Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 66
  1. #46
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default

    Thinking about it, the top of the foam does need to stop some distance down from the top rail because I intend to have both ply-grips (shark trim) and piping. Ply grips are these things Coverfix / Shark Trim / Curl Grip . I'm counting on them giving me a neat finish in the fabric across the curved top. Obviously I don't want them sitting on top of foam. I don't have the knowledge to understand how piping, foam, ply-grips and wadding will all sit together. I guess it's just one of those things where I will have to be prepared to do it a few times to get it right. Purpose of the exercise.
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Osaka
    Posts
    813

    Default

    If you have a trim piece going in on top then that might do it. I suspect you may try a few different things before you might the right idea. If you are prepared for that then no worries
    Semtex fixes all

  3. #48
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default Pre-upholstery calico layer

    The pre-upholstery is the layer of fabric on top of the foam but underneath the wadding and final furniture fabric. Its role, as I understand it, is to reduce stress and rubbing on the final layer of furniture fabric and to stop natural fibre fillings from poking through. The main advantage for me however is that it gives me a preview of what the finished job will look like before its too late to do anything about it.

    I decided to ignore the problems mentioned in the previous few posts and go ahead - maybe it wont be an issue.

    Pre-upholstery is traditionally done with calico. I dug out some calico and gave it a go but it didnt work well and I ended up pulling it all off. The calico was too fragile to get a decent tension. Maybe it was too thinner grade or maybe it wasnt real calico, though I bought it as calico from Spotlite and it was the only grade they had. I have been reluctant to use offcuts of any other material on this job because I really dont know much about fabric and am not sure how they would perform, but I gave up on the calico and used some old curtain fabric. Here's the result.

    calico.JPG

    I'm pretty happy with it except that I think I used too heavier-density foam. Buying foam from Clark Rubber you get a verbal description of density but not an industry-standard metric so its a bit hit and miss. I think this is really seat foam, not back foam.

    I put a board in the seat and sat in the chair to make sure there werent any excessive tensions in the fabric when I leaned back. It seems to be a bit of a balancing act to tighten enough to get the wrinkles out but not so much that the fabric shortcuts the curve and sits forward of the foam (which would cause stress on the fabric when you lean back).

    One other thing. I bought an air-powered stapler yesterday. Its only a Ryobi ($80), but its brilliant compared to the electric. Puts the staples in with a positive 'thunk' every time, without needing to press hard against the substrate. The staples which come with it are brilliant too - never break when you remove them.

    A cool feature is that you can do temporary staples by using the gun at a 45 degree angle. Only one leg goes in properly so you can just flick them out with ease.

    Next is the piping. A bit of a break now while I wait for the cording foot to be delivered.

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default Piping

    I did the piping today. I still havent received the piping/cording foot (for the sewing machine) I ordered, so decided to go ahead using a zipper foot.

    Most quality upholstery has piping. Its usually sewn up by the upholsterer as needed, so he/she can use the same fabric as is used for the upholstery. Its a simple matter of cutting a thin strip of fabric, say 60mm wide, folding it over the cord and sewing along the length. The fabric should be cut on the bias (diagonally) so that it is less likely to runch up when the piping is stapled around corners, or so I read. You want to be able to sew in real close to the cord, so you dont get puckering when stapled in place.

    sewing piping.JPG

    Various cords are available which are made for the job. Usually they are hollow and made of soft material, which I presume is so they dont feel uncomfortably hard when you lean on them. I dont need that here because the piping will be tucked in below the top rail, so just went ahead with some rather stiff nylon cord to save myself a shopping trip.

    It can be one of those jobs where a long-nose stapler is better.

    There is a trick involved in getting the end of each run of piping neat. Make sure you have some overhang, mark where the end should be, pull back the fabric covering and snip the cord at this point, then pull the fabric forward again. The bulky cord will now stop at the end of the run, so it will sit neatly, but gives you a fabric tab to stretch and staple in place out of sight.

