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Patching Machines

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In 31 years in the trade I don't think I have ever used a Patching machine (and I must have worked on hundreds over the years)that is consistantly a good stitch, they drop stitches, decide not to stitch have tension issues, and I'm talking about new and older models.

There must be a good machine out there that is up to the job. I'm fed up with trying to make a good job of elastics on tiny straps with a clumbsy big footed unreliable Singer. I hate stitching machines that don't work properly.


What machines are shoe manufacturers using, ans why don't Standard/siserve sell em.


And I don't want any Bullshit that the machine needs a service, cus I've tried that on many occasions. These Singers/Adlers are no good for really fine work.

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for large stitching they're great but crap on the smaller stitch jobs like uk says.

no matter how i set my machine or how carefully i go i can never get little gussets to look like they could, especially with having such a big foot in the way which keeps falling off the edge at the most inopportune moments.


i'm glad someone else raised this :lol:

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Manufacturers also use these machines but as bkb says, they are for Patching.

They use flat bed and post macgines that have a much finer set up, problem is, you cant get down inside the shoe with them so you need a universal patcher.

Gingerbas & elfman have good machines but can they stitch very finely like the Italian manufacturers stitching?

Used em all but my singer at home works perfect every time, but I look after it well.

Worth putting an auction bid on manufacturers machines at closing down sales. go for a Wheeled Post and a Flatbed. Company in Telford do some good recon ones covering all the leather trade found them on the internet some years ago but cant remember their names.

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My old 29k has been banging away every day for the past 19 years with me & thats with out its previous history!


Never misses a stitch (unless your asking just a bit to much from it) & stitches left/right, back & forth with out problems.


the example show is with 3 different thicknesses of thread, at 3 different stitch lengths.



top thread is the "traditional" singer

Middle thread is polyester metric 60

Bottom thread is sylko thread (same as home machines run) brought from haberdashery.


the important thing, is it also required 3 different needles & 3 sets of tensions. I LOVE my 29k it was the first machine I ever brought, way back in the days as an employee & is about the only machine I haven't replaced!


I disagree with this "thread"! :lol:



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well put lee i also have not had any problem with my singer it is as you said just a matter of the right needle and correct thread, and just for you planet do not think that by getting a flatbed or post machine it will solve your problem becouse it wont ,it took me quite a while to convice the upper makers in my old firm that aalthugh these machines did a neat and tidy stitch if the stitch length is to small it can give you just as big a headache i.e split seams ,elastic splitingand the lacing section tearing the vamp

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Guest stevecity

who is guilty of doing no stitching? are you mad!


I do at least three pairs of new elastic.. i.e. buckles ok, but need new elasic, every day, we charge $7.00 per elastic.


Turnaround approx. 30 mins. Thats in between all other repairs, we do five hundred pounds[uk] a day min. on repairs, six days a week.


Point being, patching is easy money, I don't even charge for seam work if I can do with no glue.


Been using this machine 12 years, but it is older than that, never had a problem with it that couldn't be sorted in an hour by myself.


A good thing is to smear oil or WD 40 on shoe/ bag if she won't stitch, then wipe clean.


Stick with the one thread that works, top and bottom, and don't mess with the spool spring whenever it play's up.



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I don't even charge for seam work if I can do with no glue.

I'm not here to do "favours" minimum charge £4.00!


A good thing is to smear oil or WD 40 on shoe/ bag if she won't stitch, then wipe clean.
If your machines set up properly, you shouldn't need to do this!


Stick with the one thread that works, top and bottom, and don't mess with the spool spring whenever it play's up.

Here lie's the problem to needing wd40! the thread should be appropriate for the job you are doing! thats why the machines have the adjusters in the first place!



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Some very interesting points on the "thread" on both renditions :D


Lee you have hit the nail on the head by stating to use different needles with different threads.

You also need different needles for Leather & Fabric.

You should also have the same guage thread in the Shuttle as used on the top.

Tensions may have to be altered on the Shuttle and the Top Thread plates especially when changing from thick down to thin and vice versa.


Common causes of missed stitches are, but not resricted to,


Adhesive clogging the needle hole.

Worn take-up lever.

Incorrect adjustment of take up lever.

Wrong size needle for thread used, Thick thead need a larger needle hole or it wont feed properly).

Thread not feeding off the spool either by coated thread not being dry before being wound (common India thread).

Thread getting caught under spool of thread (put a disc under, larger than the spool size).


Worn Rack & Pinion.

Worn Needle Bar Tension Plate.

Groove worn in tension bar under the tension plate.

Unsatisfactory needle manufacture.

Worn tension spring on bobbin case.

Worn groove in bobbin case under tension spring.

Missing or worn tension spring in Shuttle carriage.

Incorrect needle plate hole for size of needle and thread.

Bent needle bar.

Worn needle bar.

Needle alignment.

Thread tensions.

Incompatable thread mix. (shuttle & top).


Regular oiling (not WD bloody 40) will offset many of these problems.

Put oil on the oil bath for the thread where possible as oiled threads stitch better and keep the needle and bar and bobbin case lubricated.

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hugh hugh you missed one!!


we have found a lot of missing stitch problems cured by changing the small roller inside the drive pulley. although only quite small it has a large impact because of the length of the top arm that drives the needle bar down. If you can lift the needle bar and it feels like there is a lot of up and down movement look at this little roller and you will see all the movement. we are starting to find similar problems with dn insole stitchers now they are of a certain age and wear

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Very true Peter and yes i did miss that one as I could not be bothered to get off my Ass and go and look at my machine to see if I could add other problems.

Lack of maintanence problem Peter, eh what!!! bit of oil, bit of grease :)


Beginning to think in a deeper aspect now Peter, is it the roller or the Pulley that has worn?

Roller made from High Tensile Steel, Pulley made of Cast Iron (or the last one I broke smashing it off with a hammer was :D ) Surely the pulley must wear first!!!! and are these Pulleys still available as a new item?


If all these problem parts mentioned are checked, my gues is that you will be having orders for quite a number of small parts. (No I'm not saying that they will come to you as a man of Small Parts Peter :D )

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me guessing probably the pulley but we make new rollers so perhaps wear is even? not certain as its not me that does it. if it was down to me id stuff it with chewing gum. :-s


Now we need to do the same exersize for thread breaking rather than missing stitches.

Ah well looks like I'm going to have to go and look at my machine again.

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