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LanceR

Thread/needle choices for sewing leather straps to canvas?

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Hello All

  I have a Consew 226R-2 and need advice on starting points for needle/thread choices for sewing Duluth canoe pack style canoe packs in 15-18 ounce canvas and for attaching straps and backing pads to them.  I'm looking to use similar construction techniques to the Duluth canoe pack shown here.

#3 Cruiser - 47L

 

#3 Cruiser - 47L

 

And using backing pads like these:

 

#3 Cruiser - 47L

 

Any help with recommended thread/needle combinations for the canvas seams and the leather pads would be appreciated.  I suspect the leather for the shoulder straps wants to be in the 8-9 oz range but any thoughts on that weight and the weight for the closure straps would also be helpful.

Thanks and best regards to all,

 

Lance

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4 hours ago, LanceR said:

Any help with recommended thread/needle combinations for the canvas seams and the leather pads would be appreciated. 

when in doubt ? , for the finish look and outcome of new pattern and materials  . I usually just mock up some sample pieces/panels to punch holes and thread threw, and scrutinize top and bottom with my choices .
You only using 1 machine ? . Test 1st to see what you can actually get away with on the thickness of the stacked combo of leather and fabric.

Thread ? , looks like they just using 69E for thread on the canvas/oil cloth on the main fabric body . For leather pieces it your choice for thread size, but little bigger than 69 will look better.

Needle ? . looks like you will mixing it up between using a fabric and blade point . Or . you can use just fabric needle for all .
Your Pic's. example, for the shoulder straps and the top weight bearing load spot . show the Fabric/canvas in the middle, between leather on top, and a leather backer reinforcement inside . So I would assume they are using a leather blade point when sewing the leather .
And if look at your Pic. there is a couple spots like inside bag top corners/closing flap, where there is a couple leather reinforcement backing square . canvas finish outside, leather inside bottom-side .Your going to use fabric needle on that because you will cut the Canvas thread weave on the outside finish .
.

Edited by nylonRigging

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23 minutes ago, nylonRigging said:

when in doubt ? , for the finish look and outcome of new pattern and materials  . I usually just mock up some sample pieces/panels to punch holes and thread threw, and scrutinize top and bottom with my choices .
You only using 1 machine ? . Test 1st to see what you can actually get away with on the thickness of the stacked combo of leather and fabric.

Thread ? , looks like they just using 69E for thread on the canvas/oil cloth on the main fabric body . For leather pieces it your choice for thread size, but little bigger than 69 will look better.

Needle ? . looks like you will mixing it up between using a fabric and blade point . Or . you can use just fabric needle for all .
Your Pic's. example, for the shoulder straps and the top weight bearing load spot . show the Fabric/canvas in the middle, between leather on top, and a leather backer reinforcement inside . So I would assume they are using a leather blade point when sewing the leather .
And if look at your Pic. there is a couple spots like inside bag top corners/closing flap, where there is a couple leather reinforcement backing square . canvas finish outside, leather inside bottom-side .Your going to use fabric needle on that because you will cut the Canvas thread weave on the outside finish .
.

Thanks. 

I have a1950s Necchi BU Mira in an industrial table that has handled size 69 thread and 4 layers of 10 oz canvas pretty well and which sews 2 layers of 1" tubular nylon just fine.  I haven't yet had a reason to try anything heavier with it.

As I understand it, the Consew 226R will handle up to 138 thread.  The smaller leather backing pads can likely be sewn with 69 thread as the only thing on the exterior is stitching and the structure is due to the rivet through the strap and backing pad. and there's a good chance the only need for 92 or 138 thread will be for cosmetics on the large leather pads where the shoulder straps attach to the upper body and perhaps on a thicker built up shoulder strap

Duluth uses 15 oz canvas on their packs.  As they use the ounce designation that normally indicates plain weave canvas and not the # designation that would normally indicate duck I'm unsure if they use plain weave canvas or if they use duck and they are just avoiding confusing customers.  I guess a call to them would answer the question.  I need to order a few items from them anyway.  I have #10/15 oz duck on hand and plan to see how the Necchi does with increasing layers of that with a jeans needle and bonded thread.

Duluth advertises that unfinished fabric edges on the interior of their packs is normal but I'd much prefer finished edges  So if I use the Mire on those I may up the seam allowance so I can finish the edges with bias tape after sewing the seams.  The BU Mira has a reputation of punching well above its weight on heavy fabric so we'll see how it does.  After testing I may only want to make one or two packs with it but in any case I will also be keeping my eyes open for something a bit more powerful, too.

