Jump to content
BaileyLanier

**Help Identify Machine**

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone! 

I'm new(ish) to leatherwork, and have been looking for a decent machine that can sew belts, wallets, bridles, etc. Not super heavy duty, but enough that I don't have to worry about it. 

Anyway, I found one on CraigsList and my leather friends and I are having a heck of a time identifying it - take a go! Any info about it is more than welcome - we're stumped! 

 

Thanks! 

 

Here's the link: https://cosprings.craigslist.org/for/d/industrial-strength-heavy/6573075533.html 00u0u_yP8Um6LYuY_50x50c.jpg.bc665237b11a35a6db0b5383bf85b62e.jpg

00L0L_9TaUHSc1psv_50x50c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive seen those same pictures on Ebay  - These are not leather machines, and wont sew anywhere near as nice as those pictures in real life leather applications. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Industrial strength is a mis-nomer.  It's just a old steel domestic.  Have you read this post? 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you decide to get serious about a leather sewing machine, call SLC & they will help you into the right machine for you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can almost identify the machine for you, from one of the pictures.  They did an excellent job of hiding most of the machine and narrow your vision to the sewing foot area, and the sewing actually doesn't look half bad.  Anyway it looks like a Singer 15 clone maybe a Deluxe 100 or Deluxe 30.  It may be a capable little home machine, but its not worth what they are asking,  and its not a leather machine or close to anything industrial.  I call these misleading adds "quarter-stackers" since they always try and sell you the machine based on how many quarters they can stack next to the foot.  Whenever you see a smaller "home-style" machine sewing leather, and stacking-quarter beware. 

 The 31-15 is an industrial tailor machine. However the 16-188, that is called a 16-18 in the add, is a light leather machine - your better off with these for less money! sure they need some cleaning, and probably a new servo motor. 

https://cosprings.craigslist.org/for/d/2-vintage-sewing-maxhines/6553220337.html

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old domestic worth $35 being sold as an industrial for $350. Ever seen one of those salesmen selling a "nev-r-blunt" kitchen knife on a shopping channel or in a department store? This is the sewing machine equivalent. It slices, it dices, it sews through a beer can... The coin stacking is irrelevant and not very impressive to anyone who has used a sewing machine but it's a great indicator of an overpriced machine being sold by a charlatan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is not a good machine for leather work. It may make a decent stitch for about two hours of sewing and then the motor will be junk. The seller does a good job of not letting you see the whole machine but what he does show is that it does not have a walking foot. For $350 you can do a lot better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol::lol: They do a very good job of NOT showing anything that can identify just what it actually is! It's what I would call a con job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with all of the above.

The three things which raise big red flags for me are -

1 - they go to so much trouble to hide what sort of machine it is.  The photos are cropped close to hide everything but the foot (more on that later) and the text keeps referring to "The Sewing Machine".  If they are so proud of what they have to offer, why don't they tell you what they have...

2 - they are showing the machine head not mounted on anything...  Is the sale for the head only, or is it for a machine on a stand?  It obviously can't run as it is, given that they claim it has a "*** VERY POWERFUL MOTOR ***"  What is the motor mounted on?

3 - the foot is a standard SHORT SHANK straight-stitch foot.  This is a domestic machine.  This is also indicated by the one thing that is kind of true in their blurb - they call it "Industrial Strength" - meaning they don't dare call it "Industrial"...

For the things you stated you want to sew, you need a walking foot industrial machine.  The foot on this will drag on the top layer of leather.

Any one of these factors would stop me from considering this machine.  All together...  NO WAY...

Edited by Trevor Baret
update information

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Trevor Baret said:

VERY POWERFUL MOTOR ***"  What is the motor mounted on?

I am not certain but I think the last picture shows a VERY POWERFUL MOTOR mounted on the back of the head like most domestics. :P

Here's a thought....with a light head like that if you get 2 and turn one around and put it in reverse, you could stitch up them bridle straps on both sides at the same time.:crazy:.

Nooo it wont work you cant get the 2 close together enough ...... you'll need 2 cylinder machines instead. :dunno:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RockyAussie said:

I am not certain but I think the last picture shows a VERY POWERFUL MOTOR mounted on the back of the head like most domestics. :P

+1 - Picture #18 shows the little motor on the back - It's just a Chinese 15 class clone, home type machine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to chime in here about these motors. I have owned and sold quite a few old iron body Singer sewing machines, all of which had either a motor on a bracket or an attached pod motor. I also tune up old machines that customers buy in yard sales, or get as hand me downs. The average Singer motor drew about .4 to .5 amps. Aftermarket motors draw up to 1.5 amps. The most powerful of these mini motors develop about 1/12th to 1/15th horsepower. Most draw so little current that a rheostat or moving core foot pedal can control them without burning up.

