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Thread: Vintage Industrial Machines

  1. #1
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    Vintage Industrial Machines

    Is anyone here into vintage industrial machines? I've been doing a lot of research lately on models and brands, since I want to be able to sew leather thicker than garment weight.

    I'm getting really sick of people listing 301's and the like as "industrial strength" on ebay, and saying they are good for sewing leather. They are most certainly NOT good for sewing leather except maybe for the occasional bit, and believe me, I've tried. I feel sorry for people who don't know much about sewing machines and believe that mess.

    It happens on craigslist too. I keep seeing this 15 clone that some guy has listed for like $350. He's claiming the good old "industrial strength" mess.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mom3's Avatar
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    My Singer 29-4 is industrial - sews leather - it's known as "The Boot Patcher".

    Here's a link to info on the 29-4: http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...g-machine.html

  3. #3
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    ohhh, I'm jealous of your patcher. Totally serious.

    Have you patched any boots? lol. Or done anything interesting with it?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mom3's Avatar
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    I've only run a few leather samples through it to see 'how' it works. Mine can be run treadle or electric as it did come with a motor. With the deep throat that it has I am seriously pondering if it could be used as a mid / long arm quilting machine as it has a 12-1/2" x 5 throat space. The big draw back is the small bobbin - but that might be able to be overcome depending on thread size used - a cast iron 4' tall beast from 1910 fmq'ing would be seriously cool.

  5. #5
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    My DH is interested in an industrial that will sew leather, also. He wants to make gun holsters. We haven't started to research vintage industrial machines due to time - any suggestions?
    (I also know what you mean about being sick of people listing machines as industrial when they are not. I think they confuse "heavy" with "industrial"!)
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  6. #6
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Greeting folks!

    I have a working 1908 Singer 29-4 Treadle which I picked up for $100 (ducking)

    I can say that I have yet to find it's capacity.

    I have tested sewing 16 layers of HEAVY canvas (no problemo..)
    I have tested 3 layers of 6oz leather
    Tonight I am testing 2 layers of 12oz

    With that said, ALL of the feedback that I have been getting from folks supposedly "in the know" have said it was only designed for "patching" or small run, short use activities (hence the tiny bobbin)

    I have been told that the 29K is a more robust and capable machine.

    I do know that the "consew" line of chinese imports are a virtual clone of the Singer 29K
    Your mileage may vary.
    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovelyl View Post
    My DH is interested in an industrial that will sew leather, also. He wants to make gun holsters. We haven't started to research vintage industrial machines due to time - any suggestions?
    (I also know what you mean about being sick of people listing machines as industrial when they are not. I think they confuse "heavy" with "industrial"!)
    What you need for something like holsters or any other leather thicker than garment weight is a compound machine. It is basically a triple feed machine (feed dog, presser foot, and needle feed). Some vintage machines to consider are the Singer 111 or 211. There are others, but these seem pretty common. They fit within my budget too, so are my main focus. But if your budget is larger, there are so many other machines to look at!

    A good resource is the leatherworker forum. They have a section specifically for discussion of leather sewing machines.

  8. #8
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janeite View Post
    What you need for something like holsters or any other leather thicker than garment weight is a compound machine. It is basically a triple feed machine (feed dog, presser foot, and needle feed). Some vintage machines to consider are the Singer 111 or 211. There are others, but these seem pretty common. They fit within my budget too, so are my main focus. But if your budget is larger, there are so many other machines to look at!

    A good resource is the leatherworker forum. They have a section specifically for discussion of leather sewing machines.
    Janeite,
    Thanks for the info! Where would I find the leatherworker forum?
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  9. #9
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I get frequent callers wanting just that.
    I want to know how large & extensive their project would be?
    Is it one little leather pouch? is is mass production?
    is it a 100X25 tarp?
    Is it a tent? Is it a mattress cover?
    How many are they planning to make?
    Industrial is go faster and maybe with a walking foot pull stuff more effectively.
    I have clones that will do a few projects and do them well - set up the bobbin case ti handle the thread - set up the pressure on the presser foot to handle what you are doing. Use the right needle & thread
    mostly use your head - if you are getting burrs, stars in the throat plate, bent needle shaft or broken needles you will need an industrial walking foot machine if you do much of it. http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showforum=29 that, too
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  11. #11
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    OK, So now I think I am officially "into" Industrial machines. I got a 241-12 from the son of a recently passed Chinese lady in San Francisco. I wish I had thought to take a photo of the typical SF house and stuffed to the gills garage that it came from.

    Name:  2012-12-08 14.06.23_SM.jpg
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    $100 including Head, table, base, motor, bobbins, tools, and even thread.

    It came with a broken V-belt that had been used like a leather belt. (i.e. it had holes punched in it and had a staple holding it together) I replaced that with a new leather belt and Vroooooommmmm Off she went.

    The oil pan was a nightmare. It was 1/2 full of amber colored oil, had 14 straight pins, a bobby pin, and a 2" Safety pin IN THE OIL. Once cleaned up and refilled with new oil, then run for about 30 seconds it started with slow but steadily increasing drips of oil through the "porthole" until it was a steady stream.

    I used Simple Green and paper towels to remove the decades of gunk.

    I will be loading it up with thread tonight to see how well it sews.

    BTW, it seemed to have a green SINGER decal inthe front, is this normal? and does anyone know of a source for replacement decals for it?

    Steve

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Are the cork gaskets in tact? When I got mine the bobbin case was broken, there were burrs and the tension spring was needing adjustment and it was full of oil beads. The oil pan was clean.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  13. #13
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Are the cork gaskets in tact? When I got mine the bobbin case was broken, there were burrs and the tension spring was needing adjustment and it was full of oil beads. The oil pan was clean.

    Gaskets? (plural?) There is a break in "the" gasket but it is "complete". It seems to seal just fine when set in the unit carefully. I have considered a coating of contact/rubber cement to bond the ends together in a non rigid fashion.

    My boss just loaned me his high speed camera so that I can try to get a video of the needle/hook interaction at speed.

    I will try to capture a series of pictures of the critical bits as well.

    My sewing machine shop originally sold me a "v" belt for it but there is NO way that I can see that would let you put a contiguous belt on. (The clutch/pressure plate does not separate far enough) So I took that back and got a heavy leather belt. I own a pair of original Singer treadle belt pliers which made the connection SO easy... (first time using the pliers...) now she Zooms

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