gottaknow

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About gottaknow

  • Rank
    Leatherworker
  • Birthday February 12

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Washington State
  • Interests
    Art, music, sewing, photography, gardening

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Industrial sewing machines since 1980, Facilities and Maintenance Mgr at Outdoor Research
  • Interested in learning about
    ironicly, hand sewing, leather carving and stamping
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  1. Modern high performance threads

    Bonded nylon is specified for the vast majority of tactical items for the DOD. A company I used to work for had a contract for suede welding jackets. Chrome tanned leather with Kevlar thread. The Kevlar thread isn’t bonded and it’s like sewing with dental floss. Your hooks have to be sharp and set very precise or it will fray while sewing. A buddy of mine that has been making hot air balloons since the 70’s uses UV rated bonded polyester which is about the nicest thread I’ve ever used. Strong like bonded nylon, but with a much softer hand. Sews like a dream. Regards, Eric
  2. The company I work for is a DoD contractor. Everything we produce for them has to be Berry Compliant. This assures US made textiles, including all the raw materials. I began working in a sewing factory in 1980, even then companies were exploring overseas options. The price of industrial machines has little affect on our bottom line as the ROI is very quick, long before the typical depreciation period. We also bypass the US dealers at a substantial savings. For the home hobbyist, a much bigger impact. We do import the vast majority of our non tactical items in order to compete in a very competitive market. NAFTA hurt the US textile businesses but it was the low overseas labor costs that really sank our ship. Regards, Eric
  3. Has this ever been done?

    Love the ZeroMax. When run continuously, additional cooling is a must since they are entirely enclosed. Their endless configurations make them very usefull in a factory. They are however no joy to take apart to change a bent shaft (pretty common). Regards, Eric
  4. Has this ever been done?

    Not that I’m aware of. A properly adjusted old school clutch motor is an excellent variable speed motor. Regards, Eric
  5. Juki’s come out of many different factories. Some are still made in Japan, most in China. Garment machines require lube that can be cleaned out of fabrics with an atomizer gun and solvent. Most lubes don’t meet this requirement so you end up with a bunch of oddball stuff nobody recognizes. The dry head system was developed because the machining tolerances are poor on the Chinese units, they couldn’t keep oil in the heads and it was costing factories a lot of money for cleaning sewn goods. They sold the catch phrase dry head when it should be called “we can’t keep the oil in”. The different lubes are likely a result of regional factory locations. Juki A is your best bet, it’s the most common over all their many classes. Regards, Eric
  6. A decent alternative lube is TriFlo grease. It’s a touch thinner than white lithium, but soooo slippery. I like it for used machines because it will loosen up a dry head making it quieter and smoother. It also doesn’t get pushed out with rotating components like thicker lubes do. Regards, Eric
  7. LK-1900A-HS

    The 1900 series has morphed over the years. Decent machine heads and inexpensive parts. Brother has however left them in the dust when it comes to their software. I have a highly modified 1900 for webbing applications and it never misses a beat. Regards, Eric
  8. LK-1900A-HS

    That clang at the end was the stop motion on Singer 269 class. Music to a mechanics ear.
  9. Singer 269 class bartack with a Camatron modification. One of the series of machine that taught me patience in the early years of my career. It was good clean fun until the stop motion got out of whack. My preference for old bartacks is the Juki 980 class. Regards, Eric
  10. Sewing machine from china???

    We buy Brother and Juki direct from China. The savings enormous. That being said, Wiz is right about the support and warranty issues. For us it’s a non issue since we’re a factory with 3 full time mechanics. We’ll get the occasional bad control box, but just order another. We always check the settings, and trust me they sometimes don’t sew a stitch right out of the box. I always advise folks to use dealers, it just makes sense. Regards, Eric
  11. Juki 1341 questions

    Actually we’ve had digital automation for more than a decade in sewing factories. Brother has led the way. We make gloves which lend themselves to automation with lots of little components. It’s expensive up front, but the ROI is usually less than a year, often much faster. Most hobby sewers can’t drop 24k on a single machine though. Regards, Eric
  12. I went yesterday to the factory where I spent almost 8 years of my career. I bought 3 pieces of equipment that will be a reminder of my time there. It was weird seeing the building so empty. I ended up with the Utica Mills combo slitter. I had rebuilt this machine 3 years ago, so I knew it was in good shape, and we needed another one. I bought a small heat press while I’ll rebuild, and a 5hp vacuum motor. It had been factory rebuilt a number of years ago. Factories use vacuum systems for various things. I obviously had a huge advantage in this auction since I knew all of the machines. Some people didn’t have a clue what they bought or what the machine actually did. I took a final look around and then walked away, making the long drive back to Seattle. I’ve had a long career and am currently working for the 6th apparel manufacturer during a 38 year span. Not bad I guess for an industry that has been devastated by importing. Regards, Eric
  13. The vast majority of the Singer and Union Special machines were all originally owned by Pacific Trail Sportswear. At it’s height of production in the late 70’s and early 80’s there were over 600 machines. These are the machines I built my career with beginning in 1980. This factory shut down a year ago. I was the head mechanic there. I have fond (and not so fond) memories of the machines. I worked for Filson for 3 years, but over the course of my career I was the head mechanic for these machines for a total of about 13 years. There were other mechanics in charge during the years I worked in other factories. I worked in this particular factory for 7 years. At its peak in the mid 80’s while it was a contract factory we had 300 operators. So for me, this is the end of an era, I’m happy with my new company, so no looking back. The 211 151’s are the best deal. Needle feed, bullet proof. They have been in storage for 20 years or so. Our main machines were Juki 9010’s and 3578’s double needles. Before those we used the Judi 5410’s which meant the retirement of the 211’s. I didn’t look through the entire auction, but there are a few 211W157’s. They actually have reverse and are set to use 135x17’s. Still needle feeds. The Singer 300w’s are my favorite chain stitch machines and we’re still in use to the end. The Juki LU562 was rebuilt a few years ago by me and sews like a dream with T135 thread. A few of the Singer 153’s are well loved, but decent. I debated whether or not to comment on this thread, but I at least wanted to share some history. Hopefully my PM box won’t blowup with questions, as I likely won’t respond. I simply don’t have time. Regards, Eric
  14. Squealing clutch motor

    I’ve always used white lithium on cork clutch surfaces after deglazing them with some 220 emery cloth.
  15. Juki DNU-241H stitch problem

    Remove both tension discs and degrease them. Then take the flat side of each and polish them on a piece of 800 grit paper. Put it back together and readjust your tension. Take Floyd’s advice and rotate the last thread guide 90 degrees CW. Lastly, see if you can use less needle thread tension by loosening your bobbin tension first, then adjust top tension to balance. Thread that is old or is of low quality get dry and will crawl right out of the tension discs. Have fun! Regards, Eric