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Help upholstery machine!!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BetsyVanDeVille, May 31, 2013.

  1. BetsyVanDeVille
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 52

    from Mars

    Ok, I have the money and I want to buy a Upholstery machine to do my own work and so on! I am looking on craigslist and have found many like juki and consew which I hear is the best! BUT, I just dont know for sure with the details about them if they are what I am looking for, i.e. tuck and roll, leather, so on!

    If any upholsters are out there and would be willing to help me and message me and I can send the webpages to them to look over the machine for sale and tell me what they think!?



  2. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 6,041


    The main thing you're looking for is a true Walking foot machine. the foot will look like this:


    Good luck! I'm trying to find an affordable machine myself right now. Stay away from the 400-500$ Chinese "walking foot" machines on ebay. Apparently they're a crapshoot and most are timed incorrectly and have problems etc..
  3. ski's rods
    Joined: Sep 29, 2011
    Posts: 3

    ski's rods
    from detroit

  4. plywude
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 699

    Member Emeritus
    from manteca ca

    Betsy I use a Juki model 562 that I got in the early 80's it's been a good machine not a lot of problems, just keep it timed and OILED IS A MUST. My buddy Howdy Ledbetter has a Consew that he's done hundreds of jobs on for over 30 years and still kicking out hot rods on it today. Good Luck

  5. Model A Nut
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 65

    Model A Nut

    I got the simular machine from Reliable; Would not reccommend it to anyone due to performance issues but is an okay good low budget machine.

    I am very happy but wish I would have stepped up to the next price range and Sailrite. I like the machines on a table with a seperate drive motor.

    When we on a budget I understand as I was. But I think the Sailrite that you are looking at iss a great machine. I have an Adler for big projects. I only do my own stuff as a hobby.
  6. Sailrite makes good machines. The one posted is portable and can be used for on site repairs. It can be used for upholstery work but at $800+ you should be able to find a good used Consew 226 or equivalent Juki. A compound walking foot machine with belt driven motor will give you more power and be more versatile. If you can find one with a servo motor you will be ahead of the game.
  7. I have an "OLD" Consew. It's a Grate machine. What I have learned getting to this machine is to never buy an Upholstery machine with Aluminum gears and especially never Plastic like some of the newer ones. This machine has done many many Tuck & Roll seats like the ones in my 51 Vicky. No real problems. The one and only issue is if I were to do it again I would buy a Long Arm machine. Reason being when you have a full lower seat peace and it's all rolled up that is a lot of material to stuff under and between the Throat of the unit. The one I have is like your Grandmothers old Singer frame, just not quite as big as I would like. Also make sure you get a machine with a foot Treadle and a Cone type Clutch. Makes slow walking around corners much easier.
    The Wizzard

    Attached Files:

  8. Evilfordcoupe™
    Joined: May 22, 2001
    Posts: 1,822


    Ive been using a Consew 206RB-5. Its been a perfect machine for the last 8 years.(bought it new) We've used it to do a complete Mercury, a bunch of hot rods and hundreds of motorcycle seats.

  9. kscarguy
    Joined: Aug 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,594


    I have a Juki 562. The biggest issue I have with it is excessive peed. It is too fast. I even tried swapping pulleys. Next step is a new variable speed motor and a large table built to surround it.
  10. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    The walking foot that DreddyBear posted above is the most important part of an upholstery machine. Lots of high speed dress making machines out there, so watch out for them. Lot's of folks see a table and a seperate motor and think "industrial machine" and take the deal. Without that walking foot you'll make yourself nuts. Juki makes good stuff, older consew, older Singer, and older Pfaff machines show up fairly frequently and all in good shape will do what you need. Do ask the seller to run the machine for you though if possible before throwing your dollars down.

    I was in the household machine business for the first 30 years of my life, so there are others that can better give you machine numbers and such to look for, but even a good household machine guy can time and keep your commercial running well for you. I f you get something and are having problems with it, please don't hessitate to shoot me a call or P.M. and I'll help ya any way I can. I spent so many years walking ladies at home through their "machine problems" over the phone, that it became a special tallent I have!
  11. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,378


    ADLER, the best without a doubt!

