BoulevardEast

Machine Recommendations & Attachments for Leather Binding

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Hey All,

New to the forum, but not quite new to leather working.  Wanted to pick the brains of experts around here and get some suggestions as to the best machine and attachment for our needs.

We're looking to produce our current leather bag line in-house along with a few additional styles in the coming months, but don't have the correct machine to sew leather edge binding on our bags....or even the bags for that matter.  I've been sewing our smaller items with a Brother LS2-B837 walking foot honed in exactly where I like it, but it does not suit the purpose of sewing duffel bags due to the flat bed design.  I've prototyped a few duffels in the past on this machine, but it's definitely not ideal for production use!

I really have 2 questions.  One is about machine selection and the second is about sewing leather binding.

Question 1. What machine recommendation do y'all have for sewing our style bags.  We use #138 polyester thread on 5-5.5oz veg tan, edge skived, 2 layers minimum, more where pull tabs, handles, etc attach.  We're not sewing through anything crazy like 1" of thickness, but we do have a few spots like handle sewing where its close to 20oz of leather. 

Picture of duffel bag attached for reference.....

5a3156edca176_roundbag2.thumb.jpg.94faef1883223bafc35e6eea46a7df18.jpg

 

Question 2. When sewing a leather edge binding, do most manufacturers prefer to glue then sew or use a binding attachment to feed it through?  Also, is the binding sewn on the same time as the seam, or is the bag sewn, then the binding attached after?  We're low volume at the moment (15-20 bag runs) so not vitally important we're the most efficient at this time, but still need to be able to grow into our machine.

Thanks all for the help in advance and excited to see what else I can learn in the meantime!

Regards,

Joe

www.blvd-east.com

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One of the very few machines I know of that excels at heavy duty leather sewing AND binding is the Durkopp Adler 205 class with a synchronized binder. Durkopp Adler stopped making the originals a few years back, but aftermarket copies are readily available, e.g. the SewPro 205-420 with the binder setup shown in the video below. Weaver and other vendors also sell Adler 205 clones. The Juki TSC-441 class is more popular, but when it comes to binding, the Adler 205 is the superior design.

 

 

Edited by Uwe

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Uwe - thank you for the quick response.  The Sewpro seems like a monster of a machine, but probably why it's so reliable and highly regarded.  What are you thoughts on other models like the Cowboy 3200 or Cobra Class 4?

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The Cowboy 3200 and Cobra Class 4 are both variations on the Juki TSC-441 design. Both are fine machines, but neither of them will do binding as well as the Adler 205 design. They rank about the same on the monster scale, the Cowboy 3200 being more of a stubby monster.

If money is no object, consider the new Juki LS-2372 (around $7K), less of a monster but only slightly less intimidating when you sit in front of it.

The next step down on the monster scale are Juki LS-1341 or Adler 269 class machines, which also have many aftermarket copies floating about.

Here's a video that show three different Durkopp Adler machines (205, 269, 69) doing binding work. The Durkopp Adler 269 may actually be a good candidate for range of work.

 

Edited by Uwe

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Money is definitely a priority, but don't want it to be a deciding factor when selecting the right machine.  With that said, $7k is out of the question at this time.  Until we move our operations out of my garage and into a real shop, every dollar matters and my wife wouldn't be too thrilled with that purchase!  

Doing a quick google search didn't give me a good idea of the SewPro price.  Is there a rep floating around the forum who's interested in helping out (hint hint)?

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CowboySew/Hightex has a synchronized, wide mouth binder attachment set for the CB4500. I've seen videos of it, but don't know who, if anybody carries it in North America or Australia. It doesn't look cheap though.

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Any Cowboy dealer should be able to order Cowboy or Hightex parts. Otherwise, what's the point of being a Cowboy dealer? Neal's Saddlery is apparently the authorised distributor for Cowboy products in the U.S.  - check with them if your favorite dealer can't get the parts you need. 

Cowboy 4500 with fixed binder:

Cowboy 4500 with synchronized binder:

The synchronized movement of the binder seems exaggerated on the Cowboy 4500 - it moves much more than the needle.

 

On the Adler 205, a hole in the arm allows installation of a "finger" that does the synchronized movement:

 

Edited by Uwe

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2 hours ago, BoulevardEast said:

Doing a quick google search didn't give me a good idea of the SewPro price.  Is there a rep floating around the forum who's interested in helping out (hint hint)?

Just call or email Sergey at SewPro directly. He's a nice guy and best source for pricing info, since he's the only one selling the SewPro line.  Weaver sells Adler 205-370 clones for around $4,650 (or considerably less if you sign up for their wholesale program). The Adler 205 synchronized binder kit by itself runs about $500.  Cowboy/Hightex also make a Adler 205 clone, but they cost more than the Cowboy 4500. 

A good industrial sewing machine will last decades in caring hands. Lease and utility payments for a retail shop is money you will never see again. Pretend you already have a retail shop, sell some bags through your current sales channels set that "retail shop" money aside. You'll be able to afford a good machine every couple of months.

Edited by Uwe

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I called my Cowboy dealer, Toledo Industrial Sewing Machines, and asked about the synchronized binder for the CB4500. Bob said he may have to contact CowboySew in China directly about them. I have dibs on the first one he imports!

There are a lot of details about binders that aren't obvious from watching a video. I once had a custom binder made to lay double folded tape over the edges of honeycomb vinyl safety vests for road workers. It cost just under $500 in 1988. Off the shelf binders/folders did not work properly.

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He finally got back to me & I can sell them for $450.00.

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4 hours ago, CowboyBob said:

He finally got back to me & I can sell them for $450.00.

I'd definitely be interested in one of these!

