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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. Assuming your feed dog is smooth, like mine is, I set it so that the top is either equal to, or just slightly above the top of the throat plate at its highest position. Only if the machine has difficulty feeding the work do I raise the feed dog much higher above the throat plate. This is just my preference.
  2. Call Cobra and leave a message, or send an email, or use their contact form.
  3. That chart was a little outdated and has now been updated to reflect the real needle sizes for #138 and 207 thread in leather. The smaller sizes may work fine in cloth, or soft chap leather, but not hard temper leather, like holsters use. The leather has a lot of resistance to the knots as the take-up lever tries to do its thing. A tight hole from an undersize needle just makes matters worse. System 135x16 are too short for a 42-5. Try System 190, Pfaff needles. They can sometimes be found up to a #25, but you may have to order those from Europe. My 42-5 came with a pack of every needle size from 18 through 25. I have a #24 needle in it with #207 Weaver thread, top and bottom.
  4. That #23 needle is definitely too small for #207 thread on top and bottom! I use a #24 needle for that combination. Just set a modicum of tension on the bobbin spring with #207 and larger thread. Otherwise, the top tension will be waaaaay too tight, as you have learned. Keep in mind that there is no tension release when you lift the feet on this model.
  5. @Auden Consider the strength of various sizes of thread when searching for a suitable machine. For instance, any sewing machine I have had, from plastic body domestics through the heaviest iron body industrials can sew with #69 (aka: T70) bonded thread, using a #18 (aka: 110) needle (round point for cloth/vinyl; leather point for leather). The thickness each machine can sew together varies from machine to machine. Light duty machines will max out with #69 thread while harness stitchers are not gentle enough to handle it with grace. Number 69 thread is fine for non load bearing, thin seams (2 through 4 oz), as it has about 11 pounds breaking strength. But, as you add tab and strap layers on top of base layers, you can easily get over 8 - 12 ounces. This thickness is better sewn with 22 pound test #138 thread. When you sew between 12 and 16 ounces, the stresses could be too much for #138 thread. This is when one might want to move up to #207 (aka: 210), on top and bottom (32 pounds test). Why? because if you have 207 on top and 138 in the bobbin, the stitches are only as strong as the smaller thread (22 pounds). Number 207 thread on top and bottom calls for a #24 (180) needle. Once you exceed 16 ounces the stresses may exceed the ability of #207 thread to hold the seams together. This calls for #277 or larger thread and a harness/holster stitcher (example). So, as you are looking for your best starter machine, consider not only the thickness range to be sewn, but also the strength of thread needed to hold the various thicknesses together against pulls, tugs, heavy loads, or getting caught on a door handle. If you think you can get by using thread sizes 69, 92 and 138, any modern industrial sewing machine that has enough rated operating clearance for your thickest seams should handle it. If you want to sew with #207 thread, for stitch strength purposes, look for a heavy duty machine that is built with that size thread in mind. It will have tougher take-up and tension components than a medium duty machine built for an upper limit of #138 thread. Your choices are more limited for a cylinder arm machine that handles up to 5/16 inch of material, using #207 thread on top and bottom, running a #24 needle. Once you hit 3/8 inch, it is best to have a machine that can handle #277 thread, top and bottom, using a #25 needle. Here is a thread and needle chart that shows the specs of different sizes of industrial thread and the needles best matched to those threads.
  6. I hope he figured that out 2 1/3 years ago when this topic was last active. ;-)
  7. That is correct. Loosen the purple circled screw, budge the arm forward a tish, then tighten the screw and test to see if that fixed the bobbin case There should be a smidgen of slack left in the bobbin case when the opener arm reaches it farthest backwards motion. It is still possible that something else has gone wrong from your running the machine flat out without a load. Flip it over and check the bottom for loose screws on the gears.
  8. Mine is a 29k71. It is a small bobbin machine. I use #69 thread with a #18 needle in this machine.
  9. If the sound bothers you, back slightly off the pull of the opener arm. It looks like it is pulling the bobbin case hard back to its physical limit (set by the tab that fits into the cutout in the throat plate). That makes a metal on metal sound upon impact. If you move the arm forward a smidgen the case won't hit its motion limit and should quiet down. The opener only needs to move the tab on the case slightly to clear the top thread.
  10. Let's try to figure this out using JavaScript expressions... Function (H.B.) { If {they were closed, or short on help, due to the Pandemic when you called} {call again | send email} Else {too busy in the shop to answer phone, email, or voice messages} {give up} }
  11. Watch ads for used industrial sewing machines for sale in China, or search eBay, or Alibaba. Or, find a Chinese company that builds clones of Singer machines and ask them if they know this ancient model. This model is about a hundred years old. Check with the CowboySew/Hightext company.
  12. Check with any saddlery shops or long time leather makers. They may have a retired harness stitcher that will do the job. See if you might could find a Singer 42-5. Mine could be available, but I'm in mid-Michigan and won't ship it. When the dust settles on this, I would leave feedback on the Amazon page where you bought the machine so others know what not to expect from it. Does the seller even offer replacement parts, like the presser foot you ruined?
  13. Here is a simple checklist for you to go through when you can't get the bottom thread to pull up into the holes (lays flat on flesh side). Clear any extraneous thread stubs out of the bobbin case and its tension spring. Adjust bobbin tension for a small but noticeable amount of resistance. It should never be zero tension. Ensure that the bobbin case snaps all the way into the correct position. Make absolutely certain that the top thread is going through the top tension disks and that there is good tension on them. Make sure that the disks are not being held open when you are not lifting the feet manually or with the knee lifter. A jammed tension release rod ensures zero top tension! Ensure that the thread exits the top disks and feeds around the check spring assembly and clicks into place. Make sure the needle is inserted and aligned correctly and is matched to the thread sizes on both sides (see chart). Try a needle one size larger. Make sure you use leather point needles in leather! Not so simple checklist. When the hook is adjusted by the end user a number of things can go wrong. Remove the cover plate so you can see what is happening to the top thread. Tilt back the head to see the hook and shuttle area. The timing may work most of the time, but could be too far advanced or retarded in relation the the take-up lever position. Check the timing with the stitch length at zero forward or backward motion, at the specified height above the eye, on the upstroke. Correct if out of spec. Lower the feet if they were raised. Hand wheel while holding back the threads and watch as the top thread goes around the bobbin case. Does it get caught or bind as it goes around the case and makes a stitch? A readjusted hook could be pinching the top thread or the bobbin thread on the way around or out the top. The extra bottom tension would pull the knots down to the bottom. Make sure there is a little clearance between the hook and the scarf in the needle. You don't want the hook to actually hit the needle! Is the bobbin case aligned with its top positioning finger sitting inside the cutout in the housing? I've seen an incorrectly adjusted shuttle or poorly cast bobbin case pop out of the cutout and spin around or jam in the shuttle.
  14. Your machine, just like the small bobbin Singer and Adler patchers, was not built to sew with #207 thread. You can force it to, but it won't be a good result. I would seriously limit it to #138 on top with #92 in the bobbin.
  15. You made the mistake of buying round point cloth needles. You need some configuration of leather point to sew leather. FYI: System 135x17 are for cloth, webbing, Velcro and vinyl. System 135x16 are leather points. They come in various shapes, like chisel, diamond, triangle, right twist, left twist and S.
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