Chadd

I bought an ABLE290 manual for my Chinese Shoe Patcher from Darren Brosowski.

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I received the unbranded machine as a Christmas gift off of my Amazon wish list. The manual was laughable and i have absolutely ZERO experience with sewing machines. I was having trouble with thread breakage, wads of thread under the project, and all sorts of other functional issues. After multiple hours of YouTube videos and Googling, I came across a post on this forum from Darren offering advice on these shoe patchers and for something called an ABLE290. From one of Darren's posts, I read "the last thunk or change before the problem is the most likely cause of the problem" (paraphrased). Good advice! From my research, I have found that Darren resells these machines in Australia under his own brand and includes a well written manual (in English, with great pictures). So he really seems to know these machines well. I looked through hundreds of his posts on this forum and finally found him offering just the manual for sale along with his email address (darren@ablesewing.com.au). I sent him an email with a little about my problems and my search for documentation. The next day, I had a message from Darren in my inbox with the manual attached and a request for $20AU via PayPal. I learned what a needle scarf is... and that mine was facing the wrong way. I learned how to properly install the bobbin shuttle driver. I learned to grab the threads (top and bottom) and give a little pull tension when starting the stitch to set the rest up for success. I learned how to properly thread the bobbin and provide bobbin tension for differing types of thread. I also learned all of the adjustment points for my machine that was very similar to the ABLE290. The manual is only a few pages long, but it contains the critical information to make the machine work correctly and consistently. I had my issues corrected less than an hour after fully reading the manual. Now I just need to get some experience with thread tension that will only come with time and experimentation.

I have included a couple of pictures showing the stitches I was able to do after correcting my machine's configuration. (Have a pile of scraps on hand while you are configuring and testing.)

The reason I am posting this is because I did the research, watched the videos, and was still frustrated until I got the RIGHT information from one place. Darren's manual was 100% worth every penny I payed for it.

Thanks Darren!

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Edited by Chadd

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Glad you were taken care of and found the information that you needed.

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2 hours ago, Gregg From Keystone Sewing said:

Glad you were taken care of and found the information that you needed.

Thanks! I just wanted to give thanks and put a post out there that might help others stepping into working with these reasonably priced machines.

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Been thinking about getting one of those machines myself. They sell manuals separate on the Bay too.. Ought to work ok for lined belts and stuff.

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Aww shucks - thanks Chadd

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Unfortunately, Darren is out of business, and the documentation is no longer available from him! I have yet to find an alternative source! Could anyone help me with a copy?

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Steve Newton

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Darren is presently and for the foreseeable future 'gone to ground'.   I thought I had a manual for the machine you mention,  however cannot find it.   The unit though is so incredibly simple that I wonder what a manual might help with.   As with all machines you need to match the needle size to the thread size and adjust the tensions.   Remember patchers only have drive from the foot, the foot is toothed and pulls the material thru, there is no feed dog, so feed is basic and easily upset if you push or pull or allow the material to hang over the arm and add weight.   If you really need help any old patcher manual will help you, for example the Able 290 is similar to the old Claes Elastik type patchers.

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There are also quite a few videos on youtube that may help.

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My research indicates it's a copy of the Bradbury A1 Repairing Machine from the early 1870s (1871-1872)!

http://www.sewmuse.co.uk/bradbury/a1 repairing.htm 

I believe that the shuttle arm needs adjustment. When I received the machine, the installed needle was broken! I've run across THREE methods to install the carrier and shuttle, and ALL seem to be off by 10°-15°of rotation, and the thread doesn't get picked up! It just gets tangled up under the plate!

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Most of the machines from that era were similar, ie the Claes, Bradbury, Elastic etc etc.....I have Claes, Durkoepp, Adler, Singer, Elastic, Bradbury and yes even three of these little Chinese guys in my collection.   None of the new Chinese machines required any rotation, if you were to be fussy a bit of sandpaper over the rough edges might be in order.  What do you mean by 'three methods to install the carrier and shuttle'?  This machine has a little bobbin that sits inside a bobbin case, the thread gets tensioned by the case and comes out to get picked up by the point of the hook.   If you are not picking up the thread then the needle is at the incorrect height or the timing has been knocked out by a tooth.

