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View Full Version : Idiots guide to re-upholstery?


jafo9
02-23-2012, 09:28 AM
I've been looking for a walk through on replacing the skins on the interior. I'm about to tackle the sun deck and rear stadium cushions on my 02 X30. I'm in the process of getting the skins off to send to mastercraftskins. I've searched a fair amount and I seen several threads with a few recommendations but none that seem to take you from UPS box with new skins to finished product. Anyone have a link? Thanks.

-V-
02-23-2012, 03:13 PM
I would like to see this thread grow..........I plan on trying not to screw up my 210.........

wrobins1
02-23-2012, 03:50 PM
I am also stalking this thread because I have almost committed to making and installing skins and would be interested in finding out if this is cost effective enough to justify creating the skins or if I should just work more and buy the skins. I did buy a book that seems to be pretty descriptive on all upholstery work see link including installation. http://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Upholstery-Handbook-Don-Taylor/dp/1931128006/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330026527&sr=1-1

mikeg205
02-23-2012, 06:49 PM
ditto... I want to do the skins myself... on my 1995...right now they are good... but when it's time I want to do it..already priced out materials, equipment some techniques. Some stuff you can take to an embroidery shop...

363COUPE
02-23-2012, 11:05 PM
I redo at least 5 boats a year including interiors. What questions do you have? It's not that hard especially if you have pre-made skins (I make my own). I'll be glad to answer any questions you have.

mikeg205
02-23-2012, 11:18 PM
I redo at least 5 boats a year including interiors. What questions do you have? It's not that hard especially if you have pre-made skins (I make my own). I'll be glad to answer any questions you have.

It's the structure under the vinyl that never gets shown. I know steam is somehow involved...

363COUPE
02-24-2012, 09:22 AM
It's the structure under the vinyl that never gets shown. I know steam is somehow involved...

I never have to use steam. Thats the advantage you have when making a new skin when you have the whole seat there in front of you to go by. Over time all of the original poly will loose some of it's thickness and if you copy the original vinyl, it's not going to fit perfectally.

mikeg205
02-24-2012, 11:13 AM
I never have to use steam. Thats the advantage you have when making a new skin when you have the whole seat there in front of you to go by. Over time all of the original poly will loose some of it's thickness and if you copy the original vinyl, it's not going to fit perfectally.

Cool great to know...

wheelerd
02-25-2012, 03:24 AM
I redid the complete interior on my former TriStar. I took the old skins to a local lady who was recommended to me and she did a super job of making exact replicas. As for steam . . .
I gave all the foam pieces a good washing with soap in the bathtub. Then after they dried I used a small clothes steamer on each piece (back, front, sides, wherever.) It's amazing how it puffed up the foam.

When it comes to installing the new skins, it's just a matter of taking time. I wrapped the foam side of each seat frame with thin clear plastic (ie. painter's drop cloth.) Otherwise the fabric backing of the vinyl doesn't slide easily over the foam. When the new skin is placed over the frame sometimes it seems that it will never fit. Just stretch and tack, stretch and tack (sometimes carefully using a hair dryer to make the vinyl supple) until everything is nice and tight. Then do the final stapling and trimming. I used an electric staple gun with 3/8" stainless steel staples.

jafo9
02-28-2012, 09:45 AM
So I pulled the skins off the 4 seats in the back of my 02 X30 and I pulled the skin off the center sun deck. They have all been sent to mastercraftskins.com. I was surprised at the sheer number of staples, particularly on the sun deck. There were 2 different size staples. The larger size was on the sun deck and the smaller on the seats. I'm currently shopping for a staple gun and I'm wondering if I need to buy 2 guns for the 2 different sizes or can I get away with only one gun. I've already got a 20 gallon compressor so I was looking at air driven models. Any advice or thoughts? Thanks.

363COUPE
02-28-2012, 10:27 AM
No need in using 2 different size staples. Thats one of the hardest parts or re-doing an interior is stripping the old cover off. I use a pneumatic upholstery gun similar to this one.( http://www.ebay.com/itm/Porter-Cable-US58-Upholstery-Staple-Gun-inc-Staples-/390280050410?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ade80f6ea ) Any decent brand name gun will work.

