Mountain Buzz banner
1 - 11 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Ok...two posts in row....

So...for you experienced guys...what are the staple materials you use? Buying a few yards of something special seems good when you need it but is there something you use a ton of enough to justify buying a roll of it? Rolls seem to be around $500 for the commonly used fabrics I've seen and that is pretty daunting... but as people have said already...its nice to have stuff on hand.
I rarely buy less than 10 yards of anything at one time.

Just my advice, as someone who does this part-time professionally.

It’s ok to spend a little more on fabric to get better quality. Buying the cheapest mesh will leave you wishing you had spent a little more for something nicer. I also prefer polyester webbing over polypropylene, but its harder to find, and the stuff I use isn’t available in small quantities (I have to buy 500 yards at a time)

Again, seek out your local tarp/awning shop. “Scraps” from such shops usually means anything too small to make a whole tarp out of and are often large enough to do several projects out of one piece..

When sewing mesh:

1. Leave a seam allowance of at least 1/2” or you risk pulling seams. Generally more seam for more open mesh.

2. High quality mesh makes sewing and cutting straight lines really easy, just follow the warp/weft with sharp scissors and save time marking and measuring.

3. Short stitches are more secure, it’s worth taking the time to double, or even triple stitch most seams. My rule of thumb is to match the stitch length to the mesh yarn count. One stitch per yarn in the mesh.

4. For even more robust seams, you can cut it with a hot knife to seal the edges AFTER sewing. (be sure you have adequate ventilation when melting pvc)

The mode of seam failure is most often the polyester fibers pulling out of their PVC coating, melting the ends of the fibers prevents this.

5. Pinning webbing to mesh may result in Puckering. Webbing shortens when you sew it. Consider pre-sewing your webbing before you sew it to mesh, or just marking your mesh clearly and develop the technique to avoid puckering.


For other woven fabrics: Nylon doesn’t really like UV and will fade and degrade faster, though it is more mechanically durable than polyester. 600 denier Polyester is considerably cheaper and a fine choice for most articles of river gear. Polyester also dries faster.

Use polyester thread for anything that will see lots of sun time.

I could give away all my trade secrets, but what would be the point? A guys gotta make a living and maintain an edge over his competitors.

Happy sewing.

One more thing, buy a $10,000 electronic pattern sewing machine for serial bartacking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Sweet... already off to a good start and can't wait to see how it goes. Its gonna be awesome seeing everyone's projects and how they make them and the trials and tribulations.

I just picked up this Juki LU-562 Walking Foot machine about a month ago...

View attachment 73181

This is my first sewing machine and really my first time sewing stuff for real. I've messed around on a friends once or twice and I worked for Wildwasser back in the day and they had a bunch of industrial machines but they had them set up for professional sewers and they were blazing fast. You can sort of see another table next to it and that is a Yamata straight sewing machine (I think thats the term...who knows)that belongs to a buddy. Its a lot more finicky then mine. He has more experience and stuff for all of this....so it's been nice to have someone here to show me the ropes. He is actually the one who found the Juki and was gonna buy it but couldn't afford it...so I got it. I feel like I got a pretty good deal on it...it was half the price of any of the other ones I've seen for sale in the area.

It has been fun learning how it all works and what I like and don't like. This one actually had a fairly easy to use clutch motor on it...but it was still a bit too hair trigger for my taste so I bit the bullet and got a Servo Motor for it. Super controllable now. Its punching power isn't as great anymore but very controllable and easy to use. I may end up making a double pulley speed reducer setup for it in the future but we'll see.

Since this is my first time owning a machine or doing any sewing I'm still in the "gathering materials" stage and learning all the differences between threads, needles, presser feet, materials, and machine attachments and upgrades. My buddy has some of that stuff...but he's kind of a cheap ass so its not always the best quailty. I picked @Bootboy 's brain a little bit about what needles and thread to start off with and order a few colors in Tex90 Poly thread. I also got a spool of Tex135 just to try it. Probably overkill, but we'll see. I think the Tex90 stuff should do for me.

