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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
before you buy an embroidery machine, know these things.


1) your artwork needs to be digitized. this takes skill and practice. you need to work real hard with the auto digitizing software. also, you need to take classes with any embroidery software. plan on sending out some of your work for the harder stuff. you will be much happier

2) this is a piece of machinery, learn how to tune it and fix it. you will break things from time to time

3) buy spare parts before you need them. hook Assembly's, bobbin cases, etc.

4) line up your vendors ahead of time. retail places will charge you $7 + tax for 1000 yards of thread. you can buy 5000 yards for $3-$5 online or through wholesalers

5) mark all your centerlines on your hoops. put a rubber band so it forms an X in the middle. Then mark your centerlines from top to bottom and side to side with a sharpie.

6) buy some rolls of blue painters tape. we measure everything with this stuff. it creates straight lines and is easy to remove

7) most of the 'starter kit' you get is worthless. thread colors you will never use, backing you will never use, try to negotiate extra bobbin holders, hook assemblies, or even a hoopmaster system or fast frames with your purchase

8) stay away from the cheap Chinese made machines. stick with tajima, toyota, swf, melco, etc. they are the best

9) stay away from home machines, they are not rated for continuous use

10) get a 20amp line put it to plug your machine into

11) figure out your pricing before you start quoting. there is not a lot of overhead in emb but if you want to make more than a few bucks an hour you need to work out your stitches per minute and how long it takes to do a sewout.

Have I left anything out? Stand by for more if I did....:D
 

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Great tips. One other thing I would add with regard to figuring out pricing before hand is this:

Think in terms of the entire sale cycle, not just materials used for production. In the beginning, some of us forget to factor in the time it takes to sell the item (helping the customer choose fonts, thread color, etc.), time it takes to mark and hoop, time it takes to clean up the item, etc.

I have a price per 1k stitches I use for goods that the customer buys from me, and a different price per 1k stitches that I use for customer supplied goods (with a $14 minimum, for up to 10k stitches on that one).
 

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I needed this a month ago. I just bought a Husqvarna Viking. It is a home machine, well it's a sewing machine that will do embro. I don't need a large commercail machine. I needed something I could make patches with and sew them on as well.
 

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Good post! Although our embroidery staff have been *****ing about Melco's machines lately. We have lots of repair bills on the one we have, but it might be a lemon.

You will also need to take into account the man hours needed for clipping the thread tails - this can really add up on a big order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have heard a few complaints about the melco's and I don't know why. We almost bought one until we found out the distributor was in Texas and that was as close at they got. Our SWF supplier is right up the street and we like that much better. One thing about the Melco's, they were looking for a company to become a service rep out here. We may do something like that in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sorry, Happy is another one I have heard good things about
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
12) Print out your maintenance schedule and stick to to or near your machine and check off each time you do it

13) use heat tape or blue tape near your needle bar and mark which needles are different from you standard. We use 75/11 ball points but when we put a sharp point or other type in I write the needle number on the tape. Then I know which ones are which.

14) Don't stick your hand in the machine when it is running.

15) If you machine can change colors mid stride, put several of the same color next to each other and do a color change on a thread break rather than rethreading. You will save time that way.

16) Always do a sewout on scrap material before you do the real thing.

17) Plan on 5% spoilage and make sure you account for that in your pricing. If you spoil less then you are ahead of the game.

18) A single head machine gets you into the biz but isn't enough to give you income to hire someone. 4-head and up is what you need to make some bank. just about everyone starts with a single head. dont worry, you will pay for it pretty quickly and be able to expand. never sell the single head, use it for sewouts and one-offs

8a) add happy machines to the good list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
19) if you are going to be near the machine when it is running, get earplugs.
 

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how about PATIENCE

Your gonna need plenty of that when things aren't sewing properly. Just calm down & check ur thread path, bobbin, & keep going down the list till you nail it down. Patience is in my top 5 things that makes my job much easier & productive.
 

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hey Fred earplugs are nice but you still have to listen for the phone!
We have 2 6 head and 2 single head Happy's.....we love them, we've had melco and tajima and got rid of both.

Amen! I got rid of a melco, tajima, toyota & a brother. All HAPPY all the time.

I'm sad that HAPPY is discontinuing their industrial single head. I love those machines. I'll buy the used industrial single heads over the new single heads for sale.
 

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Hello Josh i dont know how they gonna discontinuining because they just update the multiheads like the single with the new compacflash reading in the monitor or screen and beside i didnt hear notting from my friend that he's a distributor from HAPPY in the north minnesota. So maybe im wrong but i would cheack out latter and tell u guys. Robert.
 
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