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airdog07

Sewing machine

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I've used a Sailrite LSZ-1 for years. It's been awesome... It's industrial strength, has a walking foot, it's portable, powerful and does very clean work. It's also designed to be used with 69 and larger threads. I think their website is www.sailrite.com

I still use an old singer strait stitch for canopy work because the strait stitch is a little bit cleaner, but for everything else (including linesets, since I don't have a bartack machine) I use the Sailrite.

Ben
Mass Defiance 4-wayFS website


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I've had it for 3 years, I think the warranty is a year, but I've never had a problem with it. After hundreds of hours of use, I haven't even had to adjust the timing. Give them a call if you have some questions, they're good on the phone.

Ben
Mass Defiance 4-wayFS website


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I echo what BListon has said -- it's a solid machine, with excellent manufacturer support by either phone or e-mail. Warranty is for *2* years, Parts and Labor. They also provide a wealth of information for hands-on user maintenance, including an excellent DVD on LSZ-1 timing, replacing different parts, etc.

It's an all metal machine, geared for power, and meant to last forever. Like BListon, I would probably use a lighter-duty machine for canopy fabric but the LSZ-1 for everything else. I tested one a few weeks ago -- it did just fine on 2 layers of 430D packcloth, and sewed through 4 layers of Type 7 harness webbing (the most I could fit under the presser foot) without even blinking.

It's hard to find a used LS-1 (straight stitch) or LSZ-1 (straight / zig-zag) machine -- the owners I've talked to don't ever want to part with 'em.

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They're all metal but correct me if I'm wrong. The 'case' or 'body' of the machine is actually sheet metal. Unlike other machines, including it looks like Sailrite's professional machines (which are NOT the LSZ-1 ultrafeed) that use a casting that supports the mechanics of the machine.

I have opened a Sailrite to see how the moving parts are supported under the sheet metal skin.

This is what turned me off when I saw one in person.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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If you are buying a machine that has been used for sail repairs, be careful. I have seen machines that were in very poor condition because they had been used to sew material that had been exposed (bathed) in salt water.

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Quote

"...but correct me if I'm wrong."



After seeing your reply, my screwdriver and I re-opened and rechecked a current Sailrite walking-foot LSZ-1 Ultrafeed. There are two sheet metal cover plates (left end & top, no mechanisms attached), but all the mechanics are supported by a cast iron body, cast iron bed.

You know a lot more about sewing machines than I do, Terry, and I fully agree that a cast body is important. I'm puzzled where we might have a disconnect, unless maybe we're comparing different vintages or a discontinued model.

(This doesn't help airdog07; I just want to recognize the current Sailrites for their dependability.)

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No disconnect. I've never handled a Sailright ultrafeed. But it seemed when I looked at it the 'shell' was sheet metal. Maybe I was mistaken. Looking at the photos online I'm not sure what I'm seeing. It seemed to me that the whole body of the machine was sheet metal. Maybe I just thought it was because of the finish and the 'square' edges that looks like plastic machines. It was in a sewing shop that charges way too much money so I didn't look very close.

You never hear anything bad about them but you don't hear much about them in the skydiving community.

And the sailrite might be a good choice for a portable machine. I thought about one for awhile when I was using $100 viking home machines. But was too cheap/poor at the time. I used haul my Viking to the DZ on the weekends because they didn't have much for sewing machines there.

I didn't know until I look yesterday that sailrite now made bigger stationary professional machines. One thing though, I dont' know if parts are available from the big commercial sewing supply houses. Some parts on the sailrite website looked a little high but some seemed fine. Of course they are new enough that your not replacing as many parts as the 1930's singers.;)
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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No they two models named aren't made anymore. But they are on ebay. I have a Necchi BU I've never used very much because when I got it many years ago I was very good at adjusting sewing machines and it needed a little help. It's running fine now but I don't use it much. It's set up as a stationary machine on a table with motor. Some on ebay are like that and some are portable.

What do you want to do? Are you just starting out sewing? I used home machine for a long time making drag mats, loops, toggles, patching. Machine like this one on ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/HUSQVARNA-VIKING-6010-SEWING-MACHINE-A-REAL-WORKHORSE_W0QQitemZ390021342940QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBI_Sewing_Machines?hash=item390021342940&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50#ebayphotohosting are great. In fact, it still makes toggles, 6 layers of type IV better than my other commercial machines.

