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Messages - ultimind

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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.

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.

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!

Introductions / Re: Hello from Thailand
« on: April 13, 2018, 12:48:46 PM »
Welcome! Your belts look great.  8)

Concept, design, and engineering / Re: Prototype Making.
« on: April 12, 2018, 11:32:56 AM »
I'm just a hobbyist gearmaker but here's my design process. Pencil sketch first to work out the general idea and shape and then Adobe Illustrator to draft all the panel pieces and lay them out to efficiently use as little material as possible. Nesting pieces is an art in and of itself. There's softgoods manufacturing software that costs like $10k that's only job is to nest pieces to minimize material waste. I just use my brain and move stuff around until it's arranged as tightly as possible.

When it comes to getting patterns made I've had the local Kinkos or Officemax print out large format full size pattern pieces that I cut out and trace onto pattern paper. (Heavy manila kraft paper). If I'm being extra cheap i'll print all the pieces at home and just tile them together. Pain in the ass, but it's free instead of paying Kinkos $8 to print it.

I usually sew the first one out of scraps or 2nd quality materials. I won't bind anything on the first go, so that it's easy to rip everything apart and start over or make adjustments to pieces as I go.

Or.... get a laser cutter. It vastly speeds up prototyping since you eliminate all the cutting and tracing and printing steps.

Pouches / Re: Ugly aid bag inserts
« on: April 09, 2018, 10:47:43 AM »
Keep a little tension on the binding tape as itís feeding into the attachment. Iíve found when I was experiencing the bottom side moving around on me that applying a little tension made it feed perfectly. My bindings were infinitely better after that. And now Iím looking for a cheap dedicated cylinder arm machine for binding because itís a huge pain to change the feeddogs and feet on my 111W every time I need to bind.

Materials science / Re: Mixing thread sizes - Top & Bobbin
« on: April 08, 2018, 03:42:07 PM »
Thanks all for the insight. Hadnít considered using Kevlar thread. Thatís an interesting way to go about it. I would think the scissor dulling would make most shy away from it. Iíve been using a lot of Dyneema gridstop lately and the UHMWPE fibers are killer on my scissors.

Materials science / Mixing thread sizes - Top & Bobbin
« on: April 06, 2018, 09:58:51 AM »
I've put together several packs lately that have contrasting topstitching (such as along a zipper) in T-90 bonded nylon with a T-70 bonded nylon bobbin thread. My non-scientific testing shows that the stitch is perfectly centered in the material and it holds up as well as using T-70 top and bottom.

Are there any negatives to mixing top thread and bottom thread of different size? T-90 and T-70 work well so far but could I get up to T-135 topstitch with T-70 bobbin?

I'm sure there are large scale efficiency problems with doing so but I'm a one-man, part time hobbyist operation. I want to have the ability to have a nice prominent topstitch but without the hassle of having to have a bunch of different bobbins especially for a color that I may only use one time. I use enough black T-70 to buy 16oz cones but I'd prefer to get 2-4oz cones when I need something like bright purple or neon orange topstitch.

Everything else / Re: toiletry / shave kit
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:46:03 PM »
I have two kinds I like to make. Flat pouches and simple boxy dopp kits. Made boxy ones for everyone in our wedding party. The flat ones are a great way to use up leftover scraps. Make a tube, decide whether you want the zip on the top or middle and sew it shut. I've got so many bizarre combinations of liners and exteriors.

If any of the cut yardage folks have it I would start with giving Rockywoods a call. They're usually the ones who score some of the more specialized fabrics. TAD makes some of their sweaters out of it but they're made overseas, unlike their bags which are made in South San Francisco. There's only one mill in the US that makes it. Probably a dead end at anything below 1000yds.

There was a Kickstarter that got funded last year by some clothing designers in LA who are using Combat Wool in a clothing line. It's possible they could sell you some yardage or sizable scraps.

Asset exchange / Re: WTB: thin 3/4" dark teal webbing
« on: December 27, 2017, 04:56:43 PM »
Have you tried DJ Associates? They carry a lot of stuff in non milspec colors. Good luck with your search! I'll be curious to know where you end up finding such webbing.

Tutorials and techniques / Re: In search of a (boxy) 3D corner tutorial
« on: December 22, 2017, 12:09:14 PM »
I was getting a lot of mis-alignment when I started doing three dimensional bags. I would lay out everything on paper and triple check my measurements and I knew everything was correct but when I went to sew, I'd get misalignments. The thing that helped me was pinning or clipping all your pieces together to ensure that everything lines up. It's an extra step but it helps. Only after practice and muscle memory with a particular pattern could I do it freehand (no clips or pins)... aligning the pieces as I went.

Others here with more experience would probably be able to speak more to this, but I would question why you're using unbonded thread. This may explain why you're getting wonky tension issues. I know on my Singer 111W I've had issues running unbonded V92 polyester thread. I switched to bonded and the problems resolved without any tinkering with the machine.

And for what they are I think the Sailrites are nice little machines. I'd love to have a portable with the monster flywheel... but for those prices I'll take a nicely used industrial.

Vendors and sources / Re: desert pink or hello kitty Cordura
« on: December 07, 2017, 01:17:42 PM »
Other than the wonky pink hunting camo I've only seen solid pinks floating around the common places here in the US. I'm betting that the Manhattan Portage X Hello Kitty 1000D Cordura is produced in Korea or China and is custom just for them. You might be able to source something from the Chinese nylon mills on Alibaba. They often have vast catalogs of 500d and 1000d airspun nylon "Cordura-like" fabrics in crazy patterns.

Spoonflower does have a decently heavy canvas material that you could print whatever you want on. It's not Cordura but it could work in a pinch.

Also reach out to Kyle at RSBTR / OutdoorINK. He's got a 420d Robic nylon that's full color printable.

Asset exchange / Re: WTB: Cardboard tubes for fabric storage
« on: November 17, 2017, 06:40:51 PM »
I second the ABS/PVC pipe route, although I can get free cardboard tubes from my local Joann stores as well  ::)

The only issue I have with ABS and PVC is that I can't get tubes longet enough to have some "extra" on each end of 60" width fabrics. I store my rolls vertically, so keeping them off the ground is nice.

I think I'll try a different store this weekend and see what I can score. I considered vertical storage as it would be far more efficient but I also had concerns about keeping the ends from getting smashed into the ground. Thanks gravity.  8)

Asset exchange / Re: WTB: Cardboard tubes for fabric storage
« on: November 16, 2017, 08:23:14 AM »
JoAnn Fabrics was a no-go. I was told in no uncertain terms that they do not give away any tubes, as each store has to pay for them. Even when politely asking where they get their tubes from I was told that was something they aren't allowed to divulge. Alrighty then  :o I walked down the plaza to Lowes, bought a bunch of 10ft lengths of PVC and cut them to size in the parking lot to fit in my car. Came out to $1.63 per tube. I'm still figuring out how to efficiently wrap the start of the roll without a set of rollers. I came up with a little table jig for laying down a 2" piece of masking tape sticky side up along the full width of the material and overlapping 1" on the fabric and 1" on the PVC pipe. There's plenty of adhesion to get a nice even wrap going. I'll post pictures in the Workspace/Tools/Mfg section if anyone is interested.

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