The Sailrite.

Posted by mike d. 19 comments

Ryan Schenk got a new sewing machine. Here’s our conversation about this sewing machine.

Ryan: Mike D
Ryan: I just sewed through 8 layers of truck tarp and 12 layers of ballistic nylon….without any electical power
Mike D: huh? foot pump action?
Ryan: nope! it has a hand crank for when you need to make sail repairs on your boat
Mike D: snazzy!

Ryan: guess how much my sewing machine weighs
Mike D: 35 pounds.
Mike D: Holy moly
Ryan: muahahahahaha! it’s so cooooool


Mike D:

Mike D: what was the original purpose for this purchase?
Ryan: extreme awesomeness. Also my current sewing machine just can’t sew what The Schenk wants to sew
Mike D: lol
Ryan: did you ever see the wallet I made out of tyvek?
Mike D: yeah
Ryan: welll… I made a new wallet out of bicycle inner tube. My old sewing machine can’t hack them. The Sailrite will eat them for lunch
Mike D: wow dude


Mike D: What are all those controls on the machine for?
Ryan: the big lever that is vertically oriented is the stitch length adjuster. it has a thumb screw that limits its travel on that curved front plate it is infinitely adjustable between -6 and 6mm. The horizontal lever on the top-right is the stitch width, infinitely adjustable from 0mm (straight) to 5mm (zig-zag) and the lever on the top-left determines the needle position in straight stitch mode. If you have that lever set incorrectly during zigzag mode, the machine will destroy itself.
Mike D: whoa
Ryan: also, in that picture of the drive train, see the black plastic knob with the knurled edge?
Mike D: yeah
Ryan: that’s a CLUTCH that you can set!! hahahaha
Mike D: ha ha ha ha ha
Ryan: although it’s usually either open or closed. I don’t know why you would set it to partial-slip, but you could if you wanted to.

So Awesome!!

Jan 13, 2009
10:34 am
#1 Aaron :

It has a clutch. That means you can rig it up to a MOTOR! I’m operator pedals taken out of an old car for the throttle and clutch, you probably won’t need a brake (probably).


Jan 13, 2009
10:58 am
#2 Nicole :

Man. Your sewing machine is way more hard core than mine. All mine can do is frilly little quilting patterns. I am insanely jealous.


Jan 13, 2009
11:37 am
#3 Jes Saint :



Jan 13, 2009
11:48 am
#4 Kurt from Work :

How can something be infinitely set if it has a finite range? last time I checked -6 to 6 is not infinite.


Jan 13, 2009
12:10 pm
#5 Anita Clue :

All that and blue!


Jan 13, 2009
1:37 pm
#6 Sander :

1. Clearly, this is in need of a flame job. Think ZZ Top meets Martha Stewart.
2. I think infinite range refers to an analog adjustment, vs. like a selector switch.
3. What does the Ryan Schenk want to sew, anyway? I’m imagining a bear-proof kevlar body-suit.


Jan 13, 2009
3:34 pm
#7 j2 :

What?! Why was I never told sewing could be this awesome?


Jan 13, 2009
4:35 pm
#8 Vivienne :

I am really jealous of this. The Sailrite could probably sew a car together.


Jan 13, 2009
5:59 pm

Some math nerd will probably eat me alive for saying this, but: Any two integers have an infinite number of Real numbers between them. Remember Zeno’s paradox?


Jan 13, 2009
6:00 pm
#10 Ryan Schenk :

Well, it is currently hooked up to a 1/3 horsepower electric motor, via all those crazy belts. However, if I should lose electrical power, I can take off the belt from the main balance wheel and crank it by hand.

It would probably be better if it was hooked up to a smallblock V8 though.


Jan 13, 2009
6:01 pm
#11 Ryan Schenk :

Sander, I know you were joking about #3, but you are shockingly close to what I made last night.

It is completely waterproof and will survive a motorcycle crash.


Jan 13, 2009
6:02 pm
#12 Ryan Schenk :

ALSO!! What Mike D did not tell you is that it can sew through 16 (sixteen!!) layers of denim without any effort.

16 layers of denim is thicker than my index finger.


Jan 13, 2009
6:40 pm
#13 Jes Saint :

I don’t know why anyone would need to do that, but that’s awesome!


Jan 13, 2009
8:21 pm
#14 Jesse :

I agree, the most I’VE ever seen someone wearing was 15 layers, and that was just obscene…


Jan 14, 2009
12:15 pm
#15 Anita Clue :

But I had an idea for a denim sofa cover and this baby could definitely handle that!


Jan 14, 2009
12:47 pm
#16 Mykal :

What kind of needles to you get for this thing? We’ve got industrial sewing machines at my new job, which are huge and fast and awesome compared to my home machine, but they just sew through 1 or 2 layers of ePTFE. They are not nearly as awesome as this Sailrite. Have fun!


Jan 14, 2009
3:11 pm
#17 Ryan Schenk :

They are standard industrial sewing needles, which are slightly different from the ones that go in your home sewing machine. The size is 135×17 to be precise, and they come in several different diameters. The diameter of the needle is determined by the size thread that you are using. There is a handy chart to tell you which needle you need for your thread.


Jan 17, 2009
9:19 pm
#18 spatry :

Ryan, you should post some pics of your fanny packs.


Jan 19, 2009
1:24 pm
#19 Ryan Schenk :

Done and done. And they’re called “Chaos Pouches” thank you very much.


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