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: New here and have a question  ( 2842 )
ZonkerAbercrombie
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« : February 24, 2011, 10:01:36 AM »

Hello I am new here. I am just now getting into upholstry work.I am the kind of person who likes to do as much myself as possible. I've built my own cnc machines, experimental airplanes, motorcycles, casting some metal to build my own engine. When I was a kid my uncle restored old carriages. He did all the work including the upholstry. I used to watch him for hours, he did the interior for my first truck but that was a million years ago.
I am not likely to be doing massive amounts of work by any means but would like to be able to handle projects as they come up. I would ideally like to find a machine that I can use for uphosteryand  some clothing/costumery. I would like to be able to sew denim, clothing grade leather and perhaps some lighter weight tooling leather. Basically from jackets to interiors to motorcycle accessories.
The machine would probably get used a few times a month if that often.

I am looking at the Rex  607 and wondering if it would be capable of that? Also what experiences do people have with it? Since I would not be using it as a money making device but more a hobby,  is it something that would hold up for these uses?
ZonkerAbercrombie
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« #1 : February 24, 2011, 11:01:51 AM »

Also I wanted to ask what books and videos are recommended. I learned alot from my uncle but there's alot that has escaped me.
Mojo
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« #2 : February 24, 2011, 11:11:49 AM »

Welcome to the forum.

To be honest I have never heard of a Rex machine but I am sure others have and will give you their input.

I do suggest that you buy a machine that is capable of doing all facets of upholstery work. Buying a lightweight machine will only limit you in the future as to what you can do and it would be a waste of money to buy a marginal machine and then have to upgrade latter on.

I highly suggest you stay away from E-Bay when looking for a machine. While you maybe able to save yourself a few bucks, in the long run your going to screw yourself because of a lack of dealer support. Bob Kovar of Toledo Machine is a member of this forum and can help you select a machine that would best fit your work. He can be reached at 419-380-8540. He handles a lot of different makes of machines as well as sells used machines. He is an excellent resource for the person doing upholstery work.

Also do some searching on this forum under new machines. We have had a lot of newbies lately looking for new machines and there is a lot of good information on here.

Best of luck with your venture and once again welcome to the forum. We have some masters on this site who will be of tremendous help to you down the road.

Chris
Gregg @ Keystone Sewing
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« #3 : February 24, 2011, 01:12:39 PM »

Zonker,

For books and DVDs, visit this message board's book and DVD page.  Not only is it extensive and has good prices, but when you support this web site and those who show up and help to make it great, everybody wins!  Here is the linky; http://www.upholster.com/books/

The Rex you speak of is sold under a wide variety of names, the most popular is Sailrite, LZ-1 model.  

I sell one under the Reliable 2000U-33 Barracuda.  Same Same.

It's a good machine for what it's intended for, IMO, but not to be confused with  production level equipment.

Another issue from what I take is that you are looking really for both, in the ideal World, two machines; one a high speed single needle for garment works, fine materials and thread up to denim materials, and a canvas upholstery machine.

When people come into my shop who are on the fence, or do not know the difference, I sit them down on one of each, so they can see, feel, and touch the machine as it's operating.  Kind of like a car vs a truck, for lack of better description.  One does not do what the other can do.
« : February 24, 2011, 01:21:37 PM Gregg @ Keystone Sewing »
ZonkerAbercrombie
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« #4 : February 24, 2011, 01:41:00 PM »

Mojo and Gregg thank you both. Gregg I really actually meant/mean to buy from the store connected to the forum here, I was wondering more about if there is anything in particular that is a must read/see or if they are pretty good and just pick the subject matter that applies at the time.
And thank you for the info on machines.
Actually the reason I asked the question was to find out if there is a possibility of something more or less middle of the road. I am not likely to be dealing seriously fine cloths denim would probably be the finest I would be doing nor am I likely at anypoint in the foreseeable future to be doing anything heavier than perhaps 6 oz leather. And speed is not a real matter for me. As a high school teacher I find summers and holidays give me an ample amount of time for my projects.
I do appreciate the answer. Thanks.
Mojo
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« #5 : February 25, 2011, 08:31:11 AM »

My first machine was similar to the Reliable or Rex. I about killed it sewing different heavy fabrics.

As Greg suggested it is a good machine for light fabrics but will not stand up to the heavy stuff. My best advice is to look for something else. There are tons of good machines out there that will fit your purpose.
We tend to be a Highlead, Juki, Pfaff group but you should also consider the Chandler, Consew and Seiko brands which are very tough and reliable machines.

I would hate to see you make the same mistake I did and go out and buy a marginal machine and then end up doing what I had to do and buy a bigger and better machine. Save yourself some money and alot of headaches and buy right the first time.

When you do buy a machine then contact Bob Kovar or Greg.

Chris
bobbin
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« #6 : February 25, 2011, 10:02:11 AM »

I am glad you said that, Mojo because there are a lot of very good machines on the market.  I work on a Consew 255RB that is probably 15 yrs. old and while it's nothing really special it performs like a champ day in and day out. 

