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About Wizcrafts

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    Leatherworker.net Regular

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

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Handgun holsters, tooled belts, custom made to order leather items, sewing patches onto bikers' vests, alterations, zipper replacements and repairs of leather goods.
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  1. Based on that I'd recommend a Consew 206RB-5, or any compound feed walking foot machine, like this Cowboy CB1541. The Consew bobbin is accessed under the table, while the Cowboy is accessed from the top. Other than that they both have similar capabilities.
  2. That felt is to hold liquid silicon thread lube or sewing machine oil to lubricate the thread when it gets overheated while sewing at 2200 stitches per minute. Upholsterers usually run these machines flat out at their top speed. Smoke will come off the hot needle and melt nylon thread unless it is lubricated or oiled. If you aren't going to operate your machine at top speed, you don't need to concern yourself with the felt insert. But, if your needle starts getting squeaky in tough leather, add some liquid silicon lube to the felt with an eyedropper. Thread lube is sold by our advertising dealers, like @CowboyBob
  3. Define the minimum and maximum thickness you would use on the walking foot machine and the type of material that would be the thickest stack. As a ferinstance, a Singer 211g156 can actually sew 3/8 of an inch of soft to medium temper leather, vinyl, webbing and denim. I use mine to sew zippers into leather jackets, to hem pants and chaps and to sew stuff that is too thin or lightweight for my Cowboy harness stitcher. This model has a reverse lever to lock the stitches which most of my older machines lack.
  4. There is an explanation for this dealer's viewpoint. People sewing veg-tan leather projects and very part time sewers tend to sew slow to avoid overheating the needle and to get better control over the very visible stitches. Precision sewing at slow speeds is easier to get right and keep your picky customers happy. Furthermore, walking foot machines tend to be clunky due to all the moving crank shafts and interconnecting couplers. Running the machine fast without fine tuning it for speed make let it shake parts loose and things off the sewing table. Now, lets take the same sewing machine and set it up in a marine repairs or upholstery sewing shop. First of all, they will remove any speed reducer that was installed. Second, they will remove a small pulley and replace it with one that is at least 3 to 4 inches diameter. This lets the machine run close to 1:1 with the motor. The next step might be to reduce the alternating foot height to the minimum setting. The lower the alternating height, the smoother the operation. Next, the machine will be thoroughly over oiled and left overnight with a doubled rag under the feet and head area. Then, before running it for real, the feet will be equalized on the floor to stabilize the table. When the operator sits down with a 20 foot long seam that is stapled together outside the stitchline, he or she will hold back the starting threads, then run a n inch or so forward, then backward, then he/she will floor it until they reach the end, slowing down for corners. The last inch will be backtacked, the work will be passed to the next person and any oil cleaned off the table. In upholstery and marine sewing, and banner sewing, time is money. Nobody is going to pick up a 20 foot or longer vinyl or awning material thing and look at the stitchline unless it is a show piece. The operator just makes sure the knots are balanced and the two ends are locked in. Industrial sewing machine dealers tend to sell more machines to shops that sew long flat items, like couch and chair covers, sails, Bimini covers, tarps and banners than to leather crafters. Thankfully, we have a few dedicated leather sewing machine dealers who support this forum and sell specialized machines for our trade. They understand the craters' need to sew slow. They offer motors with tiny pulleys and speed reducers that they preinstall and setup correctly.
  5. I'm not sure you timed it right. SOP on most walking foot machines is to hand-wheel the needle to BDC, then come up 3/32 inch. At that point the tip of the hook should intersect the needle at 1/16 inch above the top of the eye, inside the scarf area. With this timing there is plenty of upward motion to form a good loop. When sewing through leather the needle and thread meets resistance and the loop may not be as robust. The longer timing may help the loop form better. Another setting to dink with is the check spring, aka: thread controller. You can try increasing the throw by lowering the bottom stopper bracket under the spring.
