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About Velocelt

  • Rank
    New Member

Profile Information

  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois United States
  • Interests
    Making in general. I am a woodworker, metal-worker, 3D printing enthusiast, and generally any kind of hands-on creative pursuit with an emphasis towards the practical but also artistic side of things.

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    none - but I have interest in items for archery, and practical uses like belts, pouches, and guitar straps
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    Google search for info about Singer 31-15
  1. Update: I called Toledo Industrial Sewing Machines, Ltd. to ask their advice and see what upgrades would be available for my machine. I was told that it would sew light leather, but that a thread as big as 138 would NOT sew well. The upper limit is apparently 69 or 92 thread for my machine. So, I placed an order for a servo motor, a couple sets of needles for leather and fabric in both 69 and 92 sizes, extra bobbins, and I believe the throat plate and feed dogs were mentioned, and since light leather was the object for this machine, the roller feet. Two sizes of roller feet were added to the order as well - I believe 3/4" and 1" both which should allow for flat sewing as well as sewing over any seams if I have stacked layers of material. I still need to place an order for some different colors of thread so I'm just considering what sorts of leather I might typically be working with and what colors. I'd like to do some veg tan leather so I can do embossing or tooling on some pieces, but also would like to work with thin, supple chrome tan as well. Anyway, I look forward to getting this machine converted over and put into use. It's also nice that it was recently serviced so I should hopefully have a pretty trouble-free conversion to the servo motor and getting it set up for sewing leather. It's pretty cool that this 96 year old machine still works and also neat that it has a history - having been used to make costumes for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. I look forward to giving it many more years of use.
  2. It looks like on my my machine the shuttle is a separate removeable part and it also came with an extra. Does that mean it's NOT pinned, and if so what does that gain me? Are there other things that could be done to modify a 31-15 to make it sew leather? User Yogeri mentions the 31-17, but on a list I was looking at, that machine is actually listed as being for leather so I'm not surprised that his machine can sew with the thicker thread and needles. Is it possible to enlarge the hole in the throat plate or perhaps change the spring to one with more tension capable of holding heavier thread?
  3. Title pretty much says it all. Also, new member here - this is my first post. I've been doing a LOT of reading about the Singer 31-15 machines just via the search results but I'm not finding exactly what I'm looking for, hence this post. I acquired a 1925 Singer 31-15 with K-leg table and clutch motor from a friend who is a professional cosplay fabricator. He'd originally gotten this machine for free himself when the prop department for the Lyric Opera of Chicago was upgrading a lot of their equipment. I guess they were giving away old machines like this so he took this, thinking he'd use it to sew leather. He wanted a machine with a walking foot though and one came up at a good price right after he got this old machine so the 31-15 has just sat in his living room and was never used. It was in fact serviced right before he acquired it, so other than requiring an oiling, it should be good to go. I do know from reading some of the posts that the earlier model 31-15 machines apparently won't take heavier-weight sewing threads nor will they sew thick leathers. I'm not intending to use this to sew thick veg-tan leather, but instead thinner chrome-tan leathers, or very thin stuff like deer skin, some chrome-tan elk and bison I have, and possibly some thinner veg-tan like some goat leather I have that is 3-4 ounce if I recall correctly. I see this machine being used more for stitching on things like trucker-type wallets and pocket books, as well as carrying bags and pouches that are more made from supple leathers. My thicker leather work I would still be hand-stitching since I think big stitches and thick thread look better on things like archery quivers and the like, especially when those are made with 5-7 or heavier leather. I know that's beyond the capability of this machine. I'm already planning on swapping out the clutch motor for a servo motor, but I'd also like to know what other parts I should look at changing if I want to use this primarily as a lightweight leather sewing machine as well as something for sewing heavier cloth fabrics along the weight range of stuff like denim, cotton duck, or lighter cordura fabrics. Obviously for leather I'll want to use synthetic thread so what is the largest I can run in this machine? Is there anything I should look at to determine if this machine has been modified to sew thicker thread or use larger needles? I can certainly take some photos and post them here if it helps anyone help me determine whether everything is stock on the machine or not. I have a printed copy of the original Singer manual that was tucked in the drawer of the table along with a couple extra bobbins, several needles and some other random parts. Is there a source for a more modern/contemporary manual for operation of these old machines? I understand a lot of information, especially about sewing leather seems to be predicated on later model year machines and that ones like this from the 1920s may be rather limited in what they can do along those lines. It still seems like it SHOULD be capable of at least sewing minor, thinner leathers like what I've described above. As I said in the beginning though, I did not pay ANYTHING for this machine so it's fine with me if I spend some money on upgrades like the motor and if there are other things I can install to make this a better machine for what I want to use it for. Any suggestions/additional information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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