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Sewing Sails?

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  • David Ryan
    FBBB -- My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think Trading Spaces ) Right
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 29, 2002
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      FBBB --

      My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
      something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
      "Trading Spaces")

      Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
      for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would be
      suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?

      YIBB,

      David
      --

      C.E.P.
      415 W.46th Street
      New York, New York 10036
      http://www.crumblingempire.com
      Mobile (646) 325-8325
      Office (212) 247-0296
    • pvanderwaart
      ... My experience with sewing is quite limited. I had no trouble sewing polytarp sails on a home machine once an knowledgeable person gave me the right thread.
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 29, 2002
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        > Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
        > for $99.99.

        My experience with sewing is quite limited. I had no trouble sewing
        polytarp sails on a home machine once an knowledgeable person gave me
        the right thread. The only problem was that I was sewing through
        carpet tape and the adhesive gummed things up a little.

        The problem with sails is that sometimes, a very big piece of cloth
        has to go between the needle and the (whatever y'call it) upright
        portion of the machine. Usually the sail is rolled, but that causes
        problems too with the patches losing alignment. I think there is an
        interesting FAQ on the Sailrite site.

        For sails, you want a ziz-zag feature. I might also check out if it
        has any advice or special attachments for upholstery. Curtains are
        more common that sails, I imagine, at least at Walmart.

        Peter
      • proaconstrictor
        You can do some prodigious sewing on a simple machine. Follow the basic sailrite instructions. There is some thread lubrication advice that made all the
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 29, 2002
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          You can do some prodigious sewing on a simple machine. Follow the
          basic sailrite instructions. There is some thread lubrication advice
          that made all the difference, when using a small domestic machine.
          You do strain the motor a little, so get something like a Sears with
          a good waranty. Idealy find a mcahine that fits an aftermarket hand
          crank. It is easier to crank your way through large material
          buildups at reefing points and so forth, rather than trying to get
          the motor to surge through them.



          ee--- In bolger@y..., David Ryan <david@c...> wrote:
          > FBBB --
          >
          > My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
          > something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
          > "Trading Spaces")
          >
          > Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
          > for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would
          be
          > suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?
          >
          > YIBB,
          >
          > David
          > --
          >
          > C.E.P.
          > 415 W.46th Street
          > New York, New York 10036
          > http://www.crumblingempire.com
          > Mobile (646) 325-8325
          > Office (212) 247-0296
        • Chance Curtis
          Have her check out old treddle sewing machines. Amish here still use them . I use mine to sew leather, and parts are still available. They run $50 -$100 at
          Message 4 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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            Have her check out old treddle sewing machines. Amish here still use them . I use mine to sew leather, and parts are still available. They run $50 -$100 at auctions around here.
            CCG
            David Ryan wrote:FBBB --

            My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
            something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
            "Trading Spaces")

            Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
            for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would be
            suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?

            YIBB,

            David
            --

            C.E.P.
            415 W.46th Street
            New York, New York 10036
            http://www.crumblingempire.com
            Mobile (646) 325-8325
            Office (212) 247-0296

            Bolger rules!!!
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            - add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts and <snip> away
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          • Derek Waters
            Hi David The Brother weighs about 12 lbs. Sewing your sails will be a more pleasant experience on an old iron head - they tip the scales around 40 lbs and
            Message 5 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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              Hi David

              The Brother weighs about 12 lbs. Sewing your sails will be a more pleasant
              experience on an old iron head - they tip the scales around 40 lbs and don't
              get pushed around quite as easily. Sewing machine places often have them
              real cheap, having taken them as trade-ins. Just my 2c.

              Cheers
              Derek
            • sanmi
              I sewed my 90 sqft sail with my wife s necchi home model with no extra stuff. I kind of burnt up the motor. These days, I can still sew cuffs on my pants,
              Message 6 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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                I sewed my 90 sqft sail with my wife's necchi home model with no
                extra stuff. I kind of burnt up the motor. These days, I can still
                sew cuffs on my pants, but when I sewed my bimini, the motor started
                smelling after a bit and I had to let it cool down before each long
                seam. I saw some replacement motors on ebay for less than $20, so
                I'll probably get one of those before my next project.

