Ludwig LG8B-2 Industrial Sewing Machine Reviews

Ludwig LG8B-2 Industrial Sewing Machine

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Heavy duty compound walking foot cylinder bed sewing machine

Jun 30, 2009 (Updated Feb 25, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Heavy duty, 1" foot lift, USA distributor, 18-24 135X17 needles

Cons:pricey, needs much space, respect it(dangerous), table could improve, one-piece bobbin case/hook.

The Bottom Line: For heavy items look into this.  Most roll off the same assembly line no matter what name is on it.  Same as the Seiko of the same type.

I purchased this item because I often have very heavy leather projects to sew, very thick items (such as sca fencing armor) and I also wanted to get into tent making and the making of security dog training armor.  The cylinder bed is a pretty specialized sort of sewing machine that primarily is intended to handle curved items very well but you can still do just about anything that a flat bed can do (and some of these machines come with a table insert that converts the cylinder bed to flat bed).  About the only type of machine that may be "slightly" more versatile would be the "post bed" type of industrial machine.  Industrial machines are not really very much different from a home sewing machine, threading will look very familiar if you use a home machine. 

Industrials differ from home machines in a number of internal ways, the most notable of which is that the motor is separate from the machine and offers a great deal more horsepower than what is found on home, one piece, machines.  The motors on these machines must be kept filled with oil for proper operation.  The machine head is the machine itself, the motor mounts beneath the table and the belt runs up through the table to run the machine. 

In this sort of sewing machine you pay more for several features, compound walking foot (needle and presser foot walks) is more expensive than a model where only the presser foot walks, high presser foot lift is also a lot more expensive (home machines usually max out at 5/8") this particular machine has over an inch foot rise using the foot pedal (not so much using the hand control), a wider/deeper than standard throat also adds significantly to the cost of the machine.  The lady I bought this from told me she's had an inch of leather in this machine with no problems whatsoever.  These machines are not for the occasional seamstress, this is a big investment and needs a lot of space when you use it in order to move large pieces of fabric etc. 

This machine is made in China (or so I'm told).  I've been told by a few techs not to buy chinese made sewing machines because parts can be difficult and quality (as far as problem screws always falling out from bad threading, poorly case hardened metals, and poor assembly) problems seem higher in Chinese products but it doesn't sound like we really have a choice anymore.  The Ludwig is imported and sold by a company in USA, I would hope that means parts are not a problem for their machines. In my recent situation parts had to come from China and took a month to arrive.

Maintenance is also particularly important on these as with any heavy duty type of machinery, you must keep oil in the motor, and lubricate the machine head (this is not a self-oiling model you must hit oil points yourself with a squirt bottle). The book recommends oiling twice a shift in very heavy use as if it was producing products for hours on end.  If you don't have a industrial machine mechanic in your area that will make house calls, you'll be dragging it into the shop periodically (every two years or so in heavy use) for tuneups.  Taking it someplace is an operation, you'll have to unbolt the head from the table and find a way to move a 70 lb. sewing machine head (from four feet in the air down to the ground--almost a small joist sort of gadget might work) then get it into the car and then to the shop; fortunately I have some burly friends.  When you first receive it a bottle of regular oil is fine but you'll want to buy a quart or a gallon because it's a lot cheaper that way (ebay, allbrands, and a industrial machine supply will carry it, upholstery shops may also carry it), don't use any other type than pure white sewing machine oil on this machine.

What you get for $2200.00 new: 
If you buy this new the current price is $2200.00.  For that you get the head, the table, the motor, the control pedals...everything is pre-assembled and shipped to you via truck freight (don't trust UPS they drop everything..more on that later).  The table has a small drawer and you get a few bobbins and screwdrivers etc. like most home machines come with.  There is a separate bobbin winder that screws onto the table so it comes in contact with the belt (when engaged, it does not always run off the belt) when you need to wind a bobbin (standard with this kind of machine). It also comes with a manual in chinese, you can order a translated manual from Ludwig (it may have come with the english translation and the seller had just lost it but she had to order mine for me). (addendum: I found out later this is the same as a Seiko LCW-8BL and the repair manual is found on seiko's web site, haven't found an operator manual there but they have good broken down illustrations with parts list in english.)