    Ultimately, the job was not bad but should have been better. Its a bit runched. I will wait for the piping/cording foot before I do any more. I'm hoping that when I do the shark trim edging it will close up the gap which appears between the piping and top rail in some places.

    piping.JPG


    By the way, I went into Masters and bought a Bosch jigsaw blade for soft materials. This is it.

    softmaterialblade.JPG

    I was expecting to use this to cut foam. Maybe I got it wrong, but its hopeless, I could chew through faster. Dont buy one.
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    used to live in Sydney, now it's Canada
    Age
    64
    Posts
    10,769

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arron View Post
    By the way, I went into Masters and bought a Bosch jigsaw blade for soft materials. This is it.

    softmaterialblade.JPG

    I was expecting to use this to cut foam. Maybe I got it wrong, but its hopeless, I could chew through faster. Dont buy one.
    which blade (number if possible) did you buy. I have a Festool foam cutting blade (150mm long) which is the bee's knees for cutting foam. From memory you have to turn the oscillation off, so the blade just goes up and down.
    regards from Canada

    ian

  6. #51
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ian View Post
    which blade (number if possible) did you buy. I have a Festool foam cutting blade (150mm long) which is the bee's knees for cutting foam. From memory you have to turn the oscillation off, so the blade just goes up and down.
    Bosch T313AW HCS
    My AEG doesn't oscillate.

    Cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default Shark trim

    The next step is to make provision for fabric edge holding, in preparation for fitting the final upholstery fabric.

    The bottom edge of the fabric will be pulled around the stretcher rail and stapled out of sight, but the top edge will be fully exposed where it terminates immediately below the top rail. From my reading, I can see that there are a few solutions to make it pretty:

    1. Use a row of close fitted tacks with decorative heads.

    2. Use gimp (decorative fabric strips) or double welt (double piping). These are either sewn or glued in place.

    3. Route a deep, narrow groove and staple the loose end of the fabric in the groove, then staple the loose edge of the piping in the groove, so the piping conceals the groove.

    4. Use cardboard strips, with the fabric wrapped around and stapled in place. I've done this and on a curved surface I found it very difficult.

    5. Use shark trim (or ply grips or many other names).

    My preference I think would be option 3, but I dont have a long nosed stapler, so I had to opt for what I thought would be next easiest invisible option, the shark trim.

    This is the stuff.

    sharktrim.JPG

    As always, it turned out to be a much bigger learning curve then expected.

    Here's some lessons learnt.

    Its difficult to shoot every staple in such that one leg goes in the hole. Even the series 80 staples bend if you get it wrong, they dont penetrate the metal. I suggest you mark on the nose of the stapler the exact point where each leg of the staple will emerge.

    Its also difficult to fit the shark trim so precisely that when you bend it flat it drives the fabric right up against the piping. A gap of 1 or 2mm will spoil a perfect look. If its critical, maybe a spacer of some sort should be used.

    Its best to use one piece of shark trim right across. Joins are inclined to lay badly.

    Where you need to cut, cut the tab that you staple, not the tab with the hooks. If you cut the tab with hooks, the sharp point that result will snag the fabric.

    I also learnt that its best to push the tabs closed to an angle of about 20 degrees before fitting the fabric. I thought it would be possible to simply hang the fabric on the little hooks and then, once its all sitting right, press them all closed. They dont work like that though, or at least not with my fabric. The hooks have very little if any holding power till they are pressed closed. I found it best to double over the fabric and push it in with a plastic ruler.

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default Wadding

    Next up is the wadding (batting), just to enhance the smoothness and plump out the hollow bits.

    Again it turned out to be one of those things where you dont know how much you dont know till you start doing it.

    What I do know is that wadding these days is mostly polyester. There is still cotton batting available, but its price pretty much precludes it use for DIY work. The polyester version is available in 200gsm, 150 gsm and a hard to find 100gsm. Buy at Spotlite, Clark Rubber or upholstery supplier.

    The thing I wasnt sure about is whether it needs to be glued down or not. I have seen upholsters going underneath it with their trusty spray glue gun, but I"m not sure if thats just to hold it still while they are working with it, or for long term effect, or whether they just like to use their glue guns. In the end I just stapled it in a few spots immediately below the shark trim. I then trimmed the top leaving enough free edge so that it covered up to the tip of the toothed flange of the shark trim. This means that as the shark trim is pressed down there will be wadding between the shark trim and the final fabric, hiding the knoblyness of the shark trim.

    The other thing I couldnt figure out is whether to trim the wadding at the lower edge of the seat back, or leave it a bit long and bend it around the lower rail. I chose the former, but I think the latter would have been smarter.

    Seemed to work anyway.

    This is what it looks like :

    wadding.JPG

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  9. #54
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default Final fabric

    Final fabric done, finishing the IB (inside back).

