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IJskonijn

Sewing machine controllability at slow speeds

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I'm searching for a sewing machine (my first serious one), and I've already looked through most topics on this forum about that. That resulted in a shortlist of the Singer 20u, Pfaff 138/238 as big machines for heavier work, or a Pfaff 260/262 for portability.

My current p.o.s. is a singer 4432, which I suspect is designed by Lucifer himself. My major gripe with it is that it is uncontrollable at slow speeds. When I depress the paddle just not far enough, I can hear the motor whine, but not engange. Depress it a micrometer further, and it takes off at nearly full speed. Great fun when you need to do precisely three more stitches, and need both hands on the work to control it...

So, for those machines I listed, what are your experiences with slow sewing (<30 stitches/minute speed) without having to turn the wheel manually? Any other insights I should be aware of when picking my first sewing machine, keeping in mind that I want to go for my rigger's rating a few years down the road?

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The Singer 20u is a good machine. It is full of compromises that enable it to do many jobs. It is a jack of all trades and master of none. Be sure to get a servo motor equipped one to help control it at low speeds.


Your current machine is a plastic toy. The Pfaff 262 is a very well built dependable 60's era machine. It's a good choice for light work. I have one that I use for bartacks in lines. I'm never going to do enough work to make a real dedicated bartacker pay for itself.

You probably need to learn to control the work with only one hand! Good luck with that.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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I use a pfaff 138 for most of my tasks. Mostly patching and small repairs. The machine also sews a few layers of webbing without problems.
Slow sewing and single stitches are also possible.
But the answer from Lexy is not so wrong. If you buy an old machine like the Pfaff it is mostly an modified machine. You will find Machines with a lot of different motors, like 220V or 380V, with or without clutch or servo... My one uses a 220V Moretti Motor
Getting an original without any modifications is almost hopeless. The machine has an external motor and it can be replaced easily.
There is the manufacturer "sewmaq" which produce a copy of the 138 and they are using a servo motor too.

Link sewmaq 138 (german) : http://www.naehmaschinen-stuetzer.de/index.php/naehmaschinen/naehmaschinen-zick-zack/sw-138-schneiderein%C3%A4hmaschine-gerad--und-zick-zack

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I'm old school. Never owned a servo. I'm perfectly happy with and ordinary motor and a good clutch. If it's old you may have to replace the pads. Or if you're a newbe, buy a new 1/2 speed motor and put a small pulley on it. That's what I did for all my employees when I built up machines for them. I just like, and am perfectly happy with, the power of a real motor. More Power, raah, raah, raah.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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Actually, high end servo have more torgue, then clutch motors.

I just finished convertion of all machines at the factory (35+) to servo motors.

For low-time sewer servo is easier for quality and precise work.
For expirienced sewer servo simply faster for the same work.
Either way is good for me.
Lexa

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Don't press the pedal, tap on it.

You need to push it down far enough for the clutch to engage, but not long enough to run more than one or two revolutions of the machine.

Tapping does that.

That's what I was taught anyway.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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IJskonijn

Sorry, but I'm not looking for solutions for my current machine, or adjustments to the other sewing machines away from factory specs. I'm looking for experiences with slow sewing using stock machines.



All machines will need to be "adjusted" to your personal preference. So whatever you end up getting you should expect to have to "adjust" it to your preference. The motor is one way of doing this. I highly recommend servo motors, especially in this day and age.
If you insist on using clutch motors then do as someone else suggested and get used to "tapping" the pedal.

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IJskonijn

Ok, since I am no good with anything really technical and metal, I will rather search for a machine that already has a servo on it.



Stop being a whiny little bitch.
Putting a servo motor is a 15 minute job, and everything fits like a glove.
It solves your slow speed problems, and unless you are punching through 5 layers of leather, this will work excellent in 99.9% of parachute work.

More than one person told you to get a servo, there's probably a very good reason.