Setup is really not very much.  Since mine was disassembled (and they don't normally come from Ludwig that way) we had to put the table together (the table is pressed fibre board and quite thick) and hook up the two pedals (really not difficult) and adjust the motor to the proper place under the table and then attach the belt.  The hinge is apparently to allow the machine to swing backwards so you can hook the belt to the machine (on the right like every sewing machine I've ever seen...possibly because most folks are right handed). The hinged part of the machine also has a "pan" that I assume is mostly there to catch oil dripping from the machine and keep it off the table.

If you don't have wound bobbins you have to do that too.  I don't like using the winder that comes with the machine because there doesn't appear to be a "clutch" to disengage the needle while winding bobbins (trying to avoid extra stress), my mechanic just confirmed there is no clutch on this one, you're apparently supposed to wind bobbins while you sew; which I suppose works if you're doing a lot of sewing.  I just use a cobbled together bobbin winder (someone online takes an industrial winder, mounts in on plexiglass and puts a small motor on it with a switch setup) that I use for my other heavy duty machines because the setup on them to wind bobbins is equally as useless as the one on this industrial.  The bobbin is a little different from what I'm used to on most of my machines because there is no "case" that pops out to hold the bobbin, this is a "drop in" type and even there it's different from a home machine.  To install the bobbin there is a metal "arm" that pops up to allow the bobbin to be dropped in, thread comes off the bottom, then you pull the thread through the slot under the triangular protuberance and leave it hanging to be brought up from below later after the needle is installed (see my dufus story later, be sure the thread comes off the bobbin to the right and the bobbin spins counterclockwise as the thread is pulled, if you put it in the other way you'll have no bobbin tension). Two types of bobbin are available for this machine, metal and aluminum, the mechanic told me to avoid the aluminum for a machine like this, you can buy the proper bobbins on ebay; apparently like home machines there are a number of bobbin types for these.  I was told these use the same bobbins as singer industrials; just take one for comparison when you purchase and you should be fine. Needle installation is no problem, unlike most home machines the needle is not installed with the eye facing forward, it is installed with the "groove" facing to the left of you (and threaded left side to right side). There is a "window" on the presser foot so you can see that the needle is fully installed in the bar. 

Thread and needles:
This particular machine uses a fairly common needle system 17x135 ball point or pointy, in sizes from 18-24 (book says 23 but I'm assured 24 will work in this), you can buy these by the box of 100 from (cheaper that way, I just paid 6 bucks for 6 needles locally and most needles on allbrands are about 30 bucks for a box of 100); upholstery shops should also carry these but I doubt you'd find these at Joanne's or places like that.  I strongly recommend the extra cost for the platinum tipped needles (if you can find those) and the leather tips (pointed v shaped needles) if you're sewing leather. There are some new "teflon" coated needles out, never tried those, but, I assume the teflon is the same sort of thing that platinum coating does in that it lessens friction in the piece and thus heat that can overheat and warp the needle.  I've found ebay has a good selection of industrial needles (even better selection than allbrands) and prices are comparable with allbrands as well.

Industrials can use a much heavier thread than home machines.  A common industrial thread size is B69 nylon but there are other sizes, such as B92 and even bigger yet, and if you're doing outdoor items like tarps and bimini tops for boats etc. you may want to find thread that is uv protected so it will last longer in the sun.  All these items should be carried by a well stocked upholstery shop.  I've also found some good deals on large spools of thread on ebay.  Be aware that if you go fatter than B69 there may be some top thread adjustments that need to be made before tension will be correct (and of course the instructions don't go into that other than to point out which screw adjusts what so if it won't sew with default settings you may be learning by trial and error unless you know someone that already knows how to do a mechanic).

