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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?
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Thread: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-24-2012 12:20 PM
paul323
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

I got the LSZ-1 a little while ago, and straight out of the box I thought it was a good machine. I later added their "Monster Wheel", and realized it was a GREAT machine. Although I do use the zz (I am a noob, so no expert) I would put the Monster Wheel as a higher priority than the zz. The machine runs smoother, and deals with varying layups - and thicker layups - more easily. It made a huge difference.

As for the power, as an example, I was working on a thick layup the other day, and the needle got deflected and punched straight though this steel plate


Sumners advice on parts reflects my own. Bought and used all of those...

I would also encourage you to buy from Sailrite. (disclaimer: Just a satisfied customer). As stated, they are very friendly, helpful, and patient. I needed a bit of help to get to grips with the machine, and their manual, videos, and telephone support is unequaled.. Parts do break and get out of alignment; the Sailrite machine is easy for you to repair, tune, and get parts for. And once you start making stuff, having a supplier you can depend upon is well worth it.
12-24-2012 11:37 AM
wmarinecanvas
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Hello everybody,

As a marine canvas fabricator who started out doing canvas on a cruising sailboat using an LSZ-1 I thought I would throw my two cents in as well.

When I first started doing canvas work using the Sailrite machine I thought that the zig-zag was an absolute necessity for the heavy-duty sewing of marine canvas due to strength of the stitch.

After having returned to life ashore a few years ago I went to work in a sail loft doing custom canvas work and I recently opened my own custom canvas shop here in Annapolis. During my time working in a sail service loft (all repairs, no new sails) I can tell you that for most sail repairs on cruising sails the zig-zag stitch is not necessary.

The zig-zag stitch and the three- or four-step zig-zag that a lot of the industrial machines are capable of is necessary in sail-making more for the even stretch of the sail than for the strength of the seam. Most cruising sail repairs that are done by a sailrite machine are not precision jobs and don't need to be. Especially if your boat is longer than about 35' I would imagine that you'll need to get it to a loft occasionally to take care of the bigger jobs which means that the Sailrite repairs are more of a temporary fix.

Anyway, to sum up, the zig-zag stitch isn't necessary for 99% of the DIY repairs out there but a lot of people think that it looks nice and nautical in which case sure, go for it. Is it worth the $150 extra? I would say only if you plan on doing a lot of spinnaker (or gennaker, screacher, code-zero, etc.) repairs which rely more on the even stretch of the stitching than a big heavy cruising main or genoa does.

Just my two cents.
12-23-2012 06:15 PM
TejasSailer
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harbin2 View Post
I'm pretty sure the LSZ-1 machine makes a significantly smaller zig zag than the more expensive industrial machines used to make most of the commercial sails. I'm not sure how significant the stitch size is in sailmaking and repairs.
Not having made sails, the following is academic. The LSZ-1 zig-zag width is 5 mm. James Grant's Sailrite sail construction series states that the zig-zag stitch should be 3/16" (or just about 5 mm.) The Sailmaker's Apprentice doesn't seem to mention an optimum width, but it's about 500 pages so the width might be in there somewhere. Don Casey in This Old Boat recommends at least 6 mm.

However, too wide of a stitch could be a snag problem.

While not stated, these widths are probably for two-point, single-step zig-zag. Multi-point, multi-step zig-zag could be wider without the snagging problem. For example, the maximum width for the Sailrite professional, a four-point, three-step machine, is 10 mm.

The widest two-point, single-step zig-zag I've seen is 12 mm for the no longer marketed Sailrite Sailmaker which was based on the Brother TZ1-B652 and has separate feet, feed-dogs and throat-plates for straight-straight-stitch, 5 mm zig-zag and 12 mm zig-zag
12-23-2012 02:19 PM
Sumner10
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
....Once you add the case ($125) and Cuda Crank Wheel ($100) the price difference between the Sailrite machine and Barracuda machine is under $200 (less when Sailrite has a sale). alex
We buy all the time from Defender, but wonder if they stock all of the parts for that machine like Sailrite does. Most are probably interchangeable, but you wouldn't know for sure since Sailrite has made some changes to their machine.

You will need parts if you sew much. So far we have had to replace the following. Sooner or later the needle will hit these parts and you will know it because the thread will snag and start to unravel and bunch up at the needle.



The above you can file and sand smooth again a number of times but sooner or later you need one.



The same with the shuttle above. The needle can hit if, usually your fault, and nick it. I've been able to file/sand/polish ours so far but we now have a spare.



The needle plate on ours finally broke and we had to get another.



The takeup spring will probably also finally break and need replacement. Here is a link to just some of the parts available from them....

http://search.sailrite.com/category/...-machine-parts

...and they make a nice kit for cruisers with parts you might need....

