March 18, 2012

Remington Zig - Zag (1960's)

The Remington was at a local estate sale and after seeing it in the morning I went back at the end of the day to take her home.
From the 60's I can find little about it, however, from the other machines in my collection I see some interesting combinations. As with all product development from any period everyone borrows from everyone. Aside from being just another badged Japanese machine it has distinct Brother likenesses. The most interesting (and unique for the Japanese machines) is the Necchi BU presser foot lift mechanism; it's a very near copy. The presser foot tension control is also similar to the BU. 

Not a terribly attractive machine, it has a goofy organization of elements on the front; "just put a frame around each control and get on with it." However the machine runs and sews beautifully, fully making up for the lame attempt at industrial design.
I tried it out on a little practice piece... I think its more quiet than the BU? I'm going to keep working with for a while; I love quiet.

Beige in perfection! 1961


March 7, 2012

CowBoy 8810 (2011)

With all the searching and studying it came down to just going for the real thing.... a post-bed, wheel-feed machine. The Cowboy 8810 is one of a series made in China that has a lot of user development baked into it (or so the net says.) It is identical to the Artisan 4618.  I suppose that the bizarre and hard to use stitch length adjustment is part of what keeps the cost down, it is not however a cheap or poorly made machine. 

This type of machine is primarily for shoes and accessories only. It came with a low speed servo motor because that's the only way you can control the stitch path to the degree necessary for shoes.

Wheel feed means that both the upper and lower wheels are gear driven; the "presser wheel" is not just holding the material against the lower wheel but is driven in sync with it. There are machines with just a lower driven wheel and a friction wheel on top, and honestly I am not sure that that is all I needed. It is a machine that takes much practice before it gets to the "point and shoot" level and going around turns is not a snap, my suggestion is to run tight turns one stitch at a time until you get good.

I picked this up directly from Bob in Toledo a great guy to work with.

Customizations so far:
  1. Roller Pressure Foot
  2. Cowboy 8810 - Custom Hand Crank