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  1. #1

    Reccomend sewing machine

    I want to learn to sew, and make a few hammock/tarp related things. What is a good machine? Thanks!

  2. #2
    xxl_hanger's Avatar
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    What's a good machine for our purposes?

    There are a lot of very good and fancy machines out there. Read this thread.
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...read-Injector/

    - mechanic is all we need
    - all metal inside preferable
    - perfect transport behaviour is imo important
    - I got lucky my machine works like a Swiss watch
    - a footboard or a hand crank or only the hand wheel is all I need
    - zigzag and reverse stitching is nice to have
    - Needle system 705

    You can repair and service your machine yourself most of the time if it is all metal inside. You can learn how to do that. It is very easy.

    If I had no sewing machine and to make a new decision I would try to get one like the good old Singer 206. I got my Meister ZZ (which is similar) with a lot of accessories for 6. The machine is about 65 years old and looks still like new. It sews perfect. I think there is no machine out there which sews better than mine. Not for the money I spent.

    How to learn sewing?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFRxc6uZI-0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gJDJZkYrl4

  3. #3
    Bubba's Avatar
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    HF member Ramblinrev has good guidelines in his signature line.

    Most home machines can do the job. You don't need fancy stitches for gear making. You can do most anything with a straight stitch but having a zigzag is handy. Do you want an old vs new machine? Many recommend older machines because they can be found for cheap and even free from family or a friend, they are built to last and can be self serviced with a little know how. On the other hand people have had success with affordable new machines from Walmart and such. If there is a sewing store in your area, they sometimes sell used machines and also offer free lessons.
    Last edited by Bubba; 06-21-2015 at 13:18.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I have a 1970's Kenmore I got from my grandmother's basement and it runs like a dream. It's a mechanical machine, but once you oil up the few parts inside it works perfect for both very thin and very thick materials used for gear making.

  5. #5
    Ok so there is no best brand or model that I should look for it seems. Talking to my daughter, she said she has my moms old Singer. It needs some rubber wheel that broke. I bet it needs a good maintenance to, so I'm going to check it out. I remember my mom using that bad boy. It's one of the old school metal ones. I thought it wouldn't be as good as a newer one, but after reading some...it looks like it will be nice, and be able to sew heavy duty stuff. She said it only does straight stitches though. My wife is also going to ask her mom for her newer (90's?) machine. It was my wifes back in high school, but her mom claimed it and never uses it i think. I would love to see videos of someone doing hammock/ tarp stitches. Not just the straight lines, but the tricky stuff. If neither of these machine works, should I get one that zig zags?

  6. #6
    xxl_hanger's Avatar
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    I would take your moms old Singer. The older the better. The spooler rubber is easy to get and you can do the maintenance yourself. Post some pictures of this machine and you will get with certainty further help.

    It's not long ago there I said a newbie should better buy a new one, only because I made bad experience with an old Singer and a broken nylon gear and could not estimate the qualities of the very old ones. In the meantime I think different. The older machines were better than the newer ones. And the cheapest and sometimes by far the best you can get are the ones which have still a treadle. Almost nobody will buy old furniture and pay for the transport. This is the reason why you can get such machines very cheap on Ebay. I'm convinced that some members in this forum would sell their new machines (like I have done it) if they would test out such an old machine. The difference between old and new machine can be tremendous. It is very hard to explain but visible.

    Whatever you do can be right for you but don't buy a cheap new one made in China or Vietnam. These are the worst and you will not have much fun with it and your sewing result.

  7. #7
    Older the better, maybe a treadle rather than electric, it gives better control.

    Singer 99, Singer 201 or Pfaff 260 have always been my favourite machines.

    The 99 is a good old workhorse, available electric or treadle.

    201 is the smoothest machine I've ever used, available electric, electric with kneeboard control or treadle.

    260 is a semi industrial machine, I've seen the fitted to treadles,industrial clutches and inbuilt motors. Mine was in a cabinet with industrial clutch, but I installed it into a shed with a singer motor. It's my main machine and will stitch through wood if I let it!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Hammock and gear stitches are as basic and non-tricky as they can get. Straight stitch will do you fine. There are onoly a bazillion tutorials around. I did one back in the day which I guess still gets some veiws. It's called "We Don't Sew... We Make Gear" and you can connect to it in my sig.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  9. #9
    xxl_hanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    There are onoly a bazillion tutorials around. I did one back in the day which I guess still gets some veiws. It's called "We Don't Sew... We Make Gear" and you can connect to it in my sig.
    Dog nose productions have already been hyperlinked by me as you can see in my first post in this thread. Yesterday I made my own bias tape and sewed it on just in the same way as u have shown it in one of your videos. Normally I had done it different. But this time it was just like the last salvage for me. I contemplated about you when I did it.

  10. #10
    I use a newer Brother machine, a CS-6000i. I prefer the computerized controls. Any sewing machine that works and can make balanced stitches will be fine for making gear.

    I think there may be a bit of bias towards older machines on this forum. Arguably, any quality sewing machine will be fine for making gear, and an older machine is not necessarily "better" than a newer machine. Any name brand mid range model sewing machine will work great for our applications, just don't get the cheapest p.o.s. you can find.


    Cheers and good luck in your endeavors!

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