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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > sewing machine advice
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-12-2012 12:55 AM
Sumner10
Re: sewing machine advice



Above is the Singer we started with and still use for some things. It is a 99....

Sew-Classic Blog: Classic Singer 99 Vintage Sewing Machine Review

....and pretty capable. No walking foot, but you can still accomplish about anything you want with it within reason. Ruth ....



....modified the pop-top (blue canvas) that came with our Mac. The only problem is that these usually aren't cheap, but you might find one that someone has and they don't know the value,

Sum
09-11-2012 09:27 PM
Captainmeme
Re: sewing machine advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkCK View Post
My parents had this old machine that hasn't been used in years. I think it is a 1970's vintage if not older. Can anyone tell me what I have. I haven't plugged it in yet but if it works it ought to be good enough to at least practice on for a while. It probably isn't stout enough to go through sunbrella.
It depends on how many layers of sunbrella you intend to sew together. You will
need the biggest needle that fits the machine. Start with two layers and work your way up to six. I think 4 layers is the majority of sewing cushions, the layers being side, top, and two layers for the cording. All that can go wrong is to break the machine but more than likely knock it out of timing.
09-11-2012 08:07 PM
emoney
Re: sewing machine advice

Definitely a 70s machine. This was when they had switched to the plastic cases. Sadly, it's probably not stout enough for very thick fabric, but it's awesome for honing your skills and the only thing it won't go through is whatever you try.
09-11-2012 07:24 PM
MarkCK
Re: sewing machine advice

My parents had this old machine that hasn't been used in years. I think it is a 1970's vintage if not older. Can anyone tell me what I have. I haven't plugged it in yet but if it works it ought to be good enough to at least practice on for a while. It probably isn't stout enough to go through sunbrella.
09-11-2012 11:08 AM
emoney
Re: sewing machine advice

At the risk of being redundant, find a local "sewing machine repair shop". I found a 60's Singer for $35.00 and it seemed like the store owner felt guilty for pricing it "that high", lol. It's heavy, but sews leather like it was cotton. It's made 24 cushions so far and still purrs like a kitten. Plus, when you're done with sail repair & cushion making, they serve as a great platform for winding your own electric guitar pickups.
09-11-2012 10:45 AM
TejasSailer
Re: sewing machine advice

MarkCK,

Also post the make and model.

Getting a Pfaff 130 for $30 is a real deal. Pfaff 130 sewing machines in resent craigslist posting in this area are usually offered for $200+. Mine sold quickly for $250, but there were extras.

As for service for a Pfaff 130, I thought this manual was quite good. I bought a soft copy on eBay.

Pfaff 130 Service Manual (Printed Full Color) | eBay

Of course, no affiliation of any kind.
09-11-2012 09:52 AM
MarkCK
Re: sewing machine advice

It sounds like the sailrite is probably the best options. I haven't found any stellar deals on any of the Pfaffs or Singers. I am sure if I keep an eye out on Craigslist I would eventually find one but everyone' other argument on the sailrite makes up the difference. My parents have an old sewing machine that is probably of decent quality that I cane use for the time being that i can at least learn on. It's more of the household variety but I will post pictures of it the next time I can get up there to look at it. Then someone can tell me what I have.
09-11-2012 02:53 AM
Windkiller
Re: sewing machine advice

I have a nice pfaff 130 I got for $30 it was set up and sold to me by a retired sewing machine mechanic. I have the manual and it's pretty easy to adjust and maintain. Also there's a whole forum!
I just used it to resew a genoa that I cut about 6" of sun damage off of the leech and foot and then resewed it (I unpicked the whole cornerpatch and reattached it).It worked like a charm and I'm definitely an amateur. The sail looks good and works great. Happily it was a little large for my boat so the size reduction was just right. A lot of the older Pfaffs are up to the job and they're built to last!
There's a lady who supports her families cruising by doing sail repairs with a 130
09-10-2012 02:31 PM
Sumner10
Re: sewing machine advice

I forgot one other detail. Before buying any machine think about how you will use it in the future. When we bought the Singer and then the Lsz-1 we had one sailboat. Our MacGregor that lived at home on the trailer. The boat was at home, we were at home and the sewing machines were at home. This worked great as it is easier to do boat projects when everything is the same place.

Then we went and bought a second boat, an Endeavour 37, that is 2200 miles from our home. We made a number of canvas mods for her at home (that you can see if you google Ruth's stuff that I mentioned above) and took them to the boat with us when we returned. We also took the sewing machines to make alterations. We ended up making some. If we wouldn't of had a portable machine this would of been a lot harder to do.

The yard where the Endeavour is has a large sewing table in the community room and a hole to drop you machine in. I noticed that last spring as a lot of cruisers came in to put their boats up for hurricane season they had sewing machines with them and made repairs. We will take our Lsz-1 on the boat with us also for repairs there or ashore.

If you are lucky enough to live near your boat then the above is not a concern. If now or in the future you might find yourself in our situation then I'd think seriously about a portable machine,

Sum
09-10-2012 02:21 PM
Sumner10
Re: sewing machine advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusM View Post
I own a Sailrite LSZ-1 and I it works great for me. The only thing is that if you want to sew any kind of lightweight fabric's it wont work very well. The gap between the feeding foot and the plate are to big and it will eat any light weight fabric. ..

We kept the older Singer and use it on the light stuff. I will add this....I was having some problem can't remember what at the moment, but Matt or Grant at Sailrite suggested that I go through the sequence of adjusting everything on the machine as if it was new (we had done a lot of projects up to this point). They have a video and I went through all of the steps and the machine is better now than even when it was new.

We can get a lot more material under the foot, yet it still sews fine with just two thicknesses, the feed is better, it is just nicer to use all the way around. I'd suggest going through these adjustments to anyone using the machine. You will also know the machine a lot better and be able to diagnose problems easier.

When we started we felt that having a machine that could go through 3-4 layers of sunbrella was all that is needed. Wrong you will at times find yourself sewing through over twice that many layers of material and sunbrella is woven so tight to make it 'kind of' waterproof that it will really push a machine. The Lsz-1 can handle that situation and after going through the maintenance procedure it does it easier than ever before. As I said before there are good deals on industrial machines out there, but I'd only buy them from someone that specializes in them and can help you down the road. If you start sewing many projects you will need that help.

The most common problem is the needle striking parts under the table top, the retaining cap or the shuttle hook with the Lsz-1. You know it when the thread starts to unravel every now and then. If you see any nicks on them you need to take them out or replace the parts. I've found that a jeweler's file and some 400-600 wet sand paper does the trick.

I also made an adapter that is simple to make for the foot control that gives you stitch by stitch control like TejasSailer mentioned. When I can link on here I'll give a link to it,

Sum
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