christos : July 2, 2015 7:21 am : Sailsmith News

A ditty bag from the south seas

A member of my local sailing club bought this ditty bag from a spice islander while cruising the Pacific. Sporting a stitched on clove and handmade grommets. Hand stitched throughout.



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New Products for 2015

christos : April 6, 2015 9:18 pm : Sailsmith News




The all new “lazerette bag” by Sailsmith Bags is here! Available in 4 sizes to match almost any requirement for a durable, stylish, and affordable bag. For the full scoop, click here.

As Always, Free Shipping to continental USA.

Sailsmith Bags, LLC
1354 Town Hill Rd.
Whitingham VT, 05361

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Consew 206RB-5 Review

christos : November 24, 2014 8:38 pm : Sailsmith News

The Consew 206RB-5 is a standard among heavy industrial sewing machines.  It’s strengths are simplicity and durability.  Aftermarket parts are readily available and several other manufactures produce machines with interchangeable parts.  Indeed, the Consew 206RB-5 has been one of the most copied designs ins sewing machine history.  This illustrates the combination of simplicity and durability that this upholstery and canvas machine has come to represent.


 Consew 206RB-5 links:

  • To view the Consolidated sewing machine corp. webpage about the 206RB-5 click here.
  • To view the Consew pdf manual, click here.
  • To view the parts manual, click here.

The 206RB-5 Review:

I purchased my Consew and a 18″ long arm clone from a vinyl seat upholsterer in Hyde Park N.Y., through a Cregslist ad.  Both machines were used and in inoperable condition (due to minor problems) at the time, and the seller didn’t know how to use, let alone maintain the machines.  He informed me he mostly re covered motorcycle and snowmobile seats, but that someone else did the sewing.  The long arm is a clone of the Consew 206RB-5 made by Chandeler.  After fixing a few small parts, giving them a good cleaning and oiling, and making several adjustments, both machines have worked exceptionally well for me over the past few years.  The machines have mostly interchangeable parts except for the parts specific to the long or normal length arms, and a few small parts “under the hood”.


I set my machines up with #20 needles and I sew canvas with T-138 bonded polyester thread.  The combination works great and the result is a tough stitch that can handle a lot of abrasion, especially if you double or triple it.  Forward and reverse movement of the machine is smooth an nether machine ever miss stitches.  The full rotary hook gets the job done, with few snags and jammed thread.  One word of caution though, you would be wise to carefully wipe oil off after oiling, or risk a drop falling on your workpiece.  After oiling the machine, I always open the end plate  and remove excess oil off of parts after sewing on scrap material for a few feet.


Stitch length can be adjusted from 0 to 10 mm., and I leave mine around 4 or 4.5 mm. for most work.  There are many styles of walking feet available, and a good selection will provide versatility.  The machine also readily accepts folders of various designs and sews with them well.  The Consew 206RB-5 sews thick fabric easily up to about 3/8″, forward and reverse, without breaking needles.  A 3/4 HP motor is a great pairing with this machine, and I prefer the Consew Con-Serv 3/4 HP brushless motor with needle positioning.  The positioning sensor takes a little while to set up, but once in place, speeds up production and increases enjoyability of use.  I keep my needle positioner set so it comes to a stop with the needle down.  A quick push of the treadle with my heel raises the needle.  The motor can also be set up in other configurations depending on your preferences.  One nice mod to slow the machine down a little and provide better slow speed torque, is to replace the larger pulley on the motor to a 2″ pulley.  The only down side to this is it sometimes slips on the belt during extra heavy sewing.


All in all, the Consew 206RB-5 is a very solid machine capable of extended use under demanding conditions.  These are the reasons why this machine has earned it’s place among the best and most affordable upholstery class walking feet machines in the world.

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United-Carr die and tool database

christos : January 28, 2014 12:01 pm : United-Carr die and tool database

United-Carr m 239

Sailsmith Bag’s United-Carr kick press model m 239

I have been looking for something like this on the web but so far I have not found it. If you have any information that may add to this list please post below in comments.

The United-Carr company produced an amazing assortment of tools and dies for fastening purposes. Many of these old tools are still in use today and I was lucky enough to snatch up a United-Carr kick press on eBay for cheap. Since then I have kept track of many dies selling online in an effort to outfit my kick press with an assortment of dies. Here is what I have found:

United-Carr kick presses require dies with a 3/8″ diameter top and bottom stud. You can purchase new grommet dies from the King Richard Co., just do a google search. The individual original United-Carr die numbers I have run across are below.

United-Carr vintage die chart for fastening tools


There are many more dies out there- please let me know and I will add them to the list. Any editing of my list is also welcome, I am just learning about these dies, and am in no way an expert. Thanks, and have a great day-Christos

What does Sailsmith Bags do with the kick press?

I use the United-Carr model M 239 kick press for installing grommets and snaps.  I mostly use a number #3 brass spur grommet and these dies are normally installed in the machine.  Spur grommets add an additional layer of strength with “spurs” that grab into the fabric.  Next I use it for installing line 24 snaps.  Line 24 snaps are a medium-heavy snap for marine and automotive use.  They are tough and strong.

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Almost done for now

christos : January 27, 2014 9:10 pm : Sailsmith News

The site is almost done for now.  There are a few small bugs to work out but the basic framework is there.  Thank you for your patients while this website has been updated.

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Vermont Made Quality Bags

christos : January 22, 2014 10:16 am : Sailsmith News

I build the finest quality canvas and nylon bags available anywhere.  Each and every Sailsmith Bag is custom crafted by myself in my home workshop  in southern Vermont.  If you seek the highest quality, totally custom bag with an unbeatable warranty, your quest is over.

When you invest in a Sailsmith Bag you get:

  • Finest quality cotton canvas duck or nylon
  • U.V. resistant heavy weight bonded polyester thread
  • Finest quality solid brass or stainless steel hardware
  • Coil zippers made by industry leader YKK ™
  • Handmade in Vermont
  • Free Priority Mail shipping to the U.S.
  • 100 year transferable warranty (on most bags)
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Welcome to the Sailsmith Bags’ new website

christos : January 17, 2014 2:43 pm : Sailsmith News

Over the past few days I have been working hard at creating a new website complete with standard eCommerce features.  It will take several days to complete, so please bear with me as I muddle through it.  The end result should be a much more user friendly website, complete with a shopping cart and the ability to pay with your card.  Any questions please contact me at


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