Unlike home machines, on this one you can adjust the height of the feed dogs, it has standard bobbin and thread tension adjustments, on the thread tension there is also a second "take up" adjustment to prevent the top thread from fouling. 

If you get the servo motor, the motor has a number of adjustments on the side, you need to find out what the head is rated for and keep the rpm under that speed, I keep mine at about the third notch, slower makes the machine easier to control--this would be adjusted according to your project. Servo motors also have a control on them to switch clockwise/counterclockwise, it depends on the machine head which direction is proper for forward and reverse operation. There are two types of motor, the servo is easier to control but not quite as powerful as the other type.  The servo also doesn't run all the time so it's not as noisey. 

According to the book you can also adjust presser foot height, it should already come adjusted for max height.  The presser foot "pressure" is adjusted in a slightly different place than a home machine, there are actually two nobs for this, one on top of the needle arm and another one in the center top of the machine; I was told to leave the needle arm adjustment alone and just use the one in the center top of the machine.  Apparently, unlike home machines, this one uses a "leaf spring" to adjust presser foot tension. 

If you somehow foul the machine too severely there is a button on the bed that assists with resetting the hook after the safety has kicked in. (push the silver button and simultaneously rotate wheel on the right away from the front of the machine till you hear a satisfyingly loud click.)

Bobbin tension is adjusted by a screw on the side of the "drop in" bobbin (the front screw, book seems to point to the rear screw).  The bobbin on this machine is mounted horizontally not vertically, some home machines use this but most lower priced home sewing machines have the bobbin mounted vertically beneath the presser foot in a separate bobbin case.  To remove the bobbin a small arm is popped upward (I generally need a small screwdriver to pop it up.  There is what looks like a bobbin case, but you should not have to remove that for replacement for a very, very long time (as I just found out the bobbin case isn't separate, the hook and case are one integrated unit--very expensive to replace I looked at the part it's nearly three hundred dollars but that shouldn't be a part I need for a long time and since this is an industrial and a seiko I'm not worried about part issues in the future).  

Stitch length and forward reverse are both on a single control on the right of the machine.  On this machine the screw that must be loosened and tightened to change the stitch length is extremely stiff when new, the knob is knurled.  I currently have to use a channel lock pliers to change the stitch length but I'm assured that as it is worked I should drop oil on the threads and eventually it will loosen up and be adjustable by hand.  I use a channel lock with "curved" jaws to lessen the damage to the knob. (stitch length knob finally loosened up after applying a lot of machine oil whenever I moved it.)

Beneath the table a metal bar holds the motor onto the belt with the proper tension. The belt should be taught but not so tight you can't pull it or push it, a loose belt means less "punch" power on your needle.  These are big belts but appear pretty standard. On some better home machines you get a "toothed" belt for more strength, this didn't come with that sort of belt, it looks rather like the belt you'd find on a car for the power steering or fan blade just smaller (i.e. a v shaped belt).

Warranty on manufacturer's defects is one year.  Warranty is not transferrable if it's sold.

Who makes this thing:
As you'll quickly find out, there are not too many sewing machines made anyplace except China anymore (a few still get parts made in Japan but are actually assembled in China).  The venerable Pfaff (at least the home machines) and Viking Husquvarna are gone, pilfered by a con artist for their patents at some point in the past few years.  Japan used to make sewing machines, but even though they may still own a number of the patents...they pretty much are not made in Japan anymore (with the possible exception of Juki and one or two others).  Taiwan still may make a few brands of machine but this type of item is considered so labor intensive that China is making the majority of every brand these days (or at least assembling it even if parts are made elsewhere).  If you look around you'll see what looks like the same machine with a number of different names on it.  This particular machine is the same as a Seiko.  The main difference in the brand names is quality control, parts manufacturing (and ease of purchasing parts), tech support and warranty.

