Author Topic: Noob from Illinois USA  (Read 418 times)

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pigeonfarmboy

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Noob from Illinois USA
« on: February 21, 2020, 12:42:06 PM »
Hello, I'm Nate from East Central Illinois.  I'm a 4x4 enthusiast and Airsoft player and I'm considering making some of my design ideas into real products.  Growing up with my Quilting Nerd Mother exposed me to proper sewing construction techniques and the pitfalls to avoid.

Looking to prototype a few design ideas I have.  Planning on constructing with cordura, webbing, and binding with some leather accents/strapping.  I currently have a Singer 99 and 500A.  The idea with the 500a was to use it as a "poor man's bar tacker" of sorts.  We'll see how that works out.  Worst case, I now have a zig-zag machine that was cheap and in great condition.

I have my sights set on picking up a reconditioned Juki LU-563 or similar 111 clone with a servo motor.  I'm leaning towards getting a manual-oiled machine over a hybrid or self-oiling.  My bias towards this might be incorrect but when starting out I'm sure I won't be using the machine at full speed which in my understanding is necessary to make use of the self-oiling design?  I'm trying to stay under or close to the $1000 mark to have funds left for raw materials to play with.

Just hoping to hear some outside opinions before heading to a shop that's trying to push me one way or another depending what they have in stock.  If a 111 clone might not be the right choice for example, I'm not against saving up and getting a machine that's more versatile or that I can grow into.  No idea at this point what this could turn into or any kind of production scale.

Appreciate any info.  I'm a sponge now and currently reading Kathleen Fasanella's "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing" book which I believe someone here recommended a couple years ago.

Avant-Guard Tactical

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Re: Noob from Illinois USA
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 01:19:01 PM »
Welcome aboard pigeon farm boy!

As far as DIY tactical gear sewing, I've had very good results with the sailrite LSZ-1 with a monster II hand wheel. I've sewn through plastic 5 gallon bucket lids with ease, just to show of it's power. Sadly it's a bit spendy, but it's about as heavy duty as you can get and still be able to fit it in a closet or on a shelf, despite weighing roughly 50 pounds.

Another tip, it's easier (and usually cheaper) to buy gear that's close to what you want, then modifying it to get it to do what it is you want.

Understanding materials and hardware is also key. Browsing sites like rockywoods.com, wich sells these resources in small quantities, but also educates the reader in what they are typically used for and their properties.

Other than that, greetings from Avant-Guard Tactical & Heavy-Duty Sewing from West Virginia,

pigeonfarmboy

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Re: Noob from Illinois USA
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 03:18:02 PM »
I've read many conflicting reviews/opinions about the LSZ-1.  Having never used one I can't fairly offer an opinion.  Portability is not really a concern of mine.  I do have the space to setup a table-mounted unit.

Materials and hardware are easy to understand for me.  I've got lots of high-end gear to use as reference.  Alternately I've bought lots of junk and have seen others' junk fail to know what makes the premium offerings important.

Misadventure Gear

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Re: Noob from Illinois USA
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 06:16:01 PM »
Welcome Aboard. You can't go wrong with a Juki walking foot machine for what you want to make. Many people, myself included, have had good luck with the Tacsew T111-155, which is available new, with a servo for about $1000. It is Chinese-made, but mine has been a workhorse. Consew also makes quality walking foot machines, and used ones are often available for a good price. Look around, and do your research on any machine you're considering buying. I've had good luck with Craigslist for used machines over the years, but oftentimes one needs to be patient before the right machine comes up for sale there.

pigeonfarmboy

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Re: Noob from Illinois USA
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2020, 11:26:12 PM »
Thanks, I've been watching my area for the right machine to come up for about 2 years.  I've given up and I'm just going to have to drive to either Nick O Sew/Toledo/Janesville/Chicago.  Just can't decide how important the oiling system is in the equation.

Gear Dynamics

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Re: Noob from Illinois USA
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 09:02:30 PM »
Welcome!

pigeonfarmboy

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Re: Noob from Illinois USA
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2020, 08:24:20 PM »
After taking a trip up to Chicago to visit Steve at Goldblatt Sewing Machines (Sewinggold.com) he set me straight with all the questions I had as well as incorrect information.  Based on all information we gathered, I've decided that the Juki 1541S fits my needs best.  Just gotta save a little longer to make up the difference in cost or I won't have any material to play with after buying the machine.