SailNet Community banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A few years and 2 boats ago, I used my sister's 1990's(?) Singer Scholastic to make everything from a tiller cover up to a Sailrite dodger kit(!). It bogged down a little doing the dodger windows and some heavy corner layering, but made it through and worked fine--quite well, really--for everything else, despite expectations and common wisdom that nothing less than an industrial machine would do.
Itching to do some covers and things for a new boat, I ran out and got this little cheapo, thinking it would be similar. Seems to work okay, but then I remembered that I really liked using a binding feeder on the Scholastic, which had the necessary threaded holes in its base to receive attachments like the feeder. This thing doesn't have said holes. Which begs a couple questions:

1) Are threaded holes for mounting accessories standard on some sewing machines and not others? It's hard to tell from ads & pictures of machines which have holes, and which don't.
1a) I suppose I could just drill the holes, but it doesn't seem like it will work well.
1b) I could also track down another identical Singer scholastic on ebay, but I don't have the patience.

2) Anyone have recommendations for a very inexpensive, new (<$200) entry level machine on which I can use a binding feeder and will handle a few layers of Sunbrella? How about one of Amazon.com: SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine with Metal Frame and Stainless Steel Bedplate: Arts, Crafts & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@41YDffqezqL? Reviews seem mixed.

3) Anyone have recommendations for commonly found used machines, i.e. on Craigslist? Those of you in the fabric/sewing business, are there "classic" workhorse sewing machines from some bygone era that I might be able to track down pretty easily and do some boat canvaswork on?

I'm not making sails on a deserted isle. Just looking for a decent straight & zigzag stich and binding feeder to make pockets, covers, awnings, and lee cloths on idle winter days away from the boat.
TIA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I am sure others will share as well I used a pfaff 130 for many years for reupholstering and sails on trailer sailers I owned. Then when the sail material thickened when I upgraded to a bigger boat I found a Sailrite clone for a few hundred and it has served me well for a couple years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
I never thought I would be talking about sewing machines but----- Last week I bought a Pfaff 332 with a bunch of attachments and a real nice Pfaff table that fits it for $50.00 on Craigslist. The best part of the whole deal was that the people that sold it to me had just been fishing that morning and threw in about 3 pounds of fresh caught Grouper.

Some days are just better than others!!!!

PS The Grouper was great, and the sewing machine is awesome!!!!
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,344 Posts
For low to mid range I would skip Singer, not the company it used to be. It is now making plastic things to sell at WalMart. I would look into Pfaff or Necci (SP?) on Craigslist or a new Pfaff that will take a walking foot. The one I looked at was around the $200 mark and seemed pretty good, though I did not buy was just wasting time while the kids looked at video games in the next store. My suggestion is to try to find an old school local sewing machine store, they will be able to repair anything they sell. They also will help with finding an appropriate machine and often have good used/refurbished machines. Seems the older machines were all made better till you get to the very expensive machines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input, folks. I should have looked harder -- just received this guy in the mail, no need to bolt to the machine!
Amazon.com: Distinctive Tape Binding Sewing Machine Presser Foot - Fits All Low Shank Snap-On Singer*, Brother, Babylock, Euro-Pro, Janome, Kenmore, White, Juki, New Home, Simplicity, Elna and More!: Arts, Crafts & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@510lQQj8rKL

We'll see how the cheap Singer & this attachment work out. If it goes as poorly as I expect, I'm hoping something like this will treat me well:

Pfaff 1221 Sewing Machine - Like New!

Pfaff 260 Vintage Workhorse Sewing Machine!

Looking forward to posting some results in the "low buck projects" thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,105 Posts
I have spent years sewing on junk home machines; Last winter got a new sailrite LSZ1 and wonder what I wasted all that time on junk machines! All the needles and broken threads, They can't handle the right thread: and projects turn out less than perfect! My sail rite sews
so well without dragging it through the machine! Your time is worth something! …Dale
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Have to concur that the heavy duty, industrial, walking foot machines make the job easier than the repurposed home sewing device. I looked at the Sailrite units with lust but the Scot in me had me research options on Ebay. Was hopeful to find a used one on Ebay but found a brand new Chinese long arm, walking foot unit that looks exactly like the 111. It is a straight stitch, self oiling unit and came complete with table, thread stand, needles, tools, motor (of course) and was shipped to me for about $500.00. I had the service man from a local sewing shop do the set up of the unit and it is a charm. All the Sailrite attachments work perfectly on my clone so I can use the wonderful attachments they offer, like the binder you mentioned. It works GREAT.

