Author Topic: What was your best purchase starting in this business  (Read 1852 times)

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stimpy

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What was your best purchase starting in this business
« on: November 24, 2016, 03:25:19 PM »
Like the title says, what was your best purchase when you started in this business. Or what are the things knowing what you know now that you would have bought? What are the things that you regretted the most. And what you would never have bought again knowing what you know now ?

Just curious to the responses.
I personnaly have a lot of stuff that i would have done differently. Like  building up stock in different colors, and always missing pieces to make this or that product.

Stoner63A

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 04:20:04 PM »
#1 Walking Foot Sewing Machine.......hands down, the #1, best buy.    Punches through insane thicknesses, maintains consistent stitch length.

#2 Bartacker....mine started out as a $65 Craigslist buy

essal

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 04:43:22 PM »
Best buy: Industrial walking foot
Worst buy: "Industrial strength" walking foot
Regret not buying: Bartacker, Automatic featured walking foot (trimmer and kneelift, maybe a computer)

It seems like a ton of money to fork out for a walking foot with automatic features and a bartacker, but if you're going to be serious about build gear in your basement then you should do it the proper way. It's not advice I'd give part-time or hobby guys because of the investment. I'm getting a tacker as soon as I can afford one when/if my company boots up again.

As for inventory, I kept it pretty basic with CB and RG, haven't lost out on too many orders due to not having a ton of MC. Mainly when I started doing Hypalon stuff is when people wanted MC, but it wasn't a product I could buy so I don't even consider it a loss. However, keeping a bunch of random fabrics and patterns on hand (especially if they go with your standard trims) is a good idea. One thing I would recommend is some exotic fabrics to play with, because it opens up new doors in terms of design and design capabilities.

A thing I would recommend is doing a pattern making course. You might not see the use for being able to drape a dress at the moment, but trust me, the $300-1000 you'll spend on it will come right back to you when you apply it to your designs.
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Bootcat

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2016, 02:40:55 AM »
Best buy #1: programmable lockstitch machine with servo motor (needle feed for me, automatic+walking foot+heavy fabrics was not available to me at the time).
Best buy #2: programmable bartacker, 40x30mm area (pattern tacker really) with servo motor.
Best buy #3: K. Fasanella book. I didn't understand most of it at first, but I keep returning to it year after year as I evolve towards outsourcing, production organisation and such.

Recommendation: 3 colors for fabric and webbing (black, some kind of coyote, some kind of green, maybe a national camo pattern if applicable) and 2 colors for plastics (black and coyote tan obviously). The variety of stuff and storage space you'll need for a new color is staggering, I calculated that adding ATACS AU cost me around 400-500USD just to try it (and it didn't sell).

BergspitzeCustoms

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 10:41:56 AM »
Walking foot machine, an older Consew 206.  Have yet to find a project that it won't sew through.  Local classifieds ad find, guy was just trying to get rid of it so I offered him a couple hundred below his already low price, AND he threw in a bunch of fabric, webbing, and hardware.  It was what started it all.

#2 Bartacker....mine started out as a $65 Craigslist buy
The jealousy is so strong right now, you have no idea.  Have been searching for a good deal on a bartacker (would love a programmable tacker) for such a long time.  Missed one for $200 a few months ago by literally a few minutes.  $65 is a super steal.

Also, I concur with Bootcat's recommendation.  Keep it simple at first.

stimpy

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2016, 11:13:15 AM »
Just recently bought a used triple feed juki, paid 2000€ for it, that is almost double what i planned to pay for a machine. But when i look at the automated functions that i now have, i am very glad that i listened to the person pushing me to buy a machine that had at least automatic thread cutting. And foot lifting etc...

WBTactical

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2016, 01:17:27 AM »
I contemplated replying because everyone gave very good answer and it will just feels like copy and pasting at this point, but i thought I would share anyway.

My best investment....definitely a TRUE industrial walking foot machine, hands down. Before that I was using a industrial strength BS known as Sailrite, I was really hyped at getting it at first because it's build like a tank and it's under a grand but then more I uses it the more I hated it. It's slow as hell, doesn't have large capacity hook and the reverse is build into the stitch length. My productivity literally tripled after getting the Juki and now I wish I saved it for something else.