I will be ordering some of the Springfield Leather remnant and scrap leather and maybe a couple of the $25 or $35 sides to tinker with.  Between the leather and the duck I have now I can see how the machines do and make some test/practice sub assemblies. 

But another concern and part of what drove this thread is hoping to avoid buying too many #1 spools of thread that I won't be needing for these projects.  At over $20 a spool that could strand a fair bit of $$ so the better an educated guess on thread I can make the less chance I'll buy something unnecessary. 

Best regards,

 

Lance

 

 

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21 hours ago, LanceR said:

The BU Mira has a reputation of punching well above its weight on heavy fabric so we'll see how it does.  After testing I may only want to make one or two packs with it but in any case I will also be keeping my eyes open for something a bit more powerful, too.

If you only buy one thread for the Consew, 92 weight is very versatile and is used in all sorts of upholstery and canvas work.  Personally I like the looks of more pronounced thread and generally use 138 as my go-to for canvas projects, but 92 is strong enough for most things and usually hides well.  This type of bag is often sewn with nothing other than ball point fabric needles since the leather is rather soft and not terribly thick, but mainly because leather needles aren't the best when attaching leather to canvas.   I'm sure there's a specialized needle for this application, but if you are just getting your feet wet there's no need for anything special until you see a finished pack.

I'm not sure why you would use the Necchi on any parts of this kind of bag if you already have a 226r.   

It sounds like a fun project - you're sure to learn a lot on it!  Best of luck!

edit:   I forgot to mention that there's a lot of difference between the various canvases available - duck is stiffer so it would be preferred in a bag like this, but the stiffness varies from supplier to supplier, as does the surface finish.   This kind of bag often benefits from a stiffer back to help it hold it's shape, beit double layer, stiffener between layers, etc.   If it's intended as a fashion bag with softer canvas I wouldn't know the firsts thing about that.

Edited by DonInReno

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14 hours ago, DonInReno said:

If you only buy one thread for the Consew, 92 weight is very versatile and is used in all sorts of upholstery and canvas work.  Personally I like the looks of more pronounced thread and generally use 138 as my go-to for canvas projects, but 92 is strong enough for most things and usually hides well.  This type of bag is often sewn with nothing other than ball point fabric needles since the leather is rather soft and not terribly thick, but mainly because leather needles aren't the best when attaching leather to canvas.   I'm sure there's a specialized needle for this application, but if you are just getting your feet wet there's no need for anything special until you see a finished pack.

I'm not sure why you would use the Necchi on any parts of this kind of bag if you already have a 226r.   

It sounds like a fun project - you're sure to learn a lot on it!  Best of luck!

edit:   I forgot to mention that there's a lot of difference between the various canvases available - duck is stiffer so it would be preferred in a bag like this, but the stiffness varies from supplier to supplier, as does the surface finish.   This kind of bag often benefits from a stiffer back to help it hold it's shape, beit double layer, stiffener between layers, etc.   If it's intended as a fashion bag with softer canvas I wouldn't know the firsts thing about that.

Thanks, Don

To date, I've been buying my canvas and duck from Canvas Etc in Auburn, Georgia.  I've used their 10oz duck and #10/15oz duck on a few things.  They have #10/15oz duck in colors on sale at $9 a yard (59" wide) and #8/18oz duck in colors at only $8.75.  The #8 is available in olive drab and the #10 isn't and, at least for the first couple of projects, I wanted OD so that's what I'll order.

Yesterday I pretty much decided to run with 92 or 138 bonded polyester in the 226R.  And with the #8/18oz duck I'd rather use the heavier 138 thread anyway.  If I can find OD thread.....  I found bonded nylon but so far at least, I'm striking out on polyester.

The new servo motor and feet bought from Cowboy Bob for the Consew are supposedly out for delivery in a UPS truck so I'll be hoping to be sewing on it by the weekend.  And I haven't taken off and checked the tension disks so I'll do that this AM.

Now to order some rivets, burrs, setters, roller buckles etc......

Best regards,

 

Lance

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Isn't it strange that OD poly thread is so uncommon?!  I did notice Bigduck canvas has 92 bonded poly when I was checking out a few things there.

Your post reminded me of a line of packs that I couldn't quite remember, but thought they were quite innovative, building on the old roots of this design.   This morning I ran across Frost River packs and I think those are the ones I was thinking of.  Quite a nice selection, but what caught my eye were some interesting upgrades of various kinds throughout the designs of their various packs.  

