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  1. #1
    Senior Member Slackdaddy's Avatar
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    Used needle feed machines

    From previous threads, it sounds like a needle feed will suit me better then a walking foot? (2-3 layers of ripstop nylon, grosgrain edging on it too, periodic light use)
    Not looking for an industrial 12 hours a day machine, just want to step up the quality of my occasional gear making.

    So is it a needle feed I am after?
    any "lists" of 60's, 70's metal geared machines to look for (I only need straight and zig-zag)

    Thanks,
    Slack

  2. #2
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    As far as I know (and I am no expert), the only needle feed machines available will be Industrial Machines. I don't recall ever seeing a Needle Fed Machine that was a portable. Not sure I have ever seen a needle feed that did Zigzag as well for a reasonable price. Juki 9010 is $4K.
    Last edited by 5shot; 07-05-2016 at 19:12.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Slackdaddy's Avatar
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    yikes!
    So is a true walking foot machine close to as good for nylon ?

  4. #4
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    A walking foot will certainly help, but it won't be as positive of a feed as a needle feed. Given the prices though, you really have to want a needle feed! I have one for my shop, and it was $1100. If you are just doing it for a hobby, look for a Thompson walking foot (home machine) or a good home machine and add a walking foot attachment.

  5. #5
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    A Bernina electronic 830 is what I just used, bit pricey but it is strong.

    I sewed through 4 layers of 2.4oz Hexon and three layers of Polyester strapping with a 1/2 inch nylon seam. It didn't seem to mind.

  6. #6
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    The singer 111W 155 and similar walking foot machunes can be convered to needle feed machines without to much hassle. You basically remove the walking foot and change the pressure foot. Works well for lighter fabrics and can be changed back for heavier materials.I have done this one of mine if you would like photos. Some double needle machines are needle feed with pullers for very fine sewing of parachute fabrics used in making canopies. I have a large Adler zig zag machine at work with a walking foot but its for very heavy harness work. Sail work uses a lot of ZZ machines.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Slackdaddy's Avatar
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    Davemon,
    Trying to picture how that works? a walking foot machine - the pressure foot moves in rhythm with the lower feed dogs, while the needle goes up/down sewing.
    A needle feed the needle moves back/forth in rhythm with the lower feed dogs.

    A walking foot machine would not have the mechanicals to move the needle back/forth the feed the fabric?

    Slack

  8. #8
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    The walking foot machine moves the needle with the walking foot so when the walking foot is removed the needle still feeds.The needle bar is independent from the foot. You just need a pressure foot that allows for the needle move. May not work for all walking foot machines but no problem for the Singer 111W155. I think the Singer needle feed model is a 111W151. I made awnings on this machine for years but when I needed one to sew 1.1 oz nylon it was easier convert and still sew cordura and webbing.
    Dave

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