I have a ton of ideas for projects so I'll be buying some fabric and hardware for sure. Any pointers for places around Denver Metro that are DIYer friendly like Peterson would be greatly appreciated. So far I've been messing around with a learning the machine but you can only run lines down scrap fabric so long before it gets old and you aren't really learning anything. I've hemmed a bunch of pants that were fraying and done a few other repairs on things but haven't done a project. Lots of Youtube watching and trying to learn how it all goes.... definitely some deep rabbit holes to go down with this.

I think I'll start out with a few mesh projects and go from there. I think an ultimate goal is to make custom pyramid tent for my Dory. All the ones I've found so far are either way too wide or not tall enough. I have a few ideas about how to maintain interior room using multiple poles but we'll see. I need to learn a bunch more before I tackle that big of a project.

Haha....last thing I'll say is that it seems like sewing machines are like a lot of other tools... once you have one... you always want another one. I'd love to maybe pick up a Cylinder style machine and would love to have a pattern sewer too. I've been kicking myself for not going to check out this Juki AMS machine that someone had up for $200 the other day. Definitely keeping my eye out for those kinda machines in the future.
The $200 Juki AMS isn’t worth the trouble. Going to be pretty clapped out for that price. You also can’t program it yourself without $500 software and an e-eprom writer. You’ll also incur the cost of having to outsource custom clamping. You’re looking at a minimum of $300 per custom clamp.

I have 3 very nice custom clamps and about 50 custom programs and it all cost me $1800 on top of my machine price. Pattern machines get very expensive in a hurry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Thanks for starting this thread missiongravity!

I'm in the process of making a mesh floor for JPW Cutthroat. The JPW frame doesn't work for me, so I'm sourcing that elsewhere (Whitewater Machine Works).

I plan to use 10 oz vinyl 11x11 mesh with 1.5" wide 22 oz vinyl coated polyester on the edges. The mesh will be sandwiched between 2 layers of the fabric with grommets every 4-6". That will be attached to the frame with 1/2" webbing.

I ordered some extra materials and made a small mock up to do some destructive testing to see what is likely to fail first. I used the 1/2" all-thread to pull it far tighter than when it will be installed in the cat frame.

My biggest concern is with the grommets- the vinyl fabric was elongating a bit around them a bit. It seemed like they might come out of the holes in the fabric. The grommets are just the basic ones from Amazon. Amazon.com They are the ones you set with a hammer so there is a higher likelihood of inconsistently set grommets.

I looked at some of the $50-70 Chinese grommet presses on Amazon- most have comments that the grommets for that press are brass cover steel. Which means they will rust sooner or later. And coming from China, I'm guessing it will be sooner. Comments indicate that grommets from other companies don't fit in the dies for those basic presses.

CS Osborne has a very nice looking press for $180. But each set of dies for different size grommets will set you back another $85 or so. Of course the CS Osborne grommets are also much more expensive.

Has anyone come up with a press that uses decent grommets without being overly expensive?
Don’t bother with a press for one project.

Spend your money on a good set of hand dies. Get rolled rim grommets and spur washers from CS Osborne. These have teeth that actually positively engage with the fabric for a much stronger connection.

The CS Osborne hand dies and punches are lifetime tools that your kids will inherit. For half inch webbing, you’re probably looking at a number #2 or #3 grommet.

The spur washer grommets (2series) have their own corresponding dies(217-x) So in your case, 217-2 or 217-3

As for grommet nomenclature, it’s color, series, and size. G=brass, N=nickel plated, B=black oxide.

N2-2 is a number 2 nickel plated grommet.
B2-3 is a number 3 black oxide grommet. And so on.

Not as big of a deal in coated fabrics, but it doesn’t hurt to punch your holes with and undersized punch and then enlarge them by melting/sealing the edges with a soldering iron. This can dramatically reduce the chance of tear-out.

Also, webbing is fine, but I’d avoid nylon. It will stretch and rot.. I’d recommend 5mm solid braid polyester cord. (Same stuff oars are often wrapped with)

Hope this helps.