I can not say enough good things about Sailrite. I get all my fabric, strataglass, zippers, foam, etc from them. They provide amazing council on projects and terrific encouragement. Their machines are awesome. I just wish I could afford one.

Good luck with your project.

Leslie
s/v Tango, Cabo Rico 34
Lankford Bay Marina, Chester River, MD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Hey Guys,

One of the many hats I wear at my job is maintaining and tweaking industrial sewing machines. I have some thoughts on this topic.

1. You get what you pay for....to an extent. The singer "home" machines are junk as are many of the entry level machines with plastic housings. If you really want a machine to work you should go with something that is more in the industrial category with a good cast body. Singer actually made some good industrial quality machines that will do everything you need (Singer Professional Model 20-13 for instance) The singer is nice because it does zig-zag and straight stitch and is a work horse. There are some other nice models out there for only straight stitch and zig-zag. Look at Juki DDL 555, Pfaff 138, Brother, Union Special and Durkopf Adler 267 (the Durkopf is the Mercedes Mercedes Benz of Machines so expect the price to reflect that) Sailrite also makes an excellent machine that comes with a good selection of attachments. If you are going to use a machine for periodic sail repairs cushions etc. this is a perfect machine for that.

2. If you get a used machine be ready to have it overhauled. The old machines are awesome and if you find one for a good price there are a couple things you may need to replace to have it in top shape .i.e the hook, needle bar, belt take up spring and tensioners. For certain machines this is not that big a deal but with others it could add $100-$150 to your purchase so buyer beware.

3. Get the Machine timed. If the machine hasn't been timed in a while you may need to have it done. There are some how to instructions out there but often times it is best to just take it in to the shop and have it done. Shouldn't cost more than an hour's labor.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have about machines. I may start a Thread specifically for Sewing machine questions.

All the best,

Gary
 

·
midlife crisis member
Joined
·
975 Posts
Gary,

I have a Consew 230 and I love it. Sews anything and is very (too) fast but it has three shortcomings: no zigzag, no walking foot, and max 1/8" stitch. I have sewn sails to bimini's with it.

I just ordered a roller foot and feed for it. Basically a big wheel for a foot. Do you have experience with these?

Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Gary,

I have a Consew 230 and I love it. Sews anything and is very (too) fast but it has three shortcomings: no zigzag, no walking foot, and max 1/8" stitch. I have sewn sails to bimini's with it.

I just ordered a roller foot and feed for it. Basically a big wheel for a foot. Do you have experience with these?

Eric
Eric,

The Consew is a good machine for straight stitch. I think I remember you looking for that machine on another forum. Needle feed is solid for most things just need bigger needles typically for thicker materials, there actually old timers that swear by them. The roller foots are nice once you get the foot height adjusted correctly. They are really good for heavy canvas, Leather, vinyl and such. Basically they allow the feed of the thicker materials to be much more consistent and fluid. Once you get used to it you should be flying.
 

·
midlife crisis member
Joined
·
975 Posts
Eric,

The Consew is a good machine for straight stitch. I think I remember you looking for that machine on another forum. Needle feed is solid for most things just need bigger needles typically for thicker materials, there actually old timers that swear by them. The roller foots are nice once you get the foot height adjusted correctly. They are really good for heavy canvas, Leather, vinyl and such. Basically they allow the feed of the thicker materials to be much more consistent and fluid. Once you get used to it you should be flying.
Yes, you sent me a maintenance/setup manual for it at the time. The machine is a workhorse. Consistently stitches away without broken needles or thread.

I have found the pressure required to hold heavy materials down puts a lot of drag on the top layer of fabric. The bottom layer moves faster than the top. Either that or I need to drag the materials through. I am hoping the roller will allow more consistent feeding without a walking foot. I also just ordered 30 bobbins so I don't need to pull all the thread off the bobbin when switching colours or thread weights. I only had 3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
I recently bought a Pfaff 332 machine. What do you think of these?
The 332 is a decent machine. Not quite the full size industrial with the longer arm but still a good machine. The design is older from the 40'2 or 50's but should work really well. If you make sure you keep the hook in good shape it should out last you!

Yes, you sent me a maintenance/setup manual for it at the time. The machine is a workhorse. Consistently stitches away without broken needles or thread.

I have found the pressure required to hold heavy materials down puts a lot of drag on the top layer of fabric. The bottom layer moves faster than the top. Either that or I need to drag the materials through. I am hoping the roller will allow more consistent feeding without a walking foot. I also just ordered 30 bobbins so I don't need to pull all the thread off the bobbin when switching colours or thread weights. I only had 3.
Let me know what pre-wound bobbin size you use I may have some sitting around that we can't use. Glad the machine is working well for you.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top