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Old 10-07-2003
Sailmale Sailmale is offline
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Sources for fabric/other questions

I need to replace the bimini, dodger, sailcovers and a few other related canvas type items over the winter, and I''m thinking about doing it myself.

I''ve had some experience in doing this in the past, so I''m not a rookie but these would be considerable above my level of experience.

However, I think with careful planning, I can do a good job...and plan on ripping apart the old pieces to form the patterns for the new ones.

What fabric is best to use: treated canvas or acrylic canvas, such as Sunbrella? And what is duck canvas? Is it just an untreated version? I live in the Chesapeake region, BTW.

Also, I''m checking out what kind of sewing machine I would need for these projects. Several books and articles on the subject suggest that just about any old machine designed for the home can do the job, though it might be somewhat of a hassle because of thread tension issues, small feed dogs, and too small a space in which to work because of the machine''s arm design. Don Casey in most of his books and articles says buy a sturdy and cheap old home machine, and it should do the job with some minor difficulties.

When I went to a independent sew and vac store to check out their used machines, the woman there (probably in her mid-30''s; not a teenager nor a grandmother) kinda pooh-poohed the home machine idea. She pointed me toward a new machine, made by Thompson, I believe, that was sturdy enough to handle canvas work, awnings, reupholstery, etc., for about $700. It sewed just straight stitches, however, no zig-zags. But that was at least twice what I wanted to pay. I don''t think that she was just trying to sell me a machine, but I''m not sure.

Anyway, what''s the opinion on whether a used home machine is up to the task? And if it isn''t, anyone know a source for used industrial machines that won''t cost an arm and a leg?

Thanks...Michael
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