Saturday, February 28, 2009

Modified sewing machines to repair kites with?

On Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 8:56 PM, Tim Elverston <> wrote:
Hi there Eric,
Thanks for the interest. Our machines have several modifications that we do as standard practice when we take delivery of a new one.  Different machines require different setups. Generally we are not too concerned with make and model, because each manufacturer has their good and their bad models. It becomes more and more difficult to get a decent machine these days because they all tend to be more and more "user friendly" meaning that the manufacturers make decisions for you and program them into hard-wired firmware, servo motors, and micro-controllers. I much prefer a manual machine where I can bend any rule I want.
A brightness adjustable back-lighted feed plate is one thing that we like. Allowing fiber-for-fiber alignment because the fabric is more easily seen when lit from behind. A small but wide throat on the feed plate is also important. Other modifications to the thread feed system to take out some of the irregularities in the way it pays off the spool of thread. Needle and thread gauge is also very important.
Quality repairs are about 20% machine and 80% operator. Our repairs, and the details within them, the care we take, and our experience from 17 years of designing and building art kites are really more the issue than any particular machines we use. Speed comes from perfection.  If every step you take is perfect then the next goes much faster. Errors magnify.
However, we have a few kenmores, singers, berninas, and a consew needle-feeding compound walking foot.
Light-weight machines are good because of the light fabric used in kites.
Thanks for the interest.

Tim Elverston

On Nov 14, 2008, at 4:35 PM, Eric wrote:

Hi tim,
I read that you guys have specially modified sewing machines for kite repair.  I was just wondering what kind of machines they are, make and model.  and how you were able to modify them.  do they really increase the quality of the repair or just speed up the process?