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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. You could consider shipping these machines without motors for the US and Canadian markets. We have easy access to all kinds of 110 volt servo motors.
  2. Perhaps the top thread has too much tension when at rest. This can be caused by wrapping it around a top post, rather than simply feeding it straight through a hole. Or, the thread check spring might have too much spring tension for your thread. This spring is normally set with a lot of tension because it is usually dealing with larger sizes of thread than 138. It has to keep the top thread under tension as the take-up lever moves up and down. It also has to move all the way down to its bottom stopper bracket as the needle meets the top of the leather. The check spring tension can be decreased by loosening a nut on the reverse side of the head to where the bottom roller mounts. Then turn the split threaded shaft with a screwdriver blade to reduce the spring tension to the point where it just is able to go all the way down to the stopper on its own. Tighten down the nut on the back and see if this helps stop the knots from pulling to the top. If you need to sew with #277 or larger thread, that spring needs to be tightened up again.
  3. It resembles a typical light to medium duty walking foot machine, like the Consew 227. It can probably handles medium weight thread (perhaps up to T 90 or T135) and may sew up to approximately 9 or 10mm thickness. I think that it is missing the outer presser foot. It needs two feet that alternate up and down.
  4. I use a Cowboy CB4500 to sew holsters, ammo pouches, saddles, saddle bags, gun belts, etc. I often sew over 1/2 inch with either #277 or #346 bonded nylon thread.This is far beyond a 227 type machine, or any upholstery class machine.
  5. While it uses a similar size bobbin and shuttle, the clearances are far smaller than on your walking foot machine. Everything is tighter in those ancient post machines. I used to own two of them and could only get them to sew reliably with #69/T70 bonded thread, tops. Anything larger got pinched and jammed everything up. I would stick to using a #110 needle, with T70 bonded thread, as the maximum. Make sure that if there is a latch opener that it pulls the bobbin case back far enough to let the top thread pass freely around the positioning tab on the case, under the throat plate. Give more thread slack in the check spring. You may get lucky and fool it into passing #92 thread, but you'll need to find a #19 or #20 needle to sew with it.
  6. I have holster and stirrup raised plates for my Cowboy CB4500. They let me get very close to the left edge, with the holster plate having the least amount of material on the left side of the slot (about 1/16"). There is still metal underneath the plates on the left, but most projects can be bent out of the way enough to sew them on top. Here is the holster plate for a 441 machine.
  7. Your machine uses the standard System 135x16 and 17 walking foot machine needles. It should handle up to #138 thread, using a #23 leather point 135x16 needle. If the holes are too wide, move down to a #22 needle. There is a thread and needle chart on the Toledo Industrial Sewing Machines website.
  8. I use very thick leather to make some of my belts (13-16 oz). Normally I supply Chicago Screws to secure the folded over ends to the front. But, some customers prefer Ligne 24 snaps so they can swap buckles without using a tool to hold the Chicago Screw cap. Aside from buying longer post buttons (custom order), or a flat blade skiving tool (bad results), has anybody tried gouging a countersunk hole in the flesh side to drop the back of a Ligne 24 socket below the surface with a 9/16" end mill? If so, what results did you get? If somebody makes a custom 9/16" end mill with a (~3/32") centering pin (for a #3 hole), please PM me. My drill press has a 5/8" chuck and can accept a 9/16" steel rod.
  9. I have a CB4500 and a buddy has a Cobra Class 4. Both machines have similar specs and use the same needles and bobbins. They are based upon the venerable Juki TSC-441. They are well built and will last for many years under normal harness, belt and holster sewing use. One thing they won't do so well is to sew 1mm of anything. That is just too thin. But, if you were to remove the feed dog, install the narrow slotted flat throat plate, change to a #18 (aka 110) needle, load up with #69 (aka T70) bonded thread, back off the top tension and dink with the bobbin tension, you may be able to actually sew this thin. In actual use, I never try to sew under about 2mm as it is too much work for something that can be done with much less effort on any walking foot, or even a straight stitch machine. Converting a huge heavy duty machine like a 441 into a light duty machine is time consuming and can lead to lots of frustration as you fine tune out skipped stitches and overly tight tensions that can pucker the leather. These machines were built with thread sizes 138 and up in mind. There aren't even any leather point needles readily available under a #23 (aka 160). I don't even bother with #138, as I have another machine that handles it even better..I believe in using thread sizes 207 and up in a Cowboy or Cobra 441 machine, into at least 1/8 inch (3.2mm) of leather, The results are more consistent.
