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Fox583
05-13-2013, 10:16
For all of you out there reading you will understand where im coming from. I CANT FIND THE RIGHT GEAR!!!! I cant find the right gear so with the small amount of sewing knowledge I have, I have decided to start sewing my own gear/ gear improvements. I just need to know what kind of machine to use, needles and the thread I should use and of course where to get these things. Im a former 18E but now a LEO. ANY TAKERS!!!!

Snaquebite
05-13-2013, 10:34
Check out this site.
http://www.diytactical.com/forums/

koz
05-13-2013, 15:46
Check out this site.
http://www.diytactical.com/forums/

This is a great resource. Also find a skydiving operation and talk to the rigger. Many of these guys are ok at sewing and have the industrial machines. Get an industrial machine. You can find them on Ebay and then buy the motor and table locally.

Singer, Juki, Consew, Pfaff are all good machines.


www.Paragear.com
www.tnwebbing.com
www.lowyusa.com
www.geraldschwartzinc.com
www.therainshed.com
www.brookwoodcos.com
www.thefoamfactory.com/closedcellfoam/closedcellfoam.html
www.questoutfitters.com/index.html

Ambush Master
05-13-2013, 17:18
This is a great resource. Also find a skydiving operation and talk to the rigger. Many of these guys are ok at sewing and have the industrial machines. Get an industrial machine. You can find them on Ebay and then buy the motor and table locally.

Singer, Juki, Consew, Pfaff are all good machines.


www.Paragear.com
www.tnwebbing.com
www.lowyusa.com
www.geraldschwartzinc.com
www.therainshed.com
www.brookwoodcos.com
www.thefoamfactory.com/closedcellfoam/closedcellfoam.html
www.questoutfitters.com/index.html

Also Adler machines are really good. Be EXTREMELY careful with any "Commercial Machine" because most of them don't have auto-brakes on them. We had a big Singer Harness Machine in the Loft that I worked in and when we got it set up, one of the owners promptly sewed a Quarter to a piece of 3/8ths plywood, and when you got off of the throttle, it was going to hit at least three more times!!! Paragear is a very good source and if you call them they are very helpful.

Later
Martin

Peregrino
05-13-2013, 18:40
----- and when you got off of the throttle, it was going to hit at least three more times!!!

Yeah - keep your fingers out of the way. Fortunately, most commercial machines are a little more forgiving than harness machines but they're all potentially dangerous for the uninitiated/careless. I have two lighter duty machines designed for Home Economics programs that will handle 4-5 layers of 1000 denier Cordura without problems so it is possible to work on smaller machines. Look for steel vs. nylon gears and a limited stitch selection. Older Singer or Brother machines will usually serve provided you have the right thread and needles. Check koz's rigger resources, they'll have everything you can imagine including fabric. The only one he overlooked that I've used with good results is www.seattlefabrics.com.

TOMAHAWK9521
05-13-2013, 22:05
For heavy/multiple layers of fabric, you want a machine that pulls the fabric through from on top and underneath. I've been using a Juki industrial for many years now and I'm very pleased with it. I've built, modified and/or repaired a wide range of textile products over the years. Body armor, assault vests, holsters, horse blankets, dog beds, etc. I can work on just about any type of nylon fabric, cordura, ballistic nylon, rubberized nylon (Zodiac boat material), webbing, canvas, and leather.

However, those machines can jam up on you if you aren't careful. It's not a common thing but the thread can get hung up in the bobbin. Once that happens it takes a little bit of patience to re-tune your machine so everything lines up and runs smoothly. The thread is pretty substantial, so when it jams up it's like working with heavy fishing line.

And as the others have already mentioned, keep an eye on where your fingers are unless you are into graphing fabric onto/into your fingers/hands. The needles on those machines are equally substantial and will have no problem punching through. And if that were to happen, re-read the aforementioned part about having to re-tune your machine.

I would also add Rockywoods Fabrics (http://www.rockywoods.com/). It's a family-run business in Loveland, CO. They have a slew of material and hardware for the textile designer. They started out as just another small, everyday fabric shop and are now handling large DOD orders for materials. I've known them for at least 15 years and have never had a problem with their service.

Golf1echo
05-13-2013, 22:40
Big smiles reading this thread. Great advice, I'll sure take the old Singer, you'll probably want to start with another ( commercial) machine. Only thing I see to add is BUY AMERICAN MADE materials ...if possible.

koz
05-14-2013, 08:54
I bought a Singer 31-15 when I was working on my senior riggers ticket to do light repairs. It was the slow, smooth machine that was fun to use. I sold it after I bought a more modern heavier duty machine and still regret getting rid of it....

Aoresteen
06-12-2013, 11:02
You need a floating foot machine. My daughter sews and bought a used Singer industrial floating foot sewing machine last year - $500. She got a good deal from the guy who services sewing machines for the trade.

These are mechanical devices and they will need service! Contact your local custom drapery & upholstery shops and ask who services their sewing machines. That person will be a good source of intel on what's available locally.

Good luck!

MR2
06-12-2013, 18:37
You need a floating foot machine. My daughter sews and bought a used Singer industrial floating foot sewing machine last year - $500. She got a good deal from the guy who services sewing machines for the trade.

These are mechanical devices and they will need service! Contact your local custom drapery & upholstery shops and ask who services their sewing machines. That person will be a good source of intel on what's available locally.

Good luck!

Excellent advice!

Sinister
06-27-2013, 18:29
The FAA Parachute Rigger's Guide is posted on-line (it's big, like 67 megabytes). It has recommendations for machines.

You can use a Singer 31-15 (type) for light to medium work, and you'll want to upgrade to a walking foot machine when you start heavier thicknesses and webbing.

You'll want to sew damn near all Cordura with number 69 nylon thread (military Ticket E).

Cordura comes in lighter weights (330 and 500) up to really heavy stuff (1000 denier).

Good luck.

eggroll
07-12-2013, 23:07
Time, frustrations, busted needles, repeat.

walking foot machine with 69 thread will work fine for 99% of what you will look to make for the LE arena.

work on tensions, stitch lengths, and coordination with your reverse lever.

Also use scrap pieces of material to verify handling characteristics while under needle.

Be advised that aside from the differing fiber weights, the urethane backing will affect the overall "hand" of the material, thus its sewability

Lastly, buy a copy of Poynters Parachute Manual

Fox583
08-06-2013, 13:22
Just want to say thanks to all of you who have posted on here......Frickn great info!