The most powerful mini motor I've had weighs about 1 pound. Older ones tend to be much less.

Any of these little motors can spin a domestic sewing machine. The challenge is getting the needle to penetrate leather at start up speed. Most motors bog down trying to start sewing leather until you give them a hand (literally). Once under way they can usually maintain motion if you don't fully stop sewing.

Industrial sewing machine motors live under the tables the machines are mounted on top of. The smallest clutch motor I have ever had was 1/3rd horsepower. Singer used to make them in 1/4 hp rating for light duty tailoring machines. Most modern era industrial sewing machine motors are rated at 1/2 horsepower, with some hitting 3/4. This means that the power difference between the most powerful domestic sewing motor and an average industrial motor is about 6:1. A tenth or twelfth hp motor wont even turn over a walking foot machine without hand spinning it first. It would burn up in no time from the load of driving, or attempting to drive such a machine.

An average, modern era clutch motor weighs around 30 pounds, with some weighing in at 40 pounds. Compare that to the mini sewing machine motors that weigh about 1 pound and I think the difference will be self explanatory.

A sewing machine is either domestic or industrial. The domestic machines have thin steel take-up shafts and linkages. They are not built to sustain the load of  pulling nylon thread up inside dense leather. Even industrial tailoring machines are not built with this in mind. Look into upholstery grade walking foot machines as a starting point for your leather sewing endeavors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be a Singer 201 non potted motor.  A nickname for the 201 is the Rolls Royce.   It is not designed for  leather,  might sew some garment weight leather and some upholstery leathers.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you to everyone who replied! After asking the seller 4 times for pictures of the whole machine and brand I decided not to waste any more of my time! Like you all said/alluded to - con job. But, I am so glad I posted this - I learned so much from your replies! Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Trevor Baret said:

I have to agree with all of the above.

The three things which raise big red flags for me are -

1 - they go to so much trouble to hide what sort of machine it is.  The photos are cropped close to hide everything but the foot (more on that later) and the text keeps referring to "The Sewing Machine".  If they are so proud of what they have to offer, why don't they tell you what they have...

2 - they are showing the machine head not mounted on anything...  Is the sale for the head only, or is it for a machine on a stand?  It obviously can't run as it is, given that they claim it has a "*** VERY POWERFUL MOTOR ***"  What is the motor mounted on?

3 - the foot is a standard SHORT SHANK straight-stitch foot.  This is a domestic machine.  This is also indicated by the one thing that is kind of true in their blurb - they call it "Industrial Strength" - meaning they don't dare call it "Industrial"...

For the things you stated you want to sew, you need a walking foot industrial machine.  The foot on this will drag on the top layer of leather.

Any one of these factors would stop me from considering this machine.  All together...  NO WAY...

Thank you for your insights! It's really nice to see it spelled out like that, especially as I proceed with trying to buy a machine. I got a suspicious vibe, and it turned out to be a con. Thanks! Bailey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bailey, stick to the advice available on this forum and you're not likely to go wrong. There is a lot to learn about Industrial sewing machines and this is the place to learn. Keep looking, something will eventually turn up (a nice cylinder arm walking foot with a servo motor is always a good start ;)).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, BaileyLanier said:

Thank you for your insights! It's really nice to see it spelled out like that, especially as I proceed with trying to buy a machine. I got a suspicious vibe, and it turned out to be a con. Thanks! Bailey

You have made a wise choice Bailey.

Scoutmom commented on the Singer 201.  I am not sure if she was referring to the machine or just the motor which can be sort of seen in the final image.

The singer 201 was a great domestic machine.  Kylie and I have three which are in beautiful condition - one hand crank cast iron classic style; one motorised classic with the external mounted motor and knee control [but we also have a foot control which bypasses the knee control] and one from the later 50s when they had aluminium bodies - still looking heavy duty in black, but much lighter weight.  They all run perfectly and get plenty of use - including some light garment leather.  After WWII, Singer used a lot of aluminium from decommissioned war planes - cheaper to use recycled materials and much lighter weight which is good for the housewives who were using them in the 1950s.

