Originally Posted by BigTurtle
well i guess im using the term industrial wrong as my large machine is a sears/kenmore made in the 50's if i remember right but is quite large vs todays machines.
If you decide to replace it with a similar machine, use the fly wheel when working such heavy duty projects. You will save the motor and you will be able to feel the machine as it tries to pierce the work. That way you can trouble shoot before any thing serious malfunctions. Remember the heavier the work the higher you top tension needs to be to avoid the birds nests.
You might also try a leather needle as they are intended for leather or heavy duty non-woven work. Do _not_ use a leather needle on woven material as it will cut the fabric and rupture the weave.
I would recommend staying earlier than say 1960. That is time when many companies began the shift to plastic/nylon gears. Very heavy duty use will be likely to break those gears as the compounds they used became brittle with age. That is one place the newer machine might be better. The plastics have been improved. But for what you describe you definitely need an all metal drive system.