What model would you recommend for a zz machine that can handle thick materials well? This 199 sale reminds me of the low 6mm clearance on my 199.
The 265 Durkopp is a good one if you can find one. The one I posted is one of my machines here in the shop.
The Singer 143W is a great machine. If you use a 135 X 17 needle in it you can gain a lot in the way of presser foot clearance and thicker materials. I can sew 7 layers of Type IV with no problem on the one in the shop. (143W2)
I was able to increase the lift on my Pfaff 238 to about 10mm, maybe 11mm. I was able to move the lift point on the presser foot bar. I just bought a second in very good condition at a really cheap price (local pick up only) and stock it is about 6mm. I haven't looked at my 199 to see if the same thing can be done.
But STILL, the machine that sews type IV toggle noses, 6 layers, the best is a Viking home machine.
I wish I'd seen that 199 sooner because I need a parts machine. Or second running one for that price.
As a follow-up: My local sewing machine guru was in the area yesterday, and he stopped by my shop. He spent about 15 minutes with my 199 to make it behave the way I'd hoped. Now it sews 8 layers of TY-8 smoothly. This picture shows the needle bar at its lowest point, with a little room to spare above the presser foot.
Like you suggested, he asked for a 135x17 needle, inserted it into the needle bar, made some other adjustments, and it was that easy.
(This post was edited by parachutist on Jan 23, 2014, 10:35 AM)