Blanket

Help Needed: Picking Cylinder Arm Walking Foot

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Hello everyone,

My first post ever. I am very new to leather crafting, so forgive me I do not speak mechanic language. I have decided to join this forums after reading Wizcrafts's The Type Of Sewing Machine You Need To Sew Leather I learnt a lot from it but I cannot make up my mind which machine that will be suitable for me.

Here is my situation:

  • I am sewing leather bag, purse, clutch bags, tote bags etc, using 1-5oz leather with fabric so about 1/4" including the fabric lining for the body, about 3/8" max for straps/handle/thick joints
  • I use veg tanned top grain leather (not sure if that makes any difference to picking a machine?)
  • I am based in Ireland so I have very limited options/choices available to consider

I have decided a cylinder arm, walking foot with compound feed will be good for my needs, so I have ruled out any flat bed or post arm machines. I am seeking your advice/opinion on the following machines, one of which I will (hopefully) end up buying:

  1. Durkopp Adler 669 - 180010 E3
  2. Durkopp Adler 69 / 069 subclass unknown (Used) perhaps you can tell by this photo? It was listed with 6 months warranty.
  3. Highlead GC2698-1BN
  4. Highlead GC2268
  5. Consew 277R-3
  6. Juki TSC-441
  7. Juki DSC-244 / DSC-245 / DSC-246 - I don't know what the differences between these three are?? They have the same info on seller's website
  8. Juki LS-1341

Can you please let me know what you think about the above and based on my requirements and which would you prefer to go with if it was you?

And if not to much to ask, can you also help me with the following questions:

  • what machine needle and thread size is suitable for stitching double layers of veg tanned 4-5oz leather straps/handle?
  • what needle and thread size is best for single layer veg tanned 4-5oz with medium weight fabric?

I have been hand stitching and as much as I enjoy hand stitching I would love to get the basic putting the pieces together done quicker on a machine.

Many thanks in advance.

post-54618-0-46070700-1412622338_thumb.j

Edited by Blanket

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I am also in the process of evaluating cylinder bed machines for sewing leather. Although I'm not knowledgeable and just beginning the process, I think that key decisions including thread size ranges, leather thickness ranges, stitch lengths, ... are all important technical considerations, and then of course there is the price consideration.

Attached is the pdf version of a spreadsheet that you might use as a starting template and modify as appropraite to help make a decision. The data in the spreadsheet is from manufacturers' or dealers' specifications, but there might be transcription errors. The data is incomplete because it is not always easy to find. I've decided that my technical decision parameters should be within the manufacturer's specifications and not the claims of others.

BTW, apparently posting a spreadsheet is not allowed. Please send a PM if you want the xlsx version.

Cylinder Head.xlsx.pdf

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I am also in the process of evaluating cylinder bed machines for sewing leather. Although I'm not knowledgeable and just beginning the process, I think that key decisions including thread size ranges, leather thickness ranges, stitch lengths, ... are all important technical considerations, and then of course there is the price consideration.

Attached is the pdf version of a spreadsheet that you might use as a starting template and modify as appropraite to help make a decision. The data in the spreadsheet is from manufacturers' or dealers' specifications, but there might be transcription errors. The data is incomplete because it is not always easy to find. I've decided that my technical decision parameters should be within the manufacturer's specifications and not the claims of others.

BTW, apparently posting a spreadsheet is not allowed. Please send a PM if you want the xlsx version.

Hi Tejas, your spreadsheet is brilliant! Thank you so much.

I think I do need to do the same. I managed to copy your checklist without a problem so I have my spreadsheet now. I have seen this term 'Foot raise', but I never knew what it means and difference it can make, can you help?

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By foot raise, the spreadsheet lists two methods of raising the foot to insert material for sewing -- by hand or typically by a lever on the the back of the machine or by knee (or by a pedal). By knee or by pedal is higher than by hand and more convenient I think.

Edited by Tejas

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Hi Tejas, many thanks for this.

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I am also in the process of evaluating cylinder bed machines for sewing leather. Although I'm not knowledgeable and just beginning the process, I think that key decisions including thread size ranges, leather thickness ranges, stitch lengths, ... are all important technical considerations, and then of course there is the price consideration.

Attached is the pdf version of a spreadsheet that you might use as a starting template and modify as appropraite to help make a decision. The data in the spreadsheet is from manufacturers' or dealers' specifications, but there might be transcription errors. The data is incomplete because it is not always easy to find. I've decided that my technical decision parameters should be within the manufacturer's specifications and not the claims of others.

BTW, apparently posting a spreadsheet is not allowed. Please send a PM if you want the xlsx version.

Solid information here.

