Nov 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm #1281771
I just got a new sewing machine over the weekend and started playing around with some cuben i recently bought. My machine has like 20 different stitch options. After practicing some different stitch types, i decided to make a small stuff sack and close the ends using a zig zag stitch. Now, maybe its just me getting used to a real machine (i am a novice in every sense of the word) but i find it difficult to control the speed of the machine, so it felt like sometimes the material would "get away from me" if that makes any sense. Then when i slow down, i feel like im messing up the stitch.
IS there a secret to working with cuben vs other materials?
Is there a particular stitch pattern you guys use? The zig zag looks to be inherently the strongest, but will add more thread to the project….
IDK just curious…Nov 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm #1800306
what do you use to cut cuben? maybe i need better scissors….Nov 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm #1800307
William ZilaBPL Member
Get a good thread tension long stitch length minimum stitches. And cut with a straight edge razor cuben will dull scissors quickNov 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm #1800308
@mpap89Locale: bay area
i'm pretty sure most people use an x-acto knife when cutting cuben.Nov 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm #1800317
Ill try out some of the longer stitch settings and pick up a new exacto knife or razor blade tomorrow!Nov 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm #1800318
Dan DurstonBPL Member
I've always used a hot knife, which is basically a razor blade but heated up super hot. It cuts thru really nicely…even when the blade isn't so dull. You can get these at craft stores for $20 or so.Nov 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm #1803564
Michael TtraftonBPL Member
@mtraftonLocale: North Carolina
Order a walking foot for you machine. You will be amazed at how much easer it is working with thin material like cuben. Get a roteree cutter to cut cuben.Nov 20, 2011 at 7:45 am #1803608
Rusty BeaverBPL Member
Sorry to butt in here but with the walking foot, do you leave it on all the time, such as when you're sewing webbing, fleece, etc too? Also, will a walking foot make sil-nylon easier to sew as well or is that stuff going to be a pain regardless?Nov 20, 2011 at 10:57 am #1803662
Eric LundquistBPL Member
@cobbermanLocale: Northern Colorado
I tried out a new machine at a local sewing shop which featured a walking foot. I brought a sample of 70D and I found it much easier to control than without a walking foot. I imagine any slippery fabric would benefit from one but they are very expensive as a standard option on a machine.Nov 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm #1803816
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Not clear from your post if the speed control issue only happens with cuben or across the board. If the latter, you may need a better speed control pedal. You could pick one up at a sew+vac shop and wire and tape it into the the line that plugs into your machine. Also, the machine will operate more smoothly if kept clean and lubricated inside. Hope you don't need a new motor. Do not use a full-size presser foot for straight stitching – the thin two-pronged ones are good, and work much better for me on silnyon.
I have not sewn with cuben yet, but decided some time ago only to sew together edges that have already been hemmed by folding over and bonding. Too much on the forums about the stitch holes being pulled open by the thread, as well as pictures of puckered seams. Haven't decided yet whether to bond with one of the tapes or GE silicone glue. Will need to see first how the tape adhesive affects sewing, and how well the silicone glue holds. Would not go to the trouble of using a urethane glue unless there would be no stitching at all.Nov 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm #1803830
I would shoot Ron Bell an email. (he is a member of BPL)
The stitch work on my cuben gear from MLD is laser straight.Nov 21, 2011 at 7:48 am #1803988
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
video on making Cuben tarpNov 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm #1804150
so far the speed control issue seems to be caused by my own foot!!! and lack of experience with my new machine….sine i posted this thread ive been practicing and gotten a much better feel for the cuben in general. im cutting it much smoother and right now im just waiting to place my final order for materials to finish my wifes pack…the rder will be placed tomorrow and then the real test will begin.
Thanks to everyone who posted suggestions and comments, i take them all to heart!Nov 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm #1804152
Nice to learn how to sew but not for Cuben. Seems people have translated skills and methods to the new material that are just not necessary?? Ive only made a few things but hot knife and bonding seem obviously superior methods for working with plastic???Nov 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm #1804170
One reason is that it is impossible to bond non cuben materials (i.e. nylon) to cuben with tape.Nov 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm #1804205
Perhaps sinylon but many things bond surprisingly well given the right adhesive and techniques. I guess my point is, someone new to using Cuben should think of bonding first, sewing next (imo).
Ive had several dyneema X/ grossgrain nylon/ mesh bonds hanging weighted and swinging in a tree for months now (forgot they were out there lol). I'd probably find a material that does bond (if possible) before sewing the stuff (especially lighter weight styles).
I have limited experience compared to some here but just 2c advise wise.Nov 21, 2011 at 7:36 pm #1804230
well i have considered bonding some lighter weight cuben to make a rain jacket….but for a pack, using a stronger weight cuben, stitching should work just fine….also suben tape is like $30 a roll whereas thread is relatively cheap at around $5 and a little tlc and elbow grease…Nov 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm #1804255
for a pack and heavy materials. I have some of the nylon backed cuben and heavy weights, i'm not convinced they are really worth the cost over alternatives.
Tape definitely for large panels (cubictech tape works well in shear, like velcro in peel) otherwise some cheap adhesives work equally well (if not better).
EnjoyNov 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm #1804272
work as good if not better than cubic tape…if you dont mind sharing!Nov 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm #1804284
iv'e had some success with a couple of local contact adhesives but others on the forum would have a better idea of those available there (Ive also used aquaseal and hysol but they seem expensive and not especially easy to work with). I did play around with spray contact adhesive and masking, not as difficult and quicker than it sounds and leaves a nice even layer. For piece of mind i did my own testing, probably the best idea.
I would say that while i mention it here i'm by no means the only one on BPL with a preference for bonding lightweight cuben. I have sewn a couple of projects then seam sealed but it didn't offer much advantage (though the sew part was quicker and cleaner (until I worked out a few techniques for using contact).Nov 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm #1804609
…is to make a rain jacket out of probably .6 cuben and not stitch anything…i saw a post a few weeks ago by a guy who did this exact thing and the light bulb went on!
So please dont think im biased one way or the other. I think most would agree on BPL that the easiest, strongest, lightest methods are usually preferred!! when im ready, bring on the cuben tape!
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