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New guy looking for new machine

Started by Miket, October 03, 2019, 04:31:01 am

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Just found this site while cruising google.
Anyway, I've been doing marine canvas and other smaller projects for about a year now on a Thompson mini  walker.

I am ready to upgrade.

Budget 1000 - 1500

I think I have it narrowed down to a Consew P1206rb 1 and a 206rb-5.

Any thoughts, recommendations or reviews yall could share?

Thanks for looking

Looking forward to reading and adding info here


The 206RB is the industries workhorse. They are known to be reliable and great performers.
I have been inside large Marine manufacturing companies and they have a stable full of 206's in their upholstery dept.
What I like about them is they are very versatile. One other great benefit is parts and attachments are plentiful and cheap.

I have the cousin to the Consew which is a Chandler 406rb. There are 2 brothers and one owns the Consew brand
and the other owns the Chandler brand. They literally hate each other and wont speak to one another. They got into a pissing match one day and the one brother left and started Chandler. The Chandler is a cheaper knock off of the Consew but has the same exact parts and quality. We have 2 Chandlers and both are in a production setting meaning they get real heavy use. One of them was our only machine we used for years when we got started. The other Chandler is our long arm machine. Neither has ever failed us and are excellent machines.

If you are going to be doing marine work you will be using several different attachments so I would stay clear of Adlers and Pfaffs.
Both are awesome machines but everything you buy for them you pay a hefty premium. The only other machine I could recommend is the Juki. They are very high quality and they do make one that would be great for marine work. I sold one of ours to Ricat, a member here.
He loves the machine and it came from the Monterey Boat factory upholstery department. Last I knew it was still running strong for Rick.

I think you are on the right path. Just make sure it is a compound machine and do NOT get a machine that is limited
such as a machine that wont do heavy canvas work. That is a mistake many 1st timers make. Buy the right machine from the start
and make sure it can sew everything from lighter fabrics to heavy leather and canvas. That way you are not limited to the work you can take in. Remember Marine work takes a heavy duty machine because of the multiple layers of acrylic you sometimes have to sew. The Consew 206 by the way is one of the best box cushion making machines you will ever find. The 206 loves that kind of work and the foot attachments are dirt cheap to buy.

Best of luck and welcome,



Thanks Mojo!

Going to a shop next week and put my hands on a few. Juki is also on my list I just cant pin down a model.


I agree with Chris on the 206RBs if they are older. If your looking at a new machine look hard at a true Juki. No knockoffs just Juki brand. 1541s are great. Make sure you get a compound walker / needle feed. The Juki's are still made in Japan last I knew. That is important.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Thanks for the reply!
Juki is not out of the picture.
looks like the 1541 is the most popular for canvas work.
A little over my budget but I want this to be a machine I keep for a very long time so quality is important.


You won't be sorry with a used 206RB machine.
Minichillo's Upholstery


I did forget to mention that buying a machine off e-bay to save a $ 100 bucks is not worth it.
Most of those machines have not been setup and sewn off.

I recommend you buy from a dealer who will unbox it, set it up, test it then sew it off before shipping.
These machines are not cheap or easy to ship back and forth for repairs or setup issues.

I buy all of my machines from Bob Kovar of Toledo Sewing Machines. You can google him.



Thanks Mojo, I have seen Toledo in my searches.

I'm driving down to Norfolk, VA this week to Sewing Machine Sales and Service to put eyes and hands on a few machines since I have seen none in person and feel that would be the best way to make a final decision.

From the conversation we had he appears to be same or a little cheaper than any ebay store once you add shipping.

I like to buy from local as much as possible. They are 1.5 hours away but that's the closest shop I can find to me.

Spent a few hundred extra buying local when replacing my boat engine instead of buying from a high volume shop and they treat me like gold.

Hoping this purchase has the same results


Machine mechanics are hard to find. When you find a good one keep them happy.
Minichillo's Upholstery



I have to agree. Machine techs in our area are slim to none. Thankfully I learned to repair machines
myself early in my stitching career. While I have never completely disassembled a machine I can fully time
the hook, feed dogs and needle. I have replaced hooks and the worst job I ever did was replacing a
complete needle bar. That was pure hell.

Bob & Bobbie from Toledo Machine spent hours on the phone in the past teaching me how to trouble shoot
and fix machines. I have never had to call a repair guy in. Overall, if you are easy on machines they typically do not need
service. Oil them, baby them and they keep on going.



Just placed order for 206rb with Bob.
Thanks for the info


There are several sewing machines - all good.  I have 4different brands (most at the same time) which
offers opportunity to do what ever you want:  one important thing is compare and, restating
that all brands used in my business over time worked very well.  It is important to know the specs
and maintenance requirements.

The 206 always rated with the others - just maintain and go!  I suspect you already know and

You will be happy!!



Got the 206 set up with new work bench but cant post a pic for some reason.

Anyway the only issue I have is the servo motor isnt as smooth as evryone says it is.
I cannot sew stitch by stitch or anywhere near as slow as Id like to go with any consistency.

I have to really baby the pedal to get started and it always starts too fast. I can back it off and get it slower but nowhere near as slow as I need to sew a tight curve or small detail.
Ive got the 550 servo. It has a dial gauge but it clicks into position instead of being able to fine tune.

Any suggestions to get this motor more friendly?


Turn the dial down. You can adjust it even if it clicks. You still will be able to use the pedal for speed control also. Just turn it down and try it at each setting.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Ive tried all the settings and it makes no difference.
I watch videos where the needle is moving very slow like one stitch per second and smooth.
The pedal is so touchy I cannot get this thing to start slow.