Just a minor correction - Techsew 2700 is a clone of Consew 227-R, not Pfaff 335.

Ron

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Some additional/real life info on the Techsew 2700...I'm a happy owner/user, not employee or paid.

Sewing Capacity: 3/8' or 9.5mm maximum. You can fit more in there but it really doesn't like it.

Foot Lift: Lever, 1/2"

Bobbin Winder: standard, integrates inline with belt.

Cylinder length: 270mm, clearance 225mm, diameter: 65mm

Lubrication: manual

Presser Feet: Singer 111

I can confirm it will run 207/210 thread using the correct size bladed leather needles.

The attached pic is of a recent stitch it ran 138/92 t/b thread using a Tri-Point needle through 13-14 ounces of veg & chrome tanned stacked (center island) . It runs nice & true and controls easily with a servo motor.

post-10543-0-50973500-1412739835_thumb.j

Edited by Spinner

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No matter what brand, class or subclass of sewing machine you will choose I´d always look for which machine you can get the widest range accessories and attachments. And that will always be a machine that takes the Singer 111 type foot. I´d personally choose the Consew 227R3 or Juki LS-1341.

BUT with the Juki 441 you will be on the safe side and this one can sew everything and you still have potential if you have to sew something heavier than the above mentioned.

If you wan to safe some $$$ I´d choose one of the Juki 441 Clones for example from Toledo Sewing the Cowboy machines. They also have a 227 type machine.

http://www.tolindsewmach.com/cowboy.html

Or one of the other dealers who have banners on top of this page.

Edited by Constabulary

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I should read more careful - I just noticed you are from Ireland. I don´t know many Sewing machine Co´s in the UK or Ireland but maybe the continent is an option for you. I recently noticed that Juki 441 clones are available from Germany as well.

http://www.sieck.de/en/machines/sewing/saddlery-machines/

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Hi Techsew Ron, Spinner and Constabulary, thank you all for this. Too bad there are no Techsew nor Cowboy machines that I can find around here (Ron, have you got a UK dealer?) but it may be that I haven't looked deep enough.. Will keep looking.

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Some additional/real life info on the Techsew 2700...I'm a happy owner/user, not employee or paid.

Sewing Capacity: 3/8' or 9.5mm maximum. You can fit more in there but it really doesn't like it.

Foot Lift: Lever, 1/2"

Bobbin Winder: standard, integrates inline with belt.

Cylinder length: 270mm, clearance 225mm, diameter: 65mm

Lubrication: manual

Presser Feet: Singer 111

I can confirm it will run 207/210 thread using the correct size bladed leather needles.

The attached pic is of a recent stitch it ran 138/92 t/b thread using a Tri-Point needle through 13-14 ounces of veg & chrome tanned stacked (center island) . It runs nice & true and controls easily with a servo motor.

i just had a chance to look at the photo of your work, I am impressed!

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Hi Techsew Ron, Spinner and Constabulary, thank you all for this. Too bad there are no Techsew nor Cowboy machines that I can find around here (Ron, have you got a UK dealer?) but it may be that I haven't looked deep enough.. Will keep looking.

Hi there, we don't have a UK dealer but we ship there quite regularly. Shipping rates are about the same as shipping in Canada and US.

For what you're sewing, you should consider a light/medium cylinder walking foot machine since you're not exceeding 3/8".

Thanks!

Ron

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Thank you, Ron. The trouble of importing machine from outside EU is the duty and VAT that I don't know how much the customs here are going to charge me for it.

Also, does your machine require any set up by technician out of the box before use? I dont think finding a technician locally will be possible.

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Thank you, Ron. The trouble of importing machine from outside EU is the duty and VAT that I don't know how much the customs here are going to charge me for it.

Also, does your machine require any set up by technician out of the box before use? I dont think finding a technician locally will be possible.

Our machines do not require any technician set up before use. They are shipped pre-oiled, adjusted, tested and threaded so they're ready to sew as soon as you receive it.

Ron

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Our machines do not require any technician set up before use. They are shipped pre-oiled, adjusted, tested and threaded so they're ready to sew as soon as you receive it.

Ron

That sounds sweet.

I read review on Highlead and other Chinese made clone machines that they require setting up from the box, is that true?

Also can you let me know if you also have a 441 type clone? Many thanks.

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i just had a chance to look at the photo of your work, I am impressed!

Thanks Blanket, appreciate the compliment.

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I should read more careful - I just noticed you are from Ireland. I don´t know many Sewing machine Co´s in the UK or Ireland but maybe the continent is an option for you. I recently noticed that Juki 441 clones are available from Germany as well.

http://www.sieck.de/en/machines/sewing/saddlery-machines/

Constabulary, do you know anything about Sieck? I have never heard of them until you mentioned. Are they any good? Would love to hear your thought.

