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About Wizcrafts

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    Burton, Michigan, USA
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    Leather work, sewing and sewing machines

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    Handgun holsters, tooled belts, custom made to order items, sewing, alterations, repairs
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  1. Lol, the jumping of the presser bar is probably caused by an off-axis hole bored into the top tension adjuster bolt. Just loosen the lock nut and rotate the adjuster a little until the presser bar moves freely.
  2. First, needlebar mounted thread guides position the top thread inside the rib along the side of the needle. In your case, it's the left side that has the rib. Second, by feeding the thread through this guide you keep it vertically aligned as it feeds down and through the eye of the needle. This reduces the amount of left deflection that tends to happen as you sew. The tighter the tensions, the greater the pull to the left as the needle goes in and out of the material.
  3. It's the pendulum effect that shortens the stitch length at higher distances above the feed dog. The needlebar pivots at the top of the machine. The greater the distance to the work, the longer the stitches and vice versa.
  4. A lot of potential buyers avoid the Models 27/127 & 28/128, because of the funky bobbins they use. The long cylindrical aftermarket bobbins available from the Orient don't have end holes for securing the starting thread. So, winding a bobbin is an art form in itself.
  5. I've only had two of these machines and sold them for $200 each, with a Singer carrying case. You can scrounge through antiques stores to see if anything like these show up. I see lots of other models of Singer sewing machines in the booths surrounding our shop (I am located inside a huge antiques mall).
  6. The poster, Mockingbird, is in Japan, as is listed in the bottom of their on-page profile.
  7. I'm glad you got a working American Straight Needle machine and have put it to good use. I did misread your initial post late at night when I made my reply that began the firestorm with the New York Feminist.
  8. Since you woke up this old topic from 2011, I will answer your question about the thickness a Singer 128 can sew. In mid-2016, I sold both a Singer 27 and a 128 from my shop. Both of those machines were from the turn of the 20th Century and sewed perfectly on denim after I did my magic with them. The feed dogs are really aggressive on these machines. This helps feed difficult material, like veg-tan leather belts with smooth or pasted backs. I was curious about their capacity too, so I brought the 1902 Model 27 into the work area, wound the bobbin with #69 bonded nylon thread and threaded the rest through the top tension path. I let the stitch length knob out for the maximum feeder travel inside the throat plate cutout, giving me 5 to the inch. Then I grabbed a spare piece of 9-10 ounce Q-Tan bridle leather and tried hand wheeling into it. The Sumbitch sewed the bridle leather like butter and fed it without dragging (because of the large teeth on the bottom). I plugged in the aftermarket motor and after starting it with a quick spin with my hand, the machine sewed by its own power. I did fishtails and circles, sewed back over existing stitches (Poor Man's Reverse) and it didn't miss even one stitch. The Model 128 did just as well. Both machines were portables in wooden Singer carry cases. I've bought and sold dozens of old domestic sewing machines, but none could match the Models 27 and 128 for sewing 10-12 ounces of bridle leather (that was as thick as they could sew and hold down the leather). I I did manage to get the Model 27 to sew with #92 thread on top, using a #18 leather point needle, but had to crank down the foot pressure spring all the way to keep the leather from lifting with the needle.
  9. Check with local upholstery and shoe repair shops, as well as your local Craigslist for an industrial (aka: "commercial") walking foot machine with compound (triple) feed, setup on a 20" x 48" industrial table, with either a servo or clutch motor (which you can replace with a more controllable servo motor for about $150). Often times, these repair shops sell off old machines when they buy newer ones. Your $400 to $600 should get you a 30 to 60 year old sewing machine capable of sewing a quarter inch of veg-tan leather with no more than #138 bonded nylon thread. If you want something more modern and capable, plan on paying at least $1000, before shipping.
  10. You can't bury the lockstitch knots from #415 thread in leather thinner than about 12 to 14 ounces. Light colors and white thread will fold easier than dark blue and black thread. So, you might could bury the knots of white #415 in as little as 10 ounces, if the tensions and holes are perfect. The reason you cannot equate hand sewing thread to machine sewn thread is because with hand sewing you usually do a saddle stitch with two needles sewing over and under. There are no knots to bury and the stitches look perfect on both sides. In contrast, 0.8mm bonded thread that forms a lockstitch knot will have a working diameter of up to 1.6mm and will require a #26 or 27 needle to poke a wide enough hole to allow the knots to be pulled up sufficiently into the leather.
