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DonInReno

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About DonInReno

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    Leatherworker

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    Reno, NV
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    old machines, anything that makes a stitch

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    Auto interiors, vintage western
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  1. These are great machines - you’ll love it! Keep in mind this design was and is sold by a number of manufacturers and there is a lot of good information out there, but the Consew manuals weren’t the most detailed. Is it the Seiko STH-8BLD that’s about the same machine? Anyway, your machine was made by Seiko and will have Seiko cast into the underside somewhere. The two quirks about this machine that are different from those based on the Singer 111w155/Juki Lu-562, etc. are how the hook is adjusted and the interaction of the needle with the hook. If someone who isn’t familiar with this design it’s very easy to mistakenly use the screws on the hook to adjust needle-to-hook timing. That’s a sure fire way to have problems even if it sews for a while. These screws are for hook to needle spacing, but timing is handled back further on the shaft where there are three screws on a hub. The other quirk has to do with the orientation of the needle and hook - if someone doesn’t watch for it and the hook is damaged slightly (bent inward slightly) or not made correctly, the tip of the hook might not be able to get close to the needle before it’s deflected by the body of the hook. This gives the impression that the hook should be moved closer to the needle, but no amount of adjustment will reduce the hook-to-needle gap further (in just bangs up the needle) and the hook should be replaced. Don’t believe anyone on Amazon or EBay that claims to be selling Genuine Seiko hooks - they aren’t. Aftermarket hooks may or may not fit your original bobbins - some are just small enough that the bobbins are a few .001” too large. Other than that, most adjustment information for other machines that look similar to yours are usable. ….oh, and if you are new to Consew, don’t try to wind the the top thread in and through all the holes in the thread post - just once through is enough. Good luck and have fun with it! edit: It seems like the 206rb-1 ended in the late 80s, but how long the -2 lasted is beyond me.
  2. What about the “bumps” are you having problems with? We normally talk about leather here, but triple feed machines are not limited to only smooth feet. Most professional vinyl sewers I’ve come in contact with use a triple feed machine because it feeds all kinds of difficult material well. My experience with rather hard and shiny vinyl such as for outdoor spa covers and such, with matching thread color so stitch uniformity isn’t an issue, is that it’s a constant struggle to keep enough traction to climb up and over thick seams. The triple feed was noticeably more capable than the walking foot that lacked needle feed. Both machines had rather aggressive feed dogs and serrated feet. If you will be sewing canvas or vinyl regularly it comes in handy to invest in different feet/feed dogs for that vs. leather. Feed dogs will often be labeled inconsistently as to how aggressive they are - one company’s heavy/coarse model is another’s medium. I’d get two heavy sets - leave one for heavy canvas and things that don’t show teeth marks at all. The second would be sanded down somewhat so the teeth aren’t sharp and won’t leave marks on vinyl. Even if you like to keep the same feed dog for everything from leather to canvas, definitely invest in separate feet. Canvas and vinyl feet can, and I’d say should, be serrated for extra traction - I have one set that is so coarse it can only be used on canvas and another serrated set for vinyl. The seams on outdoor vinyl are often quite large so a bit of angle on the nose isn’t a bad thing to help getting on top of things, whereas leather feet often benefit from being rather blunt to have better access for tight areas that are difficult to maneuver around. Foot pressure needs to be heavy enough that the serrations can get a grip. If you are having a hard time getting on top of seams keep technique in mind. As the nose of the walking feet contact the seam you need to carefully pull on the material enough to make the stitch, but not so much the needle bends or stitch gets out of alignment. On really big seams it’s not unheard of to go one stitch at a time and lift the feet if need be so the needle goes where it should. On the downhill side it’s lazy sewing to just let the foot slip off creating an extra long stitch - pull back on the fabric as need be and always watch where the needle is going. I’ll bet your seams are thicker than they need to be. Layers of material under the surface layer of things like multi layer handles and loops can often be trimmed back directly under the seam reducing bulk and not affecting long term strength. While it may seem cleaner to double fold an edge to hide the ends, it greatly increases bulk and might be better to sew tape on the edges. Often handles and loops are added after seams are sewn so there’s no need to sew up and over them. Same with leather - areas that create a large bump are often shaved down to reduce it. Best of luck and don’t get too frustrated - it all seems difficult until it doesn’t. :-)
  3. I couldn’t find it, but once upon a time a photo popped up that showed two opposing sewing machines adding binding tape or some other trim to a wide roll of fabric as it came off the roll. At the time my mind imagined it was for some kind of tall curtains, but who knows what it actually was. I would guess that to keep both sides sewing at the same rate an operator would occasionally give the fabric a slight pull to slow down a bit. The only other time I’ve seen an industrial left hand machine that was purpose built for left hand operation was in a new Asian online catalog, and it seemed to be for some kind of industrial woven strap, where it was wide enough that a single double needle machine wouldn’t be wide enough, so the synchronized opposing machines would sew long straps in tandem - essentially a sophisticated double needle. Come to think of it, wasn’t there an double setup with little singer short cylinder arm machines that would sew the upper and lower sides of a mattress at the same time? I can’t find a picture of that either so maybe I just imagined it! Lol
  4. Thanks for those videos - for some reason I missed the original video in this post, but it was very interesting seeing it now!
