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Thread: In need of suggestion of a fast, heavy duty, vintage machine

  1. #1
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    In need of suggestion of a fast, heavy duty, vintage machine

    I want a fast, heavy duty vintage machine with some embroidery stitches. I have pfaff 362 and pfaff 1222E in mind for now. Which one of them is more heavy duty oriented? I have seen pfaff 332 sewing pretty heavy stuff, is there any difference between pfaff 332 and pfaff 362 in means of heavy duty orientation and secondarily in means of speed and embroidery stitches? Or, are there any other models that you can suggest that would answer my needs the best among the others?

  2. #2
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    I don't know about the 362, but I have a 1222, not E, just 1222. I have used it for everything including levis, recovering boat cushions, recovering cushions in trailer and numerous dog beds using upolstry fabric.

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    https://youtu.be/ERdxz7M-qlQ?t=90

    in this video, it seems like pfaff 1222e is having problems sewing that much amount of leather. should this be taken normal? besides, I am open for other models too. I guess I need someone who has experience on different sewing machines and can suggest a sewing machine that would answer my needs the best by comparing different models.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly View Post
    IMO a domestic machine shouldn't be asked to sew leather like that.

    Cari
    I agree. A domestic machine is made to sew fabric. Some even can do reasonable layers of garment leather.

    If you want to sew that kind of leather, you need a commercial machine. You would need something like they use in a furniture factory or a shoe repair store.

    bkay

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    The 360 is heavy duty and is reported to have over 2000 stitches per minute. It has the extra strength motor compared to the 320, and I think it's all metal geared. Don't expect top speeds until it is tentatively cleaned, oiled and run in again. You have to check these and closely related models individually, since there are a few variations on machines with the exact same model number. I think the 260 has the extra strong motor too.

    "Heavy duty" is a relative term too, have in mind that these are domestic models. "Heavy duty" in industrial terms are in a different leauge. I lean towards 360 being the stronger, I assume the 362 is the flat bed version.

    1222 is a very late 60s model, and was made well into the 70s. It has quite a few plastic parts. The advantages with the 1222 are mostly the stitch selection from my point of view. It can be more work to get it serviced and repaired compared to an all metal model with out the more fancy electronical parts.

    If you want something more heavy duty in the domestic range, I guess it would be a Pfaff 30. Its' a cast iron straight stitcher. This model often has a stronger motor than the standard of the time. I don't think the later zigzaggers are quite as sturdy as the old straigth stitch models, maybe the 130 is. Some 130s have a few simple zigzag patterns. I would take a second look at a Necchi BU if it turned up too.


    For the decorative stitches, it all depends upon what you are looking for. The 1222 has stretchy stitches, but I'm not sure of the pattern selection. They might be more utility stitches, compared to other models.

    I don't think you can get the optimal points of all your requirements in one machine. I'm pretty sure a Pfaff 30 stands up to everything you can fit under the presser foot, even when you push it. I think the 360 has single layer cams with out back stitching movment. An Elna Supermatic is not all metal, but still a tough machine and quite speedy. The advantage is the double layer cams and lots of decorative stitches. Another advantage with a Supermatic is the larger needle size capacity, the same as the cast iron straight stitchers. It's easier to clean and fix it than a 1222.

    My speedy machines are 1000 to 1500 spm, but I don't floor the pedal when sewing. They are speedier than most coputerised machines I've used. A Viking/Husqvarna 19 and 21 are quite speedy, and have an extra gear; slower but more punch in the needle. It has a few utility stitches.

    Pushing a domestic machine to it's limit can work fine, but I think you have to go for two different models and choose carefully for the jobs you need them to do. The old machines adjust to various thread weights easier than later models. All the 50s machines I have seen take top stitch thread with out fuzz. My 1960s Bernina can handle it, but its easier when I use a bobbin case made for thicker threads. It was a bit expensive and extra accessory bought separately. A Pfaff 30 or 360 would adjust with out much fuzz.

