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  1. #1
    samsara's Avatar
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    Will the Barracuda sewing machine work?

    I need some advice. Will this also work for hammock/camping/hiking/backpacking DIY projects and materials? I will probably get this either way to do canvas and sail projects but it would be great if it could also fill in to do the types of projects that people around here do. I would rather just have one machine to buy, store, and maintain. What do you think?

    http://www.reliablecorporation.com/P...G-ZAG/2000U-33

    Thanks in advance for all of the help/advice!

    Dave

    Note: I have close to zero sewing experience (just a home ec. project in 7th grade)
    "Laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure" - Dale Gribble

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  2. #2
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    i'm sure Ramblinrev will pry chime in on this and correct me, but a size 17 needle seems pretty big for most of the fabrics used by people on here and might leave holes, not sure about that tho

    boot
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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Type 135 x 17 needles
    That's the only thing that gives me pause about the machine. If I am reading this properly you will not be able to pick up these needles in Wal Mart or probably not in Joannes.

    These are industrial needles, not household needles. You can get them is all the typical sizes (This is a style number, not a size number) That said... if you don't mind having to get the needles from a special source instead of the typical fabric store... I would say go for it. At 32 lbs it ain't gonna skate on you. If you had learned on a household machine you might need to do some unlearning. Industrial machines have their own quirks but to start out on an industrial right off the bat is no steeper a learning curve than any others.
    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."
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  4. #4
    samsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    That's the only thing that gives me pause about the machine. If I am reading this properly you will not be able to pick up these needles in Wal Mart or probably not in Joannes.

    These are industrial needles, not household needles. You can get them is all the typical sizes (This is a style number, not a size number) That said... if you don't mind having to get the needles from a special source instead of the typical fabric store... I would say go for it. At 32 lbs it ain't gonna skate on you. If you had learned on a household machine you might need to do some unlearning. Industrial machines have their own quirks but to start out on an industrial right off the bat is no steeper a learning curve than any others.
    Excellent... so what size needles should I get for the fabrics and techniques that I would be using for DIY projects here? It looks like it comes with a fair amount of "stuff" but since I'm a blank slate I don't know much about what I might need, is there anything else other than smaller needles that I would need to get?

    I want to make sure that I can find a reasonable source and buy them when I buy the machine. I'm probably going to end up using it a bit more for this lighter work than the workhorse side of things, but it will pay for itself quickly when I use it for the workhorse purposes.

    Thanks a bunch for the info/help!

    Dave
    "Laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure" - Dale Gribble

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  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsara View Post
    Excellent... so what size needles should I get for the fabrics and techniques that I would be using for DIY projects here? It looks like it comes with a fair amount of "stuff" but since I'm a blank slate I don't know much about what I might need, is there anything else other than smaller needles that I would need to get?

    I want to make sure that I can find a reasonable source and buy them when I buy the machine. I'm probably going to end up using it a bit more for this lighter work than the workhorse side of things, but it will pay for itself quickly when I use it for the workhorse purposes.

    Thanks a bunch for the info/help!

    Dave
    I don't want this comment to be taken as unhelpful but I don't know how to answer your question. Part of the learning curve is to find out what works for you. If you ask ten different DIY folks some questions you will sometimes get 15 different answers. If you are going to take the plunge into the DIY world you really owe it to yourself to get in there and do the research for yourself. If someone asks a very specific question then fairly specific answers can be given. My sense is these are very broad questions with a minimum of information being given. What kind of projects are you looking to do? There is a lot of skill of that is involved whether you are doing sail work or stitching sil. Some overlap... some don't.

    If you really have no experience at all other than a home ec project (I'm showing my age) then I would suggest you start with my We Don't Sew vid series and see if that helps focus your search for information.

    I really hope this does not sound like a brush off because it is not intended to be. I'm just not sure where to start and what information to offer you given the questions you are asking.
    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."
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  6. #6
    samsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    I don't want this comment to be taken as unhelpful but I don't know how to answer your question. Part of the learning curve is to find out what works for you. If you ask ten different DIY folks some questions you will sometimes get 15 different answers. If you are going to take the plunge into the DIY world you really owe it to yourself to get in there and do the research for yourself. If someone asks a very specific question then fairly specific answers can be given. My sense is these are very broad questions with a minimum of information being given. What kind of projects are you looking to do? There is a lot of skill of that is involved whether you are doing sail work or stitching sil. Some overlap... some don't.

    If you really have no experience at all other than a home ec project (I'm showing my age) then I would suggest you start with my We Don't Sew vid series and see if that helps focus your search for information.

    I really hope this does not sound like a brush off because it is not intended to be. I'm just not sure where to start and what information to offer you given the questions you are asking.
    I think I've already seen all of your videos (very helpful). What I'm planning on doing is: sew a hammock using 1.1 oz. 1.9 oz. ripstop, noseeum netting, and the usual bits and pieces, tarp out of silnylon, quilts top and bottom, stuff sacks and things like that. I can hunt the information out if you think that would be better.

    Dave
    "Laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure" - Dale Gribble

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  7. #7
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    From your last reply, I don't hear you saying you are going to sew eight layers of sunbrella, or even two layers of heavy fabrics.

    At $499, and really meant for much heavier fabric, I don't think the Barracuda would serve you as well as a decent new or used home sewing machine.

    If you have a limited number of projects in mind, look around for a deal on a brand name home sewing machine (new or used - older used are actually better machines because they have metal gears). Nylon is not a heavy fabric. In fact, lighter nylons are closer to silk than anything else. The walking foot requires a lot of careful adjustment for the fabric weight. Too heavy foot pressure will pick the fabric.

    Now, if you need to sew light leather or heavy canvas, say you want to make sails or sun dodgers for a boat, then that is a great price on a good intro quality machine to do that with.

  8. #8
    samsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickbow View Post
    From your last reply, I don't hear you saying you are going to sew eight layers of sunbrella, or even two layers of heavy fabrics.

    At $499, and really meant for much heavier fabric, I don't think the Barracuda would serve you as well as a decent new or used home sewing machine.

    If you have a limited number of projects in mind, look around for a deal on a brand name home sewing machine (new or used - older used are actually better machines because they have metal gears). Nylon is not a heavy fabric. In fact, lighter nylons are closer to silk than anything else. The walking foot requires a lot of careful adjustment for the fabric weight. Too heavy foot pressure will pick the fabric.

    Now, if you need to sew light leather or heavy canvas, say you want to make sails or sun dodgers for a boat, then that is a great price on a good intro quality machine to do that with.
    Actually I need to do both. I have a sailboat and want to do as much of the sewing as possible for that and wanted to know if the Barracuda would also be possible for doing the lighter work. Since I imagine that I'll use the lighter machine more and will rarely need to do sail work I decided to go with a less expensive heavy duty new Singer for $125. I don't know if it will be able to do the sewing that I need to do for my dodger/bimini but I'll be giving it a shot in the near future.

    Dave
    "Laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure" - Dale Gribble

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