                Frank

                --- In bolger@y..., David Ryan <david@c...> wrote:
                > FBBB --
                >
                > My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
                > something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
                > "Trading Spaces")
                >
                > Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
                > for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would
                be
                > suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?
                >
                > YIBB,
                >
                > David
                > --
                >
                > C.E.P.
                > 415 W.46th Street
                > New York, New York 10036
                > http://www.crumblingempire.com
                > Mobile (646) 325-8325
                > Office (212) 247-0296
              • XROMAD
                My suggestion exactly. We picked up an old Bernina at a sewing shop and it has been running strong ever since. It doesn t have a lot of fancy stitches but it
                Message 7 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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                  My suggestion exactly. We picked up an old
                  Bernina at a sewing shop and it has been
                  running strong ever since. It doesn't have
                  a lot of fancy stitches but it is heavy
                  and strong. I have done polytarp, leather,
                  dacron, canvas, vinyl, plastic, and many
                  other materials. The few times It strained
                  to do the work, I just lubricated the needle and
                  thread and it was happy again.

                  Brent

                  --- In bolger@y..., "Derek Waters" <dgw@d...> wrote:
                  > Hi David
                  >
                  > The Brother weighs about 12 lbs. Sewing your sails will be a more
                  pleasant
                  > experience on an old iron head - they tip the scales around 40 lbs
                  and don't
                  > get pushed around quite as easily. Sewing machine places often have them
                  > real cheap, having taken them as trade-ins. Just my 2c.
                  >
                  > Cheers
                  > Derek
                • Robert Womble
                  Most sewing machines nowadays have the strength to do work of this type, but the stitch spacing cannot open up enough to do Canvas or leather. What we are
                  Message 8 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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                    Most sewing machines nowadays have the strength to do work of this type,
                    but the stitch spacing cannot open up enough to do Canvas or leather. What
                    we are hoping to do is buy a used school machine at tax time next year.
                    They are inexpensive, very versatile, and Heavy duty enough for whatever
                    abuse I put it through. The other option is finding an old Singer Cobblers
                    machine, if you find a foot pedal model, you can even sew in the boat.

