ZOJE 628

TaaaDaa! My New ZOJE 628!

OHhhhh….How I LOVE my new Zoje 628! I can say that NOW but let me tell you the first few days of getting to know this beast had us almost on the path to mutal SEPERATION! LOLLLLLLLL

Let me start at the beginning! OK….so you already know I sew bags…..and as you also know, bags have many layers and often many thicknesses. Yes….my domestic pfaff handles the job OK BUT…..ahhh yes..there are times when it struggles a little….which would be OK if I was only making an occasionally bag….BUT given I sew LOTS of bags and am also starting to have some FUN with leathers, faux leathers, pleathers and vinyls etc PLUS given the fact that hubby wants ME to reupholster his hot rod (Yeah right….like I want to do that when I could be sewing a BAG? HMMM BUT….OK YES….GREAT EXCUSE REASON why I need an industrial sewing machine??? Gotta be SMART here! LOLLLL)….it just seems a natural progression for me to acquire a new machine….(and Christmas is coming, right?)

So anyway……admittedly I didn’t know much at all about Industrial Sewing Machines….I certainly had NEVER sewn on one! So I started googling (How else do you find out info these days?) and yes…..it was interesting AND confusing at the same time…..

GOSH…do you realise how many different types of Industrials there are? Unlike domestics, generally each machine does ONE job but does it very well! None of this zig zag + fancy schmancy stitches + button holes etc etc….Plus there are mechanical ones as well as Computerised ones and clutch motors and servo motors and….geesh….just WHERE do you start??

Anyway…..along the way I mentioned to my bag tester extraordinaire Maria of Mia Creates that I was thinking about getting one….and so she talked me into it….. Hahahaa….OK……so she didn’t really BUT she DID say how pleased she was with hers, A ZOJE! Up until Maria, I hadn’t really heard of that brand before, I admit!

Soooo….I marched off to my local sewing centre and low and behold….the very machine recommended to me was? Can you GUESS?? None other than A ZOJE! If it was good enough for Maria….it was good enough for ME! LOLLLL (By the way, have you SEEN Maria’s workmanship? NEVER a wonky stitch EVER! Let me tell you, her sewing is pure PERFECTION!!)

The very helpful people at Lismore Sewing Centre ordered it in especially for ME! (Thanks Doug & Florence! By the way, Florence has the most AWESOME embroidery designs you ever did see – check them out here!) Within a few days (OK it seemed like a MONTH! LOLL) they had delivered it and set it all up ready for me to rock and roll:

As you can see, it comes complete with it’s own table! NO way will I be lugging this machine to any sewing get togethers! It weighs a TON!….ok….so maybe not a ton BUT enough to blow a gasket if you are foolish enough try to lift it youself!

ZOJE 628 in it's table

Zoje with motor underneath

The motor is located under the table! This is of the clutch variety. Noisy BUT fast and reliable! Mind you, nothing fancy in the way of electronic speed control and no fancy auto thread trimming or backstitch either! This machine is pure mechanical!

Zoje-on off button

See the on/off buttons just under the table on the right?….That is all the buttons you get! LOLLLLLLL

Zoje bobbin winding

Bobbin winding is done on the right hand side and you can wind your bobbin while you are sewing too, so you are ready to go when the one in use is empty! That’s handy! LOLL

Zoje - Reverse Lever

Like I said….no buttons! If you want to reverse, you have this lever just below the stitch length dial which you press downwards and it scoots of backwards. YIKES! The first time I did this was at the end of a practice row and I almost ended up back where I started from! So much for my 3 0r 4 easily controlled Pfaff backstitches! HA!

Zoje - oil pan

One thing I did find nifty is this oil pan! You just tilt the machine backwards to reveal this pan of oil and those cords hanging down rest in the oil, seeping it up into the machine…so it oils itself! How clever is that! LOLLLLL At least oiling the machine regularly is one thing less I have to remember!

Zoje - oil window

And just so you don’t forget about the oil altogether because occasionally you will have to replenish it…..it has this cute little clear bubble thingy on the top of the machine where you can actually see a shot of oil spurt up into it every few seconds! What FUN….just make sure you don’t get too carried away watching it while you sew or else you might sew your finger if you are not paying attention to your needle! LOLLL

Zoje - machine head

Doug DID show me how to thread the machine when he delivered it ….BUT….By the time I went to do it, I had forgotten! Typical! LOLLLL I had a bit of drama and a few emails back and forth to Maria who sent me some pics of hers….ok, not exactly threaded the same BUT it helped and soon I was on my way again!

