Which Sewing Machine?

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by i4Marc, Aug 1, 2020 at 10:15 AM.

  1. i4Marc

    i4Marc

    Oct 19, 2011
    If I was to look for a used sewing machine for leather work AND other projects as well, what features should I be looking for? Walking foot? Heavy thread capability? Straight stitch/other stitches? Slow feed rates? Ability to remove the work surface to manipulate the work piece around a tubular base/arm (I don't know what it's called)? What brands/models to look for on the used market...Juki, Consew, Singer? I know there are dedicated Leather sewing machines you guys use but they are typically pretty expensive (for me). I'm thinking something on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace that I might find for a bargain. So, give me a list of desirable features and a list of specific sewing machine models to keep an eye out for.
     
  2. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    Marc, If all you want is the capability to sew sheath edges and other thicker pieces, then Look at machines similar or the same as the Cobra 4, or Cobra 3, (Juki clones). These are cylinder stitchers and most have as an accessory the flat table attachment available. Many people say, and i do not agree, that you can sew lighter weight pieces on these. It is possible, but you have to change thread, needle and tensions and even then the probability of less than acceptable result s is almost a sure thing. I have the Cobra 4 and the Cobra 18 flat bed in my shop and I use each daily and highly recommend each for their intended tasks. The Cobra 4 is best with 207, 277, and 346 or heavier threads, and the Cobra 18 excels with 69, and 138 threads in each case with the appropriate needle. The Cobra 18 tops out at about 3/8" thickness and the Cobra 4 will handle an honest 7/8" with no strain. Go to Leather Machine Co. web site and study the specs and then try to find the features on a machine/s in the used market. I personally am not a fan of used machines, because i'm not sure of their work history/reliability, no warranty, no one really to go to if there is a problem. None of these are a factor when dealing with the good folks at Leather Machine Company. Their commitment to their customers and service AFTER the sale is flawless and second to none. I have had years of trouble free use with my Cobras. My volume of work makes the prices amortize VERY quickly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 5:15 PM
  3. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    To the OP, I’ve seen Sheathmaker(s) Work. Listen to what he suggests! As a knife maker! Buy the best machine you can possibly afford! Cheap machines usually give cheap results!
     
    tinfoil hat timmy likes this.
  4. i4Marc

    i4Marc

    Oct 19, 2011
    I was afraid you guys were going to sat that. Thanks.
     
  5. Horsewright

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

    Oct 4, 2011

    Marc I agree. Go with the Cobra 4 for sheath making. I wouldn't mess with looking for a used machine. Seems like even more than a used car you often are just buying someone else's problems. I can attest to the after sale service from these folks too. They are exceptional.


    We too, like Paul, have two machines the Cobra 4 and the Cobra 18. The 4 does all the sheaths, holsters, rifle scabbards etc and the 18 does all the lighter. On my 4 I just got the basic package with the regular foot and the roller guide. I haven't ever needed all the other things.
     

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