Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

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Farrell Fox
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:30 am

I've been searching for a chain stitch machine for two years now, and finally found one in the Bay Area. This is a Union Special 51300A, with special (and rare) puller attachment. From what I can gather, this machine dates from the 1930s. These chain stitch machines are rather hard to find, since the vintage denim market has a large demand for these machines.

Ford used this type of machine (twin needle) to stitch the single feld seams on their tops. Willys used them to stitch the binding tape on all of their canvas. It produces a unique braid on the bottom side. You can see this on my test pieces. I had to rebuild the table, and the new motor comes in Monday.

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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by lucas » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:58 am

What a complicated piece of machinery....Bet there are no instructions to be found?
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Chuck Lutz » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:48 am

Farrell..

The original edging kinda looks to have had the edges folded under the stitching prior to assembly to the canvas.
Have you found this to be true or do these old eyes decieve me, my friend?
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Mark Tombleson » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:51 am

Great for finding it, Farrell!

So, what do we call you? A haberdasher! Yes, I think that is the proper term. :D :D
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Farrell Fox
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:55 pm

Chuck Lutz wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:48 am
Farrell..

The original edging kinda looks to have had the edges folded under the stitching prior to assembly to the canvas.
Have you found this to be true or do these old eyes decieve me, my friend?
On the tops, the binding tape is folded and then sewn on. On the windshield covers, they are both folded and unfolded, and I'm not sure why they did that. They also used two different types of machines to secure the binding tape on the windshield covers, both of which are the chain stitch machine and standard lock stitch.
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by 1943Willysgpw » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:08 pm

Awesome. If I cannot figure out how to make the canvas for the GTB, I know where to turn... :D
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Steve Webb » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:14 pm

That is like the surger that does 2-3-4 bobbins for binding. My wife has one (not military) and boy is she popular and busy with it.
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:42 am

Thought some might like to see an M29 Weasel top I recently made using my Singer long arm. The hardware is all original from an NOS top that had dead canvas. The owner of the original top initially wanted a simple repair, but that changed once we found out all of the canvas was dry rotted. So I made all new canvas parts using the original as a pattern, and transfered all the hardware over to the new one. This was a HUGE job, and took around 60 hours to complete.


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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by mdainsd » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:30 am

Very nice work! Inspiring.
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Chuck Lutz » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:58 am

Outstanding, Farrell.....your work is exacting and beautiful.
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by nick peters » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:22 am

Farrell
That's some workmanship !! fantastic .
regards Nick.

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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:46 am

After some confusion in my own collection of templates, I discovered there are two types of headlight covers. In order to distinguish them, I've named them type 1 and type 2.

Type 1: Made with roughly 5x4" flaps. Disk is folded over and sewn before the flaps are installed, resulting in two rows of stitching on the face of the disk.

Type 2: Made with slightly larger roughly 5.5x4" flaps. The flaps are sewn to the disk, then folded over and sewn again, resulting in a single row of stitching that hugs the seam pretty closely.

At present, I don't know if these are an MB vs GPW version, though I doubt they are an early vs late detail. For now I'll offer both versions, you can chose either or. Additionally, I made the first batch of type 2 covers with light green thread, which contrasts pretty nicely.


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Last edited by Farrell Fox on Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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THE REAL THING

Post by Ben Dover » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:25 pm

And the real thing.
Nice work!

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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by artificer » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:46 pm

Mark wrote:So, what do we call you? A haberdasher! Yes, I think that is the proper term.
Unless meant as humour & it possibly is, haberdasher is way off course....
The term for this type trade is usually motor/auto trimmer or auto upholster:
Motor body trimming is a trade that involves the manufacturing, repairing, and installation of all carpets, panels, upholstery, hoods, lining covers, and canopies of all types of motor vehicles. ... In addition to cars, motor body trimmers will work with boats, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
BTW nice work & it's folks like Farrell with his talent & skills getting involved in this specialist trade, keeping it from withering on the vine.
Much the same as the recent renaissance in blacksmithing & forging skills in reality TV series.

Pretty hard to demand & get paid adequately for 60 hours work/labour for one small but very intricate job!
That's the price one needs to pay to get a perfect/authentic product.
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Re: Singer Industrial Sewing Machine for Jeep Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:14 pm

Thank you for the compliments, John!


Joel, the bottom two photos are of the real thing. They aren't depot made, either.
Last edited by Farrell Fox on Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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