Also how much do you want to spend? Buy a new commercial machine or a used home machine? Any of the BU's, Pfaff, or older vikings would be good if that's the level your looking for. And to start out on without a lot of investment. The local shop can't keep a used older viking like the one above in stock. If they get one it goes in a few days.

edit just found this one like mine, if I didn't have two I'd buy it in a heart beat for a home machine that can do a lot. It's going cheap at the moment. http://cgi.ebay.com/Husqvarna-Viking-5220-Sewing-Machine-elehosp_W0QQitemZ180317750606QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBI_Sewing_Machines?hash=item180317750606&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

If you want to spend more but truely want portable I'd investigate the Sailrites some more. Sometimes it just seems like they try to hard to sell them. But it does give some comfort they are now selling full size commercial machines.

An older singer 20u on a power stand 2'x4' isn't all that big and would be a good choice. You can buy a new one but if you do I'd buy a consew version. DON'T buy the super cheap noname versions. The parts seem to be of lesser quality.

BTW MEL (masterrigger1) know a whole lot more about machines than I do. Check out the misc. classifieds here.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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The LSZ-1 also comes tapped for binders. I bought a swing away 3/4" binder that is awesome, I'd recommend springing for one if you go with the sailrite. Even with multiple layers is binds cleanly with even stitch length. I've made backpacks, gear bags, packing mats, weight belts, etc. with it and they come out nice.

Ben
Mass Defiance 4-wayFS website


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Terry,

Thanks for the plug there..

Like Terry aksed, what exactly are you trying to do with the machine?

If for general purpose rigging stuff and you want portable, a singer 401A is the answer. It is the machine that the 20U is taken from.

It is a all metal machine that has patterns built into the machine. It will do staright stitch, Zig-Zag, and also has a 3 step Zig-Zag(1 more stitch than a 308, double throw Zig-Zag.
It will sew through 4 layers of Type IV easily.

The Sail-Rite is a good machine , but if you want to do canopy work, the 401A is a better option.


That's my opinion for a portable, although I would be looking just above that level for very serious rigging work.

Cheers,
MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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I'm going to use it for sail, base rig repair, I have cheap home sewing machine I need one for heavy to medium duty machine, it well not be use too much so looking for something that is cheap(not too cheap where it well destruct in one year or so) and compact
I'm having hard time logging on is it just me or because of web maintenance
thanks al
"A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones ..."

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Double-needle zigzag machines exist but are rare. I've never seen one in person, or even seen one advertised for sale. Your best bet would be to get a single-needle zigzag machine that can handle canopy work and "bartacks", like a Singer 20U or Bernina 217N, as well as a double needle machine like a Singer 112 or 212. It might even be possible to set up the table so that you only need one table and swap the heads.

If you only have room for one machine, then skip the double needle. Most things you might want to do can be handled with two passes of single-needle.

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indyz

Double-needle zigzag machines exist but are rare. I've never seen one in person, or even seen one advertised for sale. Your best bet would be to get a single-needle zigzag machine that can handle canopy work and "bartacks", like a Singer 20U or Bernina 217N, as well as a double needle machine like a Singer 112 or 212. It might even be possible to set up the table so that you only need one table and swap the heads.

If you only have room for one machine, then skip the double needle. Most things you might want to do can be handled with two passes of single-needle.



.................................................................................

I agree with most of what you said. A good Singer 20U or Pfaff 238 can do any straight stitch and a reasonable approximation of a bar-tack. Consider that a bar-tack is just a fancy version of a zig-zag. I have relined (Dacron Spectra and Vectran) dozens of canopies with only a Pfaff 238.

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I owned a Pfaff 230 for many years ... even sewed together a couple of kit canopies. It was great for simple canopy patches, basic line work, etc. Its only limitation was sewing through the multiple layers of tapes (2 bottom skins, plus rig leading edge, plus line attachment tape) along the leading edges of Para-Flite canopies.

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A Pfaff 332 is just the free arm version of the 230 that riggerrob speaks highly of. Also the slightly newer 260,262,360, and 362 are also variations of the same very fine machine. Some are flatbeds and some are free arm and they have various systems of built in stitch patterns that don't matter for rigging.

I have a 362 that I use mostly for bartacking finger trapped lines. I like it because of the way the feed dogs are set up. It has a section of feeddog directly behind the needle. This allows a thin piece of line to feed easily. I also have a 20u, which is a somewhat heavier zig zag machine, but the feed is wider and it won't catch a line. So if I want to bartack with it I need to use a jig.

All of these Pfaffs from the 130 to the much newer models use the same bobbin case and probably the same or very similar hook. They are all very high quality and still sell for $200 to $300 in good shape, although you can get lucky and buy them cheaper if you are patient.

They use standard 15x1 domestic type needles, which are available in up to size 20, although I never use larger than 18 in mine for that kind of work.

Ken
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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