back feeds different than the front. Also I've not been able to figure out how to FMQ with it. The feed dogs don't drop.

    All of the above is why I bought my Horizon.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have thought and looked for years. Just a few comments
    1. Make sure you can do reverse, many industrials only go forward.
    2. Will you want to use the machine for anything other than peicing? Check to see if there are feet that are compatable for free motion, many do not ! Feed dogs are not able to be lowered on many. Yes you can cover them but , the covering creates a drag as you move the quilt around. Tape only lasts a short time.
    3. Parts for industrials can be expensive and difficult to get , that's why many are for sale. check on service availability.

    I saw a longarm type that was mounted on a table at a quilt show ... I just can not remember the name . It was subtaintally less money than a traditional longarm with frame. it could also be used for a straight stitch with regular feet.
    It was at International quilt show Chicago last year, too bad I just tossed out my program with all the vendors listed. Maybe someone else here knows .

    This is a link to the type , but was not the exact machine , I will keep looking as it does not appear that this can do regular stitiching.

    http://www.allbrands.com/products/abp24354-0073.html

  6. #6
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    the problem i had with industrial was the speed (you can't regulate it), you can't buy a stitch regulator (they aren't made for industrial), you'll have a hard time finding a FMQ foot (they don't make them for industrial).

    the feed dogs weren't a problem for me since i was only going to use it for FMQ and planned on removing them completely from the machine.

    needless to say i didn't go with an industrial machine.

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    Thank you

  8. #8
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    The feed dogs don't drop on industrial machines...and I don't remember ever seeing a free-motion foot...
    I think you could probably remove the feed dogs completely to use it this way, but I don't think I would want to.

  9. #9
    Super Member kriscraft99's Avatar
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    oh I have an industrial singer - I'm going to watch this thread. I have never tried fmq with it - actually I have never thought about it.. hmmmmmmmm.... I bought it to sew heavy fabrics and vintage chenilles.

  10. #10
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Industrial machines are much more specialized than domestic sewing machines.

    Some have built-in dual feed, (where the foot moves the top layers of fabric while the dogs move the bottom layers), some have only feed dogs and some are made to not feed at all - they only stitch.

    I have an antique industrial treadle model 31 - it takes standard high shank attachments like many or even most industrial sewing machines.

    I bought the Juki darning foot for it, but all my other high shank feet fit it as well. I bought a darning plate for it on eBay and removed the feed dogs. It free-motions quite well, having the vertical bobbin, but the table it came it needs a new top.

    I am going to have someone build me a box to set the machine in and mount a small motor on it. When I get to this, I'll have a MUCH larger quilting area and I'll be able to position it with the nose facing me so that I can use my Flynn frame. (which I haven't even taken out of the box)

    I wouldn't want to use an industrial machine that has the big coffee can motor under the table - those motors make the machine much too fast. A small motor for a domestic sewing machine will be just about right for the speed I like to work. At least, I hope so. All these projects hanging around waiting for me to get off the computer and go do them.... ;)

    Singer 31-15
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  11. #11
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    LoriS, could this have been the machine you saw?

    www.pennywinkleranch.com

    Their Sunshine 16 is very affordable and I like the way the head is toward you like the HQ 16 sit down model.

  12. #12
    Senior Member grammy17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammy17
    Quote Originally Posted by CaroleLee
    I have seen a lot of industrial sewing machines for sale on Craig's list and at garage sales and was wondering if they would be good for free motion quilting since they have a large throat bed. Thank you for any help. Carole
    I have a Singer 191. It will sew through very thick stuff. It is great EXCEPT there is no dual feed foot to fit it so the back feeds different than the front. Also I've not been able to figure out how to FMQ with it. The feed dogs don't drop.

    All of the above is why I bought my Horizon.
    I'd like to add that I've learned to control the speed. I takes practice but I can go stitch by stitch if I want to. Or so fast it scares me.

