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Old 06-08-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
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Sewing Machine

I am looking to buy a portable industrial walking foot machine to make our screens. Looking for info and comments from those who have done this. eBay has many but would like to hear from someone who has one. Thanks. Wally
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:30 PM   #2
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Sailrite.com. Spendy, but finest kind. I've had one for 10 years or so, with flawless performance to date. Even entry-level models sew all common boat materials with ease.

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Old 06-08-2014, 04:16 PM   #3
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Lena has a Pfaff 130. It's a semi industrial sewing machine. She regulars sews 5-6 layers of Sunbrella. Look on line. There are lots of them out there. If you want more information join this Yahoo Group: Old Pfaff Pforum - For owners of old mechanical Pfaff sewing machines

Jungpeter's right, the Sailrites are good machines but $$$$.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #4
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I have an old industrial Singer 211G265 and it sews anything. Bought it off Kijiji from an auto upholsterer that was retiring.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:42 PM   #5
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I have two sailright units both work well over 20 years ex with their machines kits and supplies. Good instructions and help with adjustments and repair. Have made over a dozen sails up to 44 ft boat and many small canvas projects also repair my wife's horse blankets always getting ripped up. They have a variety of machines also may be used units on market since they have sold many over the years.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:58 PM   #6
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I have a used Sailrite LS-1. While I'm still waaay into the learning phase, it has been useful on a bunch of repairs, etc. They are available online & on boating sites. So far Sailrite's support & advice have been well worth the $$$.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:50 PM   #7
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If you are just trying to learn. buy an old singer. Made cushions out of vinyl and Curtins with blackout backing with mine. Cheap and easy to fix something to learn on. Garage sale finds.

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Old 06-08-2014, 11:55 PM   #8
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I have a Pfaff 545 with a SewQuiet servo-motor. Not portable really, but it will sew through 1/4" plywood if you are so inclined.
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:36 AM   #9
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The std old Singer , with a proper needle will do all the sewing a motor boat can use.

I have seen sails of 8-10 oz dacron with all the multiple layers in the clew sewn with a house unit.

Industrial units might be needed for a better zig zag stitch , but not for sun covers .

The THREAD you use is important to the service life of the sewing.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by refugio View Post
I have a Pfaff 545 with a SewQuiet servo-motor. Not portable really, but it will see through 1/4" plywood if you are so inclined.
I have a Pfaff 545 as well. They don't get much more bullet proof.

I use nothing but Tenara (GoreTex) thread these days.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SomeSailor View Post
I have a Pfaff 545 as well. They don't get much more bullet proof.
Have you looked at retrofitting a servo motor? Amazing control, and it reduced the weight by 50lbs.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:48 PM   #12
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I have a servo on mine as well as a 3:1 reduction. It was modded for sewing holster leather before I bought it. It's a fun machine for sure. It'll sew over 1/2" of elk hide, plywood, ABS and Maralon (Lexan) with ease. Definitely gotta watch your fingers though. It's unmerciful.
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post
I am looking to buy a portable industrial walking foot machine to make our screens. Looking for info and comments from those who have done this. eBay has many but would like to hear from someone who has one. Thanks. Wally
Hello Wally. If you're just sewing screens my advice would be to go to a sewing machine repair shop and buy an old machine. It doesn't have to be fancy.

Or hire a cruiser to make your stuff -- not that expensive generally and goodness knows a straight screen doesn't take a genius stitcher. With a new boat you'll have lots to do and this is one thing that you could pass off for minimal bucks -- far less than the admittedly excellent Sailrite machines.

I like to sew myself and have a 1937 Singer-221. I've made a quilt at anchor and lots of little things including screens and window covers. But this is not a First Thing To Do when you buy a new/old boat.
And I do not recommend the 221 -- mine's Again out of tension, nor does it have a zigzag stitch. When I get south I'll find a repairman to fix it again. The 221 aka Featherweight only tips the scales at 11 pounds so it truly is portable -- fits in my dinette seat.

Still, after over 70 years of use it's getting a bit crotchety. The nerve!
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:53 PM   #14
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Consew- cp206R portable walking foot -about $395http://www.westchestersewing.com/consew/cp146r/
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:26 PM   #15
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Walking foot

I sew lots of projects for our boat (including window screens and cushions) and for our house, and I use a regular (New Home) sewing machine - it is about 20 years old now. I bought a walking foot attachment several years ago and that works just fine!

I use my portable machine to sew leather and sunbrella too - you just need to make sure you have the right needles. The only restriction is the number of layers before the foot doesn't have enough clearance.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:00 PM   #16
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I bought a Sailrite LSZ-1 back in 2005 when I got my 466 Bertram Flush Deck. The canvas was not in bad shape other than the seams suffering from thread rot. I decided it was a good time to invest in a machine and feel like it was free as I re-sewed my seams and avoided buying a new aft deck canvas package for 6 or so years. It has been trouble free and will sew through 9 layers of sunbrella, " verified "
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:01 PM   #17
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I have a Singer Fashion Mate 237.It is rated to do leather.How many layers,the manual doesn't say.Here's my blog entry about it. Ben's Boat Blog: Sewing Machine For Upholstery and Enclosure Canvas
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:19 AM   #18
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Based on this thread and a discussion with my son. He ordered a new Sailrite LS1 through Amazon. He's planning on doing his own boat canvas. I have to admit that is an amazing machine. That thing is built like a Russian tank or was that a brick s---house. . .one or the other will do!!
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:44 AM   #19
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I bought a sailrite also...I have never sewn in my life ...but then I never worked on a diesel engine before I got this boat...I like it and have made a weather skirt for the upper deck and am working on a full enclosure to hang from the hardtop I installed over the flying bridge. Not doing too bad for an amateur if I do say so myself...
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Old 12-29-2015, 01:39 AM   #20
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I have a Sailrite also. Love it. It will single stitch through whatever you can fit under the foot. I did buy the upgraded motor. As important as the machine is the thread. I only use Tenara. It is guaranteed for the life of the fabric. Some machines do not handle it well as it is slippery, but worth the effort.
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