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About DonInReno

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Reno, NV
  • Interests
    Custom finish carpenter by trade.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Basic high quality loops, belts and tool bag mods.
  • Interested in learning about
    Industrial sewing machines
  • How did you find
  1. Firefighter Sewing machine

    If I were in your shoes and had to spend under $1,000 this is probably the route I’d try: Of course this is an old ad, but these machines pop up at times for very little money. They have agressive bottom feed only, but can handle thick thread and 1/2” of leather. There was a new head on eBay last year for something like $450 and that included shipping. Every company calls their version something unique, but ga5-1 will turn up a dozen “different” brands. If you search and get a good deal on one you’ll be able to use it as many years as you’d like and get your money out of it - essentially free - can’t get any cheaper than that.
  2. Beginner Saddle Leather Sewing Machine

    These three get talked about as if they are interchangeable, but the Artisan and Cobra have the same capacity (thickness) as the full size 4500/4000/class 4. What the cowboy 3200 does have is a lower price, so if you don’t need the extra capacity you’ll save $300-$500. The Artisan 3200 has a 12” arm and will sew a full 7/8”. Cobra class 3 has a 9” arm and sews 7/8”. Cowboy 3200 has a 10-1/2” arm and sews 1/2”. I have the Artisan 3200 and it runs beautifully, but the cowboy dealers are active, helpful, and have a great reputation for support that goes a long way if you have hiccups and need good advice to get out of a jam. Cobra may have support that’s just as good - others are better able to comment on that. Artisan isn’t talked about much - I’m not entirely sure what happened on the playground - who did what or said what to who, but someone was buttt hurt....maybe some slow weekend I’ll search the gap in the old threads between when everyone was saying great things about Artisan and now. :-)
  3. Juki 1541S Inconsistent Tension

    I’d also check every edge that the thread passes over for grooves or burs. The only part you apparently physically moved is the needle plate - I’d take it off and look closely at it as well as how the bobbin case interacts with it. Have you taken off the tension disks to look at their condition? Have you grabbed the thread coming out of the tension assembly and pulled out a few feet looking for changes? With the bobbin in the machine and fed up through the feed dog pull the lower thread to feel for binding on a number of bobbins. Cheap bobbins are famous for being inconsistent in almost all dimensions and I recently had to toss out a handful of new ones that would bind in the bobbin case. I hope you figure it out - it’s always fun solving a mystery!
  4. That guy is just trying to get more views claiming he’s discovered something unique....nothing he claims is revolutionary, difficult or a conspiracy. Of course sewing machine dealers won’t encourage modifying a machine - somebody’s grand kid puts his fingers in the new pulley and guess who gets sued. There is no upside for a dealer to sell anything except what normally comes with a machine. I’m in favor of improving the performance of a machine if it’s done in a way that demonstrates good judgement and craftsmanship. If someone cobbles together an abortion I have no desire to be the good judgement police - to each his own. edit: A larger handwheel won’t affect timing, but it does make it more likely that a needle crash or jam will screw up the timing since there’s more torque being applied.
  5. Firefighter Sewing machine

    Unfortunately as others have said you’re sewing just over the max capabilities of the 211w155 and similar machines designed primarily for upholstery. It’s probably worth it to measure your items since 3/8” is doable with upholstery machines. In the used market the choices for larger machines (Cowboy 3200 range) are slim, but if you’re patient there are some deals to be had, but there are very few $1,000 setups - anything less than $1,500 would be a good deal.
  6. The most common machines you’ll hear about are less expensive copies of the Juki TSC 441. Cowboy, Cobra, Artisan, Techsew, and half a dozen others have full-size copies and some with shorter arms and less capacity. Some are better made than others and the amount of support you’ll get with a new machine varies from none to a lot. Used machines aren’t common, but they do pop up every month or two - usually it’s more a matter of being lucky enough to be close to the seller since shipping these heavy machines is a pain. If you already sew on smaller machines, have a high tolerance for problem solving, and have some extra time, if needed, to sort out potential problems with a used machine you’ll find something almost new for under $2k. There is a lot written here about every version out there it’s just a little challenging to find it.
  7. Can anyone recognise the model please

