David tested out this machine at the Long Beach show. This is the vendors (Pennywinkle Valley Ranch) first west coast exhibit. They are from the mid-west and concentrate on shows closer to home.
David was very impressed with this machine. Not only does it sew very well, but the price point is very attractive for the basic model. David stitched out with metallic thread on a fast speed. The thread did not shred and the tension top and bottom was great. He likes the fact that your hands are on the table and not on handles. He feels he has more control and is comfortable with this hand position as it is the same as when working on a domestic machine. The acrylic table that comes with the machine works like a slip sheet so the quilt glides over the surface. The machine we tested was sitting on a card table. Yes, a card table with its little spindly card table legs. It was smooth, vibration free, and the table did not feel like it was in danger of collapse. There were several machines set up in the booth and each one had a different type thread on it from all different thread manufacturers. This tells me this is not a prima donna machine.
The machine is basic. It has no fancy features like automatic needle up/down. It has a governor for setting your maximum speed while you work. That enables you to set your preferred speed and always go pedal to the metal. There is a needle advance wheel that you can use to move the needle position. It is an industrial looking machine. No flowers, no fancy paint job. I personally like it. It looks like a great little work horse and I am sure that is what it is. Simple mechanics means it will be simple to maintain. A little oil and lint cleaning and it should last for years and years. It also means that getting any work done on it can probably be taken care of by a local shop or even the owner if of a techy ability. David inspected this machine quite a bit and was impressed with the quality.
The machine is built to order. At the time we looked at it there is about a two month wait. I see a possibility of this machine in our future.
The best thing about the machine we tested? The price. $1,750.00
This machine also comes in a 24 inch model. There are options to purchase handles, a table or frame.
Did you see this machine? Did you test it out? What did you think?
Update Aug, 2014: For those of you looking at this machine and hearing some positive or negative things about it, you must rely on your own personal makeup. I am a person who loves to figure things out. I am not afraid to adjust tension or other items. I loved the look of this machine as it appears to be something not too finicky that I could tinker with and tweak exactly the way I want it. If you have the sort of personality where you don't want or like to mess with things you might want to purchase a machine where you have local support. Neither personal style is better or worse, but it should be a part of your decision on the actual machine you purchase.
I still have not purchased this machine, but it is high on my list. It appears I am in need of replacing my 30+ year old machine first.
Nothing but the Specs
Sunshine 16 Take it Anywhere
Sits on your table
Table top measures 32" wide by 24" deep
Adjustable foot pads on Acrylic top
Variable foot pedal
control to set maximum speed
Two year warranty
Sunshine 16 in a Free Standing table with side boards
Details of Sunshine 16
16" deep by 7" tall throat space
Precision built, extruded aluminum body
Head, base & other interior parts are CNC
machined out of aluminum for a light weight construction
Machine weights approximately 35 pounds
Needle bar does not need to be oiled because of the
special linear bearings to ensure no oil coming in contact with your fabric
Precision high speed sealed bearings on upper and lower shafts which means no bushings or oiling wicks
1/5 hp, 2.9 amp ac/dc motor
Runs up to 2200 stitches a minute
Variable speed control on front of electrical box
Synchronous belts and pulleys
Fused on/off switches for main power and lights
Two halogen lights
Needle plate is flush to work surface
Free starter kit:
Two packages of needles (10 needles per package) size 16 & 18
Two styles of bobbin cases, standard and back lash
Set of screw drivers