Report on the Tippmann Boss

vlegski

New Member
Ed. only know the Tippman but.. yes if you change any one component it will make you tinker. Change the thickness of leather will affect stitch length and tension. I've even had cases where older stiffer leather caused me to tinker. Change the stitch length and you have to adjust. I make it a point to never stitch anything until I have set everything on scrap leather from the same area that the project was cut from. If I have different materials sandwiched in then I set up my practice pieces the same way. Sorry I missed your text about the bobbin tension. That's one I seldom mess with. As far as them fancy electric jobbers I can say that getting used to the speed control can be frustrating. Hitting the sweet feed/speed requires a gentle touch. Later. Vic Legg
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
just because with these hand operated machines, it seems that thread tension is everything as to if it performs correctly or not.....where as that seems to be less important with the motorized machines.
I think perhaps this is the Achilles heel of both. My buddy told me the CB4500 seemed very sensitive to tension...and learning that one thing is a must. Perhaps the motorized unit is faster to learn the correct tension just due to how fast you can experiment.
 

C. Killgore

Well-Known Member
Yep, I know my dad has to mess with tension on the cobra 4 if almost anything changes at all. That servo motor for speed control is really nice though!
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
One more strike against Tippmann!

Remember I said the Tippmann tech that tried to help me last week...and couldn't, told me to try 180 size needles to increase thread tension? Of course I didn't have that size and had to order them, which I did.

I ordered 1 pak (10 needles) of size 180 in a round point, and 1 pak (10 needles) of size 180 in leather point (that's a total of 20 needles is size 180)..... FedX delivered yesterday.

I open the package, and there are a total 9 needles, size 200! WHAT? And they charged me $25.98...... for the 2 paks of 180s. GRRRR! Now the hassle of getting this straightened out, and more waiting.:mad:

Well, that was just what it took to push me over the edge...... I'm done with Tippman and this crappy Boss machine...... I'm gona plunk down the money TODAY, for a Cowboy CB4500 and be done with all this. Maybe I'll also write a book on why NOT to ever purchase a Tippmann Boss! :p
 

chrisstaniar

Well-Known Member
Hearing your issues and how much tinkering is done on a continuing basis makes me think hand stitching isn't so bad after all!
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I'd have to agree Chris! Hand stitching is far better..... at least far better then the machine I have. Physically, I'm getting to the point where hand stitching isn't a viable option anymore..... and that was back when I got this machine...... 16 months ago. As I said in another post, another life lesson for me. :)
I'll be ordering the Cowboy CB4500 today. OH! Maybe Momma will let me have part of the stimulus check that's suppose to come! Wouldn't that be a proper use of it?? "Stimulating" my knife business?? :)
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Physically, I'm getting to the point where hand stitching isn't a viable option anymore.....
exactly why I bought mine! I started drilling my holes bigger so I could push the needles through...and hated the sloppy look/quality. Decided that a nice tight lock stitch was better than a sloppy saddle stitch any day...lol!
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Well, it's a done deal! I just got off the phone with Ryan Neel, and pulled the trigger on a Cowboy CB4500. Ted (or anybody).... do happen to know the EXACT foot print/ size of the machine and stand? I gotta cut out a bench to make space for the machine/stand. I ask Ryan and he said...... "ABOUT 36x42" but I need to be a bit more precise when I'm gona cut a bench out for it! :)
 

C. Killgore

Well-Known Member
Hey Ed, I went to go take a look at the Cobra 4 and now I'm wondering how similar they are. Maybe this will help if someone else chimes in and can confirm. Numbers seem off from what he gave you anyway. This is not the cowboy tho.

 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
I think perhaps this is the Achilles heel of both. My buddy told me the CB4500 seemed very sensitive to tension...and learning that one thing is a must. Perhaps the motorized unit is faster to learn the correct tension just due to how fast you can experiment.
I used to work maintenance for an industrial laundry/uniform company, and while they didn't do anything with leather, they had a lot of different sewing machines. Whenever I had a problem that required a phone call to the service tech, it almost ALWAYS started or ended with thread tension. In fact, it was the same thing with their embroidery machines too.
I was always amazed how missing one little bend in the threading diagram, or wrapping one too few (or many) times around a thread post could completely change how the machine functioned. I don't work there anymore, and I certainly don't miss working on those sewing machines.
The button sewing machines (while really neat) were the worst, when they weren't sewing just right.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
As much as I have slammed the machine, and the company....... I have to be fair and honest.......

I just got off the phone..... the folks from Tippmann Industrial called me, and told me that they were sending me a new Boss machine, and a return label for the one I have!! I didn't tell them that I had already ordered the Cowboy CB4500...... so now, it appears that I will have a brand new, Boss Stitcher for sale within a couple of weeks!

So, even though I have not been a fan of this particular machine, I have to acknowledge and applaud Tippmann industrial for doing the "right thing" to make me a satisfied customer.

Gotta be a God thing.....there isn't any other way it would have worked out like this!
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Well, FedX brought a brand new machine yesterday. I have to use the box to send the old machine back, but now I have a brand new, never used Tippman Boss that is going up for sale. My total investment, with all the accessories is $1,779.59, will sell it all for the price of the machine..... $1,350.00. If I have to ship, that will be extra.

The Cowboy 4500 that I ordered shipped last Monday, as should be here the middle of next week.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Well, for me, the Tippmann Boss saga has ended. The replacement machine sent by Tippmann was sold yesterday, and today I await the delivery of a Cowboy CB4500 Sewing Machine..... very likely what I should have done in the first place.

What I learned during my time with the Tippmann Boss Hand Stitcher....

1.
The folks at Tippmann do their best to be helpful and take care of their customers... but YOU must be a "Squeaky Wheel" (complain a lot) in order to get any grease (help). Given that they have been, and are operating under the coronavirus implications. I had a lot of difficulty contacting one of the phone numbers.... it would ring 4X then disconnect...... but as long as I called a "land line" someone always answered.

2. The machine MIGHT be a good fit for someone who has far more patience than I, and who isn't as picky about how their stitching looks. For me, the patience part came into play in that with every project I attempted to sew, I had to build a "mock" piece of the same leather, thickness, etc. that I wanted to sew, and would spend way longer trying to adjust the machine to make proper stitches then it would take to sew the actual project. In the case of the machine being returned, me, along with Tippmann support were never able to get it to stitch properly or reliably.....and the replacement machine came about when support said "I give up."

3. #1 being said, I am convinced that the Tippmann Boss hand stitcher is a seriously flawed design. It is based on 1890s design technology, and is in desperate need of a design update.

4. The Tippmann Boss is built as CHEAPLY as possible. The body of the machine is cast aluminum, and most of the internal (gears, clogs, etc.) are die cast ZINC.... very frail and weak. During one of my support phone calls, the individual I was speaking with, told me that I should "operate it like your angry"..... and as soon as I did that, the main "rack gear" broke (a die cast zinc part).

5. Based on my personal experiences, IF you are interested in this style/type of sewing machine, I would strongly suggest looking into the Cowboy Outlaw machine..... similar design, but with a body of cast iron, and all the internals/gears are machined, heat treated carbon steel..... for the same money as the Boss machine. While I've never tried/used the Cowboy Outlaw, just the fact that it is built with much stronger materials (cast iron and steel instead of aluminum and zinc) would indicate a stronger machine in my mind. The Outlaw may, or may not have the same issues of reliability and being finicky as the Boss, but since it's design is more updated than the Boss, I would think likely not.

Once I get the Cowboy CB4500 setup and used for a bit, I'll report on it.
 
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