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  1. #1
    Lamboy's Avatar
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    Taking the plundge

    I am finally taking the plunge into DIY and I am trying to find a decent sewing machine to get me going. I don't need tons of options since I will not be doing too complex of work.

    Any tips or guidance for the features or brands I should be looking at or possibly sturdy reliable machines that are cheap and easy to maintain?

    I will mostly be making stuff sacks, hammocks (for myself), possibly a tarp. Maybe in a very distant future quilts (a big maybe)


    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    dangerous's Avatar
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    really any machine that will sew a straight stitch will work. A cheap machine from Walmart will do, but the plastic gears will wear out sooner. I would start with Craigslist or other local used machines. You will want to make sure the handwheel moves smoothly and that all parts are there. Have the owner run the machine for you and make sure it runs smoothly, doesn't grind or strain to get going. Also, a local sewing machine shop should be able to check out and tune a machine you find second hand.
    -Jon-
    Beware of the man who owns one gun, he probably shoots it well.

  3. #3
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    I bought a $79 Brother sewing machine from Walmart 2 years ago and it has served me well. I've found the only stitch types I'll ever use for DIY are straight and zig zag, no need for the other 23 my machine came with. I've made 3 hammocks, 2 quilts, endless stuff sacks, tarp skins and even sewn many loops in my polyester webbing (this puts, by far, the most stress on my machine out of anything I do). The machine is still functioning like new so despite the cheap plastic-y feel, it has been well worth the money.

  4. #4
    SirMarkos's Avatar
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    I too just use a cheap brother sewing machine. Actually, I'll even go so far as to characterize it as "inexpensive." It's been working great for well over 1 1/2 years now with no problems.

  5. #5
    Lamboy's Avatar
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    Here is the one I am looking at for 40$ apparently working with the desk also.Looks like the foot pedal could use a new coat of paint but no biggie there. Apparently a Singer 99 RF5-8. Is that reasonable or should I keep looking?

    00u0u_4OG8y7pZ4aq_600x450.jpg00m0m_6m9HIapOJWs_600x450.jpg

  6. #6
    dangerous's Avatar
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    Doesn't look to bad, but the bobbin, shuttle and cover plate are missing from the picture. Make sure all those parts are included.
    -Jon-
    Beware of the man who owns one gun, he probably shoots it well.

  7. #7
    Lamboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerous View Post
    Doesn't look to bad, but the bobbin, shuttle and cover plate are missing from the picture. Make sure all those parts are included.
    I already feel out of my element This may be bad. I am good with machines, but this is another world.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamboy View Post
    I already feel out of my element This may be bad. I am good with machines, but this is another world.
    If you like machines, sewing machines should appeal to you a lot - there's a lot of interesting engineering in them.

    If you haven't found the 'Show Us Yor Thread Injector' thread, amble over for a good long read. It will give you an idea of the variety of machines that folks use.
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...hread-Injector

    A sewing machine can be a bit tricky as a 'fix-it-up' project (or even a 'buy it used from CL' )if you have never sewn before and aren't familiar with the controls and 'how it should work'.

    For a beginner at stitchin', I'd recommend (in this order) depending on budget:
    - a basic machine from a sewing machine dealer, (new or used) preferably with a free lesson or two. Take some light nylon fabric samples with you; most staff seem to think you'll be sewing heavy canvas when you mention the word 'outdoor'.
    - a cheap machine from a box store -preferably one with a decent return policy.
    - a used machine you find yourself.

    Oh, yeah...when you search here at HF, a lot of the sewing machine discussions will be hidden under the 'thread injector' title.

  9. #9
    Lamboy's Avatar
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    I will definitely have to do more research before I pull the trigger I think. I know my mom and sister have done a lot of sewing in the past. I did buttons and small stuff, but nothing like this. Thanks for the advice

  10. #10
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    Don't overlook asking if your mom or sister have an unused machine sitting around.

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