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Wow, I walk away for an afternoon and come back to some great information!  Thank y'all for the extra input, videos, pricing and feedback about the machines and binding attachments.

This weekend will be spend on due diligence and weighing our options here.  I agree with @Uwe how we need to invest in the correct system for the job as we move forward, it's just that a $4k vs $7k allows us to invest that difference into materials, design work, etc.  Looks like we have some work cut out for decision time.  Thank you all again for your help here.  I had no doubt this would be a great forum to join!

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We do not keep them in stock in Australia but they can easily be brought in

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On 12/15/2017 at 11:08 AM, BoulevardEast said:

 

He finally got back to me & I can sell them for $450.00.

 

Hey @CowboyBob, did you ever get this part in? If so, what has the feedback been on this? 

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I'm curious as well and also would like to know if you can get the attachment for the 3200?

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On 4/10/2018 at 10:31 AM, Anubis78 said:

Hey @CowboyBob, did you ever get this part in? If so, what has the feedback been on this? 

I'd be interested to hear if there are any reviews on this. I've tried rigging binder attachments on my Cobra but its a pain and I can never get them to work quite right. I pretty much gave up trying to do it by machine. Which in the bottom line means there are products I'm not producing because I can't accomplish this in a timely fashion.

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I have successfully attached a 1" binder  attachment from Sailrite to my CB3200.  I will get a picture and post up so you can see how I did it.  But as a precursor to the photo I used the two existing holes where the edge guide gets screwed in to the cylinder arm and fabbed up a steel plate that bolts up to those.  I then figured the math on the bolt positioning for the binder attachment.  Drilled and tapped it.  The attachment is adjustable from side to side and forward to aft.  I'll work on that pic.

Edited by Pauls Leather

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1 hour ago, Pauls Leather said:

I have successfully attached a 1" binder  attachment from Sailrite to my CB3200.  I will get a picture and post up so you can see how I did it.  But as a precursor to the photo I used the two existing holes where the edge guide gets screwed in to the cylinder arm and fabbed up a steel plate that bolts up to those.  I then figured the math on the bolt positioning for the binder attachment.  Drilled and tapped it.  The attachment is adjustable from side to side and forward to aft.  I'll work on that pic.

:rockon:

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I promise I'll get that photo but I needed my cb3200 to stitch a tool roll and that binding attachment has nothing to do with that job. 

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Here are the pics as promised. 

binder (1).jpg

binder (2).jpg

binder (3).jpg

binder (4).jpg

binder (5).jpg

binder (6).jpg

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Nice set-up, I think you will find the swing away binder a useful attachment. I use a 1 3/4" plain edge binder with a swing away attachment similar to the one in the photo on my flat bed, it works great. What I found was that it really didn't like double fold binding tape. Since I do like the clean edge look of double fold binding tape what I done was slightly bend open the entrance and exist slots to accept the thicker binding tape. With making that slight tweet there was no noticeable effect on using plain edge binding tape after.  

kgg 

 

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On 8/13/2018 at 8:30 AM, Pauls Leather said:

Here are the pics as promised. 

binder (1).jpg

binder (2).jpg

binder (3).jpg

binder (4).jpg

binder (5).jpg

binder (6).jpg

That looks exactly like the one I bought a few years back. I've never been able to get anything but the thinnest skived leather to feed through it. I'm talking so thin you can almost see thru it. I'd like to find one truly made for using with leather.

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4 hours ago, Mark842 said:

That looks exactly like the one I bought a few years back. I've never been able to get anything but the thinnest skived leather to feed through it. I'm talking so thin you can almost see thru it. I'd like to find one truly made for using with leather.

Contact Bob Kovar (Toledo Industrial Sewing Machines) or any authorized Cowboy sewing machines dealer near you and ask them about placing an order for the new wide mouth vibrating binder attachment for the Juki 441 and its clones. Allegedly, it has enough clearance through its mouth to feed and add binding to leather edges (I don't know the maximum thickness). It has to be custom ordered by a dealer as far as I know. Be forewarned that this attachment sells for about $450, landed, in the USA.

New information

The Cowboy/Hightex binder appears to be a complete set and is described as follows:

"HT-BH01 Binder: synchronized with presser feet and needle plate that allows binding of acute radiuses, for binding heavy materials, such as shoes, carpet, bags, pouches, belts."

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On 13.8.2018 at 4:30 PM, Pauls Leather said:

Here are the pics as promised. 

binder (1).jpg

 

Isn´t it a bias tape binder? Do you run leather tape through it? If so how thick is the leather tape? Would be nice to see a small video.

I guess a right angle binder would be the better choice especially for sewing curved items.

Edited by Constabulary

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8 hours ago, Wizcrafts said:

Contact Bob Kovar (Toledo Industrial Sewing Machines) or any authorized Cowboy sewing machines dealer near you and ask them about placing an order for the new wide mouth vibrating binder attachment for the Juki 441 and its clones. Allegedly, it has enough clearance through its mouth to feed and add binding to leather edges (I don't know the maximum thickness). It has to be custom ordered by a dealer as far as I know. Be forewarned that this attachment sells for about $450, landed, in the USA.

New information

The Cowboy/Hightex binder appears to be a complete set and is described as follows:

"HT-BH01 Binder: synchronized with presser feet and needle plate that allows binding of acute radiuses, for binding heavy materials, such as shoes, carpet, bags, pouches, belts."

Yes, I have heard he can get them and that the price is $450. That is why I'm waiting for someone else to be the test pilot. I have a collection of machine add-ons, tools and other gizmos that I have bought over the years that don't work as advertised. For $450, I start thinking gee whiz...that's what I paid for the last 206RB I purchased. In other words, I'm not spending $450 on it till I know it works.

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