  11. I do a lot of zipper replacements in a variety of goods, in my commercial leather shop. here's my 2 cents worth... I try to choose the best zipper for the project. When I replace a wrap-around, double pull zipper in a small pouch, I prefer a #5 plastic coil zipper. Ditto for money belt zippers. Jeans typically use short brass #5 zippers. Light weight jackets and blazers are fine with a #5 zipper of any material. But, heavy weight leather jackets are best fitted with a #7 metal tooth zipper. Very heavy items and items under a lot of stress along the zip line will benefit from a #10 zipper retrofit. I either match the color of the original zipper and tape, or ask the customer if they mind if I choose, based on what I have in stock, or have easy access to. In most cases, I use YKK zippers and pulls. They are the most reliable and long lasting whether made of plastic coil or formed Vislon, aluminum, nickle, or brass. If only the pull is bad, but the zipper is not a YKK, I will try a Zlide-on (see below *), or else I must replace the entire zipper set. For this I usually charge a long wheelbase 5. If the zipper is very long, as in a rifle bag tarp or tent, my price goes up exponentially. You can purchase bulk zipper tape in various size rolls from Ohio Travelbag (OTB), Wawak and ZipperStop. If the tape and teeth are okay but the pull won't close the teeth, a zipper plier can be used on the back of the zipper to close the gap until the teeth merge again. You can buy this tool from Wawak or OTB. It resembles a common nickle finish pair of pliers, but there is a wide open gap in the center of the teeth on both jaws. This gap lets the teeth grab the rear sides of the zipper without hitting the pull tab or its mounting bracket. I've saved many a zipper for customers when all that was wrong was the pull needed a little clamping down. It can give the owner a lease on life of the zipper at a very low cost (beer money). European garments may have the separating zipper pull on the left, rather than the right side, which is typical in the USA. You will probably not be able to find left hand pulls mounted on separating jacket zippers. If the zipper is a #5, you should be able to sew it in backwards to place the pull on the left. Some zippers will allow this, while others will warp and fight the pull all the way up and down. If a pull has stopped closing the teeth and clamping down on the back of it doesn't fix it, you can buy Zlide-on* zipper pulls from Ohio Travelbag. They can be popped open to slide them over the teeth, then clamped down to lock them into the path. Zlide-ons are life savers for a zipper repair person. In addition to stocking a wide range of Zlide-ons, you can buy a zipper repair kit containing numerous pulls, end stops and closure brackets. I got mine from OTB. They also sell special pliers to install the little end stops. I usually keep about a hundred zippers and replacement pulls in stock and bags upon bags of end and closure stops, in various colors. ZIppers can be a bonus service and a good money maker for a leather shop.
  12. I use System 794 diamond/tri point needles when I sew closer than 6 stitches per inch on my Cowboy. I get them from Toledo Industrial Sewing Machines. The stitches lay inline like the S points, but are less likely to filigree the leather. Also, the exit wound is more rounded and it is easier to pull up the knots in very thick stacks of leather. I used a #25 diamond point to sew a 7/8 inch thick holster last year. The S point was cutting the thread.
  13. I apologize to all the females I've offended. I'm done with Leatherworker.net for now. It's been a blast. Goodbye.
  14. It will help if you can post a photo of the machine and the thread mess. Without seeing what's happening, or the machine it's happening on, all I can do is offer general solutions. If the knots are on the bottom and causing the bottom thread to lay flat rather than being pulled up into the holes, either loosen the bobbin tension or increase the top tension. If there is a whole pile of thread in and around the bobbin, first, hold back the starting threads for a few stitches. Next, make sure that the top thread is feeding inside the top tension disks and not lifting out of them. Third, make sure that the bobbin thread isn't jammed tight coming out of the bobbin case. Fourth, make sure the needle is the correct size and system for the machine and thread and that it is inserted in the correct orientation and all the way up inside its mounting bracket. Make sure you've threaded the needle in the correct direction. Finally, check the timing of the hook tip to the eye of the needle as it rises above bdc and forms a loop.
  15. That is an American Straight Needle shoe sole stitcher. If your husband needs to sew outsoles onto midsoles, that will be a good machine for his business. Other than that, the only other possible use might be sewing along the very edge of holsters and knife sheathes. There is virtually no available depth behind the needle, without removing the built-in edge guide. There is no reverse or turning the work around. Also, it is meant for very heavy expensive linen thread run through heated wax, although it could be changed to liquid wax after cleaning out the old hardened wax residue. The American Straight Needle uses an awl to punch a hole and move the leather sideways. The needles comes up from the bottom and a looper arm feeds the linen thread into a barb in the top of the needle. The needle then descends and pulls the thread down and around the bobbin to form a lockstitch.