 

Edited by Singermania

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A point on these machines, remember they are called 'shoe patchers', not 'quality leather goods sewers'....so they are designed to repair footwear either by entering the shoe and resewing broken stitches or by sewing on new elastic sides to boots.  To spend hours researching these machines is really not going to be productive.  If you want to make nice leather goods then you will either be disappointed with this machine or you are a very patient and talented sewer.   Darren sold them at horse events for people wanting to repair summer rugs, he screwed them to a lump of wood and cleaned them up a bit..... it didn't end all that well.

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6 hours ago, Singermania said:

A point on these machines, remember they are called 'shoe patchers', not 'quality leather goods sewers'....so they are designed to repair footwear either by entering the shoe and resewing broken stitches or by sewing on new elastic sides to boots.  To spend hours researching these machines is really not going to be productive.  If you want to make nice leather goods then you will either be disappointed with this machine or you are a very patient and talented sewer.   Darren sold them at horse events for people wanting to repair summer rugs, he screwed them to a lump of wood and cleaned them up a bit..... it didn't end all that well.

Do you own one or have you ever sewn with one? They actually sew really well and I consider them an excellent low dollar home hobby machine for someone that doesn't want to spend 4 figures on a sewing machine.

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42 minutes ago, vpd66 said:

Do you own one or have you ever sewn with one? They actually sew really well and I consider them an excellent low dollar home hobby machine for someone that doesn't want to spend 4 figures on a sewing machine.

I do, as do many others on this forum, and I agree wholeheartedly with Singermania's assessment of these machines.

They have their uses, especially if your circumstances don't allow you any other industrial sewing machine suitable for sewing lightweight leather. But almost any other industrial sewing machine will be better for manufacturing leathergoods. Unless being used to sew in really awkward spaces (where there is little choice) I'd rather stick to hand sewing than use one for sewing anything visible on quality goods.

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1 hour ago, Matt S said:

I do, as do many others on this forum, and I agree wholeheartedly with Singermania's assessment of these machines.

They have their uses, especially if your circumstances don't allow you any other industrial sewing machine suitable for sewing lightweight leather. But almost any other industrial sewing machine will be better for manufacturing leathergoods. Unless being used to sew in really awkward spaces (where there is little choice) I'd rather stick to hand sewing than use one for sewing anything visible on quality goods.

Hmmm, maybe I have the only one that works? I'm quite impressed with mine. It's the only machine I have that can back stitch and hit the same holes right on the money even at 7 stitches per inch. I also have a Singer 111w155 and I like my patcher much better. It won't replace the Singer but it is my go to machine. I like the fact that I can totally disassemble my patcher with a handful of tools in about 15 minutes. It's just so simple and I have less then $150 in it!

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My chinese patcher puts a good stitch through very thick leather.

The stitching looks only as good as you have it adjusted for.

Yes, you have to adjust tension big deal.

The only down side to the machine is the stand it comes with.

So if my patcher can sew a nice stitch then that is all I need it for.

I do not need a big name brand leather sewing machine, I just need a leather sewing machine.

I am quite happy with mine, that is all that matters.

I could have spent my money on just a sewing machine, but instead I bought a nice knife grinder and polisher and a cut off saw/ vertical band saw AND

a sewing machine that will do the job. Sewing leather is not what I wish to be limited to.

Doug

Edited by Yankee63

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1 hour ago, vpd66 said:

Hmmm, maybe I have the only one that works? I'm quite impressed with mine. It's the only machine I have that can back stitch and hit the same holes right on the money even at 7 stitches per inch. I also have a Singer 111w155 and I like my patcher much better. It won't replace the Singer but it is my go to machine. I like the fact that I can totally disassemble my patcher with a handful of tools in about 15 minutes. It's just so simple and I have less then $150 in it!

I'm glad you like your machine -- if it weren't the small matter of a few thousand miles between us I'd happily swap you a second Chinese patcher for your Singer ;) Mine works fine, it's just a limited design. If your Singer isn't backstitching into the same holes it probably needs a tweak.

1 hour ago, Yankee63 said:

My chinese patcher puts a good stitch through very thick leather.

The stitching looks only as good as you have it adjusted for.

Yes, you have to adjust tension big deal.

The only down side to the machine is the stand it comes with.

So if my patcher can sew a nice stitch then that is all I need it for.

I do not need a big name brand leather sewing machine, I just need a leather sewing machine.

I am quite happy with mine, that is all that matters.

I could have spent my money on just a sewing machine, but instead I bought a nice knife grinder and polisher and a cut off saw/ vertical band saw AND

a sewing machine that will do the job. Sewing leather is not what I wish to be limited to.