    Again, difficult. Required three attempts to get it right. Cut, sew, staple, rip off, remove staples, repeat. The main issue is that fabric is flat, but the IB is a complex curve. A long radius at the bottom, then a short radius in the middle where the foam reaches its peak, then a long radius at the top where the foam is thinner. And to make it more difficult, you have to allow for the fact that when someone sits in it the whole thing changes and the fabric in effect moves backward causing new stresses to develop at the anchor points.

    The only way I know of to contour fabric is to use darts, where a triangular section is cut out and the edges resewn. You can see where the darts are in the photo, plus there are 'reverse darts' (sorry, dont know the real name - where the fabric is split and an additional section sewn in) below the seat itself where the fabric is bent around the stretcher rail, otherwise there wouldnt be enough fabric to get a nice even hold and tension across the width.

    Its a difficult balancing act getting the shape just right. I guess thats why upholsterers do apprenticeships.

    I ended up with a few wrinkles, but I'm satisfied because I didnt expect to get it prefect.

    finalfabric.JPG

    I'm also not sure about the use of shark trim. It seems to me its better used in places where the tension is minimal, like the outside back of a chair. In this situation, where you need a lot of tension to smooth out the bumps and bring the fabric into shape then its not ideal because it has a sawtooth effect. You can see where the fabric pulls into the gaps between the flanges. I think I should have used the cardboard strips.

    I also see that it suffers somewhat because of the stiff, knobbly piping. Too late now but I mark it down as a must for the next job to get some proper hollow piping and a piping/cording foot.

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Katoomba NSW
    Posts
    4,300

    Default

    Looks pretty good to me Arron. Thanks for taking the time to do the WIP.
    I'm not quite clear on the shark trim. Do you lay the fabric on the teeth, close them up and then pull the fabric tight around the bottom rail?
    Those were the droids I was looking for.
    "just because I donít need the lathe doesnít mean the beer isnít cold" - Grand Master Flett

  11. #56
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NCArcher View Post
    Looks pretty good to me Arron. Thanks for taking the time to do the WIP.
    I'm not quite clear on the shark trim. Do you lay the fabric on the teeth, close them up and then pull the fabric tight around the bottom rail?
    Yep. That's it.

    This video shows it pretty clearly : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9EyaBF1FYz8

    Cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  12. #57
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default Doing the outside back

    Time to do the outside back.

    Started off easy - I thought it should be after what I've learnt so far.

    The steps were webbing, hessian layer, piping across top and sides, sharktrim across top and sides, 150gsm wadding, then final fabric.

    I still hadnt received the piping/cording foot or bought some proper hollow piping cord so went ahead with the zipper foot and the stiff nylon twine. That's what Sydney traffic does to you - decide to go to the upholstery supply place on a workday and your whole morning is gone - so I just avoid the trip and substitute.

    For the wadding, I researched that a bit and found out its usually just stapled in place, minimal staples, around the edge. I stapled it right underneath the sharktrim, leaving a bit free so it will cover the sharktrim as its all pressed down.

    Again getting the final fabric right was difficult - and again 3 tries, ripping off and starting afresh each time. The sharktrim gets mangled so it has to come off too.

    Two darts were required to contour the fabric. Maybe these wouldn't be necessary on a more stretchable fabric.

    Then piping was attached along the bottom, stapling it in place on the bottom rail and snipping off the loose fabric where it passes over the leg and fixing it with hot-melt glue (use the high-tack yellow stuff as available from upholstery suppliers).

    So here it is:

    backdone.JPG

    Not bad but not perfect. The biggest shortcoming is the top edge of the fabric. If you look at the image you can see that its not quite right. There are gaps and the top edge of the fabric is a bit mangled. I'm going to leave it like this because three times is enough, but I at last understand what is happening and why its not coming out perfect.

    The problem is the interaction between the piping and the sharktrim. The best way to do it is as follows.

    1. Make good quality, hollow piping. Do it so the piping is contained tightly in its fabric sleeve.
    2. Attach the piping with staples, set the staples about 10mm down from the edge of the piping. If the piping is tight in its sleeve, this is doable, but if the piping is loose (like mine) you need to staple right up against the cord of the piping to take up the slack. Ultimately the sharktrim will remove the slack from the piping.
    3. Attach the sharktrim so the top edge of the fabric when pressed down, lies just underneath the edge of the piping. To do this you need flexible piping, and its needs to be attached such that you can move it around a bit, holding it aside while you press the sharktrim down. The effect of this is to hide any shortcomings with the piping.