So :
Stop being a little girl
Get a servo
Be happy

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likestojump

***Ok, since I am no good with anything really technical and metal, I will rather search for a machine that already has a servo on it.



Stop being a whiny little bitch.
Putting a servo motor is a 15 minute job, and everything fits like a glove.
It solves your slow speed problems, and unless you are punching through 5 layers of leather, this will work excellent in 99.9% of parachute work.

More than one person told you to get a servo, there's probably a very good reason.

So :
Stop being a little girl
Get a servo
Be happy

I have the same machine and the same problem as mr. IJskonijn (who, I can assure you, looks nothing like a little girl - except the Sinead O'Connor hairstyle maybe hahaha).

So where can I get a servo for this machine?

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Ebay, any sewing machine dealer you find on google, Henserson, Keystone, Universal. You should already have a favorite one for needles and other parts. And to the OP if you can't install a servo motor you can't maintain an industrial sewing machine.:S
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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I have the same machine and the same problem as mr. IJskonijn (who, I can assure you, looks nothing like a little girl - except the Sinead O'Connor hairstyle maybe hahaha).

So where can I get a servo for this machine?




If you are wondering about a servo motor for your Singer 4432 then you need to learn a little more about sewing machines. If you can, visit a rigging loft and get friendly with a rigger there. Ask to see machines and ask about the different jobs each one does. If they have time most riggers love to talk about and show off their sewing machines.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Cloggy

Not sure everybody is on the same page here?
The 4432 is a cheap household machine, wouldn't be worth the trouble and expense to retrofit? (Even if you can find a suitable servo motor that will fit inside).




Everyone is not on the same page it seems. People are making assumptions and giving him tips on how to sew slowly with a clutch equipped table mounted motor. As you and I know, what he has is a small portable plastic cased machine with an internal motor and an electric cord running to a foot control rheostat.

And, he is not asking anything at all about how to control that machine. He is asking about what he should be looking for next. I'm guessing that he is laughing while separating the internet forum wheat from the chaff.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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gowlerk

Quote

I have the same machine and the same problem as mr. IJskonijn (who, I can assure you, looks nothing like a little girl - except the Sinead O'Connor hairstyle maybe hahaha).

So where can I get a servo for this machine?




If you are wondering about a servo motor for your Singer 4432 then you need to learn a little more about sewing machines. If you can, visit a rigging loft and get friendly with a rigger there. Ask to see machines and ask about the different jobs each one does. If they have time most riggers love to talk about and show off their sewing machines.



Maybe I was a little unclear.
I don't think a servo is an option for a 4432 - but one of the previous posters seemed to hint in that direction, which was surprising to me, hence the question for more info.

I fully understand that the 4432 is a POS, as the OP stated, but it matches my sewing skills and, for me, it is good enough to repair the holes in my jumpsuit. I just wish it could sew a little slower.

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I fully understand that the 4432 is a POS, as the OP stated, but it matches my sewing skills and, for me, it is good enough to repair the holes in my jumpsuit. I just wish it could sew a little slower.



In that case you would probably be happier using a machine with a larger handwheel. That way you could use one hand to hold it back a little at start up. Or use the wheel to stitch without the motor. That 4432 is advertised as being "high speed with a powerful motor". That is pretty much the opposite of what you want. It's really good for manufacturing. But you are not making clothes, you are doing small repairs.

Fortunately older machines from the 50s and 60s are readily available used. Most of them still work very well and are great to learn on. They are all metal and long lasting. At one time every household needed one, so there are millions of them still around. And in your part of the world there should be a abundance of Pfaff zig zig machines from this era. All of them are much better and easier to use than the Chinese Singer you have now.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Since I helped to derail this thread a little, it's only fair to get it back on its original track ;-)

You have probably already seen this, but in case you have not; how about this one:

https://www.marktplaats.nl/a/hobby-en-vrije-tijd/naaimachines-en-toebehoren/m1191424268-naaimachine-pfaff-262.html?c=8c285449651fa109c354bbabe740c1b&previousPage=lr&pos=1

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