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Author Topic: How hard is it to do upholstery? Should it be flat or padded on dash?  (Read 4965 times)
belfert
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« on: July 06, 2010, 10:23:52 AM »

Is upholstery something I can do myself?

I am probably going to upholster my dash after the comments on building a dash.  Is there any reason I can't just install the vinyl flat?  Do I need to have padding?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 10:48:44 AM »

Brian, you need some kind of back padding for vinyl on your seams don't use cording use a double tuck on the fabric it not hard to do and most household sewing machines will sew the fabric.
If you have any problems my wife said pm her your number and she will walk you through the process,staple gun, rotary cutter, sewing machine and glue you should be good to go 



good luck
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Jeremy
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 11:25:20 AM »

Upholstery is easy enough to do - it's perhaps easier than you would imagine as the vinyl fabric is really very tolerant - it's got enough stretch and give to accommodate moderate curves and shapes without wrinkling or needing multiple panels. With a bit of design and planning you might even get away without needing to do any sewing at all.

Padding isn't essential but will make the job easier as it tends to flatter your workmanship - without the padding the vinyl will replicate any bumps or joints in the underlying surface. Vinyl can be bought with complete with the foam backing already stuck on - although the foam often disintegrates and becomes detached from the vinyl after a couple of years.

I expect there are plenty of websites out there that will give advice on DIY auto upholstery

Jeremy
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 12:04:34 PM »

I'm thinking I can do this without seams.  I really don't like that puffy padded look that padded upholstery has, but I suppose a really thin padding could be used.  I'll try to get over to the local upholstery store tonight or tomorrow.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 12:22:36 PM »

When I did mine, i used the foam that is used under pergo laminate flooring. It wasnt too thick and was easy to use.
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 12:57:53 PM »

Lots of cars and OEM installs just use spray adhesive over metal.  If I was making your dash, I would try to make it out of metal, not wood.  Or metal base and fiberglass for the swoopy bits.

Brian
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 01:09:47 PM »

Lots of cars and OEM installs just use spray adhesive over metal.  If I was making your dash, I would try to make it out of metal, not wood.  Or metal base and fiberglass for the swoopy bits.

Unfortunately, I have no tools to work metal nor the skills to do the work.  I looked into the cost of aluminum sheet and found it to be cost prohibitive.  If my friend hadn't been laid off from the machine shop I could get metal laser cut to help out.  I think wood is probably about my only option that makes sense right now.  Trying to do foam and fiberglass would probably take far too long.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
robertglines1
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 03:28:39 PM »

Brian .have been busy all day just got free..like others have said it's not hard or I couldn't do it...does give a nice look the padding behind it does cover up alot of rough places it is stretched over...My wife is lead on process like Luverbus wife is...need any help holler.I have a button making machine if you want to cover up any areas you have to fasten mechanicaly..just mail me some scrap fabric and I'll make you some...Bob
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belfert
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2010, 07:59:10 AM »

I went to a place that sells upholstery supplies to get some prices on vinyl.  They also do upholstery work and they did some panels for me last year.  I want to get matching vinyl.

Anyhow, I asked him about foam versus no foam and he said just gluing down the vinyl would work.  My concern is how do I handle 90 degree inside corners, foam or not?  I have no idea how this would work.  I am planning to get some auto upholstery books from the library.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 08:54:24 AM »

My suggestion is, if this shop already did some work for you and obviously you were happy with what they did, why not let them do your dash. You would probably be happier with the end result, be done quicker, and more than likely cost you less.
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2010, 04:52:47 PM »

I did all the upholstery on my bus all by myself ,i just hires a shop to do the stiching and i brought it home and glued and stapled it down,let me know if u have any ? i can send more detailed pics if u need them!johnjem84@yahoo.com
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belfert
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2010, 05:25:39 PM »

My suggestion is, if this shop already did some work for you and obviously you were happy with what they did, why not let them do your dash. You would probably be happier with the end result, be done quicker, and more than likely cost you less.

I think I missed this post earlier.  The problem with having someone do the upholstery for me is the cost.  The four panels that each are about 2 square feet cost me $40 each materials and labor.  I also don't believe they do auto upholstery.

Johnjem, did you use foam under your upholstery?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2010, 02:50:41 PM »

Use 1/4 " foam or vinyl w/foam on it. You can get this material for 15 a yard. buy a spraycan of contact glue from your local canvas shop, they will have better glue than you can get. If your going over wood be sure to seal it for good adheasion and use staples at the edges if they are hidden. pull it tight like the dickins for a nice fit. trim off the extra last Often panels are installed using finish washers for a nice look with access.  If you own a bus YOU CAN do this !
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2010, 09:48:38 PM »

Brian, we have some really nice professional type vinyl upholstry material. It is black. Ken tried glueing it on our metal dash, and after being in the sun, it started turning loose after a while. dont really know what we are going to do with it now. Wanted something a little classier than just the black metal, but, now I dont know.
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 04:52:38 AM »

I like doing things as "green" as possible. I have yards and yards of deep blue upholstery weight velvet that I have been moving with me for 35 years in the hope that one day I would do something with it. Of course I now want to use it in my bus. I intend on waterproofing it first with something like http://www.nikwax.com/en-us/how_nikwax_works/introduction.php

If I was intent on going black, I would probably try to use something like discarded tires. They can be cut even across the steel belts.
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