I am too seriously looking for a leather sewing machine. But since cross boarder shipping is such a risk, I found a Canadian supplier of a similar look to the companies mentioned. I do not endors or know this company, just looking for some professional advise on the machine they are selling by looking at their website.
Thoughts? Please look and reply with comments. This is very big single investment.
I've heard tales of folks running a layer of 1/4" plywood through old Singer industrial sewing machines for giggles, so I was inspired to try sewing 2 layers of 1/4" luaun plywood together with the Cobra Class 3. The machine did it easily, no stress, so I tried 3 layers, also sewn easily. Don't think I'll go out of my way to try it again, I have to go clean a few splinters out of the bobbin race now. If some one wants to host them, I can take cell phone pics
Techsew is a very good brand and the owner from what I have heard has very good customer service. Everyone at the leather forums who have purchased from him over there were all very happy with the sewing machines. I think Ron is the guy who owns that place. He is active over at the forums. Give him a call and I am sure he will be happy to help you. I believe the 5100 is there version of the 441 clone which is the same as the cobra class 4 or cowboy (for got the number). It will perform just as well. The machine comes with a similar servo motor like the cobra or cowboy and I have not heard nothing but good about them.
SUPER COOL Matt!!!
My feelings about machine vs hand stitch had always been like Rick's. I'm so finicky about all the details of the knife, I hated the idea of the back side of the sheath not being as cosmetically nice as the front. But...
I was at a hammer-in hosted by Derrick Wulf in Vermont where he had brought Chris Kravitt of Tree Stump Leather in to do some demos. Chris made a sheath on his Tippmann that was passed around the crowd. I had two collector friends standing beside me that both have VERY high end collections and are very particular about the attention to detail of what they buy.
I asked them if it bothered them that the stitch looked a little different on the back and they both chuckled because they thought I was kidding. Turns out they had never even given it a thought.
I think the key with ANY machine is getting it set right to where it gives a clean stitch that puts the "lock" right in the middle of the leather, then hammering the stitch and following up with the overstitch wheel.
I have put a lot of time in the last few months trying to get better with my Tippmann, and at this point I am pretty darn happy with the stitching. I would LOVE to own one of these Cobra machines like Matt has coming!!!
Getting leather MASTER Paul Long's recommendation definitely makes that an easy decision.
Thanks for posting David and Corey, it's really nice to hear them get a thumbs up from other makers as well!
BTW- Sam, did you get my email?
Post pictures of it when you can.
Last edited by 12345678910; 11-01-2012 at 10:07 PM.
Before reading this thread, I never really thought of sewing plywood as anything other than a joke, but the Cobra does it as easily as sewing leather...Compared to good shoe sole leather, pine or luaun (meranti) plywood is probably easier to push a needle through. The more I think of it, I realize this opens up some interesting fabrication possibilities...and it was not that hard to brush the splinters out of the bobbin race
I guess your probably right it may be easier, still I wonder what it does to the needles, ofcourse they arent too terribly expensive as far as knife making stuff goes.
Sorry Bailey if this is getting a little off topic.
Just a word of caution about sewing ply wood and other materials clearly not intended to go through a sewing machine.
It is VERY possible to screw up the timing on your machine which will, in the best case scenario, cause you ruined projects and wasted time getting it back in time, assuming you even know how. (Any needle that has been subjected to this kind of treatment should be replaced with a new needle before anything of value is stitched.) Similar things can happen if you try to force feed the machine in excess of the 7/8" thickness it is rated to handle. 7/8" does not mean 1"! These machines are great, but they should be used for those jobs they were intended. Kind of reminds me of "testing" a knife to destruction just for the hell of it!
I only plan on stitching leather, I will use drywall screws for any plywood that needs stuck together. It is kinda cool to see it all stitched together though.
Quint, thanks for all the info. Seems like you might have done this once or twice.
Thanks everyone, Cant wait until this thing arrives.
Considering that one of my assistants asked me today if he can sew up a plywood canoe on the Cobra...I should add that both the luaun and pine plywood I tested are made from very soft wood. I ran a couple stitches by hand in each material before running the machine under power to make sure it was easy enough to get the needle through. I had no desire to buckle a needle or get the machine out of time. I honestly thought I'd get the needle only part way through the 1/2" pine, to my surprise it sailed through as easy as it did with the thin luaun. I have new respect for the power and capabilities of the Cobra and this has got me thinking about how to incorporate some non-traditional materials in sheath making.
Back on topic, the Cobra Class 3 is a great machine, assembly is pretty easy but make sure you have help when it comes time to put the head on the stand, it's not a light machine...and pay particular attention to the video showing how to thread the machine. My only issue has been operator error related...I have to make sure my big wide foot does not hang over the side of the presser foot pedal and hit the motor pedal when I lift the presser foot.
Wanna see something cool check out the bosworth go to 1;00 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIR5WE9MVx4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOoMM...feature=relmfu
Couple of pretty cool machines.
Last edited by quint; 11-02-2012 at 10:10 PM.
Those machines are pretty cool. They cost in the $5000 range though, a bit more than I can afford. It took me quite a while to save up the cash for this one. I still can't wait. How long has it been? They said 12-15 days. That seems like an eternity.
Yeah they are up there, out of my range as well. I was barely able to talk the other half into the one I got. Not complaining at all though because so far it has been able to do everything I have needed it to do.
I know the feeling, waited two weeks for mine. On a friday the shipping company called and said it was going to be delivered the following tues or wed. I drove the hour to grab it at the loading dock so I could play with it on the weekend. Was a stitching fool for like a week.
Here are the pics. There is a bit of a learning curve. I have a stack of leather scraps that I have been practicing on. The last picture is of 5 sheaths. I would have normally spent in the neighborhood of 3 1/2 hours hand stitching them (anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes each). I did all of these in less than 15 minutes. I love that thing. Thanks Paul for the tips and help you have given me.
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