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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Alternatives to Sailrite?
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Thread: Alternatives to Sailrite? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-11-2012 07:39 PM
MastUndSchotbruch
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

Quote:
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.
12-11-2012 07:33 PM
Omatako
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

Quote:
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.
12-11-2012 07:28 PM
MastUndSchotbruch
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

Quote:
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!
12-11-2012 07:14 PM
Omatako
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

Quote:
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.
12-11-2012 06:40 PM
smurphny
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.
12-11-2012 04:14 PM
MastUndSchotbruch
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
The Sailrite LSZ-1 is a nice machine that comes well equipped. I bought a "clone" made by Barracuda (found on amazon), but have spent a lot of time and money upgrading it to be as nice as a LSZ-1. It would have been cheaper to buy the Sailrite machine in the first place.

These are solid all metal machines with a walking foot and only two stitches, straight and zigzag. They handle heavy cloth pretty nicely, but at a slower rate than an industrial machine. The whole thing packs away nicely into a carrying case that would fit onboard.

I haven't made or modified sails, I've just done basic canvas work. This thread is interesting and opening up possibilities for me.
They handle heavy cloth pretty nicely, but at a slower rate than an industrial machine.

This is a huge advantage! Assuming you are not a trained seamster/ress, the problem is not the machine going too slow but the machine going too fast! Having the possibility of going slow and with control was for me the biggest advantage of installing the Sailrite Monster Wheel.
12-11-2012 03:38 PM
Alex W
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

The Sailrite LSZ-1 is a nice machine that comes well equipped. I bought a "clone" made by Barracuda (found on amazon), but have spent a lot of time and money upgrading it to be as nice as a LSZ-1. It would have been cheaper to buy the Sailrite machine in the first place.

These are solid all metal machines with a walking foot and only two stitches, straight and zigzag. They handle heavy cloth pretty nicely, but at a slower rate than an industrial machine. The whole thing packs away nicely into a carrying case that would fit onboard.

I haven't made or modified sails, I've just done basic canvas work. This thread is interesting and opening up possibilities for me.
12-11-2012 03:27 PM
smurphny
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksailorguy View Post
@ smurphny - if you were going to give a short list of suitable sewing machines, what models would that list include? I've been looking online, seen some interesting singers, etc., a Domestic (Dometic?), a few Pfaffs - really wondering which ones would work.
I have no experience with any machine other than the Pfaff 130. I got it on Ebay and then added an upgraded motor and a big handwheel from Zeus sewing machines. Zeus is very helpful. The reason I went with the Pfaff is because it is small enough to keep right onboard and has no cheap plastic gears--all metal. Many of the heavy machines are made to be mounted permanently somewhere and are way too large to even consider keeping on a small boat. I built a sturdy case that fits right in a locker. The hand wheel makes it usable even with no power by just turning it manually, not fast but a LOT faster than hand sewing. It would be nice to have more stitch types like a 3-step which is stronger than a plain zig-zag and used by sailmakers. I use #20 needles and 92# thread for most of the heavy stuff. As I said, the bugger will sew right through 8 layers of new 8 oz. sail cloth for corner patch work. Everyone says they like a moving foot. The 130 does not have one so I have no info. on that. Don't even know what it does.

One thing mentioned above is basting. Sailrite sends basting tape with their kits. It seems to be absolutely indispensable so it should be included in any material list you make. Keeping long seams aligned without it would be next to impossible.
12-11-2012 03:22 PM
Seaduction
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

Saw this one on e-Bay. There are many offered for sale there. What type of slides do you need for the mast and boom? Do you know the maker of the mast?


CS33 North Dacron Mainsail 37 6' Luff x 11' Foot 2 Reefs 4 Full Battens | eBay
12-11-2012 02:06 PM
canucksailorguy
Re: Alternatives to Sailrite?

@ smurphny - if you were going to give a short list of suitable sewing machines, what models would that list include? I've been looking online, seen some interesting singers, etc., a Domestic (Dometic?), a few Pfaffs - really wondering which ones would work.
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