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Singer Sewing Machine Question

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by Randydb, Feb 10, 2019 at 11:59 AM.

  1. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    552
    Sep 27, 2014
    Hi,
    I've been watching craigs for a while for an affordable industrial machine that can sew leather sheaths. Live on the Wet coast of Canada. There is usually a machine or two in the $500cdn range and then lots above that.
    There is an old Singer with no foot on craigs today for $175cdn. No model number and the guy says it works. Has a 1/3rd hp motor, knee lift for the foot. Fairly new looking motor. Has a number of pictures but I am just posting a couple.

    My questions are, would this work for sewing sheaths. Is there anything I should be checking for when I see it? The guy said he used the foot from his wife's light duty machine on it and he was able to sew canvas and other heavy items. Should I bring a foot along to test it?

    I don't know much of sewing machines, so any help would help.

    singer sewing.jpg sewingmotor.jpg
     
  2. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    If you would spend 175CDN on lottery tickets, then I'd say go ahead, but chances are it will probably need more than just a foot (which if you can find, will probably be fairly expensive). Don't be fooled by "industrial machine" or "heavy duty machine". It's always good to remember that most times you get what you pay for.....or less.

    Paul
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 2:47 PM
    usmc0341 and Cowcatcher like this.
  3. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    552
    Sep 27, 2014
    Hi Paul,
    I don't buy lottery tickets. But I tend to watch craigs and fb buyandsell and wait for deals when I don't need an item NOW. Over time I have found amazing deals on a lathe, drum kit, Camry, maple flooring, bandsaw etc. by being patient. Most of the time I know what to look for or have someone who can tell me what I should be watching for. I guess that is what I am looking for here. If someone here knows some about this machine and could tell me what to look for and if it might be a solid model that would work for a hobbyist who wants to sew 30-40 sheath's a year.

    The guy selling it doesn't use it any more and seems to just want to get rid of it.
     
  4. Cowcatcher

    Cowcatcher Gold Member Gold Member

    22
    Nov 11, 2018
    I highly doubt that machine will work for knife sheaths unless you build em very very thin. If it's close by, take some leather with you and try it.
    If I was in the "30-40 sheath a year business", I'd buy a Tippman boss. But, even a used one will cost quite a bit more than the singer you're looking at.
     
  5. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    That machine won't work.
    It had a flat bottom, you need one that is higher
     
  6. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    552
    Sep 27, 2014
    Alright, I will head for something else. I use 7-9oz leather for my sheaths. So I wind up with 3 layers of it on the welt section.

    Thanks,
     
  7. Mahoney

    Mahoney

    864
    Mar 8, 2006
    The Singer #7 class machines will sew thick leather, but all of the used ones that were available in my area were not much cheaper than a new Cobra, Cowboy, or similar leather sewing machine
     
  8. Cowcatcher

    Cowcatcher Gold Member Gold Member

    22
    Nov 11, 2018
    I've got 2 Cobra 4 machines. I had an Artisan which is the same machine pretty much with a different paint job. When I outgrew hand sewing I got a Tippman and was very happy. Then I tried to make an old Adler patch machine work and it was never reliable. Skipped stitches suck. Business got big enough I could afford my first Cobra. Then I ran across the Artisan and another Cobra at farm auctions. I feel like a good sewing machine is just as important to a sheath maker as a good grinder is to a knife maker. Sewing is usually one of the final details of your project and malfunctions can ruin a project or uneven stitches can detract from all the nice tooling you've done. Like mentioned above, heavy duty gets overused describing sewing machines. I'd say your gonna have to spend atleast $7-800 to get a machine that will do what you want.
     
  9. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    552
    Sep 27, 2014
    I'm not sure how to know what model/class this one is. The guy didn't post it or have any picture that shows the model number. Are you saying this one is a #7 class machine?
    The other ones I have watched i have been able to google and read specs on.
     
  10. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Don't know about that Singer specifically but besides the Cobra 4 and a Ferdco Baby Bull, we have a Cobra 18 , a similar flatbed machine, only way newer. Its great for lightweight work, such as chaps, leggings, lining belts etc but ya can't do sheaths on it. Have done a couple holsters on it where you were doing two layers of 8/10 but it can't do three layers. We tried this because they were wanting colored contrasting thread and the lighter weight thread in this machine (138) is easier to find lots of colors in. While it did sew the holsters it was easier and better to find the color thread heavier (207) and use the bigger cylinder arm machines.

    Years ago we had a very similar machine as that Singer, for our seamstress to use, in making our wool vests. In fact it had the exact same table, looks like. We stopped making deerskin (3 oz), lined with Harris tweed (12 oz, but fabric), vests because this machine wasn't up to it. Kept breaking needles and my seamstress was gonna quit me. It would handle two layers of wool fine though. Even on a double wool vest there are certain seams where you have to stitch through 6 layers. Often times when they say "heavy or industrial" they mean for commercial clothing manufacturing. Designed to run all day, every day, but not necessarily for leather. Ya go down to the LA Garment District and you can still hear upper level floors of these things whirring, while you are shopping on the ground floor. Particularly on a warm day and they have all the windows upstairs open. They open the windows to keep the sweat out of the sweat shops.

    Anyhoo, keep your eyes open for a cylinder arm machine. Even if ya can sew the thickness, having a belt loop or something on the back puts an awkward twist in the leather as you are trying to sew, on a flatbed machine. You will CUSS it when your bottom stitches come out the side of your welt. Sewing along fine and bam, couple of three stitches feel weird and then sewing along fine. Ya cut your strings and turn your sheath over and find that those weird stitches didn't come out the bottom but fell off the edge because of the twist and are coming out the sides. Not really fixable. Flatbeds are for sewing flat things. Cylinder arms sew everything else.

    Many of these old Singers are popular with custom boot makers for stitching the patterns in boot tops but they are sewing two layers of 2/3 oz there. This pair I had made was done on an old Singer but I forget which one. The Singer is only used for the decorative stitching on the tops.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'd go bonkers trying to do that.
     
    Cowcatcher likes this.
  11. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    552
    Sep 27, 2014
    Wow....I hadn't even considered the possibilities of doing colored stitching like that.

    The info by all of you about flatbed machines, welts and belt loops have all helped a lot. I will do a bit more research and then head towards a machine that is more likely to suit my needs.
    Thanks,
     
    Horsewright and Cowcatcher like this.
  12. Cowcatcher

    Cowcatcher Gold Member Gold Member

    22
    Nov 11, 2018
    @Horsewright thats a dang nice pair of boots! I haven't splurged and got the extra stitch rows when ordering boots yet. Another thing interesting in your post to me was when you mentioned needing to use your smaller flatbed machine to run 138 thread. We run 138 in our Cobra 4 machines on thinner projects like purses quite often.
     
  13. Macan

    Macan

    287
    Apr 7, 2014
    I beleive you need Singer 45K with cilinder
     
  14. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Thanks here's the whole story on those guys:

    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/such-sharing-anothers-craftsmanship.1368401/

    Dang had to go back clear to page 51 to find that!

    Our Cobra 18 way predates the 4. Only had the 4 for about 6 weeks now. The Ferdco didn't really want to use the lighter threads. It was happy with the 207 or 277 and if using 207 it wants it to be Weaver thread. So we got the 18 for the wife to do some work making purses etc from left over chaps hides. Its been way more useful than that . Headstalls, feedbags, belts, chinks, chaps, woolies, charmitas etc. So keep it set up with the 138 and the 4 with the 207. Good to go.
     
    Cowcatcher likes this.

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