  5. Great job getting it sorted out! In a previous post you asked how to tell if the bushing on the hook shaft is worn - the short answer is to compare the upper bushing inside diameter with the lower since the upper wears faster it will give you a rough idea of the amount of wear. If your hook is a replacement part there’s no telling what the diameter of the shaft is - many are undersized. Same for replacement bushings - you might get one on the loose side or tight side. The guys making these parts are using metric machines and tooling so it’s no wonder few things are spot on the original dimensions. If parts you’ve adjusted keep moving slightly it might be the torque on the screws. Sewing screws are quite tough. Unfortunately it’s difficult to explain how tight is too tight. If you ever run across an old sewing machine headed for the dumpster it’s quite informative seeing how tightly different screws can be tightened before they snap or strip out. The big screws on the hook saddle can take a lot of torque. All screws on a singer 111w should be available from an shop that deals with industrial sewing machines - at least I’ve never heard of one that wasn’t readily available.
  6. Unlike household machines that are used relatively little and have few owners fiddling with them, over a long career industrial machines may have been adjusted by dozens of people with different abilities, knowledge, and access to the proper parts. While it’s possible the wrong parts were assembled at the Singer plant, it’s far more likely sometime in the past the mechanic working on it used the part he had in front of him to get the machine going. Given the choice between not working/not getting paid, vs having to use a machine without thread release, I’ll bet most operators would just put up with having to pull extra thread past the tensioner when finishing. Hopefully it’s not too hard to drill, but if you are able to drill it, the pin can be most any diameter that fits between the slot in the post. The shank off a dull 3mm drill bit would probably be the first thing I’d try. Good luck - let us know how it turns out!
  7. Any machine that can’t sew well is only worth half the price of one that will - even if it’s operator error. Unless you enjoy troubleshooting and are okay with the possibility it may never sew correctly, this is not a good purchase. Paying someone who may not be familiar with patchers to throw parts at it in hopes of getting it to sew perfectly only has a 50/50 chance of success. Some of my best deals have been repair shops that have botched something on an industrial machine they aren’t familiar with.
  8. It’s been a while, so last night I scanned for a double needle to see what pops up. I found a few that were mislabeled as single needle, and a few more that the owners didn’t know what they were at all. Some of the best deals that have popped up in the past were long arm machines in the $500 range - at that price they get snatched up very quickly so you have to be quick. Lol Now that you’re getting farther in the search, keep in mind that most older Singer models have a near duplicate Consew, juki, or other lesser known brand.
  9. Once you have a double needle, there are a number of fun projects that you might never have thought of - I like the look of a 1/4” double seam next to some heavy duty zippers, and it holds heavy material flat if nothing else. Sometimes a single exposed row of stitching just looks sparse and if the rows are close together a second row has to be exact or it really catches the eye. Also be on the lookout for zipper feet - essentially just a more compact foot with less side clearance - these are my favorite for general use. At least I’ve never thought to myself, “It would be nice if this foot was bigger and more clunky.” Lol Ive been a fan of Cechaflo on YouTube if you haven’t seen his videos.
  10. On the top, the tensioners are the same as single needle machines that sew 138 size thread. On the bottom end it gets a little more complicated. Some, especially the older models, use the same hooks as are found on walking foot single needle machines and they will sew up to 138 as well. However, some are set up for lighter weigh fabrics and the hooks may max out at 92 or even 69 size thread. The walking foot machines are more likely to be set up for thicker thread, while the needle feed may be set up for heavy canvas or very light fabric. Also watch out for retired factory machines that were used with binders - for instance mine spent its entire life sewing canvas straps of some kind and the binding attachment protected the bed from obvious wear. These machines can have paint that looks brand new, but the mechanicals may be worn out. Mine had been rebuilt many times, but all the replacement parts were high quality so I was lucky. Its always a good idea to sew on a potential machine with the thread and leather you intend to use. If that’s not possible I force myself to reduce the top dollar by 25% or so. If the needle set is not the width you want to use, a cheap import set will run $50 to $75, so factor that in.
