Professional => Workspace, tools, machinery, and manufacturing => Topic started by: ultimind on April 16, 2018, 10:38:29 AM

Title: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: ultimind on April 16, 2018, 10:38:29 AM
I currently have a Singer 111W113 with clutch motor which does a decent job but I'm starting to ponder what my upgrade path looks like.  I've added a nicely restored Singer 201-2 for doing lightweight sub-assembly ops and that's drastically improved my productivity and efficiency. For main seam construction and binding I'd like to move to something that's got a reverse gear, servo, bigger bobbin and ideally something that is better for binding. I have a proper right angle binder and feet set for the 111W but compound curves are a bit challenging on a flatbed.

Considering I'm a hobbyist gearmaker who is only doing a little bit of for-profit work, would my dollars be better spent adding a cylinder arm or swapping the 111W for something like a Juki LU563? I occasionally have a access to a 1541S so I know how good things can be when you've got a proper modern machine but I think the 1541S is going to be out of my price range for now. Would love to stay under $1000. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: Bentneedle on April 16, 2018, 01:06:12 PM
I dont know if this would serve your needs but I have been looking at it as a new machine. A consew P1206RB with table and servo motor its at Ebay item number 122974707347. It sells for $1095.00 shipped
Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: ultimind on April 16, 2018, 07:39:17 PM
I wonder if I get more for my money if I spend that same $1000 on a preowned machine from a reputable dealer like Nick-o-sew or the like. The P1206RB does seem like a good machine.
Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: Bentneedle on April 16, 2018, 07:58:13 PM
That's a question you will have to answer for your self. I have never bought a sewing machine from Ebay or the seller in question. I would think a local dealer maybe able to get a new Consew for around the same money so you could pick it up and not worry about damage during shipping. Plus they may have one set-up so you could try it out. You may not even like it. If you buy a used machine you could be buying someone else's problems. How many used machines have hundreds if not thousands of hours on them already.

Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: Gear Dynamics on April 16, 2018, 09:02:29 PM
If it were me, Iíd save my pennies and buy a machine from a dealer. At least then you have some recourse if you have any issues. Iíve not bought a machine from Nick-O Sew, but have recently dealt with them for some parts. Excellent service and communication.
Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: Misadventure Gear on April 17, 2018, 02:09:00 PM
I found my Tacsew T111-155 on Craiglist for $500. New on Sewing Gold, they're under $1000, and can be cheaply set up with a servo. It's pretty equal to your current machine, but with reverse. My used machine has worked flawlessly since I got it 7 or 8 years ago. I did have to replace the needle bar after I got ham-fisted with the needle set screw once, and stripped it. However, it was a fairly straightforward repair, which I did myself.

I purchased a used Consew 227r cylinder arm waking foot from Nick-o-Sew about 5yrs ago for $1000 plus shipping. I bought the head only, to save $$$ and because I already had an old table and servo motor. $300 and almost a month to ship it on a pallet from Pennsylvania to Hawaii by truck and boat. I also had to fabricate a tabletop for it, which really wasn't difficult since that machine didn't have an oil pan or need to be routed out. The machine was well used, and to this day, loves to break the top thread reguarily, no matter how much I try to adjust it. My intent at purchase was to make it my dedicated binder. Now, because of the thread breakage, I only use it occaisionally, when I can't bind something well on my flatbed. I also learned that it can take practice to feed something through the CA and get straight stitch lines. One of these days, I'm going to make a removable U-shaped tabletop so that it can double as both a flatbed and CA machine.  I also have a 70's era, all-metal Kenmore cylinder arm zigzag domestic s stitcher (found on CL for $40) that I use for some clothing and lightweight work, and actually sees a lot more use than the big Consew.  Sometimes, I think that I prefer the side-loading bobbin of a Class 15 machine like the Tacsew T111-155 and the little Kenmore, and that I've never really bonded with any of the drop-in bobbin, Class 66 machines I've owned over the years..... But that's purely subjective, and I'm sure someone else will say they love the drop-in bobbins better.

I've bought a couple other industrial machines over the years.....all used off CL. They've all required a bit of cleaning, tuning, and adjusting.... Some more than others. Luckily I'm good with tools. My advice to you, is to be willing to spend what you need to, to get the machine you like, with the features you're looking for, in the best or newest condition you can. If your existing machine works well for 95% of what you're sewing, and you're just missing reverse and a servo motor, get yourself another modern flatbed, and setup the old machine to be a dedicated binder. You'll speed up production, and can always add a cylinder arm  machine later. However, if the time has come where you need a cylinder arm, based on the work you're doing often, then go that route. Decide ahead of time if you need features such as a bigger bobbin (possibly at the cost of a larger diameter arm), walking foot feed, drop-in or side-loading bobbin, presser foot lift height, etc to narrow down the list of machines to choose from.
Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: ultimind on April 17, 2018, 08:32:10 PM
I went to my local dealer today and spent some time trying out a variety of preowned flatbed machines as well as brand new ones. Even an old LU562 with a servo felt far and away better than my 111W with a clutch.

The more I research it the more I realize that the cylinder arm and post bed machines both have their own very specific uses but neither is a good general purpose machine. I'm going to take baby steps and throw a servo motor on my 111W this week. We'll see how much of an improvement that makes.
Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: WBTactical on April 17, 2018, 10:10:02 PM
I never regret buying my Juki 1541 brand new at retail price plus tax from a local dealer, mine was having hook issue after the first week but under the warranty they fixed it immediately for free and since then with zero problems. Had I brought one used or from out of state it would had cost me a lot of money to get it operational.

My advice is save up and get a new one from a local dealer that offer warranty so you can take it back in case it breaks, pretty sure most dealer offer financing options too so it's not like you have to pay the full price out front.
Title: Re: Upgrading from 111W - Advice
Post by: rouge on April 18, 2018, 05:11:46 AM
I brought my last 2 machines from a dealer, when Iíve had problems with my machine the owner of the business has driven to my place after shop hours to look at it, or Iíve just dropped it over and he fixes it within 24 hours
I canít fault the service, Iíve seen machines for far less the price than what I paid, I was skint the month I brought it, but itís a one time purchase, I Stopped feeling the sting of it after that, and now I have someone who will come and fix it at any point.......partially because he knows Iíll need another machine soon ::)
Itís definately worth it, itís even more helpful because the owner helps with advice and tells me when Iím doing something wrong or advises me on what needles to buy and even how I can sew certain fabrics better.