What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Discussion about making bushwalking-related equipment.

What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby Bushman_Craig » Sat 10 Sep, 2016 3:57 pm

I tend to sew heavier fabrics/materials such as leather and various weights of canvas for my traditional style gear, but have been known to dabble in lightweights from oxford nylon to japara to silnylon.

I am very bad at hand -thread-injecting so I prefer to use a machine. For the heavy stuff I use a hand-crank Chinese boot patcher and for the lighter stuff I use a vintage 1930s Singer 99k.

What type of thread injecting apparatus do you use for your MYOG projects?
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby Cecile » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 3:44 pm

Moondog uses a Janome MyStyle, very basic machine but it doesn't handle multiple layers of anything very well. There just isn't enough torque in the needle. It does a poor job on the silnylon, and puckers the seam. I have been using a higher-end elna, but until I got my new Pfaff a few weeks ago I would not let him use that, just in case. Might be worth a try to see what it can do. I doubt it would do leather.

If you want to do heavy canvas, an industrial machine would be ideal. Older machines in general, I think, are much more robust and can handle the heavy stuff well. The newer high-tech stuff fabrics may need machines that have more minute adjustments than the old faithfuls.

Good luck!

***EDIT to the type of machine****
Last edited by Cecile on Tue 13 Sep, 2016 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby Bushman_Craig » Sun 11 Sep, 2016 4:16 pm

The old machines have solid metal gears and mechanism, so unlike the newer types, they won't be ruined from thread-injecting multiple layers of canvas or cordura.

I've found my old Singer 99K to be a great little machine for everything up to thin leather. Mine has digested up to 6 layers of 10oz canvas without issue. You can still buy all the parts and since it takes normal domestic needles it's easy to find the little bits and pieces. I have used up to a no 20 needle in mine. Of course it only has forward, reverse and adjustable stitch length, so there's no native buttonholing or bartacking or zigzagging. Often you'll find attachments such as buttonholers or binding feet with these machines second hand.

The Singer 99K like mine is just the little one too. A Singer 201 series, specifically the "K" model is just about perfect for both light and heavier DIY applications. You'll find a few of the cottage industry gear-makers on this very forum started out with or even still use a Singer 201 series thread injector. My local antiques store has a bunch of them, ranging in price from $40 for one which is completely serviceable, but doesn't have the wooden cover, to about $150 for one which has everything but the kitchen sink. My own 99K, which had all accessories you could buy for a Singer 99K was about $50 off Gumtree a few years ago.

There are definitely some bargains to be had out there, just gotta keep looking until you find one you're willing to pay the asking price for.
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby paddlpop » Thu 20 Apr, 2017 5:32 pm

20170401_135538.jpg
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby Orion » Fri 21 Apr, 2017 3:33 am

Bushman_Craig wrote:The old machines have solid metal gears and mechanism, so unlike the newer types, they won't be ruined from thread-injecting multiple layers of canvas or cordura.


It's been suggested to me that it's better to try and fix a vintage metal machine instead of buying a new plastic one.

I've been using my girlfriend's basic Kenmore (model 1525) that is something like 40 years old. It's the same technology as that Singer in paddlpop's photo: no microprocessor; just metal and gears. The motor in the Kenmore isn't strong enough to go through some of the things I've sewn but I can help it through the harder spots by grabbing the big wheel. Sometimes I manually drive stitches when the number of fabric layers bogs it down; it's still faster than doing it by hand.

Recently I did run into a limitation with it though. I made some shoulder straps for a backpack I made and needed to sew webbing to the straps. But at 15-17mm thick they simply would not fit under the needle. I had to do that by hand; it required a pair of pliers to push/pull the needle through everything. I suppose an industrial machine would have been nice for that, but I've made tents, sleeping bags, and now a pack with this little thing. I don't think I need a fancy machine.
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby paddlpop » Mon 01 May, 2017 5:21 pm

I find the unsophisticated Singer to be pretty good. It'll handle denim two layers no problem. I've been told that if you try to use too big a thread for the machines (any machine) capability it wears out the lower catch mechanism quickly..

I need to bring my Consew inside from the shed and put it to work more. It's not a walking foot but it'll do canvas and is a dream to use.
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby paddlpop » Mon 01 May, 2017 5:28 pm

20170422_162712.jpg
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby north-north-west » Mon 01 May, 2017 5:45 pm

Love the magnet on the side there to hold pins. Brilliant idea.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby Orion » Thu 04 May, 2017 8:42 am

I like the magnet idea too, so I tried it on my machine... and it didn't stick! It is metal, but not the right kind.
So back to using a little plastic box. I often pin far away from the machine anyway.

How many of you use a pin cushion?
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby dnaylor » Wed 06 Sep, 2017 4:25 pm

I use a singer 99k as well...can sew everything from fine silks and rayon to pack webbing canvas and cardboard... the main thread i use for almost everything is a poly-bonded thread, comes on a large spool, is same thickness as "sew-all" thread but stronger than "top-stitch" thread, you can cut cheese with it... I prefer my 99k for basic stitches as a lot of the newer electronic machines don't have that flywheel so you can't grab that and slowly turn over the machine to "hand stitch"
most important thing to know in any sewing, "match needle to thread to job" also needles need to be either replaced or sharpened often (when depends on material sewing) every 6-8 bobbin changes is a safe rule, make sure the bobbin case is dusted out of lint often also... :)
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Re: What do you sew... erm... thread inject... with?

Postby dnaylor » Wed 06 Sep, 2017 4:31 pm

Orion wrote:I like the magnet idea too, so I tried it on my machine... and it didn't stick! It is metal, but not the right kind.
So back to using a little plastic box. I often pin far away from the machine anyway.

How many of you use a pin cushion?


here is a good tip, buy a small magnetic mechanics tray (kmart had them at one stage), its a metal dish with a magnetic base
that mechanics use to keep screws etc in ... once you have one get a plastic container that sits neatly inside it... as you sew and pull out pins, place pins in that container.. when you want to pin stuff up on a bench, lift the plastic container and pins out of the magnetic tray and move them to where you are pinning leaving the magnetic tray next to the sewing machine..
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