363COUPE
02-28-2012, 10:29 AM
This is the same gun I use http://www.ebay.com/itm/SALE-NEW-Bea-Air-Staple-Gun-/330380004952?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cec2ece58

wheelerd
02-28-2012, 11:07 AM
I just used the standard T50 staple (which comes in various sizes and regular or SS.) Most of the usual buildings stores sell guns that fit these. For all the upholstering I've done I just used an electric gun and I've likely shot over 2000 staples with it without a hiccup. Coincidentally, it is a Mastercraft brand! That's the name of a line of tools sold in Canadian Tire stores here in Canada.

jafo9
02-28-2012, 05:25 PM
Will a gun that shoots a T50 have the power to penetrate the metal backing of my sun deck?

Thanks.

wheelerd
02-28-2012, 09:56 PM
Will a gun that shoots a T50 have the power to penetrate the metal backing of my sun deck?


That I don't know. My experience has only been with wood or plastic backing. I'd be worried that the force needed to penetrate a metal backing would push the staple right through the vinyl. But if it came that way from the factory there's got to be a way to do it. :confused:

vandit0022
02-29-2012, 12:09 AM
Are you having them replace with the 02 vinyl or are you having them update with the current vinyl?

jafo9
02-29-2012, 11:44 AM
Are you having them replace with the 02 vinyl or are you having them update with the current vinyl?

i didn't know i had a choice. during my conversations with them it never came up. what should i be asking for?

rgardjr1
02-29-2012, 06:53 PM
i didn't know i had a choice. during my conversations with them it never came up. what should i be asking for?

I'm assuming the newer vinyl is the carbon fiber textured stuff that Mastercraft is using now. Check out this thread http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=42794
I thought the results were fantastic!

jafo9
02-29-2012, 08:08 PM
wow. that did turn out great. i'll probably stick with the OEM look since i'm only doing a few pieces.

vandit0022
03-01-2012, 12:43 PM
I want them to do my entire interior with the new vinyl and trim but I think getting all my seats off will be a big pain. They said they could do it. And quite frankly the price wasn't bad considering the amount of area I have to cover. My current vinyl isn't ruined or anything, but I can see where a few places the stitching is starting to disappear.

atlfootr
03-02-2012, 08:16 AM
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/attachment.php?attachmentid=9261&stc=1&d=1145903369

jafo9
03-15-2012, 11:00 AM
So I'm making some progress. I've acquired to staplers. I have a contact at Black and Decker so he hooked me up with 2 different pneumatic staplers. One shoots 71 series staples and the other 80 series staples. The 71 series are 22 gauge with a 3/8" crown and i ordered a 3/8" leg in stainless. The 80 series are 21 gauge with a 1/2" crown and i ordered a 3/8" leg in stainless. These 2 sizes matched up pretty well to what I pulled off the original skins. Hopefully I'll get the skins back in a few weeks.

While I'm waiting, I had a question for those of you who have done this before. During reassembly, on cushions with a central section that has to be stapled to create a seam or level change, what is the order of assembly. Do you staple the central section first and then work on the outside lip or do you fit a few of the corners and then staple down the central section. Thanks.

wheelerd
03-15-2012, 11:24 AM
Although a pro may have a different method . . . what I did:
- used thin clean plastic to cover each foam piece to allow the vinyl to slide easily
- test fit everything to be sure seams are in the right place, etc.
- start with the biggest foam piece and tack down the raw edge on the seat back using just enough staples to hold it in place
- tack down the first seam binder strip; you'll need to compress the foam a bit as you do it so that the seam is tight and gives it that "pillowed" effect
- do another test fit of the whole upholstery unit using the remaining foam pieces
- if everything looks good add more staples to the first seam binder and cross your fingers since you can't go back and redo :)
- move on to the next foam piece and do the same
- once all the seam binders are in place the remainder of the edges can be done; sometimes I would stretch, tack, and then restretch and tack again just to tighten up the front surface
- once everything looks good, add more staples to the edges and trim
- ONLY trim once you are completely satisfied -- once the material is cut . . . well, it' cut

jafo9
03-15-2012, 12:48 PM
great write up. thanks.

wheelerd
03-16-2012, 03:17 AM
I meant to say "use thin clear plastic" in the opening sentence (although "clean" plastic is good too!). I just bought a small roll of painter's drop cloth and cut pieces to loosely fit over each foam section. They'll slide around a bit as you position the vinyl but that's OK. Their purpose is just to allow the fabric backing of the vinyl to easily slide over the foam as you go.

