Just bought a sewing machine and thought I'd share my experience in choosing it.
I have used an old Singer model 348 since I started making gear two years ago. It's fiddley and I never could really get it adjusted. I managed to make a hammock and a pack, but fought the sewing machine every step of the way. I finally gave up on the machine.
Many use inexpensive new machines, but they are made in asia somewhere and have reliability questions. I didn't want to spend $100 plus only to have it break the first time things got tough.
Funbun, a now and then poster here, got his machine from a ebay guy who refurbishes old singers. That sounded like a good way to go, so I contacted him myself. Unfortunately, He no longer sells the machines, citing ebay running up the cost of old singers and the competition from cheap imports.
But, he was most generous in advising me on WHICH old machine to buy. He likes some, but not all, Singer Class 15 machines and the better old Japanese Precision imports.
He also advised me not to spend money on the Singer 348 because it has a rep. for not staying adjusted.
After many "not that one" advisements because of nonmetal gears or other reasons, he approved this one, and I bought it.
and it has been serviced and tuned up front. I was attracted by the "sews weight layers of denim" claim. My advisor says it was made by Toyota after WWII.
Delivery next week. I'll post back with my impression after a few miles.
I'd also like to thank Ramblinrev for the how to videos. I'm watching and learning for a while each day.