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  1. #1
    Senior Member catalyst's Avatar
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    thread injector suggestions

    I've decided to buy a thread injector and learn to sew. A guy at the local shop wasn't helpful. He tried to steer me away from the older all metal machines.

    Could I get some suggestions on make and model of thread injectors to look out for in my search. Thus far I've been searching for pfaff 130 and singers 401, 500, 503 but I'm not having much luck finding them locally. I'm watching ebay, but I'm hesitant to get a machine online. I think broadening my search would help but I don't know which machines are worth buying and which aren't.
    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

  2. #2
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    I found a Viking Husqvarna 425 earlier this year at a storage locker sale for $75. I'd heartily recommend it. It'll do WAY more than I'm capable of sewing. From what I've seen over this year, virtually any reputable brand should fit the bill for sewing hammock gear. Try to get the accessories with it like various presser feet, bottom spools, needles, small tools, etc. The manuals are available for purchase online (which is what I did).

    I've found the sewing part pretty straight forward. Fortunately my wife sews, so I can bounce questions off of her.

    Just go for it.

    Tim

    Quote Originally Posted by catalyst View Post
    I've decided to buy a thread injector and learn to sew. A guy at the local shop wasn't helpful. He tried to steer me away from the older all metal machines.

    Could I get some suggestions on make and model of thread injectors to look out for in my search. Thus far I've been searching for pfaff 130 and singers 401, 500, 503 but I'm not having much luck finding them locally. I'm watching ebay, but I'm hesitant to get a machine online. I think broadening my search would help but I don't know which machines are worth buying and which aren't.
    --------
    Tim Bowman
    Burien, WA
    Hennessy Ultra-lite
    '03 F650GS PHTV (Primary Hammock Transporter Vehicle)

  3. #3

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    It depends. RIght now I'm playing with a Singer 247. These were an introductory level machine in the 1960-70's. I think I paid less than $20 for it then. Drive belt instead of gears, plastic cams for the zig zag. Current used price should be not much or please take it. It sews several layers of 1.9 nylon OK so should work for anything lighter. OTOH I can get parts and manuals on line.

    I also just acquired an older all metal Kenmore. No parts, no info available, straight stitch only. Screwed if I need anything for it including the threading diagram. Heavy duty machine but no information including accessories.

    I also am working on her Singer 221. Older, more parts and manuals than you can shake a stick at because the quilters love them.

    Long story, shorter answer. I would run a Google search on anything I saw or was offered. If there is a lot of information and parts on line I would be interested. If not I would give it a pass unless free and with the basic manual.
    Unless you are planning on getting into Cordura or similar I would not worry about all metal. Zig-Zag is nice but not used much for gear. I'd be looking at what information you can get about the machine, the condition it's in, and the cost (low). If you can get a maintenance manual even better because a cleaning and tuning is not cheap but it is easy.

  4. #4
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    All metal is what makes them last so long.

    Rather than have a particular make and model in mind, I like to shop for old machines in general. That's how I got my all steel Necchi, and circa '60 Singer (high school Home Economics class cast iron framed workhorse). I had them both serviced at the local 100 year old thread injector shop.

    It helps to find a local shop where they appreciate older machines. If you buy a $50 machine and have it serviced, you might spend about the same as if you bought a used machine from their store.
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catalyst View Post
    I've decided to buy a thread injector and learn to sew. A guy at the local shop wasn't helpful. He tried to steer me away from the older all metal machines.
    I would not return to that store for even so much as a spool of thread. For two reasons... The guy is not concerned about meeting the needs of his customers, but only in the money generated by a sale. And/or.. he doesn't have an understanding of sewing machines and what makes them good. Either way... do not take him any kind of machine to look at for any reason whatsoever.

    You don't want a "sewing machine store". You want a sewing machine _repair shop_. Forget about brand names. For new purchases of _sewing_ machines it can be a deciding factor, For the purchase of a gear making machine it really is not an issue. Sewing is a much broader topic than gear making. "Free arms" and "darning/embroidery" stitches and "stretch/lycra" capabilities may be important in "sewing" but are totally superfluous in "gear making".

    Check my guidelines thread in my sig. Others have found it helpful.
    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

  6. #6
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    You don't want a "sewing machine store". You want a sewing machine _repair shop_.
    Just so. That is what I meant.

    Listen to Rev! Read his links!

    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    I use a Janome,,, love it.

  8. #8
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    for something like this, i find that craigslist excells. but someting like a paff or necchi you'll be looking for some time. singers you should be able to find something under 20$ almost daily.- and don't be too critical about the sewing shop owner- his motivation is selling new equipment- youres is buying at a low price.

  9. #9
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_gr8t_waldo View Post
    don't be too critical about the sewing shop owner- his motivation is selling new equipment- youres is buying at a low price.
    If I sounded like I was being critical of the owner I apologize. I was commenting on the business model and motivation. To be biased based on features is one thing. To be biased on the basis of cost/construction seems very short sighted to me. Or a sign that the clerk is trained to sell based on cost and does not know what constitutes quality. Either way... go to a shop where you are comfortable with the knowledge and motivation of the staff.

    A repair shop is more likely to have quality used, refurbished machines for sale rather than a stock heavily tilted to the new machines.
    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

  10. #10
    Senior Member catalyst's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice thus far. Unfortunately, I haven't found a lot on craigslist nearby, but I'll keep watching. The shop I went to actually was a repair shop. When I told the guy I'm a newbie to sewing, he started steering me away from the older machines. But, to be fair, when I made it clear that I was only interested in the older machines he showed me what they had available. Their prices seemed a bit too high though.

    I did find a Nechi BU Mira close by that comes with a desk and a year warranty. Have no idea if that's a good deal though.
    Last edited by catalyst; 11-09-2011 at 13:37.
    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

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