Two pedals, run and presser foot. The other control is stitch length and forward/reverse. There is a power switch for the motor.  This machine is a bit more dangerous than a regular machine just because of the foot height, more than enough to take out a finger if you aren't careful. There may be some sort of "finger guard" attachment for industrials, this machine didn't come with that and apparently safety glasses are also recommended during operation. This machine is definetly something to lock the little monsters away from, or at least take the belt off and unplug it (with a plug lock sold for child proofing) when you aren't there and they are.  The clutch only releases when the foot pedal is pressed so when you want to raise the needle you must turn off the machine with the power button.   There is a manual foot lift and a pedal foot lift, you get higher lift with the pedal than the manual bar behind the needle. There is no clutch for bobbin winding.

My bad experience:
I bought this second hand from a lady in Maryland (I live in Florida) she boxed this up and shipped it UPS, they dropped the head during shipment and are doing their level best to not pay on the insurance claim (lesson learned, never ever ship anything like this UPS and if you do and have insurance and they want to pick it up after it's damaged don't let the horror stories on the internet for more information, picked up items often disappear into the twilight zone and they try to wipe their hands of the whole matter).  When UPS dropped it they broke a motor mount off the cast metal base and twisted the hinge on the base (they had to have dropped this off a truck or a fork lift), both items should be an easy fix since it all screws on.  The warranty that was left on it was voided because of being dropped. The head is like a "watch" everything is timed and works together, that sort of shock could have knocked off the timing or caused other issues.  The end of that was we got UPS to pay the claim, the shop had to order parts from Ludwig who charged 400 bucks for a new base and hinge and it was 150.00 to clean adjust and service it back to correct operation; it was to take 6 weeks for parts from China but we actually got them in four.  Thank goodness there was no other major damage. I was very fortunate to have one of two mechanics in the whole area qualified to work on this thing right down the street from me.

What I think of this overall:
I've only had it back for a couple of days from repair, I've played with it a little bit.  The manual in chinese looks pretty good, the translation is poor and leaves a lot out that you need to know but between looking at the illustrations on the chinese version and reading the english translation (pretty good by the way, not your usual bad english and bad grammar and punctuation).  (You can go to Seiko web site and find some much better translations and diagrams of at least the assembly part of it (what part is where and what it's called etc. if there are operation manuals I haven't found those yet.)

If you're experienced with sewing machines there isn't much here to figure out, except maybe how to load the bobbin and troubleshooting top thread tension issues.  Oiling points are fairly well marked with red paint (there's a pan that keeps stray oil from collecting beneath the head on the side where it it is bolted to the table).  The tables for these machines are proprietary for the most part, so when you want a new table top you are stuck going to who you bought it from or perhaps an excellent carpenter could make you a new one by copying the screw holes and belt hole.  The table I got is pressed fibre board with a outer surface like most stuff made these days. I had some 22 standard and leather point needles from another machine that were the correct size, it easily (like butter) punches through 5 layers of medium soft 4 ounce leather but a 22 needle is really too light for a piece that thick.  I'm told that somewhat soft leather is a bit harder to sew through because it gives more than a natural unfinished hide will. The walking foot made sewing a piece that thick a dream. I've ordered some 24 needles I hope those will improve the thickness I can sew through.  The motor speed adjustment is great, you can set that as you need to make the machine easier to control just remember that lower speeds mean less punch power so you may need to set the motor higher for thicker pieces than thinner pieces. 

When dealing with a very thick piece you must adjust your thinking a bit to avoid breaking needles. When switching directions (reverse or doing a turn) you need to turn off the machine, press the pedal to release the clutch and raise the needle/presser foot, make your turn, put the needle/presser foot back down in the piece and then turn it back on and continue. This machine has safety mechanisms to protect the hook in case of a big problem...the hook is one of the most expensive parts to replace so that's a great thing.  The cylinder bed design of this machine makes curved items very easy and the power of the machine makes heavy stuff like tent canvas easier to deal with.  The compound walking foot of this machine makes controlling big heavy or thick pieces a dream. 