Doug

Hey that's great Doug. I'm really pleased you've got it working as you want. What adjustments did you make to your machine?

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7 hours ago, vpd66 said:

Do you own one or have you ever sewn with one? They actually sew really well and I consider them an excellent low dollar home hobby machine for someone that doesn't want to spend 4 figures on a sewing machine.

As I said above, I have three of them and yes have sewn on them, we used to give them away with our more expensive machines.   Also as I have said in the past, they surprisingly do sew quite well, though not thru very thick leather which is in excess of half an inch.

,

Edited by Singermania

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Darren is presently and for the foreseeable future 'gone to ground'.


I enjoyed / appreciated Darren's contributions here, I hope that his situation improves, and that he will be back...

Edited by mikesc

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13 minutes ago, mikesc said:


I enjoyed / appreciated Darren's contributions here, I hope that his situation improves, and that he will be back...

Darren and I are friends, though he is not answering communication at present.  He admitted himself that he messed up pretty badly and we and others have been trying to help those that did not receive machines, did not get machines that worked, did not get machines back that were in for service, did not get their full orders and so on.  I'm guessing you will not see him here or anywhere else until the creditors disappear.  It is an awkward situation, a lot of accusations and threats have been made.  As a veteran of many years in business and a couple of recessions I know it can happen to anyone.

With regards the Chinese Patcher, I did not mean to make anyone feel insecure about owning one (I have 3), I was intending only to point out they are designed for repair work, not quality leather work.   They do punch above their weight, a reasonable stitch can be had, though the needle will only take quite thin thread.   Darren emailed me a manual a while back as we were giving the patchers away with more expensive machines and I wanted to compare his manual with what I had written for ours, however I have searched and so far cant find it.

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5 hours ago, Matt S said:

I'm glad you like your machine -- if it weren't the small matter of a few thousand miles between us I'd happily swap you a second Chinese patcher for your Singer ;) Mine works fine, it's just a limited design. If your Singer isn't backstitching into the same holes it probably needs a tweak.

Hey that's great Doug. I'm really pleased you've got it working as you want. What adjustments did you make to your machine?

All I had to do was adjust the thread tension.

I padded the foot to remove presser foot trails and adjusted the tension on the foot.

Simple, basic stuff.

Doug

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17 hours ago, Singermania said:

As I said above, I have three of them and yes have sewn on them, we used to give them away with our more expensive machines.   Also as I have said in the past, they surprisingly do sew quite well, though not thru very thick leather which is in excess of half an inch.

,

Why would you give a "junk" machine to those who bought high dollar machine? Sounds like you would be shooting yourself in the foot for future sales.

Nobody is trying to lose sales for you by not buying a high dollar machine when basic stitching is all you need for leather.

Were the china machines so crappy when you supposedly "gave" them away? Did you tell your customers they were basically just junk ?

It don't make sense.

Doug

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They sound like they are not junk but do a good job, but not maybe as well as higher costs machines and like all machines have there limits, I don't know but i assume he gave them away as a bonus for work the other machines either could not do or found it hard to do, no machine does everything

Edited by chrisash

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1 hour ago, Yankee63 said:

Why would you give a "junk" machine to those who bought high dollar machine? Sounds like you would be shooting yourself in the foot for future sales.

Nobody is trying to lose sales for you by not buying a high dollar machine when basic stitching is all you need for leather.

Were the china machines so crappy when you supposedly "gave" them away? Did you tell your customers they were basically just junk ?

It don't make sense.

Doug

You are attacking a long time member who is also a reputable dealer in Australia. Don't do that again. Drop it now.

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14 minutes ago, Wizcrafts said:

You are attacking a long time member who is also a reputable dealer in Australia. Don't do that again. Drop it now.

:17:

H

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Agree 100% with Wiz..the only one who has used the word junk is Yankee63..

Singermania probably has the largest collection of machines ( I remember the many pictures, of many many machines all lined up like the sewing machine equivalent of the Terracotta army :) of any dealer..anywhere..and his advice is extremely well respected by all of us..A lot of businesses ( mine included ) give stuff away to people who spend a lot of money with us..Doesn't mean it is junk that we give away, just means that "whatever" didn't cost us so much to begin with in either time or money..so we throw in a little extra ( could be needles, thread, machine, tools for some of the dealers, for others of us it could be an item or items that we normally make / sell ) ..Quit trying to pick a fight with him..or anyone for that matter..

Edited by mikesc

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