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  1. #11
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    I have all of them, almost.

    I have a compound feed (needle feed, walking foot with alternating presser feet) Singer 211U I use for canvas and upholstery. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!
    but.... because I sew heavier things with heavier thread, usually V92 or V138, I have a stonger tension spring in the tension disks. With the strong tension spring, I can not relax the tension enough to get it right with the thinner V46 or V30 thread used for camping gear....so I don't use it. Also, timing it is much more complicated than with a standard drop feed machine.

    I have a walking foot LSZ-1 Sailrite that works great for heavy stuff and works OK with nylon if you change the feet to some that are less course than the toothed feet included with the machine. It's just too slow for my preference at 800spm.

    I have a drop feed Bernina 217 that I use for the majority of my gear making. It works great but parts are EXPENSIVE. I just sold my Singer 20U that worked great and parts were reasonable.

    I have considered getting a drop feed + needle feed machine like the Durkopp 212 because I can get one reasonably priced, but just haven't pulled the trigger because I don't really have the need for "single purpose" straight stitch machine now.

  2. #12
    stormcrow's Avatar
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    I will throw in my two cents....

    Well, I have used pretty much all of the sewing machine styles that have been discussed. I started with my grandmother's Pfaff 1229 syncrotronic with the IDT (Independent Dual Transportation). I loved that machine but it was quickly outgrown. Mostly because it was too slow, but, it is also next to impossible to get a nice even stitch over the long straight runs that we use so often.

    On to my next machine...I bought a Juki DLN-5410 Needle feed machine. This machine does NOT have a walking foot...just a "walking" needle. I LOVE that machine. It is great with the kinds of materials we use. Whether is is slippery silnylon or nanoseeum, it does a great job. The ONLY issue with that machine is that they are hard to find a good deal on (craigslist) and parts are not as readily available for them as they are for your typical walking foot or standard drop feed machine. And I needed an additional machine.

    The next machine I bought was a Juki DNU 1541s. Beautiful machine but wow, was it ever the WRONG machine for me! I got that thing home and was super excited to fire it up and get to work.....right after I adjusted it....That never happened. As soon as I turned it on and tried sewing with it, I knew I was in trouble. Yes, I had tried it before I bought it, but I had forgotten to take the 1.1 stuff that I normally worked with and I just used some of the material the seller had on hand....mistake! So I knew the machine worked, but did not know that it would not work on our stuff until it was bought and paid for. Lesson learned...

    Long story short, I traded it (at a loss of course) for another Juki DLN 5410-6. I got lucky on that trade! I might have lost a bit of money but I got a great machine! Let me tell you, that "-6" on the end makes a world of difference. It just means the machine is automatic....well, everything. Thread trimming and backtacking became WAY easier/faster...

    Ok, this post is turning out to be a lot longer than I thought...ooops. So I had two really great needle feed machines, but I needed more. So I combed craigslist for the word "JUKI" and I keep seeing the Juki ddl 8700 and 8500 series out there. They do NOT have the needle feed, just the drop feed. I was very reluctant, but I found an awesome deal on a Juki 8700-7 and went for it. I have 2 of them now. They are all servo motors (that means they are quiet when you are not pressing the pedal). They are sooo smooth and the stitches are nice and even.

    So, in conclusion (finally) if you are looking for a great machine. Just keep crawling craigslist for the word JUKI and if you see the 5550, 8700, or 8500 out there for a good deal, get it. If it has the -6 or -7 at the end of it and you see it for less than $1000, get it (or call me, and I will...lol).

    Sorry about writing a "book". I really love all my Juki machines. They are an industry standard for the weight of fabric we use. I STILL do not have any binding attachments for it though. I am working on getting some but I have to have them specially built and it is kind of a pain. I know they will make my life easier, but we have gotten pretty good at putting on the binding ribbon without them.

    ~Stormcrow

    p.s.
    here are my current commercial machines...They are not all in use. I just found some good deals and wanted back ups...and I got a bit carried away..

