Join Date: Dec 2010
Thanked 67 Times in 63 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Re: Sewing machine corner
I used to and sometimes still do work in a canvas house, and I do a sideline biz repairing sails and fabricating canvas stuff. (disclaimer)
There are quite adequate machines available for the $300 or maybe even less range. These machines are not walking foot. They are regularly used in sail and canvas fabrication houses. ex: Schurr Sails in Pensacola FL has something like five P138s in-house.
I refer to the PFAFF 130 and the PFAFF 138.
The 130 is a small machine, and it has zag. Very portable. The 130 will sew anything from silk to sails. You can find these for anywhere from next to nothing to the $250 range. There is a restorer on eBay who commands high prices but these are restored machines. Hand cranks are available for the P130. My 130 will go on the boat with me.
The 138 is larger, more of a dedicated industrial machine, it also has zag. I have had more trouble with lighter cloth with my 138 but that may be on my end. I've seen these from $300 on up to about $800. The 138 has a longer throat area which makes it easier to use for larger items. It is heavy, though, not so portable as the 130
I have hot-rodded both my machines by adding extra springs to the pressor foot shaft, and I've installed more aggressive-toothed feed dogs. In the shop, I learned how to help the cloth along by pulling it, you learn with some practice how to help feed your machine.
Sailmaker's Supply, where I did work, carries not only notions and fabric, but also a very nice Consew DC servo motor (she can get all sorts of stuff, just ask). I'm addicted to the servo motor. It's got a smoother acceleration, and you can control its speed without having to install small pulleys (like on a big 1/2-horse motor), and it's DC so I should think I can set it up for the boat, nevertheless this little motor is light and tiny, it's really the shizzle.
My travelling rig is the Pfaff 130 with the Consew servo. Light, powerful, quality.
Last edited by Multihullgirl; 03-14-2014 at 08:57 AM.