Upholstery XIII

Upholstery XIII

It was slow day at work, so I cut out early to put some work in on my upholstery. Don’t tell my boss!

I got some two-part epoxy putty to fill in my first attempt at welding the door pockets. I could have used autobody filler, but this stuff was at Home Depot, and was cheaper than buying a whole can of body filler.

After all the grinding, the frame didn’t look too bad, and Frank felt I could have gotten away with covering what I had with leather, but I wanted to make absolute sure I had a nice smooth finish.

The next order of business was to take the old cover off the rear seat back and inspect the condition of the foam. The top piece was pretty bad where the left half was a crumbling mess. The right half was barely any better with half of it’s density dry rotted, and crumbling from behind. A new header piece will have to be made from scratch. I think this piece will be made with readly available half round modern foam. Cutting and shaping this piece with the latex foam will be too time consuming for the benifit of using the softer foam. I don’t plan on spending much time back there, and for anyone who does, they will never feel the difference in density.

The two seat back cushions looked good from the front, but the backs showed a lot of deterioration. I rubbed off most of the dry, crumbling stuff and was left with something like this. What was left seemed very useable, but I had to build up what had dry rotted away.

The solution looked horrible from behind, but looked great, and worked well for the front side. I cut and shaped soft latex foam from the mattress I bought to fit in the craters that were left from the deteriorated foam. I originally thought about sanding the pieces down, but when I flipped the piece over and set it on a flat surface, it was unaffected by the uneven surface from behind as long as I kept the thickness close. In a little while, I had all the cushions done with the exception of the header piece.

I started to attach the seat cover to the bottom cushion and frame. It took a lot of pulling tucking and slapping to get the leather to go where we wanted. I took some batting (the stuff upholsterers use that looks like cotton), and stuffed some areas that needed just a little bit more filling so the wrinkles would go away. Frank advised me on the ones that needed stuffing, and which ones would go away when the rest of the cover was glued in place.

We also saw where we would like to pull the center section down a bit (down arrows), so the seat would take a better shape. This is why we needed the extra adjustment from the rope I laced from behind. The arrow pointing towards the back of the cushion will take out the wrinkles that are forming on the leather. You can also see very faint wrinkles forming on the top of the piping and pulling the leather taught in this direction will make everything smooth out. Spotting these small issues now makes fixing them much easier!

As we go along, we’re slowly gluing the cover to the frame. More tugging, tucking, and stretching is needed to get everything smooth. I almost wish it was cooler so I wouldn’t have to worry about sweating all over my seats! Speaking of ruining the seats, not only do I have to be careful about the sweat dripping off my face onto my new seats, I also have to make sure I don’t bleed on them!

It’s real easy to cut your hands when working on upholstery. Hog rings have sharp points, and the metal edges under the seats can really cut you without knowing. Having worked on cars for so long, small cuts barely register in my mind when I’m working, and with such light colored seats, blood doesn’t clean up so easily! So now I’m constantly checking my hands for new cuts. Long nails can also damage upholstery. Pulling and tugging can really dig your nails into the leather, scratching them badly. Frank warned me about this problem when we first started working on the seat covers a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been trying to keep them short, and filing them so they’re dull. Add that as another sacrifice I’ve made to this Ferrari!

Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day
Home page