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Laughing Coyote

Sewing machine question for auto trimmers

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I'm looking into getting a sewing machine for doing the upholstery on the car. Is a Singer 331A with a roller foot a good machine? I know it's an older machine. What would you recommend? Nothing high dollar, just one to get the job done.

Thanks

 

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Anything used with a walking foot (triple feed). Old is not a problem.

 

I am not a trimmer, but I worked in that trade for a while when I was a teen.

 

A roller is a kludge to make a machine without a walking foot get the job done. It can work. It can also work without the roller if you know what you are doing. The learning curve is STEEP. I learned on a Singer 31-15. The guy I worked for had been a parachute rigger in the Navy. He told me If I could master that 31-15, I could sew on anything. He was right. It really is learning a whole new skill. It takes time and practice. A lot of it. I could not in good faith recommend this avenue to anyone who wanted to do some occasional casual sewing. Doing auto trim on that machine you mentioned, or a 31-15, you are really asking a lot more of it than it was ever meant to do. Possible? Yes definitely. Easy? No.

 

I had the opportunity at that shop to sew on a laundry list of different brands and models. The Consew 206rb-1 is the best thing I ever used, hands down. I own one now, a twin to my favorite machine from back in the day.

 

Another thing that is hard to master is the clutch motor, and in the 80s they all had it. They take practice to get any control. Today there are Servo Motors available that are easy to control. That would be a good idea for an occasional user.

 

 

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Wow, Deja vu. A old car friend called me on Sunday to ask me about a singer machine he was looking at. We’re out here in MA, clear across the country from AZ! That’s crazy.

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We do a lot of our upholstery work on a Singer that was built in 1949 and has been in the family since new.  We have a much newer machine but I prefer the old Singer.  Surprisingly parts are still available and we keep it in good shape. Remind me to tell you how my totally blind grandma taught me to sew.

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Yes, you want a walking foot.  I love my Pfaff, but there are other good machines, Consew, Juki, so forth.  I like a clutch drive, but realize I’m a dinosaur in that respect.  My recommendation is, don’t buy a used worn out machine that you cuss by the minute.  Find a reputable shop and see if they an put you in a reconditioned or lightly used machine, I like Keystone in Philadelphia, have bought two machines from them and been pleased...

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User junkyardjeff does auto upholstery for a living so he would be a good person to ask. If he doesn't respond here in a day or two then maybe send him a PM. Good luck....

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