The bobbins on this seem standard and available in most well supplied upholstery shops, but take it with you to compare because I'm told there at least 7 different types used by industrials; this one is supposed to be the same as a Singer.  I don't like how it winds bobbins, apparently unlike home machines there's no way to disengage the needle so it doesn't move while the bobbin winds; you're apparently supposed to wind bobbins as you sew.  Only other issue I had was since this machine was so very new the screw that adjusts stitch length is so stiff that I have to use a channel lock wrench to adjust it. I'm told it will loosen up eventually and to just keep dropping oil on it but wow I was really afraid I was going to bust something twisting that with a wrench. (I use a channel lock with curved jaws so it doesn't chew up the knob that is twisted to unlock/lock the stitch length and forward/reverse.

To close it appears to be a good machine, it was worth the 1500 I got it for used, would have been nice if it hadn't have been dropped and I would have gotten the remainder of the warranty (through the original owner of course because she couldn't transfer it) but that didn't happen; I'm just glad UPS owned up to their mistake and fixed it.  Older industrials were noisey, messy, hard to handle and lots of other issues, this is by no means that way and I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of this baby. The table is designed to be bolted down but so far I haven't seen the need for that; if working with really big pieces that is most likely why that would be done. 

As I said earlier if you have kids (and I don't care if they're 2 or 10) this is NOT something you want them around unsupervised, and for sure don't let them watch you use it or turn it on... They can't run it with the belt off but you can still make the needle go up and down by pressing on the pedal and turning the wheel by hand (I suppose you could reach around and unhook the metal chain that goes to the pedal but that's a little bit of an operation).  This thing will go right through an adult finger pronto, I see there are finger guards that can be added to most industrials...this didn't come with them.  A small finger would be ripped off or crushed if the presser foot came down on it....very dangerous item to leave around unsupervised kids.  Pull the belt, put something under the presser foot, unhook the pedal chain and lock the room where it is if you have kids.

More as I get more experience with this big boy.

update: Used this a bit more now.  The presser foot height and the ability to control motor speed are fantastic advantages. Note when the motor is set to slower speeds the machine does not have the "punch" power for heavier pieces; but, it's much easier to control.  Multiple heavy layers of denim or canvas are nothing at the slowest speed, leather needs at least second notch or it can't punch through well. 

The manual just plain sucks, even the english translation is poor and leaves out stuff you need to know.  If you get thread stuck in the bobbin case you're going to just need to fight to remove it because this is a integrated bobbin case/hook setup it's not separate and that piece is screwed into the drive mechanism coming down the arm.  A few broken needles later and one really thread bad jam I still like the machine and the hook safety mechanism kicked in the save the hook from damage.  You know the safety has engaged when the machine will not thread because the bobbin case is not properly turning when you move the balance wheel manually (that or something is caught in the shuttle, like a hunk of thread, or a piece of junk is in there like a broken need tip).

The book is useless on resettng the hook safety, it seems to say you need to pop off the timing belt (which is underneath on the right, another reason that area is designed to flip open), line up arrows etc., in short it sounds like an operation...well perhaps that's what you have to do if it won't respond to the basic procedure but that isn't what you've got to do all the time (maybe the translation is just poor).  From reading on the internet I found that on most current models of industrial you just push the button and turn the balance wheel clockwise simultaneously..that worked on this machine too.  The button for the hook safety reset is a silver button in the middle of the arm, just push it down and turn the balance wheel clockwise simultaneously (in this case away from you towards the back of the machine) and you'll get a satisfying "pop" sound which means the hook is now reset and then the bobbin case will turn properly once again.

Since there's no clutch for bobbin winding, my manual bobbin winder I use for my other heavy machines works fine and it's easier to deal with anyhow...either way the machine gets unthreaded unless you have another spool of the same color thread.  The stitch length adjustment still hasn't loosened up, I don't have a lot of need to change it from maximum length no need to fight with that for now.

