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post #21 of 30 Old 01-21-2018
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

we bought a sailrite and its paid for itself with various canvas projects. but it was expensive and is HEAVY! a tough old machine might do just as good a job. but then my wife is the operator and she loves it! Has her old Viking for lighter weight stuff.

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post #22 of 30 Old 01-21-2018
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

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Originally Posted by Lazerbrains View Post
Lew, sounds like you simply need to replace the hook in your machine. They are a normal wear item and are replaceable.
Thanks! I asked a local sew shop about the bobbin problem and was told sewing machines will only last for "so long". I see they cost a few bucks more than those used machines are going for. (of course, they could need some parts too). but I still wonder if one of those would be a better machine to put money than mine.

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post #23 of 30 Old 01-21-2018
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

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Originally Posted by dadio917 View Post
we bought a sailrite and its paid for itself with various canvas projects. but it was expensive and is HEAVY! a tough old machine might do just as good a job. but then my wife is the operator and she loves it! Has her old Viking for lighter weight stuff.
Thanks!, Yeah a sailrite is on the radar, but I going do more sewing (and research) before I look at spending that kind of $$

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post #24 of 30 Old 02-17-2019
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Question Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

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Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
You bet, the Pfaffs are great machines. I'd like to add one to my modest collection if I can snag one for the right price and would not hesitate to recommend one to anyone doing projects like I described in my post. Probably the only downside to the Pfaff is the price they tend to command in the marketplace.

Hope I didn't "dis" the Pfaff at all in my writeup. 'Just keeping it simple and inexpensive for those considering an older machine.
I am trying to re-stitch my dinghy cover, made of sunbrela, some multi-layer area. I have an old Singer 201 belt drive, not working when more than 2 layers, also it only takes the smaller home thread.

I started looking at the local small-adds for another machine. I would also like it to be able to repair my dodger, going through the clear vinyl and 2 layers of sunbrella. Would also be nice if it is portable...and cheap !

Here is what I have found: (price in cdn $)
1- PFAFF 130, asking $95, not portable.
2- Brother Heavy Duty, portable, asking $200
3- Morse portable, asking $50
4- White stretch stitches, portable, $95
5- Very vintage 'manual' Seamstress, portable, $200

So what do you think?
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pfaff.JPG   brother.JPG   morse.JPG   white.JPG   seamstress.JPG  

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post #25 of 30 Old 02-18-2019
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

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Originally Posted by SLI View Post
I am trying to re-stitch my dinghy cover, made of sunbrela, some multi-layer area. I have an old Singer 201 belt drive, not working when more than 2 layers, also it only takes the smaller home thread.

I started looking at the local small-adds for another machine. I would also like it to be able to repair my dodger, going through the clear vinyl and 2 layers of sunbrella. Would also be nice if it is portable...and cheap !

Here is what I have found: (price in cdn $)
1- PFAFF 130, asking $95, not portable.
2- Brother Heavy Duty, portable, asking $200
3- Morse portable, asking $50
4- White stretch stitches, portable, $95
5- Very vintage 'manual' Seamstress, portable, $200

So what do you think?
Take along a sample of what you intend to sew. Also bring along a needle, bobbin and thread.Try the machine.

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post #26 of 30 Old 02-19-2019
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

I know this thread is pretty old, but there are recent additions, so here is mine.

I have an old boat (79 Islander Bahama 30) that needed canvas work and the canvas on the boat was in rapid deterioration, so I thought I would give it a try, since sewing seemed to be fairly simple. I found a "heavy duty sewing machine" on Craigslist and gave it a try. The machine I found was a Singer 4432. It was used, but looked new, and it was only $45. You can find the same model on the popular shopping site named after the big women. :-)

So I started out with the simple things; a couple winch covers, a couple rail covers, the wheel cover, and then the companionway cover. I learned as I went and used the old canvas for patterning the new.

We have an upholstery shop here with all kinds of fabric and accessories, so I got the Sunbrella and heavy duty weather resistant thread from them initially. I later found that Sailrite has better pricing, but I bought enough to get the easier things done first. I knew I would eventually do the sail cover. There are two pics of the sail cover. In one it is open and unfinished layed out in a 14 foot long room, so you can get a feel for the actual cover length and then the other is the cover on the boat. The lighter blue was rubber anti-chafing material on the underside of the cover. The posting won't let me attach the wheel cover or the winch covers. I guess I have exceeded my limit.

Because the sewing machine did not have a "walking foot," I found one for that machine and installed it. It was only about $20. It is necessary and worked great for several layers of Sunbrella fabric, sometimes up to 5 layers. I also had the heavier canvas needles to help with going through the fabric.

Obviously, just like every thing else we do ourselves, by the time you get to the finished product, you are an expert and you then find out you wish you had known some stuff earlier. Anyway, the machine I bought worked just fine. It was inexpensive. I learned a lot along the way, and I would use it again. You really should decide if you have the patience for this kind of project before spending a lot of money on what could turn out to be simply frustration, because I can see where that could happen as well.
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post #27 of 30 Old 02-24-2019
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

Update:
re-oiled the old singer 201, it is a bit better, but still not stong enough. Now I need to try different needles, may make a difference.

In my list, the Brother is a scam I think. I can't fint information on Brother ''heavy duty'', I think it was stamp on by a previous owner. And by the picture it is missing some parts.

The PFAFF 130, is 2 hours away, no ready to drive that distance yet.

I am still looking
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-27-2019
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

Part of the value of the SailRite is the telephone support they give you. We bought one last fall, and their telephone support was invaluable. While no expert with sewing machines, my wife is no novice. Without their help, the project she was doing would have taken much longer.
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post #29 of 30 Old 02-27-2019
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

Update:

I did get a needle for denim and canvas. It is a bit better, but still not able to do my repairs.

I got myself a piece of sunbrella or something similar with a vinyl on the underside. I folded it to get 8 layers. My Singer with the new needle has no problem with it !!! But it cannot stitch my old dinghy cover.

I have located a Kenmore 148.14220, made in Japan, early 70's. The motor label says 1.2Amps, compare with 0.7Amps for my Singer.
I can have it for $50. I will go and see this weekend.
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post #30 of 30 Old 03-04-2019
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Re: Choosing a Domestic Sewing Machine

update:
I bought the Kenmore 148.14220 for $40 with the desk. This is made in Japan, 1971-72, all metal, I did not see any plastic part inside or out. No scratch and almost no dust or lint inside.

At the seller's house, there was a big tangle of thread under the needle and the motor would 'hummmmm' but not turn!!
I got rid of all the threads and had to motivate the machine using the hand wheel and it started. After 10 seconds it was running kind of normal. It must have been stuck in old oil.

Back home I oiled it at all friction point I could find, than ran it for a couple minutes. The noise level came down a lot. It is now very smooth. Cool I said to myself that was a bargain. Installed the threads and...and...thread break, and break and break and tangle. Hummm something was wrong. The upper tensioner is loose ans I could not dial it in. I had to take it appart 3 times before I could re-install right. Some king of push-rod for when you lift the foot was missplaced I believe. Now I was able to adjust it and did some test. Everything seems to work now.

I got my new threads, filled a bobbin, installed my Singer denim needle, got my dinghy cover to repair, and GO. The needle could not punch in...but I could see it bending a bit, release the pedal, press again, a couple of time and go go go it is sewing, it make a toc toc toc but it works. Wo, that thing is capable.

Note: machine label says 1.2Amps, but on the motor it is 1.0Amps. I guess the light is 0.2Amps...

It is like this one on the picture:
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