One thing too that helped in positioning the seam binding strips was following the old staple lines on the seat backs. I also had taken pictures of each step of striping the original skins so I just kinda referred to those, but in reverse.

My observer's seat had five separate foam sections, and the bow seat backs were a big L shape. Those were tough to do and not end up with wrinkles and/or sags. The driver's seat was probably the hardest. The initial loose fit looked as though it would never work. But working gradually -- stretching, tacking, stretching, warming areas with a hair dryer to make them more supple, tacking, etc -- it came out looking like a pro install (in my humble opinion!) Each major piece probably took a couple of hours.

Good luck with the install. If you think, plan, and take your time it's not that difficult.

cpr05xtr
04-09-2012, 06:12 PM
So I'm making some progress. I've acquired to staplers. I have a contact at Black and Decker so he hooked me up with 2 different pneumatic staplers. One shoots 71 series staples and the other 80 series staples. The 71 series are 22 gauge with a 3/8" crown and i ordered a 3/8" leg in stainless. The 80 series are 21 gauge with a 1/2" crown and i ordered a 3/8" leg in stainless. These 2 sizes matched up pretty well to what I pulled off the original skins. Hopefully I'll get the skins back in a few weeks.

While I'm waiting, I had a question for those of you who have done this before. During reassembly, on cushions with a central section that has to be stapled to create a seam or level change, what is the order of assembly. Do you staple the central section first and then work on the outside lip or do you fit a few of the corners and then staple down the central section. Thanks.

How did this all turn out which staples did you use for the metal parts on the sundeck? I am just wondering about this too.

jafo9
04-12-2012, 10:23 AM
no update yet. still waiting on the skins from mastercraftskins.com. i've got the staplers, staples, heat gun and steamer waiting to get to work. i'll post some pics along the way when these skins finally get here.

cpr05xtr
04-15-2012, 10:55 AM
no update yet. still waiting on the skins from mastercraftskins.com. i've got the staplers, staples, heat gun and steamer waiting to get to work. i'll post some pics along the way when these skins finally get here.

when did they tell you they were suposto make it?

jafo9
04-16-2012, 10:13 PM
i sent them in the first week of march. i was told about 4 weeks. i called last friday and they said likely ready to ship wednesday or thursday of this week.

cpr05xtr
04-17-2012, 02:26 PM
I sent mine the 16th of march and they said yesterday 1 or 2 more weeks. Said he was behind and slammed. I found a 16 g stapler with stainless steel staples i think that might make it through the aluminum. I ordered the staples and bought the stapler locally. will give it a test run when the staples get here. and let you know the results.

jafo9
04-25-2012, 09:41 AM
hopefully i'll get my skins this afternoon or tomorrow. here is a pic of my "workstation" ready to go.

mikeg205
04-25-2012, 09:51 AM
don't forget some videos... :D

Jorski
04-25-2012, 12:02 PM
Definitely wait for a warm sunny day. Laying the vinyl out in the sun makes a world of difference for installation.

The vinyl becomes much more pliable and stretchy, which allows for a much easier and wrinkle free job.

jafo9
04-25-2012, 01:05 PM
i was thinking about how to warm them up. i've got them in the sun right now, but i'll probably hit them with the heat gun before i try to stretch them on.

cpr05xtr
04-26-2012, 12:56 PM
so excited to see your process take a bunch of pics! How did your skins come out?

macattack
04-30-2012, 10:50 PM
Ref 2005 PS197 TT: Looking for any tips on where to start stapling and stretching. Here's what I found when I removed the OEM skin...the staples around the cup holder area did not hold; as you can see in the pic, they all came off with the skin. The fiberglass underneath that area was all shattered/chipped. Even though I re-resin that area, I assume the new staples will not hold there either?