Table annoyances:  The table is heavy duty but most of the machines like this I've seen for sale have better tables that contribute to the usefulness of this machine.  I've seen one model that is nothing but a very narrow table with the head mounted on it and the free arm of the machine hangs out into space...that one would most likely be best for very large bulky items that are hard to control and feed and also most likely must be bolted down due to the weight of the head on this sort of machine.  The other sort of table I've seen has a very wide and deep "notch" cut out of the table under where the free arm sits.  I sewed a leather tricorn hat on this as one of my first projects, it sewed just fine but a lack of space beneath the free arm meant I had to "squish" the hat to make it fit under the free arm.  I said it before, the table on this could use a lot of improvement.  A experienced friend believes we can create that notch on this table if we reinforce it properly before we cut it (this is so thick I don't know what sort of jigsaw (maybe an orbital model) or router he plans to use but it had better be a major piece of hardware to handle this).  The major weight on the table is to the rear center and the right side where the motor and the head bolt on.  Of course another idea would be to just get a good piece of wood and copy the screw holes and make it out of good wood instead of pressed wood.

Still like it, for what I paid I can't complain, I probably never would have had the cash to pay for a new one and since I'm ditching all my credit cards couldn't do that either easily.  I've put a few adds up on craigslist to fix bimini tops (not ready to make those yet although with this beast I could do that pretty easily) and other sorts of heavy sporting goods type things.  After a few weeks I did get a few bites but nothing steady yet (fingers crossed).

I'm looking into doing whatever I need to do to certify to fix firefighter bunker gear because this machine could do that too.  It's been an adventure learning to deal with this machine and also because it's an extra dangerous sewing machine I've needed to adjust myself to always checking that power button to be sure it's off when I do several things.  Respect this guy, don't put your fingers under that foot even when it's off and you'll be fine.  A friend says I should wear safety glasses all the time, I may do that when dealing with some stuff but most of the time it's just an annoyance to need to do that.  I found a decent mechanic's stool at lowes with a pneumatic raise on it and so far that's great for this machine because it has rollers on it and a tray to hold junk like scissors and measuring tapes etc. only bad thing is it doesn't have a back, a nice pnematic bar stool or basic office chair (no arms of course) would serve well also.  I've got all I need, now just need to figure out how to attract the business...LOL.

update: first big problem.  This machine appears to be the same as the Seiko LCW-8BL.  The seiko is made in Japan, not sure but mine may be assembled in China, it would be great if it was made in Japan because those are generally considered to be of better workmanship and material quality.  I was having issues getting the machine to thread one day and I opened up the bobbin area to find a tiny micro sized screw laying inside.  I found where it went on the bobbin case and replaced it.  Now I have suddenly have no bobbin thread tension (lower thread comes up through the fabric and upper thread straight).  I'm told most likely a tiny spring has gone out of place, or the bobbin tension screw is not in straight, etc.   

Unlike some of these machines apparently, the bobbin case and the hook are one piece, so if your bobbin case fails the entire piece must be replaced.  Checking online the part for a seiko (same machine) is almost three hundred dollars.....agggggh.  I Love the machine but be VERY, VERY careful messing around in the bobbin area, that case/hook setup is apparently a little sensitive on this machine. 

SOLUTION TO THE BOBBIN TENSION ISSUE: When you load a drop in your instint is to pull the thread off the top like on a regular home machine, you have to sort of picture the bobbin upside down and the bobbin spinning counterclockwise instead of clockwise...proper bobbin loading is to hold the bobbin with thread coming off to the right (bottom of the bobbin not the top, bobbin spins counterclockwise) pull the thread back to the left through the slot in the case. Make SURE the thread goes underneath the triangular protrusion on the left side close to the needle.  So all this aggravation was caused by a misloaded bobbin.  (The book has no good illustration for proper bobbin installation (they must think that's a given, duh).  I suppose if your home machine doesn't have a bobbin case (one of mine doesn't but I don't use it a lot so I'm out of practice) you may not fall into this issue (LOL).

