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Sailcloth too THIN

Printed From: Sailrite Enterprises, Inc.
Category: Sailmaking
Forum Name: Sail Repair
Forum Discription: Repairing Sails
URL: http://forum.sailrite.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3415
Printed Date: 22 January 2021 at 7:54pm


Topic: Sailcloth too THIN
Posted By: Ernst
Subject: Sailcloth too THIN
Date Posted: 14 March 2017 at 6:22pm
I know that most fight material that is too thick. I have the opposite problem, with my LSZ type machine.

I have a split seam in my largest genoa. It is very light dacron, I don't know the weight but it feels nearly like spinnaker material. I can not sew it at all. It seems as if the timing is all off, there is only very occasionally a 'knot' made  below the fabric. I am using V-69 with a #18 needle and I have increased the pressure quite a bit from what I normally use. I also switched to a #16 needle, same result. This happens both with straight stitch and with zig zag.

With the exact same machine setting and thread, I can sew other fabric (sunbrella, denim, ...) without any problem. Just for kicks, I just put some paper tape (the left-over 'cover' from the basting tape) on top of the seam and it worked perfectly! This tape itself if quite slick (very little friction) so I think the problem is just that the sailcloth is very thin.

Any ideas how I can sew this?

Thank you!





Replies:
Posted By: Zach
Date Posted: 14 March 2017 at 6:31pm
Hello Ernst,

Watching this video and following its instruction will get you up and sewing your genoa in no time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cvVx3FALA4&list=PLAbM539i4biWOFtdRlX6JE0F_Y9uLPO-z&index=8).

You are experiencing these problems because the thread and needle size you are using are way too large for the weight of the material you are attempting to sew. You will want to use a V-30 thread with a #12 or #14 needle. You will also want to decrease the downward pressure on the walking foot as much as possible and decrease the upper tension assembly nearly all the way. Doing all the above listed steps will allow you to sew your genoa without a problem. If you would like to talk it through, please give us a call. 


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Zach Grant
Sailrite


Posted By: Ernst
Date Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:03pm
Wow, thanks for the fast reply! So it looks I did most things wrong :)

I watched the video, very instructive! I don't get any of the pucker shown in it, my problem is that there are simply no knots formed. But I suppose your diagnosis is correct, I have too large a needle and thread. 

So just sent off an order for #12 and #14 needles (I want both so I have them if I need them), and a spool of V-30 and V-46 each. I know you recommended V-30 but the dacron sail I have is nothing like the fabric in the video and if I need something sturdier, I want to be sure to have it. 

I will let you know how that goes. And thanks again!


Posted By: Zach
Date Posted: 15 March 2017 at 8:21am
No problem at all, happy sewing!

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Zach Grant
Sailrite


Posted By: Ernst
Date Posted: 22 March 2017 at 9:52pm
Originally posted by Ernst Ernst wrote:

Wow, thanks for the fast reply! So it looks I did most things wrong :)

I watched the video, very instructive! I don't get any of the pucker shown in it, my problem is that there are simply no knots formed. But I suppose your diagnosis is correct, I have too large a needle and thread. 

So just sent off an order for #12 and #14 needles (I want both so I have them if I need them), and a spool of V-30 and V-46 each. I know you recommended V-30 but the dacron sail I have is nothing like the fabric in the video and if I need something sturdier, I want to be sure to have it. 

I will let you know how that goes. And thanks again!

As promised, here is my update.

Unfortunately, I could not get it to sew consistently. I used the V-30 with #12 needles and sometimes the seam turned out very nicely, at least for a straight stitch. But it was just very inconsistent: most of the time there were problems, skipped stitches (many!), broken thread, even a broken needle. In the end I was worried that I was not only getting nowhere fast but I was also punching so many holes in the sail with all my practice seaming that it might weaken the sail. 

I have no explanation what went wrong. I have sewed sailcloth with great success previously but it was all much heavier fabric (mainsail, working jib etc). 

So, after some playing around I broke out one of my other sewing machines, a Singer 99K (made in 1955 in Scotland!), put in the V-46 thread I had bought (the V-30 still being in the 'big' machine) and it worked beautifully! The machine sewed it like a charm, with absolutely zero problems and zero experimentation (I did not even change the tension, and I used whatever needle happened to be in the machine). Of course it has no zig-zag so I seamed it twice (it was just repair work so not too much length). It was such a pleasure to use this machine!

I am sure an LSZ can be made to sew this material (I have seen it on the Sailrite video) but I just don't have the experience and expertise. So I will just use the Singer for the really light fabrics, like spinnaker, drifter etc and reserve the 'big' machine for heavier sails, and of course canvas. 

Again, thanks for your help!



Posted By: MattGrant
Date Posted: 23 March 2017 at 7:17am
Hi Ernst,
I would really like to solve this issue. It must be something simple. Would it be too much to ask for photos of how you are threading the machine and how the needle is inserted? Breaking a needle with this light of thread and fabric really should not happen. Let me know if you have a preferred method of communicating beyond this forum too.

Matt

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Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite


Posted By: Ernst
Date Posted: 01 April 2017 at 12:27am
Sorry, saw this only now.

Can I send you email about this? 

Thanks


Posted By: MattGrant
Date Posted: 02 April 2017 at 6:41pm
Yes, please email matt@sailrite.com with photos.

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Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite


Posted By: MattGrant
Date Posted: 12 April 2017 at 3:52pm
Thread update: Sailrite is closing this particular forum thread and helping Ernst via email. The machine is a Thompson model and not an Ultrafeed LSZ-1 (I missed the reference to "LSZ type" machine). If it is a PW400, which Ernst is checking, then it is likely that the foot and needle plate design are what is keeping the machine from sewing lighter material. That machine is no longer in production and the Datho company is closed. Hopefully we can find a workable solution for this Thompson unit.

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Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite



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