  10. I use a CB4500 and can tell you with full confidence, that if you get one powered by a Family Sew motor, you will not need an EPS system to position the needle up or down. I can move the needle so slowly I can watch grass grow.
  11. Alexander, at Solar Leather Machines, has come up with an interesting project that replaces the foot motor control pedal with a hand squeezed palm controller. This could be a God-send for those with leg or foot problems that make it hard or impossible for them to control the speed of their machine by foot. Check out his YouTube video about this project.
  12. I don't own such a machine.
  13. You betcha it can! I thought I would upgrade my CB4500 to a Juki hook, which cost about $250. It sewed perfectly in forward and virtually not at all in reverse! The top thread got pinched between the shuttle and the race every time I tried sewing in reverse. I backed out the screws to no avail. I retimed it to no avail. I finally cut my losses and went back to the OEM Cowboy hook. The lesson? Juki 441 hooks belong in Juki built machines. Seriously though, your hook may have a manufacturing defect. Take the machine to a qualified Cowboy dealer, or ship the hook to one for inspection and possible replacement.
  14. I don't usually have top thread loops on the bottom layer on my CB4500 when sewing in reverse. But, the bottom tension is sometimes reduced and I occasionally get skipped stitches going backwards. These are timing and check spring problems that I adjust for when they bother me enough. One should first set the timing to the default position. This is done with the stitch lever in the zero length position. When the needle passes BDC and has risen about 3/16", the hook should meet the center of the needle about 1/8 to 3/16 inch about the top of the eye. This is not a precise measurement. I find that different thread colors and sizes change the size of the loop. But, if you have a nice size loop at the zero stitch position, the forward and backward stitches should be good in both directions. What could cause the hook to eye of needle timing to change? Sometimes, despite having two hex head adjuster set screws on the needle bar clamp, the force of impacting tough leather can cause the bar to move up inside the clamp on the crank shaft that moves the needle bar up and down. This raising of the needle throws off the timing. When this happens you can simply zero the stitch lever, lower the needle until it passes BDC and moves up a few silly millimeters (3 to 4 mm for my South African and European friends) and the hook is in the middle of the needle. If the hook is too close to the eye, loosen the needle bar clamp screws and manually lower the needle until the hook is properly centered inside the thread loop, or about 3 to 4 mm above the eye. When you re-tighten those screws, make sure the actual needle clamp has not rotated out of position. Note, or photograph its original position as a reference. The idea is to position the hook in the cutout (scarf) above the needle's eye where it has the best amount of top thread loop to pick off. There is a happy range of needle positions to do this. But, if the tip of the needle is too low, it will hit the bobbin case: = very bad. Too high and the hook will tend to miss the loop. Most dealers recommend lowering just the needle first to test for this vertical position problem. If lowering the needle improves the situation, then lower the needle bar. If not, you've saved the turning effort on a couple of screws that are usually set very tightly at the factory. Advanced information! The actual hook timing is adjusted with a large hex wrench inside the round access port cover on the right front of the machine body. There are probably YouTube videos showing how this is done. When I need to re-time my machine, I loosen the big bolt inside the access port, leaving it just tight enough that it turns with the hand wheel, but is turnable by finger pressure. I adjust the position of the hook by hand to meet the middle of the needle on the upstroke, centered in the thread loop, where it is giving me problems, then tighten the bolt down. This adjustment may only need to be tweaked a couple of degrees to make the machine stop snapping the thread or skipping stitches. Do this at your own risk! Enter the check spring The check spring must hold the top thread taut at least until the needle pierces the top layer. If it lets go too soon, the tip of the needle might split the thread before it penetrates the top layer, or on the way through the leather. There is a bottom stop that is movable to stop the spring's travel higher or lower. It must stop moving down after the needle passes though the bottom layer, or there won't be enough loop for the hook to pick off. In between the extremes is a small amount of happy adjustment range that can cause the stitches to be looser or tighter. Often overlooked is the tension of the check spring. There should just be enough tension to let the spring all the way move up on the upstroke and all the way down to the movable bottom stop on the downstroke - of the take-up lever. A jumpy check spring may indicate poor or marginal timing, or pinching of the top thread as it goes around the hook. If there is insufficient clearance for the top thread to clear the exit side of the hook, it will bind and cause loops on the bottom, split thread, or other problems.
  15. There are some leather makers that buy pallets or boxes of things and sell off what they don't need. You could use the Marketplace section of the forum to sell the unneeded spools of thread. You might even find members willing to go in on the bulk purchase..