Threading diagram for the Zoje 628

The instruction book that came with the machine was almost useless though…..OK…it wasn’t even a book, just a couple of pieces of paper! LOLLLLL (HEY Zoje manufacturer – some of us have never used an industrial machine….a little more info would be nice??)

ZOJE's Presser Foot

Check out the foot! It’s a compound feed walking foot machine which means the fabric is fed by the feed dog, presser foot AND the needle! WOW! There is absolutely NO slippage whatsoever. Absolutely PERFECT for those sometimes troublesome leathers and vinyls etc….WOOHOOOO! (OK and yes….it will be perfect for sewing hubby’s upholstery! Shheesh…HOW am I going to get out of that one now??)

Zoje Foot pedals

And how cool is this! You lift the presser foot by pressing down on the right pedal! Mind you….I practically had to stand on it to get it to budge the first time BUT….my leg is getting stronger and soon I will have one fat leg buldging with muscles and one skinny leg BUT who cares, right? LOLLLL  Of course the left pedal is your speed control….if you can call it ‘speed control’….I prefer to call it “rocket control”! LOLL

Zoje - bobbin comparison

The bobbins are BIGGER too…..handy for the fatter threads I will be using! LOLL As you can guess, the one on the left is a regular sized bobbin and the one on the right is Zoje’s! 🙂

So what do I think of my new ZOJE? It’s absolutely FABULOUS! OK….so the first few times I tried sewing with it, it scared living daylights out of me! FAST is an understatement! LOLLLLL I thought it would take off to the moon! My first impression was that I would NEVER get the feel for controlling this beast who seemed to have a mind of it’s own! BUT thankfully Doug came to the rescue and told me how to raise the motor a little so the belt slips which will prevent it from taking off so FAST! (OK…so I admit I didn’t raise it, hubby did – minor details! LOLL)

Zoje - Raising the motor

All you have to do is loosen the top nut and tighten the bottom nut so the motor raises slightly and there you have it, one slightly slipping belt! It worked a treat and now I am quite happy with my takeoffs! LOLLLL

I have also read somewhere online….and I forget where (sorry!) BUT to help slow things down while learning, some people put a kids plastic bouncy ball underneath the foot control! I haven’t tried it though….

Mind you….straight lines were easy to get the hang of BUT sewing circles is a different story! I printed off some of my circle diagrams and have been busy practicing.

Practice sewing your curves!

As you can see, by the 12th sheet of paper I am starting to be able to keep to the lines better….mind you, that tight curve in the middle has me bamboozled…..I might need another 12 sheets to get that bit right! LOLLLLLLLL

My Cat Kenny!
Admittedly even Kenny is tired of hearing about my new ZOJE 628! :0 BUT if YOU have a ZOJE too or indeed any an Industrial Machine ….or hope to get one, do share with us in the comments below! I don’t get tired of chatting about them….not yet anyway! LOLLLLLLLLLL

Happy Sewing! 🙂

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  1. Chris: I bought a good used industrial machine at a estate sale, here locally. I paid $200. for it. The only problem I have with this machine, is it won’t wind my bobbins; but I can on my bobbin winding machine. So for me, it doesn’t matter.
    However, I do think I’m going to have to replace the lamp on it, as it’s not bright enough, but I’m also going to have to put it in a brighter place, for better lighting, or I’m going to have to buy another little lamp to put on the top of it.
    I do like my machine, but never get the opportunity to use it much. I’m going to try to finally make some of your designs, I’ve purchased from you, and do some work myself with leather/pleather too this winter, if I can get to sit in my living room, as it’s cold in there, since the room sits to the north winds.
    I do have a few pieces of leather, and lots of pleather that was given to me, so I’m going to try to work with some of it, and experiment with it, to make some purses. I’m doing well with the cloth ones, but would like to expand into more difficult work.
    Keep up the good work, can’t wait til you create more designs that I can try.

  2. I’m soooo envious. I have been using more leather/pleather on my bag straps and decorative trim. Not always the most fun thing on my machine but love the professional look it gives. Maybe there will be a used industrial machine in my future someday. One can always dream!! It would be great to not hear a machine “scream” while sewing those thick spots.
    Keep us posted as to how it is going.

  3. I’m so happy for you! (well, and a bit envious too). I wish I was your neighbor to give it a try. Those industrial machines are awesome. I learned to sew on my grandmother’s black industrial Singer sewing machine and also used my mom’s as I was growing up. I still remember when I first try a domestic one. It felt so slow and weird. Now they’re stronger I guess. I still don’t own an industrial one but I know that’s in my future. Probably after business kicks up. Let us know how it works handling layers. Hmm! Just noticed…Sara, Liz and now you have gotten new industrial machines…So Great!!

