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04-22-2013 08:23 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

You also want to have a good heavy weighted wheel for hand work through thick fabric also. On our Sailrite LZ-1 sometimes using the heavy wheel to do the first pass was easier and broke less needles on some materials like strataglass for dodgers etc.

My wife has made dodgers, biminis, cover for the dinghy in the davits, web straps for thethers. and has just redid the 26 cushions in our boat.

We also take the sails home every winter and examine and do the minor repairs on our sails such as broken threads, webbing in the clue and headboard areas. The walking foot is a necessity.

If I was to actually make a sail the long arm would be a necessity as well as a good sewing table and catch table.
04-22-2013 08:05 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

In addition to walking-foot, you might want to be aware of compound walking-foot -- has both drop-feed (bottom-feed) and needle-feed (top-feed), with an alternating presser-foot (walking-foot). The following links should be helpful, and do click on "show more" on the YouTube video. With needle-feed, the needle follows an elliptical path and pulls the material through the machine along with movement of the fabric by the serrated teeth of the (bottom) feet dogs that is typical of home sewing machines. Needle-feed and walking-foot both minimize the slippage of top layers of the fabric relative to lower layers. Many walking-foot machines lack needle-feed.

Sewing machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New users often quickly post enough almost null posts simply to achieve status.
04-22-2013 07:58 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

Post a few more replies and you might be able to read it. I forget if it is time based or based on participation.
04-22-2013 06:51 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

Great replies. Thanks. To clarify:

1. my boat is 35 ft, leech on the main is 29 ft or so

2. The only sails I will make are for me. Good sail making is an art and science.. that many are very good at now. I don't plan a futile effort to break into that market.

3. "If" I do this for fun/profit (hobby income) it will be for little custom jobs like dodgers, pedestal covers, etc.

The "walking foot" thing is something I'm going to look into further.

The double-zig-zag may or may not be a issue.. since the only sails I make will be mine.

Shift topic: funny, when I was young, if you told me I would be interested in sewing, I would have laughed in your face. The most horrible ordeal in life was going with Mom to Jo-Anne fabrics... and all those "Simplicity" patterns on that tissue like paper.

Someone sent me a PM.. I can't open it because I am a new member.
04-22-2013 06:42 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

Originally Posted by TejasSailer View Post

You might want to clarify your post with the size of your boat.
My boat is 35 feet. The leech of the main is in the 29 ft range, give or take.
04-22-2013 05:15 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

My understanding is that lacking a multi-point, multi-step zig-zag machine, the same effect of strength and durability can be made by multiple passes with a two-point, single-stitch machine, and that because of the perforation effect Jimgo mentions, multiple passes with a straight-stitch machine does not distribute the load the same as a zig-zag machine and is not as effective.
04-22-2013 04:46 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

Thanks Tejas! Yes, that's what I was describing. In reading over at the Sailrite forum, it seemed like the three-point, two-step approach was the desired approach, because it spread out the number of holes over a wider surface area. The analogy used was that they were trying to avoid creating "perforated paper" when sewing.
04-22-2013 12:39 PM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Zigzag - really need this for bigger sails, in addition to the straight stitch that you'll want for the bimini/dodger and other pieces. If you can get one that does a double step zigzag (I think that's what it's called), that's even better. That's where each "line" in the zigzag is actually two different stitches, rather than just one.
Jimgo is describing what I think is called multi-point, multi-step. A three-point, two-step machine sews two stitches each way. A four-point, three-step machine sews three stitches. Too long of a single zig-zag stitch can be a snag problem.
04-22-2013 11:27 AM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

The long arm will be a good investment when you do the sails.

But if it comes down to a choice between the long arm and the walking foot get the foot.
04-22-2013 11:11 AM
Re: Sewing Machine: Long Arm worth the extra $?

I have made all my own sails and cushions both for in the cabins and the cockpit area.

I have a treadle Singer sewing machine But it would have been eiser with a long arm machine...

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