I was thinking about this thread last night.  If you are not planning on doing a ton of rugged leather work I would suggest you look at a machine that doesn't have a walking foot but does have a needle feed option.  Sometimes the action of the walking foot is the thing that tends to compromise lighter weight work on them.  I often use my needle feed machine instead of the walking foot for lighter upholstery work.  It's wonderful for clothing, too. 

The key will be to make sure you have different feeds and the throat plates that fit them.  I have a fine feed and a much coarser one for my needle feed machine.  And I stock a variety of needle sizes for it, too.  I have everything from a 12-18 for it and with some tension tinkering  I can move from blouse fabric to furniture weight upholstery fabric in a few minutes.   
Gregg @ Keystone Sewing
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« #7 : February 25, 2011, 10:10:26 AM »

I am glad you said that, Mojo because there are a lot of very good machines on the market.  I work on a Consew 255RB that is probably 15 yrs. old and while it's nothing really special it performs like a champ day in and day out. 

Bobbin,

I disagree; Consew 255RB series is Consew's flagship walking foot, large bobbin model, and is as good as any on the market IMO.

You have a great machine there.
Mojo
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« #8 : February 25, 2011, 11:08:40 AM »

I just mentioned it Bobbin not because I do not like the other machines but simply because for a newbie who may read our forum pages they would come away with the idea that only Juki's, Highleads and Pfaff's are used by upholsterers. :)

I know I was amazed at the many different machines out there when I started looking for an upgrade. I didn't have a clue as to what machine was what and was ready to pull the trigger on a Highlead based on what Greg and others said. If Greg would have mentioned the Chandler to me then he would have completed the sale...........LOL. I spoke to both of them and didn't pit one against the other. I just wanted both of their opinions. To be sure Bob and Greg's prices are identical so there is really no saving money by going to one or the other.

I am the type of guy who when making a large purchase will research things to death. A
$ 1,000 machine is a large purchase for me. After doing some research I found that there were a whole lot of other machines out there that perform flawlessly, are reliable and built with quality. I didn't know anything about Chandler Machines until Bob commented on them. I thought they were some off brand POS. Turns out they are extremely rugged and have some very nice features. I also liked the price. I was grateful Bob mentioned it and steered me towards it as I am completely satisfied with mine.

I know that it really pays to take your time and do some research and call the experts to talk with them. They may not be stitchers like us but they know what is out there and in Bob's case they know what is working in clients settings, especially with his institutional and industrial customers. They also know which machines are experiencing problems and which ones are not. The only machines we know about are the ones we have used or are using at the moment. :)

Actually we are lucky to have a very supportive and knowledgeable dealer network on this forum with Bob and Greg and I really like the fact that we have a choice between the two. It really helps to sit and talk on the phone with one of them about your machine needs. ( I found my experience in doing so was very educational and I also found I didn't know jack sh** about machines. :)

Chris
bobbin
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« #9 : February 25, 2011, 11:54:39 AM »

My only beef with the Consew 255RB is the stitch length adjustment.  I like a dial.   It's a a basic walking foot machine with reverse that chugs along reliably every day.   And you can't fault that. 

I have a Chandler button sewing machine, Mojo and it was actually made in the USA, too.  A hand crank model that sews either 2 or 4 hole buttons.  It was free and works fine. 
Mojo
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« #10 : February 25, 2011, 12:33:37 PM »

There are so many machines you there that its impossible to keep rack of them all.

Making it even harder is the fact that many are copies of another. Some are made on the same assembly line and have different badging. The majority are made in China these days.

The Chandler and the Seiko I believe are identical. Alot of the parts from a Consew 206rb-5 will fit the Chandler 406 rb. That was a big consideration for me when I was making my purchase. I didn't want a machine that would make it expensive or hard to find parts for, especially the attachments.

I do not know how these dealers can keep all the machines straight ( who is making what, where, etc. ).

A hilarious story I heard was that the same family owns the Consew and Chandler brands. They are brothers but cannot stand each other and wont speak to each other. Yet you look at their machines and they look alot alike. :)

Maybe Greg knows but, with some of these machines they look identical but have different names. Do companies buy the rights to make a machine and then slap their brand plate on them or do they just steal the design ?

Chris

 
Gregg @ Keystone Sewing
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« #11 : February 25, 2011, 12:36:45 PM »

My only beef with the Consew 255RB is the stitch length adjustment.  I like a dial.   It's a a basic walking foot machine with reverse that chugs along reliably every day.   And you can't fault that. 

I have a Chandler button sewing machine, Mojo and it was actually made in the USA, too.  A hand crank model that sews either 2 or 4 hole buttons.  It was free and works fine. 

Most machines of that era used the same confusing stitch length indicator, Singer 111W, Juki LU-563, and dozens of models more.  Stitch length dial is a real improvement in that you can see visually what it's set at, and you are don't have to remove the work to shorten the stitch.  You should do this because turning the hand wheel opposite of sewing with work in to shorten the stitch can jam the machine.  Not to mention the button is confusing with the safety clutch reset button on the right side.  New model 255RB-4 has a dial now.


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