    Juki DDL 8700-6 X2
    Juki DLN 5410-6 X2
    Juki DLN 5410 X1
    Juki DLN 415-4 X1
    Juki DDL 8700 X1
    Juki DDL 5550-6 X1
    Tacsew GC6-28 X1
    Last edited by stormcrow; 07-05-2012 at 14:08.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Slackdaddy's Avatar
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    Thanks StormCrow, more info is better.
    I am not doing production, just a lot of "1 of" DIY gear making.
    I enjoy the making process,, but it is no joy if my machne is a pain with 1.1 and 1.9 ripstop.
    I would have no problem spending ~400-500 on a machine that sews ripstop without a lot of aggravation.
    99% of my aggravation is trying to feed to layers through the machine and one goes left and the other right after a few inches.
    Pinning never worked, as it takes 2 hands to feed the material, no hands left to quickly pull pins as they approach the needle.
    I will explore "pre bonding" my material in a way that will not gum up the needle. tape maybe?

    Slack

  4. #14
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slackdaddy View Post
    Pinning never worked, as it takes 2 hands to feed the material, no hands left to quickly pull pins as they approach the needle
    The pins go in across the stitch line with the heads sticking out to the right. Since you should be readjusting you hold on the material every 6 - 9" anyways it is not a real problem to slip the pins to the right and continue. Should you sew over a pin don't fret too much as it may bend the pin. The worst scenario is breaking a needle. That will slow you down considerably. Always put the pins across the stitch line because it helps stabilize the fabric.
    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

  5. #15
    stormcrow's Avatar
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    Slack,

    As others have said. I do not think tape is the best approach. I do not even use pins much anymore....just for the sewn through construction quilts.

    If you get a commercial sewing machine, or something that is recessed into the table, you will find working with that material a lot easier. You should be able to find a non-automatic drop feed commercial Juki that is in that price range. Just keep combing craigslist for the word "juki". I use THIS WEBSITE to help me out in that respect. It will more than likely come with a clutch style motor but you can get bottom of the line servo motor (which work fine) for just a bit over $100 dollars and install it yourself, it is pretty easy.

    ~Stormcrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Slackdaddy View Post
    Thanks StormCrow, more info is better.
    I am not doing production, just a lot of "1 of" DIY gear making.
    I enjoy the making process,, but it is no joy if my machne is a pain with 1.1 and 1.9 ripstop.
    I would have no problem spending ~400-500 on a machine that sews ripstop without a lot of aggravation.
    99% of my aggravation is trying to feed to layers through the machine and one goes left and the other right after a few inches.
    Pinning never worked, as it takes 2 hands to feed the material, no hands left to quickly pull pins as they approach the needle.
    I will explore "pre bonding" my material in a way that will not gum up the needle. tape maybe?

    Slack

  6. #16
    Pag's Avatar
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    I'm jealous of stormcrows dln 5410-6. I have an Adler 272 that has some of the features of the juki 5410-6 (thread trimmers, auto presser foot lift, auto back tack) and I got it for $530. I would say it is an excellent machine and in no way inferior to juki. So don't forget to search for durkopp Adler. I have heard good reviews of the Mitsubishi needle feeds as well.

    There are several ddl 8500's & 8700's that would fit the bill well for very little (8500s new can cost $500).
    --If a cow laughs hard, does milk come out its nose?

  7. #17
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Durkopp
    Durkopp Adler
    Consew
    Singer
    Pfaff

    are other good brands.

    I think the durkopp 212 is needle feed. You'll likely need to change motors on this one because most were in true industrial use and ran off 240v motors.

    Consew 225 is a lighter duty needle feed and I see them on Craigslist a lot with 120v motors.

    Juki is good, but the newer ones, like so many are perceived to be lower quality. I have no first hand knowledge of this.

    Pfaff perception is the 3 digit models are better than the 4 digit models. For example, the 145 is better than the 1245. Again, no first hand knowledge. I have played a couple minutes with a Pfaff 145 and a Pfaff 138 (zig zag).

  8. #18
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    Thanks for read Stormcrow. We must be a bunch of freaks to find such passion in sewing machines. You've got me wanting to try a Juki.

    Slackdaddy, I'll throw out another machine that should be a low budget but excellent machine -- Singer 201. I've got two of them and I couldn't ask for a better DIY machine. It's a simple straight stitch, but it doesn't cause me any feed issues with lightweight materials. Craigslist usually has a bunch of Singers, but it's the 201 that is the best one and perhaps a little harder to find since they are such a great machine.

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