My #217-2 die View attachment 73192
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
I want some of that, Seattle fabrics charges $32/yard for Phifer Plus, that includes shipping and assuming you ordered 6 yards - although if it's $40 before shipping, hmmm.

I got some mesh with a pair of Black Diamond skins (they call them skin savers) that I bought last year, after multiple emails nobody could give me a source, one person mentioned the mesh was probably sourced "overseas". Looks similar but yours looks like bigger squares and thicker coating.


View attachment 73323
The stuff I have is European. It’s about 4 squares per inch. Hard to come by, but perfectly square and very tough.

Look for an importer of Mehler products.(they make Aire’s boat fabric)

Currently working on drag bags and a cargo floor with it.

That skin saver mesh is kinda nice (I own some bd skins) but is most definitely going to be from China and nearly impossible to source without connections.

Several river gear makers use this stuff. I’ve used it for other stuff as well. It’s a pretty good option.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
The local classifieds has the ability to send you an email based on keywords, got a hit on Consew yesterday and picked up this new looking 206RB-2 made by Seiko in the 90's. Manual oiling but that's preferred as I will go for a while between projects. I can mostly control it via the clutch motor but I don't need or want that speed.

Planning on asking my local shop (Daines in SLC) for a recommendation on servo motors tomorrow, does anybody here have a favorite?

View attachment 73892


Didn't even break a sweat with 5 layers of polypro as expected, I think if you can fit it under the foot it will sew...
View attachment 73891
Nice score. Last generation of the Japanese made consew 206, I believe. By the looks of the paint, that machine has seen very little use. You’ll have it for life or until you decide to upgrade. Great workhorse machines.

Daine’s will likely recommend an Efka or Mitsubishi servo motor. Both are very expensive and not worth it on that machine. I’ve had great luck with the generic DC servo motors found on eBay for $120.

I have a consew digital servo motor on one of my machines that’s also great and considerably torquey-er. Paid about $165.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Parts for the Consew 206 are ubiquitous and will be available for a long time. If any machine will have parts available after the apocalypse, it’s this one. One reason I have one. Although it’s next in line for an upgrade at the end of the year. Looking at either a Mitsubishi LU2, or a Seiko LSW with automatic functions. Many Chinese clones of these machine also guarantee parts availability indefinitely

As for binding, I have a juki 246 clone. It does fine but struggles to walk over thick, bound seams. To gain the synchronized binding function, you lose the drop feed action on the bottom, but you retain the needle feed and walking foot.

I really wish I had the binding specific version of my heavier cylinder bed - Seiko LCW-8BL-1. The sister machine is the Consew 287RB-2 (mechanical parts are all made by seiko, buts it’s a Chinese casting these days.)

I love my seiko. It’s smooth, strong, walks over anything I put under it, and it has a HUGE U-size bobbin. Plus, I got it as a demo (see new) for a steal, though I did have to make a table top and buy legs/motor for it.

Gas Gadget Audio equipment Metal Machine

Sewing machine feet Sewing machine Sewing Household appliance accessory Sewing machine needle



Truth be told though, if price and parts weren’t an issue, I’d run exclusively Dürkopp Adler machines. Simply amazing.

Maybe one day I’ll show you the 300lb Juki electronic pattern sewing machine I have in my shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
Hmm... so I think I might have found an older Juki Bartack machine for a reasonable price. Should make strap work a breeze but I'm also kind of wondering whether its overkill for my needs and not thrilled about it being a "uni-tasker" sort of machine. It does an amazing job doing the job it does but not much good for anything else. I guess I could start blasting out a line of straps and such to pay for it.

Thoughts?
Probably not worth it. Bartacks look nice but unless you’re doing production work, it’s hard to justify. The old mechanical tackers can be a gamble too. If the cams or rollers are too worn you’ll break needles and ruin your project. Buying and paying to install replacement cams will be at least twice what you pay for the machine.

For quality strap work that you’d be selling, you want an programmable electronic machine that does serial tacks. Stacking single tacks is hard to make look nice and gets pretty tedious. Better to just use the reverse lever on your straight stitch machine
 
1 - 11 of 15 Posts
Top