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General Upholstery Questions and Comments => General Discussion => The "GREEN" Room! => Topic started by: slow96z on May 18, 2011, 09:19:54 AM

Title: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 18, 2011, 09:19:54 AM
I know this is a bit of an ambitious project, but I'm going to do the best I can with what I have since I cannot afford to have it done professionally.  I have lots of experience in several fields, the largest part in car audio so I have done lots of custom boxes and panels; cutting and gluing carpet and vinly is not new to me, building upholstery is another thing completely and this is new.

The boat is a 1998 Starcraft Aurora deck boat that we just picked up in S.W. Florida and hauled back to Houston 2 weeks ago.  This thing is in great shape but has sat uncovered in the sun its entire life so the interior is completely trashed.  These are the before pictures:

First cushion I did
(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-05-09_07-38-58_334.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-05-09_07-38-58_334.jpg)

others I will do...

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-05-09_07-39-07_423.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-05-09_07-39-07_423.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-05-09_07-39-31_709.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-05-09_07-39-31_709.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-05-09_07-39-24_491.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-05-09_07-39-24_491.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-05-09_07-39-19_76.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-05-09_07-39-19_76.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-05-09_07-39-56_864.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-05-09_07-39-56_864.jpg)

Here is what I did last night with the front cushion:

Removed cover
(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1643.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1643.jpg)

Bad shape!
(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1640.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1640.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1639.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1639.jpg)

Broke cover down for patterning
(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1644.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1644.jpg)

Made patterns, transferred to new vinyl and cut out new pieces (No pics...)

new cover stapled on:
(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1645.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1645.jpg)

Installed in boat

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1648.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1648.jpg)

I know this would have turned out better if I had used an industrial machine and an air stapler, but all I have is my euro-pro home machine with a walking foot attachment and an electric staple gun.  I'll likely redo this one because I don't like that the seams are not straight, but other than that I think it turned out nice for a first run.  I'm also definately going to source an air stapler, this electric one just doesn't have the guts...
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: kodydog on May 18, 2011, 08:27:58 PM
Looks like a good start. Take your time, have fun and you'll do all right. I'm not a boat guy but it's my understanding that in salt water use stainless steel staples.
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: jsquail on May 19, 2011, 06:14:15 AM
Stainless steel staples are a must for salt applications. If you are looking for a low cost air stapler Harbor Freight has a 20 gauge stapler cheap. I have one and it works fine.
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 19, 2011, 09:12:00 AM
Yeah, I went to Harbor Freight to buy that stapler and the register popped up a message saying not to sell the item and to pull them from the shelves.  I was pretty upset about that one, but I got a better one at Northern Tools for $37.  It's not as nice as some of the high end guns but it got a lot of good reviews and for the price it's hard to beat.  It'll almost be a wash by the time I return the electric stapler ($30) I bought when I couldn't find an air stapler.

Now I just need to find a place with stainless T50 staples.

I was going to do another cushion last night, but I'm getting a boat wrap and we decided to see what the wrap looks like before redoing the interior, so we can match vinyl colors to the exterior.  Probably be a couple of weeks, but likely worth the wait.  I'm probably going to start working on the drivers seat in the meantime, it'll probably take that long to do anyway.

More to come.
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: kodydog on May 19, 2011, 10:42:06 AM
Once again I'm not a boat guy. Whats a boat wrap?
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 19, 2011, 03:35:01 PM
I'm sorry, I should have explained.  A boat wrap is essentially a big vinyl sticker that covers most of the boat hull.  This is a lot cheaper and more durable than custom paint, is easily repaired and can be removed with no damage to the boat.  It is a perfect solution for boats like mine that have some sun damage on the gelcoat (boat "paint").  We have pretty heavy oxidation of the gelcoat and wet sanded / polished most of it off, but it's still not perfect.  It is good enough to be wrapped though!