    A 40 year old machine is still like new to use.
    They are absolutely worth hunting down if you want one.
  12. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,777

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Hope this helps;
    In a way it's going depened on if you intend to do only one or two jobs for your self or go into bizz. The sailrite is the same as some lower $ rex and Sewline,plus others=all about brand name and added do dads in a few cases. If your going into bizz,you need a high $ walking foot one,in the $1000plus. Or if your real lucky find a used big $ one cheep. For pro work bizz,you need the walking foot to rise up high enough to get the worrk under it,that about 1/2in. to 3/4 in. opening foot,having bigger space between machines arm/support and needel is good to make passing stuff through EZer=7in. is small,9in. and up gets better to use,some pro are as big as 24in. plus undeer the arm.. In any case get one reverse and can run very slow......many big pro machines run so fast,only a pro can come even close to sewing with with them,I played that game and those bit ya.
    But if your just doing for you self only.
    I know I should of got a cheep Rex or Sewline walking foot one ,like $400 including shipping on Ebay; like this,are good hobby workers.;
    And by the way there are some like that,that have a 9in. arm gap vs about 7in. on most,but the extra few in. is another $100 or so.

    But being me,I got a yard sale $5 housewife slipper foot and found my way through/ a tech by me on doing your own on low $=
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  13. rotorwrench
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 633


    I love my old Consew 206RB3 with the easy push reverse control for locking your stiches. The older Consew 206 models have a lever that you pull up to reverse but they work OK too. I have a servo motor on mine so I can slow it down some. After you get used to running stiches, the clutch motor sort of grows on you but it is nice to start out with a servo motor.

    My old machine came from a furniture company that called it quits due to the Chinese invasion and offered the stuff up on C-list. It required a little bit of work to get it going good again but mostly the little stuff. These old Pfaff, Consew, & Juki machines were all patterned after older Singer designs from half a century ago or more and many of them have interchangeable parts. They will last several lifetimes if taken care of.
  14. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,707


    I have a Singer double needle that was used to sew parachutes in World War II and I would like to sell it but the shipping to Mars.....!!
  15. I've seen the machines advertized in magazines that are cheap and portable. Not only do you need a walking foot but a big enough motor..NOT portable!
  16. sewman
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 248

    from Toledo,Oh

    I'm in the Industrial Sewing Machine biz & you can PM me if you have any questions or need any needles,parts or thread.Or help with what model# to buy.
  17. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,445

    from oregon

    I'll add my 2c, I use Pfaff 145 h4.Have a 145h3 and 1245. 145 is about 45 -50 years old, has made me a lot of money[several million] honest to goodness. I have spent less than 200.00 in maintenance in almost 50 years. I bought the others just in case and paid 400 for the h3, and 900 for the 1245 nearly new. I have run others and they don't compare as far as I am concerned. Look up on cl by name and # of machine. Good luck Jack
  18. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,331


    I have a machine like the one Pist n broke showed, 700 bucks and it`s yours. shipping the table is a pain, I suggest you buy one locally, usually around $100. Works good but needs a little overhaul, it skips a stitch every so often. Long stitch length is critical. That should be the deciding factor when buying a machine. With a walking foot and a reverse. I also have a singer for 400 but shorter stitch length and no reverse. It all depends if you want a 6 cylinder or a healthy V8.
  19. lenmann
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 51

    from NorCal

  20. Sphynx
    Joined: Jan 31, 2009
    Posts: 1,142

    from Central Fl

    I have a Pfaff 1245. I was told you need a walking don't and reverse is great to have. Now I gotta learn to sew
  21. Bonehead II
    Joined: Apr 18, 2005
    Posts: 428

    Bonehead II

    Betsy...if you find a machine that you like and want to buy it, see if you can take it to a sewing machine mechanic first,let him or her go over the machine, they can tell you all about it. Around here they charge $75.00 to do a tune up on a machine, clean. oil, set the timming. They can also supply you with different feet and needles.

    Good luck..mike
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,617

    Rusty O'Toole

    One thing worth considering if you hesitate to spend the extra $$$$ bucks for a good name brand machine. If you decide to sell it you can sell it easy and get your money back. A cheap machine will be harder to sell and you may lose more on it than a good machine.

    And, the difference in performance is worth it. Especially if you are not a pro. My brother is a trained professional upholsterer, he made the mistake of buying a cheap new Chinese machine. He was good enough to turn out decent work on it but he had to fight it every inch of the way. An inexperienced person would not stand a chance.

    PS he sold it at a loss and bought a used Pfaff that was 40 years older and 40 times better.
  23. BetsyVanDeVille
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 52

    from Mars

    Thanks everyone

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  24. hotrod1948
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 503

    from Milton, WI

    I do not mean to hi-jack this thread, but I have a quick question. I have a 111W155 singer with a clutch type motor. If I switch to a servo motor does that also mean that the machine will now have reverse? Or is reverse a function that is in the machine not the motor?
  25. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,445

    from oregon

    Hotrod, reverse is on the machine. Jack

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