Also I read your topic about 133k. One of the shop that offers me new machines also has an old rusty looking Singer 133k listed, it's very old. But I heard these last as long as half a mans lifetime, is it worth considering? How difficult is it to fix up a used machine?

Many thanks.

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That sounds sweet.

I read review on Highlead and other Chinese made clone machines that they require setting up from the box, is that true?

Also can you let me know if you also have a 441 type clone? Many thanks.

Really depends on who you purchase the machine from. Some companies will simply drop ship them requiring you to set them up, other companies will set them up for you.

Yes we have the 441 type clone.

Thanks!

Ron

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Constabulary, do you know anything about Sieck? I have never heard of them until you mentioned. Are they any good? Would love to hear your thought.

Also I read your topic about 133k. One of the shop that offers me new machines also has an old rusty looking Singer 133k listed, it's very old. But I heard these last as long as half a mans lifetime, is it worth considering? How difficult is it to fix up a used machine?

Many thanks.

Sieck sells internationaly, they often have machines you don´t find elsewhere. I know the LW member TROX (from Norway) bought from them as far as I remember. I personally have not bought from them as I cannot spend big $$ for this hobby therefore I have bought ALL my machines used and have restored them by my self. I´m a so poor boy :( ** just kidding ** - I just like restoring these old machines. It´s worth keeping them alive or put them back to life and I NEVER failed with one of my old machine - they all run smooooth. I have sold some of them again because I figured they do not meet my requirements or I just have found a better one but it was fun working on them and I have learned a a lot. But thats a different story!

I think Sieck is doing a good job and at their 441 Clones they do have a good competitive price if the prices include VAT. But I don´t know for sure if their prices include VAT already but if yes you can discount 19% (the German VAT) but you probably have to pay the Ireland VAT when you import them but I don´t know how Ireland handles this. But thats something you should ask the dealer. I think they have more experience with these things.

Regarding the 133K - I have restored my 133K3 as you noticed already. Yet I have only hand cranked it. Just yesterday I have ordered a new Servo Motor from College Sewing so I cannot tell you much about how it is sewing. So far it is hand cracking very nice but I had to do some more adjustments recently as it skipped stitches but I have solved it by adjusting the hook shaft. Mine has NO walking foot!

The 133K8 has a walking foot and there is a nice Video of it on YouTube. Harry Rogers made it (nice guy btw). I don´t know if the 133K8 will meet your requirements. I bought mine because I needed something that sews more that 9mm / 3/8" and my 133k3 has a 14mm-15mm foot lift. For everything else I use my Singer 111G156 and that old "clunker" is also still running perfect (its from the 1950´s). But the 133K8 with walking foot has no such foot lift. It has just 8mm as LW member SINGERMANIA said.

Technically the 133K is quite unique as it has an extremely large rotary hook - thats very nice! The bobbin is even larger than the one of the Singer 45K or Adler 105. I have to admit that it thus far was the most difficult machine to adjust but overall the nicest as well. The problem was (or is) that you do not find much documentation online. I have not stripped the entire machine so I cannot tell you many details but I really love it and I´m sure it will work great! Mine is from 1932 (my mother was born in 1938) and the machine still runs smooth (my mother too :thumbsup: ). So I think that tells a lot about the durability of the machine and you still can find parts for them. It is even easier to find parts for it that for any heavy duty Adler sewing machine. I have to say that I´m not a friend of making dozens of phone calls just to find parts - I love to order them online. Thats one reason why I´m a big Singer fan as you can find a lot of parts & accessories online and even for a relatively good price - though I come from the land of Pfaff´s and Adler´s. But the spare parts prices of Adler and Pfaff parts are ridicules high here.

BUT - I think the 441 clones are one of the most versatile machines and they you are doing serious business I think it will be the better choice.

I personally do not like the Chinese made machines but thats just my personal attitude, I don´t say they are bad - I just don´t like these uniform looking white painted things. And I don´t think they will last as long as my Singer 133K but thats something the time will tell.

The 441 clone is the only one I personally would buy as a new machine. I think every other machine for the leather business can be found used for a much lower price. But keep in mind that restoring a machine can take a lot of time (and sometimes money) and it can happen that you buy a boat anchor - if you know what I mean.

But restoring a machine can also safe lot of money - all my machines where unrestored below 120€ (cash price w/o gas). The 133K3 was just 60€ but I had to travel 120Km one way and I had to buy some new parts but overall incl. the motor which is on the way I paid about 250€ - thats still a bargain compared with what dealers in the UK ask for them. I can go on with this...