                    >David Signalled:
                    >My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
                    >something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
                    >"Trading Spaces")
                    >Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
                    >for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would be
                    >suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?
                  • Paul Lefebvre
                    I ll chime in on this thread, I d owned 5 sewing machines before I finally got my first table saw, 4 of em were oldies I got for free and restored myself. I
                    Message 9 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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                      I'll chime in on this thread, I'd owned 5 sewing machines before I finally
                      got my first table saw, 4 of 'em were oldies I got for free and restored
                      myself. I learned to sew Frostline kits (down jacket, backpacks, etc.) on a
                      ~$250 'modern' plastic Singer circa 1980 and found that not only was the
                      plastic case too light to sit still on the table, but also it flexed when
                      the going got tough, letting the head twist and causing the needle to go out
                      of alignment with the bobbin, bending and breaking needles and causing
                      endless frustration. They make 'em plastic so they'll be easy to toss up on
                      the top shelf of the closet, but IMO that makes 'em useless for sewing
                      anything heavier than Barbie dresses. Every plastic machine I've ever
                      borrowed has been problematic for the stuff I do (outdoor gear and such).
                      Despite the fancy plastic high-tech electronic modern marvels, sewing
                      machines really haven't changed internally for over half a century (modern
                      Berninas and Husqvarnas excepted...), and an older cast-iron machine can do
                      almost anything a newer machine will do, they last forever, and many came
                      built into a table, which is a very nice amenity for comfort during long
                      projects. Ancient black Singers are a dime a dozen, motorized or treadle,
                      most are slow but nothing stops them; but few have zig-zag for sails, and
                      the slow speeds can get to be a drag on big projects. But alot of machines
                      of 50's or '60's vintage have the important features (zig-zag, buttonhole,
                      other lock-stitches), are fast, were still built like the proverbial brick
                      outhouse, and are a joy to work with, yet are not appreciated due to their
                      period paint schemes and a general impression that they must be worn out.
                      But they're like those old red Johnson outboards - they'll run forever if
                      well maintained, but tend to have had easier lives than an old outboard. I
                      sewed my Micro sails on my 'newest' acquisition, the 1955 'Fleetwood' Korean
                      Singer-knockoff my mom got when she was pregnant with me; it's a hideous
                      turquoise and white enameled cast-iron beast, but boy can that thing sew.
                      These old machines aren't hard to find cheap, or even free - I've seen
                      several at the local dump in the 'pick of the litter' swap shop that I
                      would've taken if I didn't already have a good machine, also was offered one
                      by an elderly neighbor who doesn't sew anymore and just wanted it to go to
                      someone she knew. Ask around. In most cases all they'd need is a $50 tuneup
                      to get them ready for decades more of trouble-free service, and parts and
                      accessories are generic, you can get 'em at any sewing shop. Check
                      prospective machines for metal-to-metal wear inside, where the needle passes
                      thru the bobbin mechanism (the needle shouldn't actually touch anything, if
                      very worn then pass on it, if slightly worn, get it tuned up), also check
                      the wires before running them, 50-year old wires usually need replacing. A
                      few strategic drops of oil can make them purr like a kitten. I value my old
                      sewing machine as much as any of my shop tools, and use it as often.
                      (I should state that some of my shop floor tools are over 50 years old....
                      so I AM biased!)

                      Paul Lefebvre

                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: David Ryan [mailto:david@...]
                      > Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 1:16 PM
                      > To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [bolger] Sewing Sails?
                      >
                      >
                      > FBBB --
                      >
                      > My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
                      > something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
                      > "Trading Spaces")
                      >
                      > Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
                      > for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would be
                      > suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?
                      >
                      > YIBB,
                      >
                      > David
                      > --
                      >
                    • Richard Spelling
                      That s the one I used for the sail on the Chebacco, for the upholstery, and for the sail cover. Works fine, needed a little coaxing on the thicker parts of the
                      Message 10 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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                        That's the one I used for the sail on the Chebacco, for the upholstery, and
                        for the sail cover. Works fine, needed a little coaxing on the thicker parts
                        of the sail. Be sure to use the right needle, thinner needles go through
                        easier but fray the polyester thread.

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "David Ryan" <david@...>
                        To: <bolger@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 12:15 PM
                        Subject: [bolger] Sewing Sails?


                        | FBBB --
                        |
                        | My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
                        | something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
                        | "Trading Spaces")
                        |
                        | Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
                        | for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would be
                        | suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?
                        |
                        | YIBB,
                        |
                        | David
                        | --
                        |
                        | C.E.P.
                        | 415 W.46th Street
                        | New York, New York 10036
                        | http://www.crumblingempire.com
                        | Mobile (646) 325-8325
                        | Office (212) 247-0296
                        |
                        |
                        | Bolger rules!!!
                        | - no cursing, flaming, trolling, spamming, or flogging dead horses
                        | - stay on topic, stay on thread, punctuate, no 'Ed, thanks, Fred' posts
                        | - add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts and <snip> away
                        | - To order plans: Mr. Philip C. Bolger, P.O. Box 1209, Gloucester, MA,
                        01930, Fax: (978) 282-1349
                        | - Unsubscribe: bolger-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        | - Open discussion: bolger_coffee_lounge-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        |
                        | Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        |
                        |
                      • brucehallman
                        ... Where is the best place to find old sails to cut down ? I notice that: http://secure.sailrite.com/products.asp?dept=268 ...sells 4 oz white dacron for
                        Message 11 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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                          > finishing the edges on cut down sails?

                          Where is the best place to
                          find old sails to 'cut down'?

