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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Bootboy killing it in here! Nice work and greatly appreciated.

MT4Runner dropping some bombs as well.

Some things I have learned and also to elaborate on BootBoy.

DO NOT waste your time with the mesh that Joanns sells. Source some real deal heavy mesh. In my opinion the heavier the better. I made a lot of stuff early on from that Joanns junk and it died within one season. Seams tore out, it ripped easily, it could not handle having handles sewn to it without a lot of support sewn in. It abraded easily as well.

The heaviest thread you can run, run it. I used to sew everything with a V69 weight thread thinking that it was pretty substantial. My small thread these days is a V92 and my go to thread is a V138. Bonded Polyester is best unless you really wanna lay out the cash for Tenara, you will watch the item that it is sewn with disintegrate around the thread
. Stay away from nylon, it has been mentioned a few times about the draw backs.

The same goes for webbing, nylon will stretch when wet, it will rot and it will fade nearly immediately. I have sewn a lot of stuff with NRS webbing because I can get it relatively cheaply and it lasts well. However the solid color non NRS labeled webbing they sell fades quickly and gets a bit stiff as well. Avoid it. If you can find a good source for a densely woven polypropylene that is the best option.

Another great source for highly durable fade resistant webbing is old seat belts cut from junk yard cars. Back seats are better as they generally see less use. The junk yard I cut at allows me to cut as many as I want for $10. Take them home and toss them in the wash and voila...great webbing for cheap.
 

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Trampoline pad question. I've made a few covers and odds/ends out of a couple pads that I've salvaged. Sews fine using clamps and framer's layout marks to continually adjust for differing stretch between fabric and straps. A bit stiff and funky, but that works for me so far.

Looking to go big with a couple drop bag projects, but not sure if I should go with a commercial fabric ($$) or use what I have on hand. Don't want to waste a half-day or more sewing and ripping and sewing again (thanks for the design and tutorial gwhayduke) only to end up with something that is marginally useful because I saved a few bucks on fabric.

Tricks or Tips?
 

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This thread has me shopping for sewing machines even though I don't know how to sew and not at all crafty. Keep sharing so I can live vicariously through everyone's skills and creativity
You gotta start somewhere! I picked up a Singer Heavy Duty about a year ago with no knowledge on how to use one. I've done a couple small projects so far and just need to get some material for some bigger ones.
 

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I got really excited when I saw this post the other night. I got this 30+ year old brother from my in-laws for free (they own a draperies business In The Midwest) She can be a little bit finicky but I believe all sewing machines will be at some point. I had general sewing knowledge from home economics class and use my wife as a resource when I need help with order of operations. My first real project was cooler and dry box covers made out of vinyl coated nylon and that took me a while. I have made a lot of grocery bags and cup holders for gifts for family and friends. I have also made about 1/2 a dozen drop bags in various sizes for friends and neighbors, a few random size roll top stuff sacks for things like shade tents and tarps and have repaired a lot of mine and others gear. And of course a few kitchen floors, dish drying racks and utensils rolls.
The first round of material I learned with was from Joanne’s and it was ok but I was looking for something a little more heavy duty and colorful. I have pretty much exclusively been ordering my material from Seattle fabrics for the last three years as I moved back to the mountains. I will agree their cost/shipping is high but I can order everything I need from one place (except foam) and I consider that worth it for convenience. I’ll try to line up 2-3 projects and a few dream projects for every order (200-300$) I have had friends/family pay me for the things I have made and I pretty much turn around and spend that money on more material. I now have a large surplus of material with the exception of webbing which I always seem to use alot of.
Some advice I’ll give don’t pick a project with a round shape or a zipper for your first few projects.
Here’s some pictures of my space and projects.
 

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I also add, I make my drop bags almost the same way as gwhayduke but I make them out of one large piece of material and double the material up on the whole bag. Makes for a much stiffer and durable finished product. Get a large roll of white or brown paper and cut out a paper template first , takes more time but less chance of wasting some material. Also the hardest part of making a drop bag for a friend is getting reliable measurements of the space they want it for. The last few I have been just measuring the space on their boat myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
To follow up on what folks are talking about as far as material goes. The pfifertex is pretty dang good stuff and is an industry standard. It seems to hold up to pretty heavy use. I tend to be an over the topper when I build stuff. I am currently using 18 wheeler/trucker mesh. They use this stuff to cover dump trucks, trash trucks etc. It can handle flapping in the wind at 70mph and definitely handles abrasion really well. I found a supplier for it on the east coast but for some reason cannot access that email account at the moment to get the contact info.

I found it at a shop outside of Las Vegas originally, they cut and sew tarps for truckers. They were kind enough to sell it to me at around $18/yard at the time(2020). I searched and searched and eventually found the manufacturer and they sell it at $6/yard but with a hefty minimum of 100 yards(Group Buy?). I will try and get more info about materials soon.
 

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Looking to go big with a couple drop bag projects, but not sure if I should go with a commercial fabric ($$) or use what I have on hand. Don't want to waste a half-day or more sewing and ripping and sewing again (thanks for the design and tutorial gwhayduke) only to end up with something that is marginally useful because I saved a few bucks on fabric.

Tricks or Tips?
I made a drop bag for a 150 qt Rubbermaid cooler and used Phifertex Plus ordered from Seattle Fabrics. Probably overkill. Contents of a drop bag are hanging from the frame on the webbing that spans the width of the bag. This means the weakest link is the stitching for the cam buckle or the webbing that goes through the buckle, or the buckle itself. Polyester webbing and quality cam buckles are a good idea or if the drop bag lives on the frame just omit the cam buckles and use stainless sliders.