The machine in the Craigslist photos is NOT a 201.  The decals are not singer - despite the attempt to suggest otherwise with the obvious "S" in the pattern.  The silver face plate which is just visible in the photos where the machine is supposedly sewing through an aluminium can is also clearly nothing ever made by Singer.  If it were a Singer 201, then I would not pay more than about $50.00 in Australia (that is about $35.00 US).  I have bought numerous over the years - to play with and to get parts for our machines.  I then service them and sell them for about $100 - in beautiful working order.  But not for leather sewing...  Through the entire exercise we have ended up with only one (so far) which will not ever be in working order, as too many parts have been stripped off.

I know there might be better brands for leather work, but we just love the old singer machines so we have all of our machines in this classic brand -

31M32 - just because it is a beautiful tailoring machine which was used in the garment industry (sewing garment leather) in Italy till it came with the tailor to Australia in the 1990s.  Heavily worn timber on the table attests to a long history of hard work.  It is on its original treadle base, and won't get a lot of use, but we just can't part with it.  The "M" means it was built in Italy, where it lived all of its professional working life.  It then worked as a home machine for the "retired" tailor until he passed away.  I bought it from his grand-son who just didn't appreciate the beauty of this antique.  You see, the story behind the machine is as important to us as the machine itself.  That doesn't mean we will wast money on a lemon just because of a story, but once we find a machine, we find out all we can about its history.

103K - so called "semi-industrial"  We don't kid ourselves - it is really a stronger domestic machine, but it uses long shank industrial feet.  Based on the instruction manual, it appears to have been intended to be used in corsetry and came originally with a corsetry foot.  That is exactly what Kylie uses it for.  She is passionate about traditional corsetry except she likes to make it in leather.  This machine can handle garment leather with no problem as long as it has a roller foot attached.  Some leather surfaces stick a bit on normal feet, and this affects the sewing ability of any machine.  Ours is in almost perfect new condition, despite having been made in 1953 (the year I was born - yes I am that old).  We can't figure out why it is like this, and we have not ben able to find out the story.  it came without a bobbin case, and we can only suspect that this part was lost very early, and the owner just gave up.  It really looks like it was only used a few times.  We have an alternate machine - another 103K which is very nearly as good.

31K48 - wheel feed and rolling foot - I feel like this is the entry level for leather.  It will certainly sew leather and would probably handle the jobs you are working on.  But I would suggest something heavier for your belts and bridles, even though this machine has handled these jobs for us perfectly well.  My alternate machine is a 31K18 which is an earlier model of essentially the same machine.

31K47 - spring loaded walking foot.  I would say this should be your minimum machine and if you can get one of these (and keep up with parts and service) you will be very happy for a long time.  It has normal drop feed for the under side.  The foot is actually two feet.  One holds the work down while the needle passes through, and lifts up with the needle.  This one just goes up and down vertically, to hold the work stable while the needle does it job.  The other foot stays down while the feed dogs move the work forward, and it moves with the work.  At the end of the feed stroke, this lifts up (after the other "inside foot" has come down to hold the work) and a spring jumps it back to the starting position where it lowers down to the work again.  Sometimes referred to a a jump foot and various other names.  My alternate machine is a 31K17 - an earlier model of essentially the same machine

132K6 - much heavier duty walking foot with alternating pressers.  This is an excellent machine for heavier leather, and is the strongest I am likely to use regularly.    Many people just love this model for their leather work.  My alternate machine is...  actually are - 2 more 132K6 machines.  Still working on these to build the very best to keep, the second best to sell and the last for spares.  I bought all three at huge bargain prices (less than half usual price) and found them all to be much better than I expected - all work perfectly and look great.  it is going to be very hard to choose which is the best.

But the collection doesn't stop here.  I told you that we are passionate about our old Singer machines.  They may require some continuing attention - but that is part of their charm.  The fact is that we have machines which are over 100 years old and still working perfectly.  We have duplicates of some machines, but don't expect to need any of the parts in our lifetime.

45K25 - for saddlery.  This is the first of the cylinder bed machines in this list.  This is a drop feed machine.  Very heavy duty leather machine which I bought from a saddler.  He had been using it to make and repair saddles for a few decades.  I saw it for sale for $450 Aus.  Add $100 to transport it to my home and it was still a quarter the price these usually sell for in Australia. When it arrived, it was absolutely beautiful - except the timber on the table was no good any more.  Just cleaned it up, and nothing more to the machine, and it was perfect.  I still haven't made a new table top as I am trying to decide on the most practical format.  With the right motor and needles, it will sew through more than an inch of tough veg tanned leather as if it were butter.