  4. Hi Chris! That’s fantastic, I’m really happy for your! I have an industrial machine but it’s for knitting. No bobbin, but 4 threads. It cuts the edge and the same time when sewing (sorry can’t remember in English). Many years ago I was knitting with machine and made lots of pullovers etc. I bought a used ‘packet’ with knitting machine, this sewing machine, one historical ‘factory’ machine and lots of yarns. Unfortunately after the years and movings, I have now only the sewing machine and for me it’s useless. And unfortunately here it’s very difficult to sell it. Perhaps one day I shall use it again! It’s great machine but the threading is painful! Enjoy yours! x Teje

  5. I’m so happy that you finally got it all working for you. Yours does vary slightly from mine but not that much. You have two pedals where as I only have one. I lift my presser foot with my knee where there is a lever. I love that it’s self oiling, I’ve had mine 8 months now and still has plenty of oil. Your hubbies suggestion made me laugh, it was just what my hubby said too. I didn’t know you could wind your bobbin while sewing, I’ll have to check out mine and see if it does it. I also noticed on your photos that your thread spools are raised much higher than mine, something else I’ll have to look into. Happy sewing, don’t get too carried away that you forget about your next test bag LOLLLLL.

  6. That sounds like a bargain, especially as the bobbin winding isn’t an issue for you! My machine didn’t come with a lamp BUT I have several clamp on varieties that will do the trick just nicely! So far all I have been doing is practicing on paper and fabric and pleather scraps BUT later today I may get brave and try actually making a bag! LOLLLL I am looking forward to be able to try new things I haven’t been able to accomplish with my domestic…..I just need more TIME……you don’t have a stash of that you can share do you? LOLLLL

  7. Oh I am sure one will come your way too Marilyn! I know I have waited a very long time for mine BUT…..it is worth the wait and you appreciate something more when you have only dreamt about it for so long! Trust me, I know! LOLLL

  8. LOL…Funny you should mention it….I had a little stitching to do on my Pfaff today and it really did seem totally weird after having been using the Zoje….Almost like it was a toy! As for layers…..gosh yes…….it is amazing! I wonder how long before I throw something at it that it can’t handle! LOLL Yes there must be something in the air….Janelle got a new machine too! LOL

  9. Thanks Teje….I am sure I will! It’s funny you mentioned knitting machines…..my mum and I were only discussing them yesterday…..she had a knitting machine years ago when I was a child…..not an industrial one, just a domestic one BUT she made many pullovers on it back then…..these days one tends to just buy them if you don’t hand knit….I don’t know anyone who has a modern day domestic knitting machine….in fact….can you even get them? LOL

  10. Yes there doesn’t seem to be much difference between them….makes you wonder why they make different models and only slight differences! LOLL I bet yours will wind the bobbins at the same time as well….you just have to have two spools of thread though, of course! LOL…. I don’t know if it makes any difference how high the spools are raised? Mine came like that so I just left it like that…LOLL Test bag?? OH YES…..the TEST bag….I almost forgot about that! LOLLLLLL

  11. WOW…congratulations on the new machine !! I am jealous with envy!! I wanted an industrial machine but I couldn’t convince my Hubby to build another room on the house for it ! LOL
    Enjoy it and I can’t wait to see the new bags you make with it !!!

  12. Such a great story!!! I desperately need your HELP!!! I’m in the same boat you were in. I’m actually starting to sew vehicle upholstery (too funny right?) I took a class so the machine doesn’t intimidate me so much anymore BUT I can’t thread the gosh darn thing!!! The “instructions” are junk and the guy I ordered it from is useless! 🙁 so now that you’re a pro I would be ever so grateful if you could assist me in my journey!!! Please please please!!! 🙂

  13. Hi Courtney,
    Never Fear, Smith is here! Gosh,….where did that come from! LOLLL (Lost in Space? Don’t know if you are of old enough vintage to remember that! LOLL) Anyway….I have to go out this arvo but YES…when I get back I will take some photos for you….that might help! So hold tight…..I will be in touch! 🙂

  14. You are FANTASTIC!!! Not very old but I do love everything old…or aged lol but I definitely got your reference 😉 thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  15. Hello a sewer from the states here! I have the opportunity to purchase a used zoje, the problem is that no one in the states has ever heard of them. Am i going to regret this machine how hard is it to come by parts or tech support? My email is rivetandleather@gmail.com Thanks!