Recommendation: Always always always buy from suppliers, yes most of them requires a minimum and it will seem a lot at first but the quantity you get far outweigh the cost. Before that I would go material hunting on ebay since it's either that or rockywood. Sometimes I would pay like like 30-40 for 50 yard roll of webbing and then when I compare it to what RW charge for a yard I thought I was getting a good deal. I decided to go with Texcel for my webbing need and to this day I still can't believe how low their prices are compared to what I pay for on ebay.

rouge

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2016, 12:49:16 PM »
I feel like saying my machine is a bit rendundant given how essential it is ..though buying right the first time is important.

So im gonna say .....my rulers ....i have quite a few that i use for different projects but i have this big metal l shape ruler that lets me make extremely large panels and boxes with no error in dimensions ....that was a god send .....once youve made an entire pack with a flat ruler you really begin to appreciate a good one !!

Im pretty gratefull for my big table and a2 cutting board as well ......
The final thing ......a really decent carpenter knife with changable blades .....the blades are good but cheap and its always razor sharp wen i need to cut thick webbing !!

Stoner63A

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2016, 05:35:35 PM »
Walking foot machine, an older Consew 206.  Have yet to find a project that it won't sew through.  Local classifieds ad find, guy was just trying to get rid of it so I offered him a couple hundred below his already low price, AND he threw in a bunch of fabric, webbing, and hardware.  It was what started it all.

#2 Bartacker....mine started out as a $65 Craigslist buy
The jealousy is so strong right now, you have no idea.  Have been searching for a good deal on a bartacker (would love a programmable tacker) for such a long time.  Missed one for $200 a few months ago by literally a few minutes.  $65 is a super steal.

Also, I concur with Bootcat's recommendation.  Keep it simple at first.

Not quite something to envy, like I said, started out to be a $65 Craigslist buy, was told it was a 42-stitch, hence the 269W11 tag and the pressor foot, but it was full of dust, oil/grease gummed up, I couldn't hand cycle it on site.    Paid the $65, still in tunnel vision, "oh boy oh boy a 42-stitch bartacker, Tactical Tailor still backstitches, oh boy oh boy"

   Got it home, between shop vaccing out the dust, cleaning gears with WD40 soaked toothbrush, and some BreakFree CLP, I got it broken loose, only to find out it was geared for 26 stitch like for belt loops.  Investigated the right parts, the arch foot/pressor foot had been changed to  inline with the machine arm by Camatron instead of perpendicular as the Singer factory parts are.  Bought a brand-new 42-stitch micarta drive disc and worm gear from Camatron for over $325, a 110v motor for $125.

 The worm gear wouldn't fit on the horizontal shaft so I had to send the machine up to Ralph's in Denver, who installed a Singer worm gear, adjusted everything for a 7/8" x 1/8" Mil-Spec 42 stitch bartack, another $275 plus $30 for a cast iron foot arch clamp lifter pedal, now I'm at $820+ , well past a $65 initial cost.   But, it allows me to run PALS loopage like factory especially when my back is giving me fits, I can lay PALS loops without requiring a bunch of thought at 1/4 the time back-stitching takes,  you can train a chimp to run it,

17SG

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 02:57:51 PM »
Other than the obvious (Sewing machine) I think me best purchase has been an industrial cutting table.  Before I would have to piece big cuts together on a little plastic fold out table, total nightmare. Now I have a 12' Phillocraft cutting table and it makes a world of difference!
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Corvus

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2017, 06:27:58 PM »
I'd agree with all the walking foot comments. But by far the best purchase I've made for my needs (outdoor gear repair) has been a heat press. being able to effectively seam tape technical fabrics has been a game changer.
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Apatch

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Re: What was your best purchase starting in this business
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 06:45:33 AM »
My lasercutter
Without that piece of equipment I could net have started what we do today.

Close second is my walking foot machine.

But as life goes, there is always the want for the better version  :D