I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, so we took the head to the mechanic, who messed around with it for a minute and it worked fine but neither of us detected I had the bobbin in there wrong......  I guess the mechanic is so used to it he put it in there right and I wasn't really watching him so when I got home I changed colors and again it was doing the same damn thing as occured to me I must be the dufus here so I experimented with the way the thread was loaded in the bobbin area.  In short, in every sewing machine I've encountered you want to load the bobbin with the thread coming off the top to the right (which means the bobbin will spin clockwise). With this you sort of have to picture the bobbin case upside down. On on this particular machine-since there is no case-you need to hold the bobbin with thread coming off the bottom of the bobbin to the right bottom (i.e. bobbin spins counterclockwise as thread comes off it) bring the thread around in front of the bobbin case slide it into the slot and be sure the thread goes under the triangular metal protrusion to the right of the needle (or to the left of the bobbin case). This was apparently the whole issue, once the bobbin was in properly no more tension issue.......  If you continue to have poor top thread tension unthread the top and make sure everything goes through the tension disks properly...I find after a jam that the top thread has often torn itself out of the tension disks.  God do I feel stupid.  Glad I got it working again...after you figure it out draw yourself a picture so you don't forget (LOL). 

I just used this machine to repair the zipper on a camper awning bag.  the awning rolls out of the bag (which is attached) and the back of the awning is attached to the bag with a very fat piece of thick rubber hose folded over with the bag and the back of the awning between the pieces (like a piece of double fold binding tape).  I had to pull a bit of the stitching out of the rubber to sew in the ends of the zipper.  This machine went through that heavy piece of rubber, the awning, and the back of the bag and zipper ends without breathing hard.  Now that I've used it a bit more I see more of the possibilities of this machine. If it's thick enough you can also use this on heavy denim or multiple layers of cloth.  I made a gi top for my upcoming belt exam.  I did the sort of fold over and stitch again seams used in tents for strength and durability, the cylinder arm of this machine made the seams around the sleeves an absolute dream, nothing like the first one I made which was a nightmare because I didn't have a free arm heavy duty machine.  I also am making sca fencing armor on this, the arm pits must be heavily padded to prevent an accident with a broken blade...this has also been excellent for that purpose.  Love this machine, so many possibilities are opening up every day.

Stuff I've done on it: Fixed the zipper on a camper awning, Replaced a zipper on a terrifically thick wool jacket, Sewn a very heavy lapped seam on a reversible Gi top shoulder seam, Created an expansion piece for a pair of boots I bought that wouldn't fit around my fat calf, fixed a tent corner. 

Recommend this product? Yes

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Janome DC2012 Sewing Machine with Tote BagComplete any project with confidence. Boasting 50 stitches, an auto-lock button, easy reverse and a speed-co...


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Reliable MSK-8220B Two Needle-Needle Feed Sewing Machine with Stand Multicolor - MSK-8220

Reliable MSK-8220B Two Needle-Needle Feed Sewing Machine with Stand Multicolor - MSK-8220

Shop for Sewing Machines from! The Reliable MSK-8220B Two Needle, Needle Feed Sewing Machine is the perfect choice for creating flags an...


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Brother Sewing Machine. 25-Stitch Mechanical Sewing Machine XL2600I

Brother Sewing Machine. 25-Stitch Mechanical Sewing Machine XL2600I

Shop for Appliances at The Home Depot. The Brother XL-2600i has been built with maximum performance to expand your sewing skills. This versatile sewin...
Home Depot


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Brother XL2600I Free-Arm Sewing Machine

Brother XL2600I Free-Arm Sewing Machine

Sew crafty! Make all your fashion, home decor, and crafting dreams come true with this free arm sewing machine. It's your ally in creating everything ...


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