So maybe you already knew about these cool presser foot changer-outers -aka turrets (thank you Stu) but they were new to me. I had seen them in the sewing line of a customer’s factory but even then, I didn’t know where to buy one because I didn’t the name of it -much less a part number. My customer couldn’t help because being new to the industry, they didn’t realize these parts (that came pre-installed on the used machines they bought), were unusual. Long story short, I finally got around to looking for the part, ordering it and having it installed.
Oh, I guess I need to explain what this turret does and why you may need one. This turret holds three different presser feet. When you want to change feet, you swivel the round thingie to the mounted foot of your choosing. This is much easier and faster than getting a screw driver to completely remove one foot to replace it with another. This means you can go from sewing straight seams to installing a zipper or switching to a compensating foot or whatever. You only need to have the thread cut, you don’t need to rethread the machine or anything else in switching out the feet. Click on these links if you want to see more photos.
This turret is most useful in smaller operations or in sampling when you need machines to provide multiple functions. It’s also heavily used in lean manufacturing. By extension, this turret probably wouldn’t be widely adopted in larger plants because most machines are set up specific to one operation. So, if you need flexibility in your tiny factory or workshop or in sample making, installing one of these turrets is a grand idea.
There are two turret types; one for Juki (model #NB3F) and another for all others; sometimes called a Brother or a German turret (model #NB3F-A). The difference between the two types is that the Juki requires replacing the needle bar too.
I bought one of each kind. On Saturday, my mechanic installed the “German” type (model #NB3F-A) on my Adler. I had actually called him for a crisis repair but when he saw the turret, he couldn’t leave without installing it too. He’d never seen one either. He thinks these are the best thing evah. But I digress. The NB3F-A comes with a replacement pressure gauge but it didn’t fit on my machine (Adler 271-140342). Paul worked around that by modifying the foot pressure in the head. The summary is that an individual could probably install the German type turret themselves provided the pressure gauge fit their machine. If not, you may want a mechanic to do it for you. And no, don’t even ask, there were no installation instructions. That is fairly typical in this business.
The Juki turret (#NB3F) is yet to be installed, I bought this one for my needle feed (yes, this turret will work on a needle feed!). Paul says you have to open up the side of the machine and get into the guts to install the Juki turret. Still, I imagine it isn’t difficult if you know your way around machines.
I bought my turrets from Intersew (scroll down to the bottom of the page). Another company that has them is Superior Sewing. The lowest cost I found for these is $35 each (both Intersew and Superior). I did see some places that sell them for almost double but also generic (pirated?) versions of these on Alibaba for $8-$10 each -provided you could pony up for a 1,000 unit minimum order.
Most of you will want to order from Intersew because Superior only sells to dealers. If you already have a parts dealer, then by all means order this part from your dealer who will order it from Superior or whoever else I don’t know about. As far as I know now, ordering direct from Intersew will mean calling by phone with a credit card because most apparel industry suppliers don’t do web stores, PayPal or any of that. I spoke with Tammy, she was very nice. It took two or three days for it to ship but she called me when it shipped. Most people email these days so that was nice.
I don’t think these turrets are a critical must have item but they sure are nice. They are the sort of thing that will make stitchers very happy.