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Heavy Duty Domestic Machine Recommendations?
Madddy
Madddy
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 3/14/13
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Date: 3/15/13 0:08 AM

Hi,
I'm wanting to replace my current back up machine (a domestic) as it's starting to have issues and I'd rather get a new one than worry about fixing it and having reoccuring problems.

I generally only use industrials (the domestic is for when it's out being serviced, or when I need stretch stitch so it still needs to be a "workhorse") so I'd love some advice on domestics that would suit my needs:
*Heavy Duty - Needs to sew through multiple *thick* layers (including leather).
*Would prefer mechanical, not electronic, but it's not a deal breaker.
*Needs to have zig zag, and three point stretch/lingerie stitch.

Additional "wants" but not "needs":
Auto Thread Cutter
Knee Lift

I'm in Australia, and budget is around $500AUD.

Help?


-- Edited on 3/15/13 0:09 AM --

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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In reply to Madddy <<


Date: 3/15/13 0:36 AM

Hi Maddy,
I'm Down Under too.
I'd suggest you get your hands onto a Bernina 1005 or upwards in that series line of machines or if you want knee lift, go for a 1020 or 1030.
I've been using a 1010 and in the past, a 1031 for bag making with great success. I don't know about multiple layers of leather, might depend just how thick you mean? If thick as belt leather then I think no domestic machine will serve you well for multiple layers of that but if you mean fine glove thickness or medium thickness leather not the very dense stuff, I think those machines will have no problems with that.
Stitch quality is very, very good. Mum had a 1010 that she used to mend my father's farming overalls and outdoors clothing, some very thick tough stuff there, along with piles of jeans and canvas protective clothing...and that same machine is still rocking on now.

You won't get a thread cutter if you mean one you press a button to cut the threads for you automatically, unless you can go to a straight stitch only machine clones that Janome make, which are badged Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff, were called Mega Quilter (HV) and Grand Quilter (Pfaff) both of which are close relatives of a Janome model..but even then, you'd be hard pressed to get one for under $500 even used. You might get lucky if you hunt around. Be aware the paintwork on some of those models is rather prone to flaking off...I've seen several looking quite tatty just a few years into ownership around the stitch plate area where paint has peeled right off in patches.

If you can go without the thread cutter that opens up more options for you. There could be some mechanical Pfaff and early Husqvarnas worth exploring as well. Others who have owned these could advise as I'm not familiar with specific models in that range. Although I do know the 2000 series Husqvarnas had a low gear for very thick work, and will run a topstitch thread nicely. My Mum used to own one a long time ago.

Others may well have suggestions of mechanical machines with which they are familiar with just how much bulk you can sew through.

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

Madddy
Madddy
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 3/14/13
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Date: 3/15/13 6:38 AM

Thanks for your response :)
As I said, I'm used to industrials with autocut (mine you press back on the foot pedal) so I was aiming for something similar, but know that it's unlikely in a mechanical domestic (hence a "want", not a "need" LOL).
The ones I've read favourable reviews on are the Bernina 930, Pfaff select 3.0, Viking Emerald 203, and the Janome HD1000 for thicker fabrics, but wasn't sure if there were others I should be looking at as well.
Janome MC6600 has the autocut and knee lift, but it's electronic.. :(

I have my vintage machines, which I love, but for this I think I'd like to go with a new machine.. Going second hand means I can't really trial a bunch at the same time, and won't have a warrenty/aftermarket service.

In terms of bulk, equate to 4 or 5 layers of drill/canvas and it would be roughly right.

Soolip
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Date: 3/15/13 9:45 AM

Berninas have plastic gears which will break with heavy use as will all modern domestic sewing machines used for the heavy-duty work you describe.

Your best bet is a vintage Kenmore 158 series or Pfaff 130. These are all metal and have reasonably strong motors.

mgmsrk1
mgmsrk1
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In reply to Madddy <<
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Date: 3/15/13 1:22 PM

I agree that a vintage machine from the 50's or 60's would do well for heavy stuff and if taken care of will sew forever. I have a Kenmore 158 from 1968 that was my dads, it has been in pretty heavy use for more than 40 years and is still going strong.

IF you want more fun features in a machine that is still a workhorse I would look into the Exceed line of Jukis(300-400-600) I have a 600 that is FANTASTIC.

------
1968 Kenmore 158. (AKA The Hulk)
Bernina 230
Janome 6600 (for sale)
Janome 7700
Juki 600
Elna serger
Kenmore serger
Janome 1000 CoverStitch
Juki 8500 Industerial

Soolip
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Date: 3/15/13 1:43 PM

The problem with using a new domestic machine is that they have plastic parts all of them, even the expensive ones. The Juki may be a workhorse, but sewing thick leather will quickly destroy it. At least vintage machines are cheap, and if it breaks it can be easily repaired or inexpensively replaced.

Twizard
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Date: 3/15/13 11:50 PM

I have a vintage 1940 Premier Singer clone that sews anything i put through it, including leather. It takes standard needles, any thread, and if I could fit it under the presser foot, it would sew a cow to a fencepost. Mine doesn't have any extras like zig-zag, but I have other machines for that. And, it takes any replacement parts. It has Singer and Pfaff vintage parts mixed in, and it is happy. I love it. It can sew 12 layers of denim and although I haven't tried saddle-leather, it sews jackets, tarp canvas.

------
Pfaff 1471, janome 8050, bernina 830, Pfaff Passport 2.0; sergers singer quantum lock 5, baby lock protege, pfaff 794

Madddy
Madddy
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 3/14/13
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Date: 3/16/13 1:42 AM

I already have several vintage machines and industrials but they all only do straight stitch.
I need something that will do zig zag etc (as I mentioned) but still manage the same thickness load..
Hopefully there is *something* available in the newer domestic range..?

AminaHijabi
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AminaHijabi
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Date: 3/16/13 2:27 AM

what about trying an old-fashioned zig-zag attachment on your older machines?

Madddy
Madddy
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Date: 3/16/13 3:07 AM

The vintage attachments tend to be pretty awful, and it wouldn't do three point/lingerie stitch anyway :(

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