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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Heavy duty machine ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Heavy duty machine
To buy a new one, or can I get by with a Vintage machine?
missusprim
missusprim
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OH USA
Member since 6/7/09
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Date: 7/15/10 4:39 PM

I've been wanting a heavy duty machine for years as I want to the heavier fabrics (purses, etc. w/faux leather) without taxing my new machine.

A woman I know bought an old Singer and she says it goes through stuff like butter and doesn't even falter. I see where Singer has two HD ones but I've read reviews and am not very impressed. The one has a cheap, unsubstantial case which leaves me scratching my head as you'd think with it being 'heavy duty' that it'd have a housing to it.

So what do you ladies have that works for you and do you think it's worth my time to just keep an eye out for a garage sale or used sewing machine at a dealer where I can get one for a song?

StephanieW

StephanieW  Friend of PR
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SD USA
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Date: 7/15/10 5:29 PM

Just my two cents:

I would recommend a Singer 15 or Singer 66 if you are looking for a vintage machine. While sold as household machines, they are what I would call heavy duty. Very solid machines that will last a life time if maintained properly. Both are readily available at thrift stores and there are lots of available replacement parts. Many simply need a cleaning and a little oil and are ready to go. I have a top of the line sewing/embroidery machine, a computerized serger and multiple vintage singers. I use them all for various reasons... I use the Singer 15-88 (a treadle model) for quilt piecing as it has the best straigth stitch ever. I use my singer 66 for mending and heavy duty sewing - especially jeans, repairing leather bags, etc. I use my serger for knits and of course use my computerized sewing/embroidery for misc sewing and embroidery. You can't go wrong with a vintage machine. Check out www.treadleon.net - there is a good group there that can answer mechanical questions and help you determine if a machine is a good buy. Happy stitching.

------
Stitching in South Dakota (gotta keep warm you know!)

April 1930s
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April 1930s
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Date: 7/15/10 6:29 PM

A Singer 201-2 or a Singer 401 or 500 are also high recommends.

Vintage is almost always better for withstanding heavier-duty home sewing. They were built to last!

------
Your Stitchery Friend,
April

April 1930's Sewing Shoppe
www.April1930s.com

mssewcrazy
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Date: 7/15/10 7:18 PM

Two years ago I got a janome straight stitch only machine (1600DBX) after a diaper bag's layers sent my pfaff computerized machine to the shop to have the timing reset. It uses stronger commercial machine needles and has oil ports and wick in the bobbin area. It has a lot of power as well. It seems to be a really versatile machine besides just sewing since it has a wider harp area,an industrial type cutter,etc. If I had room for one I would have gotten a true commercial machine. In our area there used to be lots of garment and furniture factories and they are fairly easy to find and cheap. The vintage machines are well made and tough but the factory mechanics used to tell the women around here that sewing lots of that really heavy stuff on the home machines was hard on them and wasn't something they could do long term without problems. A small company here uses the janome semi pro machines to sew designer pillows from heavy fabric and they have held up well I was told so I thought that was a good recommendation. Like a commercial it only straight stitches though. I thought I would mention these type machines as they are popular with the quilters. Babylock and juki put out similar machine models also.

GothDom
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Date: 7/15/10 8:23 PM

Take a pass on the modern HD Singers IMHO
you can pick up a 201, or 15 for a lot less.
unless you are sewing a walrus to an orca.. they should be all the machine you'll need.

------
http://www.acdc-vintage.com
This one, that one, and a bunch of other ones!
(though the herd is getting more streamlined)

Yarndiva
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In reply to missusprim


Date: 7/15/10 9:00 PM

I would think if you do heavier materials a lot an industrial is best but if it occasional then maybe a home machine would work. My strongest machine with zig zag is a Pfaff 332. Even so, it needs a walking foot to make even stitches with very heavy (like multiple layers Sunbrella) fabrics. But.. it does do it. Because of this I call it "Tank". Maybe something along those lines can work for you.

------
http://silkmothsewing.blogspot.com/

zanylady
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Date: 7/17/10 9:12 PM

a lot of the vintage machines have bigger motors; 1 to 11/2 hp where as some of the new ones only have .49 and .89. Quite a difference when you are sewing heavy fabric. Kenmore, Brother, White and Morris also put out heavy duty machines. I have an old brother that sewed through 11 layers of denim without a hitch.

CJ Tinkle
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In reply to missusprim


Date: 7/18/10 7:33 AM

I'd go with an idustrial. I've always heard this about the vintage machines as well, but much to my surprise, it's not true!

I have a Singer 201-1 in mint condition. I was sewing a heavy duty bag of multiple layers of denim and fleece on my Bernina 830, which DID sew through it like butter, but the Singer just stalled, and the motor began to smell. It doesn't have even close to the amount of power my Bernina does.

But if I were doing this all the time, I'd buy a machine made for that purpose.

------
Bernina Artista 630 ✂ Bernina Aurora 430 ✂ Bernina 1300MDC ✂ Babylock BLCS ✂ APQS Millennium ✂ Singer 201-2 ✂ Singer 301 ✂ Singer 401A ✂ Singer 15-91 ✂ Singer Featherweight 222K ✂ Singer Featherweight 221

Soolip
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Soolip
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Date: 7/18/10 11:34 AM

So much for mint. My 201 has always sewn through the tough stuff, including upholstery, no problem. You can always get a vintage Japanese clone (usually a clone of the belt-driven Singer 15-), which has a motor with twice the amps (1.2, usually, which is a strong as domestic machines get), for between $30-$50, depending where you live.

Craigslist often has industrials for a few hundred dollars. Though often a joy to sew with, I personally find them to be a pain to maintain and adjust yourself.

Beats spending thousands on a new machine.

CJ Tinkle
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In reply to Soolip


Date: 7/19/10 6:02 AM

Quote: Soolip
So much for mint. My 201 has always sewn through the tough stuff, including upholstery, no problem. You can always get a vintage Japanese clone (usually a clone of the belt-driven Singer 15-), which has a motor with twice the amps (1.2, usually, which is a strong as domestic machines get), for between $30-$50, depending where you live.



Craigslist often has industrials for a few hundred dollars. Though often a joy to sew with, I personally find them to be a pain to maintain and adjust yourself.



Beats spending thousands on a new machine.

I don't see how that implies that the machine isn't "mint". It will sew through many layers of heavy fabric just fine... but not as many as my Bernina 830 will. Not even close.

For the record, my 630 will not sew through them either.

------
Bernina Artista 630 ✂ Bernina Aurora 430 ✂ Bernina 1300MDC ✂ Babylock BLCS ✂ APQS Millennium ✂ Singer 201-2 ✂ Singer 301 ✂ Singer 401A ✂ Singer 15-91 ✂ Singer Featherweight 222K ✂ Singer Featherweight 221

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