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Hello all! I'd like to introduce myself. I'm extremely new to leather work and vinyl work. I work with the USAF as an Avionics Technician on the B-1, F-16, B-2 and various other aircraft. I have a healthy background in electrical and computer engineering and maintenance. Currently I live in Japan, and I was lucky enough to come across a very rare care in the United States; an R32 gtr. So far, the car seems to be in good condition, even the interior is very nice for 25 year old car. It does have some cosmetic problems, and of course I want to do a custom interior retrim. I'm completely capable of trial and error, and taking my time with especially large projects such as an interior retrim. So I've been doing as much research as I can, and I decided to make an account here to get a first hand opinion from you guys. Currently, I've researched about the most prominent walking foot sewing machines, since I'll mostly be sewing vinyl. I've heard of the headaches that are solved by using a walking foot. I looked for pricing on the singer 111 series, and noticed that most of the pricing with motors and table almost always equal the price of a brand new Sailrite LS-1 basic. I've seen a few singer 95-15 around sewing leather, but how well does it honestly work with folded layers of vinyl and foam? I feel that it's a bit incredible that most of these older sewing machines, or general "used" new sewing machines are over 800 dollars. I feel that 600 USD for a brand new LS-1 is acceptable, but I was wondering what other machines I could use with heavy automotive / marine vinyl. Specifically, some allsport 4 way and some thick carpeting / foam padding. What other machines can you think of that don't break the bank? I'd say the main reason i'm looking for a ~600 maximum is because I would pay for someone to take the time and ship it to me (ie: paying extra for your efforts, plus the shipping cost). Of course, if push comes to shove, if anyone is in Florida, I can get one of my buddies to pick it up and ship it to me. What are y'alls opinion on my machine choices?
Okay so I'm completely new to any sort of leatherwork, but I've been thinking of doing a project that involves it in honor of my all time favorite movie and need professional advice on the names of hardware that I need as well as how to treat, cut, paint, and sew the leather to fit onto the rods that connect to a metal base that individually pivot so the tail piece can be opened and folded. I attached the screenshot from the movie that I want to replicate as well as a couple of blueprints for how I think I should go about the project. Like I said, I'm an amateur so any professional advice would be appreciated. This is a project I hope to do soon once I have more free time and money on my hands, but also want to stay on a budget while still getting the highest quality stuff possible. I hope to have a life size genuine replica of the tail (4.5 feet) long and opens at about the same length at the longest point of the tail for display at my home to hang on hooks or nails. Also if I somehow pull this off, I want to know how to keep the display looking its best so it lasts a lifetime. Right now, in terms of hardware, I need to know the names of the objects I'm hoping to build the metal framework out of. I want to find a metal flate piece that has holes where I want to attach to the metal hollow rods using some sort of pivot hinge so it moves on horizontal plan to open and close the tail to make it realistic to the one from the movie. Also in terms of the leather, I want to know the best type of leather to get. Looking for the type that isn't too rough while still being flexible and thin so its easy to work with so I can sew the two pieces together once they are cut so that there are slits between the two pieces that will be placed over each of the rods. I need to find the best way to go about painting the leather so that the paint looks roughened while still looking vibrant and want the paint to last as long as possible. I hope my blueprints help explain this a little better and maybe someone with the expertise can guide me in the best way to go about this project.