Here is an expamle of a wrapped boat:
(http://edgewraps.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/bad-ass-boat-1.jpg)

As you can see there are a lot of possibilities in doing this and to stay with the factory colors just because they match the side graphics is no longer a logical decision.  I do not know yet what my wrap will look like, but a friend of mine is in the sign business and his wife is a graphic designer; they are designing and installing it for me.  When I get some pictures from them I'll post them up for you guys to see.  I'll also make my interior vinyl decisions at that point. 
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: alge on May 22, 2011, 04:41:31 AM
Just out of interest, can the "boat wrap" be sealed in and finished over the top to make it a hard finish that's durable or will it have a limited life span with normal uv exposure, salt / wave abrasion / strap(winch) damage and so forth?
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 23, 2011, 01:58:17 PM
Since the wrap is made from sign grade vinyl it's my understanding that they can last up to 10 years, but I have no idea about coating over it.
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 24, 2011, 02:34:30 PM
I got my new (to me) machine today, have folks coming over tonight to help break the seats down and get patterns made.  Hope to make some good progress!

New machine thread w/ pics:
http://get-up-and-go.com/upholstery-forum/index.php?topic=10103.0

-j
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 25, 2011, 09:11:17 AM
I did one cushion on my new machine last night and it sewed awesome!  I hope I run as well when I'm 100.  We did decide on a different interior color scheme to match the wrap we are planning; design will stay the same.

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1649.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1649.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_IMG_1650.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=IMG_1650.jpg)

Thanks to my friends Ed and Jim for helping out with disassembly and pattern creation, you guys made it go a lot smoother!
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: BigJohn on May 25, 2011, 03:39:00 PM
Here is a source for SS staples, the ones that fit Harbor Frieght's stapler are at the top of the page:

http://www.floydtool.com/upholstery_staple.htm#50
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 25, 2011, 03:41:29 PM
I actually just saw that on another post about 10 minutes ago.  I found stainless staples for my Northern Tools staple gun at Home Depot fo $10 per box of 1000.  The Northern Tool stapler I bought takes a standard T50 so they're readily available.

Thanks for the heads up though!
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on May 27, 2011, 09:26:59 AM
Did another cushion and the piping for all 3 last night, it was a late one.  For the piping material I'm using weed eater string because I couldn't find nylon welt cord locally and didn't want to use cotton for a marine application.  Here are pics of the 3 I have done so far, one of these is the first one I did but redone in the new colors.  It's slow work only doing it after everybody goes to bed but it's coming along.  Going to try to do the remaining front seat top cushion and 2 bottom cushions tonight so I can have the front completely done.  The back doesn't seem like it's going to be too bad, still scared of the driver's seat...

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/th_2011-05-27_07-28-08_207.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/?action=view&current=2011-05-27_07-28-08_207.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/th_2011-05-27_07-27-56_993.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/?action=view&current=2011-05-27_07-27-56_993.jpg)

And this is where it all happens...I'm surprised my kids don't want their play room back yet!

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/th_2011-05-27_07-28-15_860.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/?action=view&current=2011-05-27_07-28-15_860.jpg)

Comments or concerns?
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: Peppy on May 29, 2011, 07:36:19 PM
Looking good! I hate to say anything now that your so far into it ;) but I probably would have top stitched those swoopy curves. I think you might find it sort of, 'mellows out' the curves. Don't start now, but for next time. Now you might try nipping the selvedge every 1/2" or so, or maybe trimming it away. That'll help the curve lay the way it wants to.

Don't get me wrong, you're doing great! Quite an ambitious project for a newby! Keep at it!
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on June 21, 2011, 09:45:22 AM
I'm about to start on the seat bottoms, but I'm a little concerned as they look to be considerably more complex then the backs.  The back of the bottoms is wrapped separately from the front piece, looks like I will need to make the front and rear pieces complete, sew the piping to one and then sew in the other.  Then the rear goes on first and gets stapled down under where the front foam goes, front foam gets inserted and vinyl pulled over it.  Make sense?  Any tips or pointers?  It's been slow going lately, Fire Academy had been killing me in this heat!
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: Lmc530 on June 22, 2011, 08:52:54 AM
I am a newbie to this discussion forum.. but have done some boat upholstery before.. I am planning on starting a project myself and  taking on small projects on the side...

Looking for recommendations of what hand tools are a MUST in getting started for marine upholstery.. I was working with someone else previously and they were his tools.. Also - any suggestions for where is the best place to purchase upholstery tools..
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: kodydog on June 22, 2011, 12:24:11 PM
any suggestions for where is the best place to purchase upholstery tools..