Cruiser's Spares for Ultrafeed Sewing Machines

...while away. We bought the kit along with some other backup parts.

There are other small springs and numerous tiny, tiny screws that can be dropped and needed. All in all the machine has been rock solid and we have sewn a lot of projects on it. I'm sure some people have probably not had to replace a thing.

The point is that any of these machines that have forward/reverse, zig-zag, adjustable stitch length and walking feet have a lot of parts in them and sooner or later you might need one of those parts and if so they are just a call away with Sailrite.

Sum

Our 37 Endeavour --- Our 26 MacGregor --- Trips With Both

12-23-2012 01:03 PM
harbin2
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

I'm pretty sure the LSZ-1 machine makes a significantly smaller zig zag than the more expensive industrial machines used to make most of the commercial sails. I'm not sure how significant the stitch size is in sailmaking and repairs.
12-22-2012 10:33 PM
Alex W
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrafford View Post
You might want to look at Defenders machine. It's $500 That's what we have.
That is the one that I mentioned earlier.

The major differences between the two machines are:
* the Barracuda (sold by Defender and Amazon) doesn't come with the case. The case is worth the ~$100
* the clutch on the Barracuda slips more easily. Sailrite make a very nice improvement here that is expensive to add on. The "Cuda Crank Wheel" from Defender/Barracuda gets you part of the way there by using set screws to lock the wheel instead of using the stock clutch.
* The Sailrite machine has a lot of internal improvements that aren't immediately obvious and I don't think they change the sewing results, but may allow the machine to last longer. There have a video that shows them, and the Barracuda is identical to the older Sailrite machine that they compare to.
* The Barracuda manual is nearly useless, but at least you can buy the Sailrite one for $10 (online/PDF).

Once you add the case ($125) and Cuda Crank Wheel ($100) the price difference between the Sailrite machine and Barracuda machine is under $200 (less when Sailrite has a sale).

alex
12-22-2012 07:46 PM
Sumner10
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TejasSailer View Post
Actually, I prefer to use scissors for cutting fabric for more precise cuts. Since I'm DIY and not a production shop, if appropriate I then use the hot knife to sear the edges of the fabric to avoid unravelling.

Apparently production shops use the hot knife without the foot on a heat resistant table-top because the foot attachment seems to load up with melted material -- essentially my experience.
I use the soldering iron...



...on a piece of glass and will either pull the material through it (straight cuts) or push the gun tip through the material if it is a curved cut.

I can cut way faster with the ...



...hot knife with the foot on than I can with scissors and don't have any problem following a straight line with it. We also hem about everything. I'll use it for gradual curves but use the gun for sharper curves or short cuts. I like using them because you cut and you are done, no fraying.

The trick to keeping the foot clear is to cut fast and to trigger the gun on and off. The foot will still get material built up but is easy to flick out. Just trigger the gun on and use a knife tip, a couple seconds does it.

It was hard to spend the money on, but if it broke, don't count on that, I'd buy another as soon as possible. We used it on about all of the Endeavour projects...

Endeavour 37 Canvas Mods Index

Sum

Our 37 Endeavour --- Our 26 MacGregor --- Trips With Both

12-22-2012 07:04 PM
TejasSailer
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Actually, I prefer to use scissors for cutting fabric for more precise cuts. Since I'm DIY and not a production shop, if appropriate I then use the hot knife to sear the edges of the fabric to avoid unravelling.

Apparently production shops use the hot knife without the foot on a heat resistant table-top because the foot attachment seems to load up with melted material -- essentially my experience.
12-22-2012 06:08 PM
Sabreman
Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Ditto with the hot knife. I do use scissors but the knife is better. But go slow.
12-22-2012 03:09 PM
Sumner10
Re: Sailrite LS-1 or LSZ-1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
...Other parts can be purchased outside SailRite which tends to be expensive for common accessories like binding guides.
Talking about other parts.....it is best not to cut sunbrella with a knife as the edges then unravel (hemming helps). I modified...



....a solder gun and used it for a hot knife and did most of the cutting for Ruth and there has been a lot.

We finally bought a real...



...hot knife from another supplier as they were cheaper than Sailrite, but did buy the foot from them. We should of bought this a couple years ago. It isn't cheap, but if you start doing projects with...



.... a lot of long strip cuts like we have...



...the hot knife is just so nice. I still use the solder guy for intricate cuts and installing common sense fasteners.

Also we really like using the common sense ...



...fasteners and I have a page....



...the might be of help installing them here...

Ruth Canvas Mods page 21

These projects can be very rewarding,

Sum

Our 37 Endeavour --- Our 26 MacGregor --- Trips With Both

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