Sunday, July 1, 2018

Upgrading my Sewing Machine

Sailrite LSZ-1 Sewing Machine Upgrade.

Ok, so I like doing stuff! Boat repairs - love it, Cooking - love it, House repairs - love it, Sewing - love it. I'd rather be busy than bored!

It's nearly two years since I purchased my Sailrite Sewing machine - it's a beast! I've made Fender covers, repaired our Dodger, made new cover for the Lifesling, New Cabin Curtains, Fire pit cover, Pressure washer cover, New Cabin base cushions, Re-designed our Asymmetric Spinnaker, New Line bag, New Hatch Covers, New Winch Covers, New Dodger frame covers, New Dodger windows, I've even repaired my shoes using it! My latest project is a huge Boom tent, with a 2nd in the works. So I feel that we're getting our use out of the machine.

The only issue I have with the machine is that I cannot sew 'slow' it's so damn fast that it's a beast to control - at least with my size 11's I feel like a beginner driver and unable to make a smooth transition using the throttle.

With more great projects in the works, I decided it's time to upgrade to a Servo Motor - and a new work bench. But pricing out the cost the new bench and the servo motor, I figured I might as well spring for the Sailrite - Workhorse Bench and Servo Motor.

It arrived today, 3 boxes, thanks FEDEX for the on time delivery.

After getting back from the store run for our weekly home provisions, I set to work putting it all together. This is not a quick 'some assembly required' project. After two hours I had the table put together and the servo motor drive pulley installed. It'll take at least another hour in the morning to get the motor installed ready to power up the new Beastie!

I have set up the height of the table to match the height of my existing work bench in the garage (a 6' folding table) hoping that I can figure out some way to meld the two tables.

The big plus of the new motor is the speed control! If you watch the videos online at Sailrite.com, you would see the demo where the machine is stitching at 1 stitch per tap on the treadle control.

I have a large boom tent project that has to be sewn this weekend, it's a bit more complex compared to the over the counter boom tents as it has to cover the main cabin while leaving the lazy jacks in place.

Taking the new Table & Motor for a spin, I felt that the Treadle position was not ideally suited for my lanky legs. So I moved it far over to the right side of the work table. While at it, I also raised the table quite a bit but that resulted in the rod from the treadle to the motor being too short. Luckily, Sailrite provided a duplicate of the rods, I used one part of the extra rod set to extend the rod so that it easily reached the raised table. Sweet!

First impressions of the improvement in sewing is - WOW - the video showed it doing a really slow stitch, but it's actually better than that! When I raise my foot on the treadle, the motor stops! None of the old 'wait till the motor stops spinning', it stops dead in it's track! That makes it much easier to stitch up to a corner and STOP, with the needle buried, shift into reverse and SLOWLY backup a couple of stitches, forwards to the corner and the locking stitches are complete. All with incredible control. I'm really impressed! Oh! Did I mention that it's SMOOTH - and QUIET - it is.

With the new setup complete, tomorrow afternoon I'll get back to production. So far it looks like the investment was well worth the money, and time (to put it together).

All of the parts (Motor, Foot Control, Old Jack Wheel, and the extra items included in the two equipment packs for the upgrade) are now all stored in the Original Sewing Machine Carrying Case, just in case I ever want to change it back to a portable machine. Might happen if I need to take the machine to a boat to do work on site, but I'm not really planning on doing that kind of work. It has to be fun! and right now, it's totally fun!

See you on the water.