  16. I am in Australia so I can’t say for sure what the situation is in the States however here where I purchased my machine, they assured me that the parts in the Zoje are interchangeable with other common brands and not a problem….I have not had a problem where I have needed a part so I can’t say for sure what will happen if that situation actually does eventuate. LOL Where did the people you are considering buying from, purchase this machine?….I am assuming someone must deal in them over there since they have one …..or did they import it themselves?

  17. Good day Christine
    Could you please help. I just bought a second hand machine, however I don’t have the instructions booklet. I find difficulty with tension of the thread cause it keeps snapping off. And the using different kinds of fabrics making it more difficult. Please could you help me .
    Warm regards Kim Class

  18. Hi Kim,
    There are many things that can cause threads to break. It could be that your machine is incorrectly threaded, your needle could be damaged or the wrong type and if you haven’t put in a new needle I suggest you start with that first. Burrs in your needle plate can also cause your thread to break as can incorrect tension or even poor quality thread. What brand/model machine do you have? Sometimes you can find a downloadable copy of a machine’s manual online via a google search or for sale on ebay. Also it may be that the machine needs a service and if so, the serviceman should be able to show you how to correctly thread your machine and make sure the tension is set correctly. I hope this helps!

  19. Hi Laura,
    Yes I most definitely can use my industrial machine for fabric bags and no, it doesn’t chew up the fabrics…. however I generally only use it when I have many layers and thicknesses, especially if I am using upholstery fabrics…..for lighter sewing, I use a domestic sewing machine. Hope this helps!

  20. Hi Chris,
    Just discovered you whilst trying to research my Zoje compound feed machine. I love mine but get frustrated about available presser feet, have you managed to find and zipper feet for yours? I want to sew my own leather piped handles but the standard foot I have with it doesn’t get close enough and my semi industrial Bernina 950 wont punch through the thickness. Have applied to join your FB group too. 🙂

  21. Hi Helen,
    The sewing machine dealer arranged for me to have the zipper foot made ….I believe all they did was have one side of one of the available feet, one that goes on the back arm, cut off. (If I am making sense?) Works a treat! You should talk to your dealer about it! I can send you a pic of what I have if you need it.
    Hope this helps!
    Looking forward to seeing you posting in the group!

  22. Hello, are you still using your Zoje?
    Can you pass on any helpful websites that shows how tos, troubleshooting, maintenance?
    I have the “manual” but it is so confusing.
    Thanks for any input.

  23. Hi….yes I know what you mean about the manual being confusing….I just troubleshoot and maintain in a similar fashion as I have done with my other, older Singer machines as I haven’t come across any websites with info on it either… Sorry I can’t help you more!

  24. Hi Christine,
    I know your post was in 2013, but just wanted to say that this will be very useful. 😀 just bought a 2nd hand ZOJE 628 walking foot machine _ don’t even have it yet but it’s a good 2nd hand one and I’ll get it today. Sure all your threading info and more, will come in handy. I have never used anything other than a domestic machine and and overlocker. Let the games begin 😉
    Thank you!

  25. Hi Jenny,
    It’s lovely to hear from you! I feel confident you will love your machine. I hadn’t used anything other than a domestic and occasionally an overlocker too and I have to say, the industrials do have a slight learning curve! LOL BUT with a little bit of practice, you soon get the hang of it and then you can sew anything! 🙂

  26. somehow the gremlins got this machine tension out of whack and I can’t figure out how to get it set right. Also the spring came off that holds the thread and I can’t figure out how that goes back on.

  27. Oh dear! That does not sound like fun Marie! You might be best off talking to the dealer you bought it from and ask for their advice….The manual indeed is of no use whatsoever!!
    Good luck!

  28. Hi Christine, I’m in antigua. I attend a sewing class and they use a zoje industrial machine. How do I make it go slower. It’s moving waaay too fast. They said practice… But there has to be some trick to it. Hope you can help

  29. Sorry….I think it is really about practice! I did have my hubby raise the motor a little so the belt slips which will prevent it from taking off so fast but I don’t know of any way to make it go slower….it just takes practice to get the hang of it! Sorry I don’t have any secret tips to share!
    All the best!

  30. How wonderful to have an industrial sewing machine. I have one in the basement (different model) and was planning on selling it to a gal who sews more bags than I do…but why sell it to her? I need to make more bags! My machine needs oil then I think it’s ready for a test drive. I’ve heard industrial machines sew very fast – the workers have to produce alot of product in a day to keep up with quotas to keep their job.
    Someone posted a question about manuals. I generally google (X name, model #) and have had good luck finding manuals for sale for various things we’ve bought – used cars, how to repair manuals sewing machine manuals etc.
    The leathers, pleathers and vinyls are so pretty and readily available these days.
    I live in a rural part of TN and couldn’t find any products so I visited an auto
    upholstery shop and he let me buy some of his leftovers for pretty reasonable money. I’m just finishing up a bag now and think to myself, I should have tried
    sewing this on the machine ‘in the basement’
    Keep up the great inspirational work!

