February 8th, 2007 : Tacsew T111-155 Sewing Machine
After buying and setting up my 1949 Singer Sewing Machine and deciding it wasn't the machine that would give me the professional results I wanted in designing a leather interior for my truck, I purchased this Tacsew from SewingGold.com. Steve is the man to talk to there and, let me tell you, the service is way above board! He sets you up with everything you need at a great price and, most importantly, includes an instructional DVD that explains how to assemble everything - no one else does that ... and when ever I call him or email him with questions, he gets right back to me. If you're thinking of buying a Tacsew, I recommend this source -- you won't get a better price and you certainly won't get better service!
Here's a shot of it head-on ... the dial-knob you see on the right, sets the stitch length and by pressing the arm that sits below that down, the machine shifts into reverse ... let it back up and the machine shifts back into forward again.
The kit comes with a thread stand that is set up for two spools of thread. The spool on the left is for sewing and goes to the needle, whereas the spool on the right is for loading up bobbins and goes to the bobbin winder. Unlike household machines, these industrial machines wind bobbins while you are sewing ... however, I prefer buying prewound bobbins -- it's much more convenient -- and I keep #69 nylon thread on one stand and #138 polyester thread on the other.
The kit comes with one item that is plastic ... and extremely stupid (if you ask me) ... it's a cover for the motor pulley and bobbin winder ... but, aside from the fact that I hate plastic and aside from the fact that this plastic cover creates problems and they tell you to not install certain parts of it, the bobbin winder is so awesome looking I decided to forget about the cover altogether.
Here's another cool deal -- my Singer has over 40 locations that need to be oiled by hand every time I use the machine ... but the Tacsew is self-oiling and what an interesting design, too! It employs woolen wicks, steel tubing and rubber tubing to deliver oil to nearly every part of the machine ... and there's a little 3/4-inch "moon-roof" on the top of the machine that you watch -- you should see oil percolating in it; if not, you can adjust the oil pressure in a couple of ways.
And last, but not least -- here's the real reason for buying this machine -- the feed dog, which moves the bottom piece of material being sewn ... and the foot, which moves the top piece of material being sewn ... and the needle, all move together while the needle is down and through the top and bottom pieces of material being sewn. This insures an even stitch and eliminates the problem with friction that I had with the Singer.
Move your mouse on and off the picture below and you can see the action of what's called a walking foot and needle:
To view how to thread the Tacsew T111-155 Click Here
Update: April 3, 2007
For $149.00 and free shipping, I decided to add this SewQuiet servo motor to my set up because of the control features it offers. Aside from the fact that it uses less electricity and is on only when you step on the pedal, the control features allow you to slow down to a snail's pace which is very helpful when sewing corners or when doing detailed work ... or when you are just a beginner, learning how to handle these machines.
More Info Here
NOTE: If you purchase the Tacsew machine, see if you can buy it without any motor and purchase the SewQuiet motor for it instead -- you'll be much better off!