  6. My only input, being unfamiliar with your machine, is that you need to find out where the adjuster is that lets you lower the position of the inside foot. The dropping of the inside "vibrating" foot causes the raising of the presser foot. If the inside foot doesn't make firm contact with the throat plate, and maintain it, the outside foot cannot lift. On a Singer 111 type machine there is a crank coming out the mid-back that connects to a knuckle joint that is adjustable in a curved slot to adjust the amount of lift. There is a large screw on the knuckle that when loosened lets me move the inside foot up or down., then lock it in.
  7. The LS-341 is a very good machine. A used machine could be fine, or have trouble. Only way to find out is request a demo of it sewing something as thick as you want to sew with the needle and thread sizes you intend to use. That model is usually6 rated to use #138 thread, top and bottom. That has 22 pounds breaking strength. Plenty for hats and bags. If it turns out that the machine has major problems, we have dealers here who sell brand new equivalents to the 341. One is Cowboy brand from Toledo Industrial sewing Machines, another is Techsew brand from Techsew, and another is the Cobra brand from Leather Machine Company.
  8. @robygen - Why not consider buying a narrow throat plate and feed dog from one of our members who hand make them? I got mine from member @RockyAussie in Australia. We also have a member in the USA making narrow feeders and plates known as @Patrick1. They are made to fit most Juki 441 and clone machines. This way you won't have to give up the ability to sew thick leather with heavy thread. You will be gaining the ability to sew thin leather with thin thread and small size needles. I can go from T70 thread and up with the narrow set from Australia. The other set limits the largest needle to a certain size and is optimized for smaller needles. You can contact the members to learn more. Here are the topics the members started about their narrow plates a feed dogs. @RockyAussie topic:starts here ( 2.5em spacer for mobile phones) @Patrick1 - topic starts here.:
  9. I think part of the silence is because most of us sew thick leather with large enough needles that flexing is a non issue. That said, I do have several machines setup with #69 thread and #18 needles. These are deflect-able. Occasionally, I will break or bend a #18 needle if it hits metal, or an uneven edge or layer that it just encounters. None of my machines have any special guide to protect my ten cent needles. If you plan to thread up with #138, top and bottom, you will probably want to use a #23 needle. That is hard to deflect.
  10. Thanks for the plug! I wrote the article in 2019 and published it on my leatherworks website's blog. The article is here, titled Dumbing down a Cowboy CB4500, Cobra Class 4, or similar harness stitcher When I wrote the article there weren't any aftermarket narrow feed dogs. So, I recommended using the narrow slotted flat throat plate. This system worked very well every time I applied it. The loss of the bottom feed was not that big of a deal on the thin work I was doing on my big machine. Folks owning a 441 clone who don't have aftermarket narrow feed dog/throat plate sets can use my system to dumb down their harness stitchers to sew thin work with thin thread. I used the system to hem jeans on my machine.
  11. I don't see the split stud on top where the top tension unit should attach. The ring is there that lifts it when the foot lifter is engaged. This is how the thread tension is released to remove the work. The only tensioner is on the front face. It is used to tension the bobbin winder and also for darning. You can use that tensioner to sew but will have to pull the thread out manually to remove the work. There is a chance that the stud was unscrewed and placed in the parts drawer. There's also a chance it got broken off and the base is still screwed into the head. Or, it has been removed and is missing. In my experience, the first part to break off a patcher is usually the front mounted darning tensioner.
  12. Yes it is. There is a similar topic from 2016, here:
  13. Caution! Use heat shrink or tight fit tubing if you must. DO NOT grind the teeth! You will need them down the road to pull some difficult work through. Ask me how I know.
  14. You definitely should ask for more photos showing close-ups of the top, left front and rear side. Ask about any missing parts. I know it's a long drive. But, shipping a machine like this without proper boxing and strapping on a pallet could lead to utter destruction.
  15. they are for the home machines 130/705 H LL 110/ 18 on the box. i can go up to the system 135 but haven't yet i saw they had some different shapes for the larger system and i will be doing that as i get the bugs worked out. I am shopping and researching on the thread exchange. You probably won't find the S point needles at TE, Wk or most other tailor supplies sellers. The needles I am referring to are Schmetz "Pfaff" System 134-35 in S points. Those are inline chisel points. That system is about 1/16" shorter than a System 135x16 walking foot needle. If you can adjust the needle bar height and accept 2mm shanks, they will fit your machine and give a nice submerged looking stitch line. I got some from Bob Kovar and they time well on my walking foot machines that don't have reverse.
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