Which sewing machine for cover repairs and more?

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phil58490
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Which sewing machine for cover repairs and more?

Post by phil58490 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:50 pm

Hi all,
I am looking for a sewing machine capable of sewing dinghy covers. I inherited a Singer 201k from my mother which is fine up to a point but it doesn't do zigzag stitching. It is a very nice strong machine and astounds me how easily it sews through six layers of cover material without protest, stitching perfectly, my mother taught me well about thread tensions and adjustment.

I would like a zigzag machine of equal or better capability.

Any suggestions as to what I should be looking for, make and model, as there are a great number of machines for sale on the web but I don't know anyone that can point me in the right direction or even tell me what to avoid.

Thanks, Phil
Just across the Tamar in South East Cornwall

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Ed
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Re: Which sewing machine for cover repairs and more?

Post by Ed » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:26 am

Big question is whether you want something that boxes away small, or whether you want something, or don't mind something on a stand.

I have a couple of machines I use for this kind of work. I bought them both on ebay. One came from someone who was making or repairing windsurfing sails and the other from someone building kites. They are both ancient, unreliable, fussy, in need of ongoing repair and constant love and attention. I love em both. One is a Pfaff 206 and the other is a Durkop-Adler 265.

They are both semi-industrial zig-zagers, made in germany I would guess in the 60s or 70s.

I googled for just that: 'industrial zig-zag sewing machine'. They turn up quite regularly. The really knackered ones like mine go for around £100 - £200, but expect to spend quite a bit of time working out how to set the timings and service etc.

As well as Pfaffs and Durkopps the other machine that turns up, quite often is the singer 20U. These tend to go for a bit more, as they tend to be a bit newer and all except the really old ones are 'walking foot'. For example: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Singer-20U-Zi ... 1850626116

If you want something in a box, the machine to have is the Sailright Ultrafeed. I have seen these 2nd hand, but only for about 95% of the cost of a new one: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sailrite-Heav ... 1950908154

Otherwise, you need to look around for something with a metal body/frame, a reasonably strong motor and a biggish throat/arm. Do check how big the stitch length/wide is. If you can get something that takes industrial 'round' needles, I suspect you might have a better choice of bigger needles.

I have had a Pfaff that was great till the motor blew up, a Jones and a Frister Rossman, which I think both just got the timing crunched. If I knew now what I new then, I could most probably fix them.

If you want to try one out, give me a call and come up to have a play. I have the Durkopp out at the moment, which I have to admit has been acting like a right pig recently, but you are welcome to try it out.

But they are great fun to get going and very rewarding when they work well.

cheers

eib
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trebor
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Re: Which sewing machine for cover repairs and more?

Post by trebor » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:36 am

The Singer machine at our club, (treadle powered), uses a removable attachment to Zig Zag, rather than just push in a straight line, it pushes and pulls the material from side to side, (their is also a attachment for blanket stitching).
I would google your machine, their may be one for your machine.
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phil58490
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Re: Which sewing machine for cover repairs and more?

Post by phil58490 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:31 pm

Hi Ed,
I will pm you my phone number as I would love to come see and hear your experiences of your machines. Thanks, phil.
Just across the Tamar in South East Cornwall

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amyb
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Re: Which sewing machine for cover repairs and more?

Post by amyb » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:45 pm

On the tall ship we had a huge industrial singer, that could cope with very thick canvas in many layers, but also a small sailrite that seemed pretty good.

I have a Jones that seems tough, this weeks job is to make a boat cover.

I would avoid anything new and electronic, having got the old Jones out it just seems more robust than newer plastic machines.

Amy
Ed - as well as trying your canoe, I'd also like to play around with your machines!

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Re: Which sewing machine for cover repairs and more?

Post by SoggyBadger » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:57 pm

The other thing I'd advise is use the best needles you can get. On my industrial (a far-east 20U copy) I switched from "normal" needles to Titanium Nitride coated ones and it made a significant difference. And that's with being powered by a 1/4 horse clutch-drive motor.
Best wishes


SB

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