Anyway, the thought was to clamp the skin around the cupholders and start stapling in the front of the engine box and work my way around to the rear/cupholder area. Any thoughts on this and how to smooth out the skin where the different color pieces are sewn together. Big Thanks! mac

Jorski
05-01-2012, 11:57 AM
One thing that I found when doing my engine box:

While plastic was useful on seats and trim etc...on the motor box with the vinyl piece being so large, I found it easier to adjust (in order to remove wrinkles and to align) without the plastic.

The foam backing of the new piece, would sort of stick to the foam on the motor box. This allowed me to reach under neath and stretch or reposition slightly the skin in specific areas until was perfect.

It is a big piece and and one of the most visible in the boat. Take your time and it will turn out great.

atlfootr
05-01-2012, 11:28 PM
.....................

jafo9
05-04-2012, 06:37 AM
so i've finally gotten around to posting some pics. i got the seats done last week and spent last weekend on the water. the first picture is the underside of the middle part of the sun deck on my 02 X30. the backing is metal and definitely required the larger staples. the next few pictures show the process of stretching and tacking. i used the thinnest painters drop cloth i could find at home depot as the plastic liner for the seats. it worked very well. a heat gun also helped to stretch the skins when needed. stretching-tacking-stretching-retacking seemed to work the best. i wasted a lot of staples this way but the end result turned out pretty well.

jafo9
05-04-2012, 06:44 AM
the first pictures show me working with the vinyl tab that hangs down to separate the different sections and to give that "pillowed" look to the seats. more trial and error there. i finally discovered that if i used my forearm to press down on the cushion, i could get a more uniform depression on the vinyl as i stapled with the other hand. the air stapler really helped here as it was effortless to throw in several staples. the others are pics of how i reinforced the corners and seams with lots of staples. again really easy to throw down lots of staples really quickly with the air stapler.

jafo9
05-04-2012, 06:54 AM
these 3 pictures illustrate how i dealt with the strip that hides the staples. the only hard part is the corners. i found that if i pinched it at the corner with the excess vinyl in my fingers and took some scissors and made a small cut on the inside i would have a good marker on where to start the cut. i would then make a triangle with the apex going up to but not through the outer stitching. this seemed to take off enough vinyl to make a smooth corner. i used lots of staples here too to reinforce the corners.

wheelerd
05-04-2012, 11:55 AM
You're a pro now! Well done -- looks as good as an upholstery shop. Plus you have the pleasure of having saved money and the satisfaction of accomplishment. And yes, I too went through a ton of staples.

cpr05xtr
05-04-2012, 12:23 PM
i now dont have to re install my new ones a local upholstery shop told me they will install my new skins for $75 I think it will be well worth not having the headache. It looks like it turned out well do you have any pictures of them installed in the boat? Also how is the quality of the new skins?

jafo9
05-05-2012, 07:34 AM
quality seems great. color matching was near perfect. $75 a skin would be tempting. although, once i got the hang of it, it only took a few hours per skin. i'll get some pics of the new interior once i get it uncovered next week.

cpr05xtr
05-08-2012, 02:40 PM
Actually $75 for all 6 to be installed.

jafo9
05-08-2012, 03:57 PM
wow. great deal.

cpr05xtr
05-10-2012, 01:49 PM
My Skins are on the way today! Cant wait . Sooooo glad i got it done for memorial day weekend!

cpr05xtr
05-11-2012, 01:22 PM
Would the 22 ga staples work in the aluminum?

macattack
06-02-2012, 09:43 AM
Ref 2005 PS197 TT: Looking for any tips on where to start stapling and stretching. Here's what I found when I removed the OEM skin...the staples around the cup holder area did not hold; as you can see in the pic, they all came off with the skin. The fiberglass underneath that area was all shattered/chipped. Even though I re-resin that area, I assume the new staples will not hold there either?

Anyway, the thought was to clamp the skin around the cupholders and start stapling in the front of the engine box and work my way around to the rear/cupholder area. Any thoughts on this and how to smooth out the skin where the different color pieces are sewn together. Big Thanks! mac

After thinking about getting this skin on perfect, I decided to let the professionals do it:D. To fix the cupholder area...they cut out a piece of 1/8" composite type material and used rivets to attach it to the engine box; no problem stapling the skin to this piece. Very happy with the overall results...worth the $150!