  13. #13
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scowlkat
    LoriS, could this have been the machine you saw?

    www.pennywinkleranch.com

    Their Sunshine 16 is very affordable and I like the way the head is toward you like the HQ 16 sit down model.
    No that was not it but ... is very interesting Thanks!

  14. #14
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    I set up a Singer Industrial 96-40 treadle/electric for FM last summer that my wife has been getting acquainted with. Once she feels comfortable with her hand motion, she may try learning the foot motion of treadling. Sheís quilted nearly all of her quilts on vintage electric machines, mostly straight-line on a Singer 401A with an even-feed foot. Sheís done a little FM on the 401A, but needs something better.

    She likes free-motion quilting on the 96-40, and has done a few on it, but lately, it has started acting up on her. I need to play with it a little bit to see if I can figure out whatís causing her problems. I think itís the darning foot that I used. I need to get one of the Juki high shank feet for it. I dropped the presser bar to use a low shank foot on it, removed the feed dogs and installed a darning plate (no feed dog slots). I put a small electric motor on it (piggy-back on top of it) and we operate it with a standard home-use foot control. We have good speed control of it, but it started skipping stitches. I donít think that the darning foot is holding and releasing the sandwich at the correct time.

    CD in Oklahoma

    Singer 96-40
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    Singer 96-40
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  15. #15
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    CD, could it possibly be the needle is too big for the thread? When I got the 31-15, the only needles were a couple of 16's and it skipped stitches all over the place.

    When my order for needles came in, I put a 12 in it and it worked perfectly. The only thing I can guess is that with these honkin' big industrial needles, the hole punched into the fabric is too big to put enough friction on the thread as the needle ascends. No friction = no loop for the hook to catch, right? I hope you can try a small needle (I think the smallest DBX1 I could find was a 12) and fix the problem.

    I have question for you, though. How did you set up the motor? I want to put a small household motor on the 31, but there's no place to mount one. I'd love to see how you got that to work! :)

  16. #16
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Hi Poly,

    Weíre using size 80/12 needles in it already, but Iím not exactly sure who made them or which point they have on them. I donít have the outside packaging where the mfg and point type was listed. Iím pretty sure that theyíre not Sharps (R), since they came from a lingerie factory that closed here in town. Theyíre either a Thin Ball (FFG/SES) or a Medium Ball (FG/SUK). I have a bunch of Schmetz needles, but theyíre all Medium Ball (SUK) that are designed for sewing elastic. I think they would be the least likely to perform well in a cotton/cotton-batting/cotton sandwich, but I havenít ever tried one. Iíd say that the needle that weíre using may be at least part of the problem.

    The Singer 96-40 has a single screw to attach the spool pin onto the top of the machine. I came up with a motor that already had a bracket on it that would attach with the spool pin screw. It started out as just a temporary setup, and I havenít gotten back to working on a permanent mounting system yet. Iím still working out the foot and needle problems.

    CD in Oklahoma

  17. #17
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I'll bet the ball points are at least part of the problem. Maybe all of it. If you'll send me a message with your address in it, I'll be glad to send you a pack of Organ sharps - DB x 1's, size 80/12 so that you can try them.

    Another problem with the industrial needles is that without a flat side, it's easier to "set" them wrong. I sometimes have to mess around with the position of the needle a bit before I can get it to make a proper loop. Pain in the neck. Good luck and I hope you can get 'er running! :)

  18. #18
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepolyparrot
    I'll bet the ball points are at least part of the problem. Maybe all of it. If you'll send me a message with your address in it, I'll be glad to send you a pack of Organ sharps - DB x 1's, size 80/12 so that you can try them.

    Another problem with the industrial needles is that without a flat side, it's easier to "set" them wrong. I sometimes have to mess around with the position of the needle a bit before I can get it to make a proper loop. Pain in the neck. Good luck and I hope you can get 'er running! :)
    The needle curve goes next to the shuttle - groove side out - you get to where you can do it after you break enough needles. Organ does make some good inexpensive needles.

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