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I spent all day yesterday looking on the For Sale forum for a used long arm machine somewhere in the northwest.  This morning I was on Craigslist and found a couple of Juki's not too far from me for sale.  I don't know much about long arms except for the Gammill I learned on taking a class and making a couple quilts two years ago, but I found out then that my goal was to get a long arm even if I have to put it in my living room!  One of the Juki's is a DDL 5530 Quiltmaster.  The other is a Juki  TL 2000.  Does anybody have any experience or thoughts about these machines?  I'm lost so I need plenty of advice.  I would like to eventually do some quilts professionally for a little extra money after getting some experience.  Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

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Hi Sandy. Welcome to the APQS forum! If I am not mistaken, both of the machines you mention are primarily sewing machines and have limited quilting space. Only 9" for the TL 2000, and I couldn't find any info on the other one, just a picture. They appear to be decent machines for domestic machine quilting. If you plan to do any quilting for other people, please hold out for a "big girl" longarm (as Cindy Roth) calls them, with at least 18" to 20" of throat space, and a good stitch regulator. Wait for a top quality longarm, too. My sewing machine repair guy services all kinds of sewing machines, longarms, etc., as well as the big commercial machines of all sorts. He knows everything.  When I was deciding on a brand, I asked him what brand he would select for himself if he were in the market. APQS is at the top of the list. He said "they are very easy to service, and, besides, they never break down." The other brand that is on his very short list (of 2) is Innova. Whatever brand you are checking out, look for reviews online from people who bought them - and not on the manufacturer's website. Oh, there is a longarms for sale group on facebook. Check them out, too.

Buying a longarm is very personal , of course. And there is more to consider than just price, especially if you want to quilt for others at some point. You don't want to just "make do" with a machine that was handy to get and affordable, but constantly gives you trouble or is inadequate for what you want it to do. Look for high quality stitches, a stitch regulator, adequate throat depth, and reliability. Equally as important: the availability of good customer service. When you find a nice longarm you are interested in, talk to the manufacturer or a dealer to see if they would be willing to answer questions and help you with any issues that come up. APQS is happy to provide excellent customer service to any APQS owner. You may have a great sewing machine repair service that also  handles a variety of longarm machines. Just be sure you will have support when you need it.

So, keep digging into information and reviews - and be patient, don't settle. Determine the maximum you can afford and go for as much longarm as you can. You will know the right machine when you see it. Feel free to message me if you have other questions.


Sharon

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Hi Sandy welcome to the forum.  Sharon has given you very good advice.  I don't know where you are located but I highly recommend you go to one or more of the shows and test drive different longarm machines.  If there's no shows near try joining a guild or just ask around if anyone would demonstrate their longarm for you (maybe even let you do a test drive).  Check our dealer/retailer locator on this website, you may have one near you.  All the APQS dealers will let you test drive their machines and offer info to you.   A longarm is a big investment, so get something you love and meets your requirements.  As Sharon, specified there is a huge difference between a domestic sewing machine sitting  on a carrier and frame than a longarm.  Check out the used machines listed on this website and do lots of homework.  Please feel welcome to come hear and ask questions, it's a great group of quilters who will give you their honest opinions. 


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


sewsweetgator@aol.com
http://www.yoursite.com
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There are also a number of "for sale" groups for long arms on facebook as well and you can search by location/area.  I had a Janome 1600P on a 'beginner' frame initially and when I upgraded to my Lenni - WHOA!  Totally worth the wait and the $$ to have  a 'real' machine.  Patience will be rewarded with this one!


Deb

May your passion for thread & fabric creations bring joy to you and others!

Blessed wife to my amazing husband, thankful mom to my phenomenal kids, Caretaker to the very spoiled fur & feather babies.

APQS Lenni 2016 and a few Janome machines

Blog: applewoodquilts.blogspot.com

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Oh my goodness!  I have so much to learn.:huh:  Thank you all for this information.  My Janome has a larger throat space than these machines, I see.  You are all so right...I don't want to mess with a machine that does not do all that I want and need in order to begin quilting for other people.  I will patiently wait to see what is out there and also contact dealers to ask about used machines they may have.  Unfortunately, Boise ID rarely has a quilt show so I will have to begin doing some traveling to see exactly what is out there.  I will definitely check out the APQS machines.  Thank you all again.  I will pass on the Juki's.

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