so, I have been lurking on here for about 5 years and became a member about 3 years ago. I have never posted, but I have read so much on what kind of machine to buy, I feel like I know you all so well, especially Wizcrafts, Bob from Cowboy, and Ron from techsew, and all of the leatherworkers, especially other bag makers.
I currently make fabric bags on my Juki F600, which is their top of the line home machine. It's mainly for quilting and apparel sewing, but I have pushed it to the limits with my thick wallets, thick seams, and many layers in my bags and messengers. I even made a leather purse a few years ago, which worked out, but I knew I should wait for a proper leather machine before attempting again. With my current bags, I sometimes get skipped stitches at the seams where the straps connect and must hammer down any thick areas to help my poor machine through them. She really tries to work hard for me, but I know I am pushing her way beyond her capabilities. It has also limited how many layers I can put in my bags and how I construct them. I recently won a grant for Native women Entrepreneurs to invest back into my business and I obviously knew that an industrial machine was how I wanted to use this money.
I was really leaning towards the JUKI dnu-1541s, but I knew that a cylinder arm was something that would be better for me. The JUKI cylinder arms are waaaay out of my $3000 price limit and so I decided on the Techsew 2700 pro.
I ordered it yesterday after talking with Ron on the phone and hope I've made the right decision.
If the JUKI 1541 had even a little bit better (smaller) freearm, I might have decided on that, but it is even wider than my current home machine and I want to make things easier for me, not harder. anyway, I just hope this machine is perfect for me and can really help with my current canvas bags, wallets, and clutches and move me into leather bags and wallets, which is where I want to branch into. I cannot wait to glide through thick seams and not worry about skipped stitches and breaking threads.
thanks for letting me lurk for so many years and providing everyone who is leather-curious with some amazing information; I honestly felt no need to post before this because the information given on picking a machine was so thorough.
again, wish me luck and I am sure I will be posting more often with newbie industrial questions.