  31. Thank you and thanks for stopping by Debi. Yes…they sure do sew fast! LOL It takes some practice to get the hang of the speed I must say. I have yet to be able to find a manual for the Zoje online that is any better than the one which came with it….which is practically useless! LOL What a great idea to visit an upholsterer for vinyl scraps ….I am sure they would have lots of smaller pieces of no use to them BUT great for bags…I know some people who are able to get scraps of the headliner foam for free from upholsterers which is great….my local one is not so generous though! LOLLL

  32. Please. Where I can get the workshop manual for the sewing machine semi industrial zoje, model 2j20u93? or a similar manual

  33. Hi…i am sorry BUT I have no idea where you can get a manual. All I got with my Zoje was a very basic, impossible to decipher, very short instruction sheet! I searched google but was unable to turn up any further instructions. YOu may like to contact a dealer who may be able to help more than I can! best of luck!!

  34. Hello there,I’m about to buy a Zoje ZJ0628,just like yours.Can you tell me,please,how is it working so far.Any problems with it? BTW when I want my ex double feed machine to go slower,first set the SERVO motor to the lowest speed available,then replaced the conecting metal rod from the pedal to the motor with a shoelace.In this manner I was able to sew step by step.

  35. Typepad HTML Email
    Hi….No, no problems with my Zoje. I have recently upgraded from a Clutch motor to a Servo motor though, which is MUCH better. My only regret would be that I didn’t get the servo motor right from
    the beginning. Other than that, it is a fantastic machine! 😊

  36. to make your machine go slower play around with the pulley sizes . smaller on the motor side and a bigger one on the top .you would have to change belt size. their are other methods , but this would work . do not let your belt slip using the motor adjustment this will only wear the belt and pulley costing you more in the long run .hope this will be helpful information to all .
    a pulley from a car scrap yard with same hole dimensions can work as well not necessary just from a sewing shop . marine boating supplies another . a aluminium pulley would be best because of the weight factor but can use steel .

  37. glade you updated to servo type but people say they give problems . your thoughts on this , any issues .

  38. Hello Chris. My name is Karin an I live in Bad Münder in Germany. I have bought a zoje 8500h for sewing leather bags. Waiting to arrive in few days time. Bit worried about threading and first steps. However look so much foward to start. So perhaps I can ask when in need???? Sorry fr bad English.
    Kind regards Karin

  39. Hi Chris,
    So in the past seven years since you got it, any problems with the machine? I am looking at a Zoje walking foot maching with servo motor. Have you had to have any repairs or service? With my domestic machines I just pop them in the car and hand them to the man so I am wondering how it works with one of these industrials!?

  40. Typepad HTML Email
    No problems with the machine at all…..its a great machine and I just clean it myself and its self oiling soI just make sure the oil pan has oil.….I have never had it serviced but having said that,
    for a number of years I barely used it….mainly because of the clutch motor….it was just toooo fast for me. I ended up changing over to a servo motor…best thing I ever did so I have no hesitation in recommending that you get one with a servo motor. I will say
    though that, like with anything, there is a possibility of a dud….and also going from a domestic to an industrial is a bit of a learning curve but with a little perseverance you won’t regret getting one! Hope this helps!!

  41. Thanks so much for your reply!!! I am going to get it. It’s a different model than yours but brand new with a servo motor. I tested one in the shop and it was nice! Between it and my beloved 1948 Singer 201, I think I will be able to sew anything with ease. For years, I have been wanting to make another Lombard Street and Dawn to Dusk with some leather or vinyl – I love those patterns!!!

  42. Will do!! I’m hoping to have it Monday so I will cut out some projects this weekend. What needle size and thread brand and weight do you use? So much to learn. I know I will use industrial needles and not the same thread I use in my wee domestic machine but scrambling to get some supplies together. I have some bonded nylon but not sure of the weight. I would like to get something that would suit both thin marine vinyl and some canvas/duck.

  43. Mrs. Christine Congratulations with your new love. I have an industrial machine and after experiencing the effect it had on me the first time at my college days I can’t even imagine what I would do. my domestic Brother helps out with Simple stuff but I just love my Juki. I am currently working on my mimifactor and the upgrades will post pictures soon.

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