17-8 - a light weight cylinder bed walking foot with alternating presser feet.  Bought from a shoe repairer.  That is their best use - light leather and shoe uppers.

29K58 - Boot Patcher - a cobbler's machine used for fancy stitching on western cowboy boots and for shoe and boot repair, even deep into the boot.  These are not actually cylinder bed machines, so you should have a look at the pics to get an idea.  http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/model-29-leather-stitching-sewing-machine.html

Some suggest that you buy a cylinder bed machine.  There are advantages, because you can get up close to the work on most of these machines.  You can also add a table around the bed to artificially make a flat bed.  If this is well fitted, the ruse works very well, so you get the best of both worlds.  The disadvantage is that repairs and maintenance to parts in the bed are more difficult due to tedious access.  At least that is true for the home repairer...  The 133K8 is the cylinder bed equivalent of the 132K6.  If you go for cylinder bed, then this is the one I would watch out for.  The fact is that this is the machine I am also watching for to "complete" our collection.

(Who am I kidding - our collection will never be complete...)

Given the uses you describe, I would recommend a good flat-bed machine, as it is easier to control your work while you are sewing.

If you want to go with a beautiful classic Singer industrial, I would suggest a 31K47.  it is a walking foot machine which can certainly handle belts and bridles.  It would be a very good first machine for you, and will give decades of good service if you take care of it.  The next machine I would recommend would be the 132K6.  With both, you will very easily manage all that you are after.

If, on the other hand, you don't want to take the risk of an old machine, then I would ask the nearest cowboy dealer about their recommendations.  In Australia, I would contact @DarrenBrosowski, who really knows industrial machines, services them and sells some second-hand machines of various brands and new Cowboy machines.  I don't know of anyone in Australia who is more knowledgeable.

In USA, contact Wizcrafts on this group, and/or the dealers who sponsor the forum.

Please also note - I am NOT an expert, just an enthusiast who is passionate about vintage Singers.

 


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Trevor Baret said:

just an enthusiast who is passionate about vintage Singers.

glad other have been bitten by the "vintage Singer bug" too :lol:

I´m just about setting up a 132K6 as well but still hunting for some vintage "accessories" but I´m close...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Constabulary said:

glad other have been bitten by the "vintage Singer bug" too :lol:

I´m just about setting up a 132K6 as well but still hunting for some vintage "accessories" but I´m close...

Hey Constabulary,

I see from the list at the bottom of your post that we share some similar machines - 29, 45, 132, 307 (I forgot that in my list above because it is not black!!!  It is currently in storage and the 31K47 is on its table with the great singer motor).

The 111G156 has me envious.  That is another machine I am watching for (along with the 133K8).  Compound feed with alternating pressers and reverse!!! 

Now, THAT is a great leather machine...

Trevor

Edited by Trevor Baret

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'm arriving a bit late to the party, but I thought I would chime in on this subject.

   

.   Always bear in mind that there is no such thing as an "Industrial Strength" machine, and just because it is made of cast iron, and painted black does not make it a real industrial machine.  Many of them are Grandma's old sewing machine that showed up at a yard sale.   EBAY and Craigslist sellers lie !!   The old domestic machines are excellent within their limitations, but none of them are real "Leather" or "Industrial" machines.    A simple way to tell is that if the motor is the size of a man's fist, and attached to the back of the machine, it is a domestic machine.  Real industrial machines have a motor the about the size of your head mounted underneath the table. And real industrial machines are NEVER designed to fold down into the cabinet like a domestic.   They are much too heavy !!

 

    Another consideration is that the thickness a machine can handle is dictated by the fact that MOST, but NOT ALL machines release the thread tension as the foot rises either by the thickness of the material being sewn, or when climbing over a thick section like a seam.   This can cause skipped stitches and a host of other problems, such as tangles on the back side.  This applies to both domestic and industrial models.   This is a feature of the design of most machines, allowing easy removal of the work from under the foot when raising the foot manually when done sewing.   Some machines, like my Singer 42-5 can sew as much thickness as you can jam under the foot, as it does not have this tension release feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...