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  #21  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

That's a good point. When you're in the middle a whole bunch of sail material, trying to carefully sew inch by inch, the last thing you need is the machine taking off like a rocket. With the upgraded motor on my Pfaff 130, it can get going faster than I want if I step on the gas too much, often resulting in use of the seam ripper. It also tends to start shredding the thread if you try to go too fast through a lot of layers. I have found that oiling the thread helps with this. A #19 or 20 needle also is a must to avoid thread breakage in thick material.
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Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
It also tends to start shredding the thread if you try to go too fast through a lot of layers. I have found that oiling the thread helps with this. A #19 or 20 needle also is a must to avoid thread breakage in thick material.
I'm pretty new to this stuff so maybe the terminology I'm using is wrong.

I haven't made any sails and don't really intend to but I have done quite a bit of my own canvas work. I'm using a "bonded polyester" thread that is really strong and doesn't fray, is this standard/normal?

I have found it sometimes breaks if there were too many layers or if one layer is leather. So I bought needles that are intended for leather and have an "anvil" head or so the sewing shop called it. It cuts cleanly through multiple layers including leather and using the bonded polyester thread, it sews through just about anything.
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  #23  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I'm pretty new to this stuff so maybe the terminology I'm using is wrong.

I haven't made any sails and don't really intend to but I have done quite a bit of my own canvas work. I'm using a "bonded polyester" thread that is really strong and doesn't fray, is this standard/normal?

I have found it sometimes breaks if there were too many layers or if one layer is leather. So I bought needles that are intended for leather and have an "anvil" head or so the sewing shop called it. It cuts cleanly through multiple layers including leather and using the bonded polyester thread, it sews through just about anything.
Yes, but you DON'T want a needle that cuts (I suppose your leather needle is doing that). You want a needle that shoulders away the yarns.

And yes, bonded polyester is what you want.

Disclaimer: I am far from being an expert, everything I know is from Don Casey's books. Still, with this very limited knowledge I have churned out all kinds of canvas work and one sail so far (anchor riding sail, easy!). And, in a dire emergency, Halloween costumes for the whole family in one morning!
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Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

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Originally Posted by MastUndSchotbruch View Post
Yes, but you DON'T want a needle that cuts (I suppose your leather needle is doing that). You want a needle that shoulders away the yarns.
I guess that with sailcloth the cutting is an issue - I wonder if it's as critical with canvas? I have sewn stuff that's been on the boat for a couple of seasons and I haven't seen a down side yet.

But your point is made - I need to reconsider that needle.

Thanks for confirmation of the thread.
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Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I guess that with sailcloth the cutting is an issue - I wonder if it's as critical with canvas? I have sewn stuff that's been on the boat for a couple of seasons and I haven't seen a down side yet.

But your point is made - I need to reconsider that needle.

Thanks for confirmation of the thread.
Yeah, that may be one of the finer points of machine sewing. I am not sure whether it really makes a difference but this is what I read. It makes sense to me so why not get the right tool for the job?

One more thing that I learned the hard way: someone mentioned oiling the thread. This makes a huge difference in preventing fraying threads. I don't use oil but a special product made for this purpose, I think it is silicon based. You can get it from professional uphostery supplies places, like Rochford. It is applied through a special device that is attached to the machine.
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