  11. Machines with small hand wheels always seem a bit fast with the industry standard 3:1 ratio reducer. Definitely try a small drive pulley if you don’t already have one, then a different servo as Wiz has suggested. If that still doesn’t get it slowed down enough, you could install a larger handwheel, or cobble together a 5:1 reducer.
  12. French seams do look nice! While a walking foot dual needle machine will feed better over seams and whatnot, the old singer needle feed machines are about 30% cheaper and are commonly used in upholstery. These would be the 112w140 or 212g140, or other variant. The needle helps pull the material along, helping the feed dog. Every once in a while I’ll see one for under $200. The slightly newer bullnose 212 machines have an automatic, or semiautomatic oiling system that was better for production sewing, but there is no other advantage over the 112 series machines. I’ll probably eventually get rid of mine and upgrade to a walking foot dual needle, but the needle feed was cheap and a good introduction to dual needle machines.
  13. It’s always a good idea to start experimenting with electrolysis by treating old rusty tools and bolts to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. If not done carefully you can ruin the entire machine - there is a good amount of misinformation online saying only rust is removed and it doesn’t damage the metal. Electrolysis is removing metal - the trick is to only remove as little as possible. Many instructions online over simplify the process and just say hook it up and leave overnight. The size of power supply and concentration of electrolyte in the water change the speed at which metal is removed by a factor of 10x or 20x. The chemical process is straightforward - metal is eroded from the negatively charged side and deposited on the positive. The machine is hooked to the negative and a scrap of metal is hooked to the positive. Water has to have an electrolyte of some sort for the electrons to pass - salt, baking soda, lye and any number of substances will work, but washing soda (sodium carbonate) is typically listed as ideal for this purpose. Lye has the additional benefit of removing paint and degreasing - if chemical burns or worse life altering injuries can be avoided. In a 5 gallon bucket I just add a roughly measured cup of washing soda. The smaller the power supply the slower the process will be - I have a small 12v car charger for longer overnight soaks and a small 115v arc welder that works quickly at 28v and many times the amperage. The bubbles given off in the process are flammable so do this outside. For me, the key to getting the best results is in the size and placement of the positive electrode as well as the negative electrical connection to the machine. Electricity follows the path of least resistance - if a shaft is frozen and the connection is made to the machines base and the positive electrode is nowhere near the shaft then nothing helpful will happen. Much better to energize the shaft on one side of the rust and place the positive electrode near the other side of the rust. This is something you need to develop a feel for by experimenting on other items before using it on your machine. Rusted/frozen areas need to be degreased prior to soaking - oil is a barrier to the electrolyte. All the penetrating oil that has been applied should be flushed out as much as possible. Avoid break cleaner because it can remove paint. A soak in dish washer detergent and hot water works well to degrease, but will dull the paint somewhat. Periodically the item has to be taken out and wire brushed to judge progress - it’s unreasonable to expect this to be a simple matter of soaking until it’s all rust free. It’s aways fun to learn a new tool to use with old machines, but as with many things, this is easy to do, but difficult to do well without practice. Screws and shafts will still need to be removed with heat - there’s no way around getting a propane torch and developing a feel for how much heat and where to put it. Honestly, if you really like the machine you’re working on, find a low value rusted up machine to practice on. As with anything new, it’s always a good idea to not practice on the machine you’re trying to save. As much as possible try not to put pressure to move one part by putting more than normal pressure on a different part. For instance if the needle bar is stuck, don’t crank hard on the handwheel to free it up, but rather find a safe way to tap on it directly with a wood, brass or aluminum block of some kind. Keep up the good work - we look forward to seeing it sewing again!
  14. Wow - a wire EDM should make short work of it! Great work! Your project has me reconsidering a worn out patcher - in the past I’ve steered clear of them because of gear issues.
  15. Good job on your progress! Your measurements show a pressure angle of 9.2 degrees, while many/most older gears were 14.5 degree and most gears used today are 20 degree. Obviously non of the readily available involute-profile gear cutter tooling would be of any use - probably why it’s rare to find anyone who has done this. I find the tooth profile on the rack interesting - involute-profile racks have straight sides where the pinion actually makes contact, where the slight curve on the upper portion of the tooth shows these are pretty unique compared to most older gears profiles. I’m wondering out loud if this is a cycloidal-profile style of gear such as was used in clockmaking. On the following page it mentions that on pinions with few teeth the involute-profile becomes difficult to manufacture, and cycloidal makes more sense. https://www.csparks.com/watchmaking/CycloidalGears/index.jxl Looking forward to seeing progress!
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