                          I notice that:
                          http://secure.sailrite.com/products.asp?dept=268

                          ...sells 4 oz white dacron for about
                          $1.00 per square foot.

                          Also, they sell 4 oz dacron
                          'Tanbark' for $2.50 a SF.

                          What the heck is Tanbark and
                          is it worth the extra cost?

                          I wonder if anybody knows if
                          PCB has expressed an opinion
                          about polytarp sails.

                          I also notice that
                          http://www.tarps.com/white.htm
                          sells 11 mil [6 oz.] white
                          Polytarp that is UV resistant
                          for $0.10 a square foot.

                          Dave Gray in his article in MAIB
                          a few months ago said that he
                          only sells the 'better grade' of
                          white poly that is '8 mil' and
                          UV resistant.

                          Is 11 mil better than 8 mil?

                          It seems to me, that if
                          white polytarp sails last for
                          a year or two, and are 10% of
                          the cost, that would be a good
                          deal. Also, not having to
                          sew the seams every 36" [and to
                          not have center seams at all]
                          would also be an advantage.

                          The biggest risk of tarps
                          wearing out seems to be not
                          sewing the seams [duh!] and
                          UV damage [use sail covers!].

                          Also, if the sail material
                          is cheap, and you don't like
                          the cut of the sail on the
                          first try, I suspect that
                          you might be less inhibited
                          to 'try again'. If you had
                          paid $2.50 per SF, trying
                          again could be expensive.
                        • Harry W. James
                          Check out the sail and rigging section at John s Mother of all Maritime Links site. There are several used sail links there. Check the sail maker s also,
                          Message 12 of 14 , Sep 30, 2002
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                            Check out the sail and rigging section at John's Mother of all Maritime
                            Links site. There are several used sail links there. Check the sail
                            maker's also, because some like Pineapple handle used sails.

                            http://www.boat-links.com/boatlink.html

                            HJ

                            > Where is the best place to
                            > find old sails to 'cut down'?
                            >
                            >
                          • pauldayau
                            ... be ... I have to agree with the heavy brigade on the sails . i m still getting dark looks from the wife when she starts up her heavy duty quiltting
                            Message 13 of 14 , Oct 1, 2002
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                              --- In bolger@y..., David Ryan <david@c...> wrote:
                              > FBBB --
                              >
                              > My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
                              > something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
                              > "Trading Spaces")
                              >
                              > Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
                              > for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would
                              be
                              > suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?
                              >
                              > YIBB,
                              >
                              > David
                              > --
                              >
                              >
                              I have to agree with the heavy brigade on the sails . i 'm still
                              getting dark looks from the wife when she starts up her heavy duty
                              quiltting machine.
                              I'm eyeing off my mums singer that she brought from England in 1960.

                              a money saving hint. I used good old contact adhesive instead of
                              tape. Dont use the GEL type contacts , they fail quite easily
                            • pauldayau
                              ... be ... I have to agree with the heavy brigade on the sails . i m still getting dark looks from the wife when she starts up her heavy duty quiltting
                              Message 14 of 14 , Oct 1, 2002
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                                --- In bolger@y..., David Ryan <david@c...> wrote:
                                > FBBB --
                                >
                                > My wife is researching sewing machines in the hope of finding
                                > something inexpensive but serviceable for home projects (think
                                > "Trading Spaces")
                                >
                                > Right now she's looking at the Brother LS1217, available at Walmart
                                > for $99.99. Does anyone on here know if this sort of machine would
                                be
                                > suitable for finishing the edges on cut down sails?
                                >
                                > YIBB,
                                >
                                > David
                                > --
                                >
                                >
                                I have to agree with the heavy brigade on the sails . i 'm still
                                getting dark looks from the wife when she starts up her heavy duty
                                quiltting machine.
                                I'm eyeing off my mums singer that she brought from England in 1960.

                                a money saving hint. I used good old contact adhesive instead of
                                tape. Dont use the GEL type contacts , they fail quite easily
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