    Without looking at it in person who knows how well it was made - obviously not a consew. If it seemed well made then it’s something I’d pick up to go with my fake 31-15 lol
  8. It’s obviously a low cost table - better than nothing, but not worth saving. At my day job as a wood worker when something like this comes up I’ll use what you have as a template to massage into what you want. Cut it, fit it, add wood, remove wood, fix the attachment points....and definitely use it enough to know what else you’d want to change....make the second or third round of changes until the fit and function meet your expectations then duplicate it with new material. edit: Um, since you ordered the table for a different machine knowing it wouldn’t fit, but willing to adapt it what I said above can be disregarded. Good luck - just keep at it and you’ll figure it out.
  9. Not knowing anything else about them (not knowing if they even sew), this is what I’d value them at: 1...$50 2...$75 3...$150 4....$50 5...$75 6...$50 Since you already have a good flatbed machine there’s no advantage to getting any of these.
  10. I’ll just add that if you really enjoy the basic look of a white high pressure laminate (HPL) top, which there is nothing wrong with, then one of the hospital white tops are pretty reasonable. However if you’d prefer a melamine top with more color - wood, patterns/colors, or granite look - then you might look into simply having the HPL surface of your table replaced. Formica is just one brand name, but there are many. One warning about online tables of unknown quality - the durability and thickness of the surface material is very hard to determine. Cheap tables will have less expensive brands and thinner HPL. Sewing is not as physical as football, but you definitely don’t want an edge to chip the first time scissors are dropped. Formica lists three thicknesses of many of their top - roughly .045” thick for normal flat surfaces, .035” for tops that have radiused edges as used in kitchen counter tops, and .025” for even tighter radiused edges. There are other even less desireable grades designed as liner material for areas not subject to much use, but must be covered by a water resistant material. If you have your table resurfaced the thickest version is what you want and liner material shouldn’t be used on anything. One of the best things you can do to stiffen a table is have the bottom laminated as well as the top - although few are. Anybody that installs laminate will have a lot of leftover scraps - there’s a good chance they would throw in some random piece for the bottom at a very low cost if not free. If someone tries to tell you a color is only available in a 4’x8’ sheet you might ask what they would charge for the installation if you supply the HPL. Many online sites allow you to buy partial sheets. If you want to try replacing it yourself there are many good videos online. Often the original glue will be heat sensitive and and old cloths iron can be used to heat and peal off the old top. Then use lacquer thinner and a putty knife to scrape any remaining adhesive off the surface. There’s usually no need to sand unless there’s a surface defect in the wood. The main catch to doing it yourself is getting the edge banding correct and developing a feel for how to cut the stuff without chipping. Definitely practice on scraps. HPL is crazy strong, stiff, and durable. Also some metal legs are thinner gauge metal than others - it’s worth comparing before ordering. Good luck whatever route you take!
  11. While it’s not something I’m likely to do, it’s rediculously entertaining hearing all the things you went through. Thanks for sharing all the nitty gritty details.
  12. Cast iron bed crack - options

    Until recently I’ve never spent much effort conserving heat on the backside and opposite end of a project, but a few well placed bunched up welding blankets made a huge difference in maintaining even temperatures. A good infrared thermometer has really been enlightening during preheat - at least for me it makes the difference between guessing and being within 200 degrees from one end to the other to simply taking a few measurements and easily being within 50 degrees. The next time I may prop the machine’s bed on its side to go a step further and allow torch access to the back.
  13. Good deal? Cowboy CB 29 18” arm

    Very well said.
  14. Cast iron bed crack - options

    Thanks Floyd. I’ve been interested in an oven for powder coating, but more uses keep popping up. Exactly - that’s a very good point. I ended up with a few pieces that were pretty straight and the bed clamped down quite flat, which was encouraging. However it was a rookie mistake on my part to clamp it dead flat and not allowing for shrinkage of the bronze under the bed. This morning a quick look with a straight edge showed a few unexpected irregularities in the top of the bed. The most obvious was due to shrinkage of the bronze - I’m thinking that can be corrected when I go back for round two to fix a few things. The second surprise was a slight bowing of the bed essentially from the front feet of the bed on back to the area of the crack - originally I had hoped it would be nearly flat other than where the crack was. If the bed were steel it would be easy to straighten with a torch, but I’m guessing that’s not an option with cast iron. This second go around I’ll try to get the joint at the crack a bit flatter then lap the entire bed flat so it looks decent.
  15. Pfaff 138-6 Looking for price and parts help

    Those deep scratches in front of the needle plate are strange. It’s also odd that one of the screws holding the needle plate isn’t flush. The tension unit nut is cross threaded and the hook is dull at best. I’m guessing someone ended up with it and they used poor judgement maintaining it until it quit working. If there is a 50/50 chance of it being an easy fix, and it’s worth $100 running, then in this condition it’s worth half of the $100. Those bizarre serrations in the bed reduce the value by half - I’d have no idea how to even explain them to a buyer - half of $100 is $50 so I’d have to agree with the others that as a fixer upper it’s not worth much.