It makes me want to order some OD canvas and make a matching set of storage bags for behind the seat of the pickup!

If the canvas isn't waxed you may find a basting tape of 1/4" to 3/8" to be helpful in holding seams together just prior to sewing.  I avoided it for years, and don't use it on everything, but for  the times you just wish a seam or bit of leather would lay flat and stay in place while it's sewn it can be nice.  I know more and more folks will use a hand stapler to join edges and pull staples out after it's sewn, but I just can't get myself to use that technique.

bastingTape.jpg

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Thanks, Don

I had checked umpteen thread suppliers and done Google searches but although I have an account at Big Duck I hadn't thought to check there.  The price seems high but the choices for 92 weight OD thread are few and for 138 bonded poly OD thread they seem pretty much non-existant so I ordered some bonded nylon.  I just picked up a belt for the new motor, have needles and thread inbound and have some 10oz and 15oz duck in the dryer after pre-washing it to reduce shrinkage later so I hope to be tinkering with the Consew this weekend.

I have basting tape for both canvas and smoother fabrics and it has come in handy before, especially for felled seams and such.

I notice Frost River claims their packs are 18oz waxed canvas while Duluth uses 15oz plain canvas (duck?).  I wonder if the 18oz from Frost River was 15oz before treatment or if it was 18oz which would likely make its 18-20oz now?

Looking at the Frost River, Cooke Custom Sewing and the Duluth packs as points of reference offers enough of a menu of ideas to keep me busy for a while just making some practice sub-assemblies and tinkering with nuances of layouts.  I need a pack the rides lower than usual in order to be able to carry a canoe so shoulder straps need to be higher on the pack body than usual.  Which argues for a deeper or wider pack than a taller pack so it sits low in the canoe to keep the center of gravity low.

And, for my purposes, plain duck would probably be better than waxed as the pack is going to be sitting in whatever water is in the canoe and the contents will be in waterproof bags as needed so a pack that will dry out faster is needed and I suspect that a waxed canvas pack, like coated packcloth will hold water inside it longer.  And the ideas keep coming.  At some point the good idea train will have to leave the station so I can make a few packs....

 

When are you coming to the OBX and are you going to do anything useful while you're here like crabbing or fishing?

Best regards to all,

 

Lance

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That’s exciting getting your new machine up and running!   

I’ve never seen how people carry canoes so had to google it to be able to visualize what you were talking about - now it makes perfect sense.

As much as I like heavy waxed canvas I think you’re right about using the plain canvas for a light weight bag.   

Our trip will be in August - our oldest is engaged and we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person, so most of the trip will be based on an itinerary they have for us.  He’s just learning to use a smoker so we will probably be smoking way too much meat as we work out some kinks in his technique and equipment.    

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Hi Don

Sorry for the delay but for some reason I'm not getting notifications of new posts even though I just checked for the 5-6th time to ensure I should be getting them.  It's very hit and miss.  I think I've gotten, at most, two or three notifications so far to any thread.

It has been instructive messing around setting the Consew up.  I sit there with the parts manual and both the Consew and Singer instructions as neither is fully descriptive so that when a manual says to loosen the left side smoke shifter I can look to see what it looks like and where to find it.  Kind of like learning to maintain M1 tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle turrets in about 1981 or 1982 when they started to deliver them to us before we had our turret mechanics re-trained from M60s (but without the same consequences of screwing something up).

I got the new motor mounted, got the correct length belt, adjusted the bobbin winder and then found out that the inner presser foot I was sent had far too small of a hole in it to go over the "vibrating" presser bar.  And the machine also has a raised throat plate and needs a flush one.  I'm trying to figure out which of the oil wicks need replaced and whether I can even get to them short of a total disassembly.  No worries though.  I'm not losing any money due to the delays and I have more projects that have their own projects than any one guy should have.

 

20210530_143330.thumb.jpg.0c19840fde1e6c60145f1934dbc3e55e.jpg

 

Speaking of smokers I've built some custom smokers, have four smokers now and have five propane tanks sitting in the edge of our woods awaiting their turn to become trailer mounted wood burning smokers.  The hold up for them now is that I ordered and paid for a new Hypertherm plasma cutter around 24 April and it looks like it's still going to be on back-order for several more weeks.

Ahh well, the size 69, 92 and 138 thread has arrived along with an assortment of needles and some other assorted bits and pieces so at least that stuff is in hand.

Best regards to all,

 

Lance

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