Go to the top of the page and hit suppliers. Also most retail upholstery shops will sell most of the tools you need. But what you really need is to find a local wholesale supplier. Not only for tools but supplies too. If we knew where you were some of the kind folks on this site might point you in the right direction.
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: Lmc530 on June 22, 2011, 01:06:06 PM
I am located in New Haven County, CT.. so any suggestions for wholesale suppliers would be appreciated.. 
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: Peppy on June 23, 2011, 08:44:39 PM
I'm about to start on the seat bottoms, but I'm a little concerned as they look to be considerably more complex then the backs.  The back of the bottoms is wrapped separately from the front piece, looks like I will need to make the front and rear pieces complete, sew the piping to one and then sew in the other.  Then the rear goes on first and gets stapled down under where the front foam goes, front foam gets inserted and vinyl pulled over it.  Make sense?  Any tips or pointers?  It's been slow going lately, Fire Academy had been killing me in this heat!

Thats called a stretcher, or a listing, or a stay. Try searching it on the forum, although since everything just went missing you might not find good stuff. Draw a line on the stretcher down from the piping, that's the same distance as the height of your skinniest piece of foam, and staple it to the board on that line. Try it out. And try searching. Good luck! Don't be afraid to screw it up! Failure is a wonderful teacher!
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on August 31, 2011, 09:47:26 AM
OK, Fire Academy is over, school is back in, Dad's boat seats are finished, garage is clean and it's too hot for soccer....back to work!  I have finished half of one of the seat bottoms and will be doing the cover and stretcher for the 2nd piece of foam tonight.  Wish me luck!  Will post pics when this one is finished.  It's the scariest of them aside from the driver's seat so I did it first.
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on September 01, 2011, 09:20:27 AM
So I did the seat bottom and it turned out usable, but not what I would call good.  I would appreciate any advice I can get here.  The corner that looks like it is about to tear through has already been cut off, won't matter on the seat fit and will make the vinyl last a little longer.

Here are the pics:

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/th_2011-09-01_00-03-42_498.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/?action=view&current=2011-09-01_00-03-42_498.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/th_2011-09-01_00-03-29_236.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/?action=view&current=2011-09-01_00-03-29_236.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/th_2011-08-31_23-57-40_687.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/?action=view&current=2011-08-31_23-57-40_687.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/th_2011-08-31_23-57-26_883.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Upholstery/?action=view&current=2011-08-31_23-57-26_883.jpg)

Thaks for looking and for any advice I get.
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: Mike8560 on September 28, 2011, 08:21:29 PM
Hey sloz lookin' good I alway find the seat bottom are much easier then the backs how did they come out? Tou must have them done by now I'd like to see the  wrap also   
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on September 29, 2011, 08:24:12 AM
I have most of them done, only 2 to go (not counting capitan's chair).  I don't have the boat right now so I don't have lots of pics; here are 2 that I do have.

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-09-06_12-47-47_510.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-09-06_12-47-47_510.jpg)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_2011-09-06_12-48-16_795.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=2011-09-06_12-48-16_795.jpg)

The wrap is in the process of getting printed, should have it by next Wednesday.  I spoke to the wrap guy yesterday and he told me as he was pulling the boat out of his driveway he ran off the curb and broke one of my axles on the trailer so I'm going today to help put a new one in.  He is paying for it and covering the vinyl used in the wrap as compensation, I'm not arguing. 

Here is the photoshop rendition of what the wrap will look like, what do you guys think?  I know it's a little over the top, but I wanted it to have something to do with my wife and I have always called her Baby Girl so I think it's fitting.


(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/th_BabyGirl.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/slow96z/Starcraft%20Starship%20Aurora/?action=view&current=BabyGirl.jpg)
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: JuneC on September 29, 2011, 09:17:37 PM
It's coming out great!  Really nice looking work for a first-time project.  You can slap yourself on the back for that.  Next, your friends will be coming out of the woodwork with their boat projects...  beware  ::)

June
Title: Re: Boat project, first time upholstering
Post by: slow96z on September 30, 2011, 09:15:17 AM
Thanks June, it means a lot to me hearing compliments from the folks on here; makes me feel like I know what I'm doing!  I'm not worried about doing friends boats, they don't mind paying me for the mechanical and audio work I do, I would assume this would be the same.  I like the work, thinking I might start picking up cheap boats, redoing the interiors and selling them as a side business, but that's winter work.