But again - thats my personal opinion and it always depends on how fast you need the machine and how the market for used machines is. Sometimes you just don´t find the machine you need in used condition...

Edited by Constabulary

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Hi Ron, thanks!

Hi Constabulary, below is very educational. I appreciate your view on this, that's a lot of dedication you put in I must say. I do not know sewing machine well enough to restore one so I will not go down this route. I would love to be able to do what you do though, maybe one day - Thanks again!

Sieck sells internationaly, they often have machines you don´t find elsewhere. I know the LW member TROX (from Norway) bought from them as far as I remember. I personally have not bought from them as I cannot spend big $$ for this hobby therefore I have bought ALL my machines used and have restored them by my self. I´m a so poor boy :( ** just kidding ** - I just like restoring these old machines. It´s worth keeping them alive or put them back to life and I NEVER failed with one of my old machine - they all run smooooth. I have sold some of them again because I figured they do not meet my requirements or I just have found a better one but it was fun working on them and I have learned a a lot. But thats a different story!

I think Sieck is doing a good job and at their 441 Clones they do have a good competitive price if the prices include VAT. But I don´t know for sure if their prices include VAT already but if yes you can discount 19% (the German VAT) but you probably have to pay the Ireland VAT when you import them but I don´t know how Ireland handles this. But thats something you should ask the dealer. I think they have more experience with these things.

Regarding the 133K - I have restored my 133K3 as you noticed already. Yet I have only hand cranked it. Just yesterday I have ordered a new Servo Motor from College Sewing so I cannot tell you much about how it is sewing. So far it is hand cracking very nice but I had to do some more adjustments recently as it skipped stitches but I have solved it by adjusting the hook shaft. Mine has NO walking foot!

The 133K8 has a walking foot and there is a nice Video of it on YouTube. Harry Rogers made it (nice guy btw). I don´t know if the 133K8 will meet your requirements. I bought mine because I needed something that sews more that 9mm / 3/8" and my 133k3 has a 14mm-15mm foot lift. For everything else I use my Singer 111G156 and that old "clunker" is also still running perfect (its from the 1950´s). But the 133K8 with walking foot has no such foot lift. It has just 8mm as LW member SINGERMANIA said.

Technically the 133K is quite unique as it has an extremely large rotary hook - thats very nice! The bobbin is even larger than the one of the Singer 45K or Adler 105. I have to admit that it thus far was the most difficult machine to adjust but overall the nicest as well. The problem was (or is) that you do not find much documentation online. I have not stripped the entire machine so I cannot tell you many details but I really love it and I´m sure it will work great! Mine is from 1932 (my mother was born in 1938) and the machine still runs smooth (my mother too :thumbsup: ). So I think that tells a lot about the durability of the machine and you still can find parts for them. It is even easier to find parts for it that for any heavy duty Adler sewing machine. I have to say that I´m not a friend of making dozens of phone calls just to find parts - I love to order them online. Thats one reason why I´m a big Singer fan as you can find a lot of parts & accessories online and even for a relatively good price - though I come from the land of Pfaff´s and Adler´s. But the spare parts prices of Adler and Pfaff parts are ridicules high here.

BUT - I think the 441 clones are one of the most versatile machines and they you are doing serious business I think it will be the better choice.

I personally do not like the Chinese made machines but thats just my personal attitude, I don´t say they are bad - I just don´t like these uniform looking white painted things. And I don´t think they will last as long as my Singer 133K but thats something the time will tell.

The 441 clone is the only one I personally would buy as a new machine. I think every other machine for the leather business can be found used for a much lower price. But keep in mind that restoring a machine can take a lot of time (and sometimes money) and it can happen that you buy a boat anchor - if you know what I mean.

But restoring a machine can also safe lot of money - all my machines where unrestored below 120€ (cash price w/o gas). The 133K3 was just 60€ but I had to travel 120Km one way and I had to buy some new parts but overall incl. the motor which is on the way I paid about 250€ - thats still a bargain compared with what dealers in the UK ask for them. I can go on with this...

But again - thats my personal opinion and it always depends on how fast you need the machine and how the market for used machines is. Sometimes you just don´t find the machine you need in used condition...

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I don´t want to confuse you!

I just have my very own opinion regarding Chinese made machines but again - I don´t say they are bad! Especially when you buy them from dealers with a good reputation. And a 441 clone is the one I´d go for if I were you! You just have to decide where you buy it. If I where you I´d look in your era first (Ireland or UK) and if you find nothing or it is too expensive I´d look on the continent next because of not having to pay the import duties as you are buying inside the European Union - if you know what I mean.

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