I'm glad I used cam buckles so I could raise my cooler easily for two low water trips last year.

My opinion, which could be totally wrong, is that trampoline material will be fine, avoid sharp edges when loading like any drop bag.
 

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This mesh is my secret weapon,
But at $40/yard, I have to use it sparingly.
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.


Calipers Font Line Measuring instrument Mesh
 

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If you're on the front range of Colorado, Rockywoods Fabrics here in Loveland has a great selection of fabrics. I worked next door to them for almost 10 years and they have plenty of good sized scraps for mesh projects, cordua, webbing, you name it. It's not all on their website, but they would get multiple pallets a day of different fabrics coming in and out. Justin is head dude and will be able to help you out if needed.
Zach
 

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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.

 

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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
Phifertex Plus can be found on fabric.com, an Amazon company, for $20-24 and free shipping....for what its worth.

I personally would prefer to use something other then black mesh...so that is a requirement. I'm leaning towards white or a light tan for whatever I make with grey webbing since that'll be matchy matchy with my white Aire 146DD. Its cool to see the different fabrics though. I'm pretty sure the NRS mesh "floor" that I've mostly used as extra security for my TRS Everything bag is made of that Superman HD stuff. At $25/yard....I'd probably just use Phifertex Plus though.

Anybody know what Whitewater Designs uses for their drop bag stuff? Pretty sure Stitches n STuff and Tuff River Stuff use Phifertex as well as Good Vibes but none of them say what brand mesh they use. I haven't seen the multi-color stuff online... so maybe hard to say. Good Vibes uses a nylon fabric in combination with some of their stuff. Seems like Cordura but might be a similar generic brand. I know and boat with the folks from Good Vibes so its kinda tempting to buy a small roll of the stuff from them. I have products from TRS and Good Vibes and Whitewater Designs and I know it all holds up super well....so whatever they use would be great to get.
 

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Phifertex Plus can be found on fabric.com, an Amazon company, for $20-24 and free shipping....for what its worth.

I personally would prefer to use something other then black mesh...so that is a requirement. I'm leaning towards white or a light tan for whatever I make with grey webbing since that'll be matchy matchy with my white Aire 146DD. Its cool to see the different fabrics though. I'm pretty sure the NRS mesh "floor" that I've mostly used as extra security for my TRS Everything bag is made of that Superman HD stuff. At $25/yard....I'd probably just use Phifertex Plus though.

Anybody know what Whitewater Designs uses for their drop bag stuff? Pretty sure Stitches n STuff and Tuff River Stuff use Phifertex as well as Good Vibes but none of them say what brand mesh they use. I haven't seen the multi-color stuff online... so maybe hard to say. Good Vibes uses a nylon fabric in combination with some of their stuff. Seems like Cordura but might be a similar generic brand. I know and boat with the folks from Good Vibes so its kinda tempting to buy a small roll of the stuff from them. I have products from TRS and Good Vibes and Whitewater Designs and I know it all holds up super well....so whatever they use would be great to get.
Know any interior designers? See if you they can get you some Chilewich. It comes both backed as flooring and unbacked as wallcovering. Multi-color, woven pattern vinyl. Similar material as Phifertex, but denser.

Some of the Phifertex wicker weaves and Textilene look pretty appealing:
 

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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?

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



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...
Tire Wood Automotive tire Tool Floor
 

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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.
 

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Sweet...NEW MACHINE DAY!

This is the servo motor I got... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016EJ1WB6?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

Reasonable price and came with everything needed. I also got a 25mm pulley so it pushed a little harder and can go REALLY slow if you want it to. Night and day difference in speed and controllability for my novice abilities

I've been doing some small projects with my Juki. Made a bag for a pump and a custom harness for one of my dogs that likes to escape the store bought ones and a bunch of other stuff. A buddy has been making custom journals with it for his clients.

I'm on the lookout for a Cylinder Machine with a binding attachment for a reaosnable price for a hobbyist. I've actually seen a few of the same machines as mine go for up for sale and seeing their asking price leads me to believe that I got a REALLY good deal on mine. Also saw a guy on one of the Facebook sewing machine mechanic pages who found three of them collecting dust in the back of a clients workshop that they just gave to him...so I guess its all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
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
As others have said, do the motor swap yourself! You can find them on Amazon very easily. I cannot overstate how awesome a needle positioner can be!! You can buy a motor that has one with it. You can program it to stop needle up or needle down. I prefer needle down as I use the feature mostly to turn corners etc. Simple stomp downward on the treadle with your heel and it stops the needle at the top of the stroke. SO handy. A reducer pulley on the motor is also a very nice feature and really does not cost much.
 
RMR, Hyside, NRS, Sawyer, K2 coolers, Whitewater Worthy Trailers, Frames and soft goods
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Make sure you find out if you can get parts for any machine you’re interested in.

I had a brother that would sew like a raped ape but they don’t longer produced hooks for the machine.

Another thing to look at is whether the base of the machine is a standard size. It really only matters if you’re going all the way down the rabbit hole, but the brother was not. In a production environment it is important to not have downtime if one machine bellies up. Since I have limited space I don’t want to have more than one table/motor. The set up I have now allows me to switch heads and keep moving if something breaks… If it has moving parts it will break usually when you’re on a daily deadline.
 

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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.
 
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