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    bkay, cari-in-oly:

    what you say about how domestic machines shouldn't be asked to sew that thick of material is reasonable. but still, if there is a domestic sewing machine that is better at tasks that I am asking for as compared to other domestic machines, than that machine is going to be my choice. I am not interested in purchasing an industrial machine.

    mickey2:

    I also need embroidery stitches with the machine. pfaff 362 is not flat bedded. I have seen pfaff 332 sewing thick layers of material, if pfaff 362 is better due to it being a later model in the same series, then I would be inclined to pick pfaff 362. yet I am open to other brands and models.

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    I would not hesitate to go for the 332 if it's in nice condition. Nice used conditon means more than age when it comes to these, the models are pretty close. I think some of the 50s machines can be all metal, and in my mind that's a big pluss. A few plastic gears aren't a deal breaker for me, since my favorite zigzaggers have a few plastic gears. I dont know enough about the minor differences; Pfaff sold some of the models with an upgrade option; you could buy the additional embroidery unit later on. I think that's why some models differ a bit even if they carry the same model number. Another thing is there might have been minor alterations in production as the years went by. If I understand it correctly; it looks like the earlier 230 to 362 numbers all have the same motor, only the 260 has a stronger motor. All in all; these are about as strong and fast as domestic zigzaggers ever were. All of them are above the average Singer standard at the time. I think the 362 have auto needle threader, and a few more stitch patterns. The 1950s was the decade where nylon and polyester entered the picture, by the 60s all metal machines were much fewer.
    Last edited by Mickey2; 02-11-2019 at 08:37 AM.

  8. #8
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    I agree with bkay and Cari, domestic sewing machines are not made to sew several layers of heavy leather. You may find one that does it better than some others, but it probably won't do it very well or for very long. A domestic machine isn't made for that. If that is what you want, you'll probably just have to buy a machine made for that. I don't really understand why you would not want to buy a commercial machine to do commercial type sewing.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

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    I understand the hestiation to buy an industrial, mostly because of the size! I would love a Singer 7-31 but only if I had a dedicated room and end up using it regularly. If you have room for an extra machine in a table or cabinet and industrial is not a bad idea, they do not come portable in cases though.

    Most of the vintage domestic machines stitch through two or three layers of soft leather, hard shoe sole leather is different. The odd projects with leather are acceptable for a domestic machine, and if it's not too thick it's whithin what most capable machines do, new or vintage. You know when a machine is working too hard, it should generally stitch easy and effortlessly with out any signs of struggle. Most machines needs to be eased and coached over the highest bumps and joints in the seam. Soft garment leather is no problem, leather for bags and purses can be fine. Dog collars and belts can be within reach too, but if you do a lot of this, people tend to end up with cobbler machines. If you plan to sew harnesses and saddles you need the larger industrial dimensions. Vintage machines are generally very capable machines, but should be treated nicely.
    Last edited by Mickey2; 02-11-2019 at 09:32 AM.

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    cashs_mom:
    as far as I know industrial machines are clunky. so, I want a portable, less noisy machine with the most capacity for the money. thus whenever I would need to sew thick material, I would be better off with the one that I decided to buy.

    mickey2:
    many 332s that I searched for looked somewhat old. I found a 362 in seemingly pristine condition. besides, if 362 is the better heavy duty one in the 3xx series, it would be reasonable to pick it instead of 332. Though I am not sure which one would be better. and you have been saying that the same model can differ in itself according to the production year. how much would this change the performance of the machine? especially that of pfaff 362. and is there any way to identify this difference? the one that I am looking at for now looks thick painted with somewhat darker gray as compared to other pfaff 362s that I saw. though it might be because it's near pristine condition.

  11. #11
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    362 isn't the "better one", but not a bad one either. It has a few features extra, but the basics are the same on these. If you have found a pristine machine and it's a good offer, go for it. At the top of my whish list would be all metal gears and it has too look resonably nice too. From a quick search on the web it looks like the 260 is the only model with a stronger motor, either way and as mentioned, these are stronger than average machines to begin with. Most of these are in a grey paint, with some kind of enamel effect to the finish. Some look like they are on the beige side, but I suspect light and camera settings has something to do with it. I think there are some Pfaffs in a simple "flat" gray paint, but maybe they are later models.
    Last edited by Mickey2; 02-12-2019 at 08:50 AM.

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