Sewing machine help.

I need some help and advice here.

I would like to get into basic canvas work mainly for the various boat projects : sail covers, dodgers and the like.  What i want is a sewing machine that can do ‘heavy’ work ie deal with the modern acrylic/canvas fabrics and similar that are commonly used for those things.   Alan has mentionned sailrite machines which i have looked at but are way outside my budget : at that price it would be better just to get the bigger jobs done professionally as we have a very competent outfit down in Plymouth who do that work.

I definitely can’t afford a sailrite machine, when i was doing a basic search this one came up as a domestic heavy duty machine that should be able to sew things like heavy denim and leather….to my mind denim is basically canvas !.

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The dially-thing on the front seems to show that this one has zigzag stitch as well as straight ones so i guess that will be similar to a sailmakers stitch.  This one is a reasonable price (about £200).

Does anyone have any thoughts about this or a better suggestion at this kind of budget ?

Alan says : ”

Some “domestic” machines will sew canvas we did our first jobs for LB with a Toyota a very robust machine compared with modern ones. The problem is the feed you really need a walking foot type that grabs the material and pulls it through or stitch length can vary, a lot. and needle crunches can happen, industrial machines run a bigger needle system and usually larger bobbins
Straight stitch is ok for most small canvas type jobs, zig zag is nice but smaller machines tend to have a fairly short zig and zag. the ultimate is 3 step zig zag which is 3 stitches each way.
Have a look at second hand industrial machines we have a straight stitch Paff and a 3 step Paff the straight stitch is a walking foot and the 3 step is not but we use it for lighter jobs,The big machine is a sailright pro long arm 3 step.
Biggest problem with the industrial machines is they are fast we have geared down both the Paff machines just have to bear in mind the torque goes up with the speed reduction so be careful not to try to punch through to much. Timing the machine is a fiddle but once you have done it and understand the process its not to hard,
Adler is another good make. with the loss of manufacturing to china there are usually machines around.
Peter Cash wrote : ”

Made a mizzen out of 6oz dacron using my wife’s prize singer she had for 20 yrs. HD needles and worked well for sail repairs, but neve worked well after that on fine stuff for her. Multiple dealer services later bought a new one l am not allowed to touch, although she does make sail covers and ties from her old sunfish dinghy sail.
Very expensive lesson, agree with Allen re good used ones.
 
Oops….!

3 Comments

  1. Some “domestic” machines will sew canvas we did our first jobs for LB with a Toyota a very robust machine compared with modern ones. The problem is the feed you really need a walking foot type that grabs the material and pulls it through or stitch length can vary, a lot. and needle crunches can happen, industrial machines run a bigger needle system and usually larger bobbins
    Straight stitch is ok for most small canvas type jobs, zig zag is nice but smaller machines tend to have a fairly short zig and zag. the ultimate is 3 step zig zag which is 3 stitches each way.
    Have a look at second hand industrial machines we have a straight stitch Paff and a 3 step Paff the straight stitch is a walking foot and the 3 step is not but we use it for lighter jobs,The big machine is a sailright pro long arm 3 step.
    Biggest problem with the industrial machines is they are fast we have geared down both the Paff machines just have to bear in mind the torque goes up with the speed reduction so be careful not to try to punch through to much. Timing the machine is a fiddle but once you have done it and understand the process its not to hard,
    Adler is another good make. with the loss of manufacturing to china there are usually machines around.

    Like

  2. Made a mizzen out of 6oz dacron using my wife’s prize singer she had for 20 yrs. HD needles and worked well for sail repairs, but neve worked well after that on fine stuff for her. Multiple dealer services later bought a new one l am not allowed to touch, although she does make sail covers and ties from her old sunfish dinghy sail.
    Very expensive lesson, agree with Allen re good used ones.

    Like

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