    The way I do it the top edge of the fabric is below the piping, with a gap sometimes, and the shortcomings fully exposed.

    I hope this makes sense. In effect, its just saying that do one bit badly and each subsequent step will be not right.

    So shortly after finishing this the post arrived and in it the piping/cording foot. I gave it a go and its brilliant. Here is some piping done with the new foot. See how close the row of stitches are to the cord.

    piping2.JPG


    And I've been working on designing my next major project. This chaise lounge.

    chaise.jpg

    I dont think I have got my skills quite up to the required level but I have a few dining chairs that need recovering so have the opportunity to practise a bit further. Anyway, I dont think its going to be as difficult as it looks, probably easier then doing this little chair's back.

    Next is the seat. Then its done.

    cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  13. #58
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,954

    Default Chair seat and its finished

    Today was seat day.

    I had previously made a basic seat frame from 2 layers of 19mm plywood laminated together which I thought would be pretty rigid but when I stretched the webbing on it bent, so I took no chances and used 28mm thick downgrade jarrah, corners dowelled.

    Then I used jute webbing. Using inflexible old jute webbing might seem a strange choice, but I used it just because I wanted to see how it would turn out - this chair is to be a learning experience after all. Then hessian. Then a narrow strip of high-density 10mm foam was attached along the front edge, just so you won't feel the timber edge when you lean forward on the seat, which is something I hate and immediately screams 'cheap'. Then foam bought from Clark Rubber (too expensive), trimmed evenly with the edges of the seat frame, as the seat will be enclosed on three sides (usually a 2cm overhang is preferred). This was followed by 150 gsm wadding just to smooth things out and give a bit of a luxuriant look:

    seat.JPG

    Finally the upholstery fabric. It was fixed down all around except at the front, where I wanted it to wrap right down and around the lower front rail of the chair all in one smooth piece.

    Piping was put on the inside edge of the front legs, and then short lengths of sharktrim. The seat was mounted in and the front edge stapled down and trimmed. Getting the front edge nice and smooth took some time and several repeats. I don't think anyone finds this bit easy so I wasn't too surprised.

    Then piping was fitted along the lower edge. You can see how much better the new piping is on the front then the stuff on the sides. This is partly because the piping is better made, but also because I didn't radius off the lower front edge as much as elsewhere. The piping will line up much more evenly along a sharp edge.

    Lesson learnt was to make the seat a bit smaller, not woodworking tightness but upholstery looseness. I made it about 10mm narrower then the inside width of the front legs but piping, fabric and wadding all go towards closing the gap . It only just fitted in with some hammering and I'm very lucky I didn't damage fabric or piping. Make it small and pad out if need be.

    Then it was flipped over and a dust cover was fitted underneath. I had no idea how to do this, so just used the same fabric as the chair itself stapled down all round.


    cambric.JPG


    Then its finished. Nothing more to do. Its been a long journey and if I was doing this for a living I reckon I'd make about $5 per hour, no exaggeration. Still it was meant to be a learning experience and it has been that.


    finished2.JPG


    I hope some people at least get inspired by this.
    Thank you to those who did participate as well.
    Cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  14. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Osaka
    Posts
    813

    Default

    Dust cover underneath is usually cheap semi perforated material, a bit like eco shopping bags are made out of. Black the usual choice, sometimes white. Black I would think wouldn't reflect light or add any new colouring to the dťcor.

    Anyhow, congratulations on a good job. Learning is what it is all about, I don't doubt if you made a set the last one would take you a quarter of the time to cover.
    Semtex fixes all

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Katoomba NSW
    Posts
    4,300

    Default

    I am mightily impressed
    Those were the droids I was looking for.
    "just because I donít need the lathe doesnít mean the beer isnít cold" - Grand Master Flett

Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Upholstery and Flooring
    By MWF FEED in forum AUTO RESTORATION
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 28th Feb 2016, 11:10 AM
  2. Recommendations: Staple gun for upholstery
    By taderz in forum HAND TOOLS - POWERED
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 6th Nov 2009, 11:35 AM
  3. Upholstery in Brisbane North
    By Shane Watson in forum UPHOLSTERY
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 6th Mar 2009, 11:09 PM
  4. Dining chair upholstery
    By smidsy in forum GENERAL ODDS N SODS
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18th Jan 2007, 11:06 AM
  5. Chairs upholstery
    By JackG in forum WOODWORK - GENERAL
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 9th Jun 2005, 09:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •