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Topics - cajunpedaler

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The Business Of Upholstery / Staples
« on: November 13, 2015, 10:07:45 AM »
I have brought this topic up before, but now it has gotten out of control.  I am using a Rainco staple gun.  It is in good shape, I have had it rebuilt a couple of times.  I shoot my staples at about 60psi and that usually sets my staples like I like them to be.  Doesn't sit proud, but doesn't cut fabric.  

Doing slip seats, or anything, for that matter, you know you have to re-position some staples.  And every one of the staples breaks. I use my Rainco gun, OR I use my Porter cable gun, it shoots better at about 90psi.  Staples break no matter what gun or pressure or technique.  They break when I use a staple puller to pull them out.  Not when I shoot them.  I've used different staple pullers and tried to change my technique.
And this is getting ridiculous.  Doubles or triples work time on simple jobs.  Sometimes the little nub that remains, breaks off below surface, but sometimes have to get tack hammer to knock down the little pricks sticking up.  The brand that I'm currently using is BEA type 71, 3/8" leg.  
I've googled and BEA Bostitch appear to be the same company.  I'd like to see if I can fnd a good source for staples that don't break.  I bought a huge box of Senco a long time ago and wonder if that brand would work better.  
This has to end.  There has to be a solution.
Any comments appreciated, unless you just want to say I'm a moron...
Happy Friday 13th!!

The Business Of Upholstery / Upholstery gathering on FB
« on: August 28, 2015, 11:09:21 AM »
regarding facebook upholstery...how does one access that?  I am a complete FB novice.  I am a member, but do not have any experience with using it at all.

The Business Of Upholstery / Good form aluminum chair...arm pieces
« on: August 14, 2015, 11:55:30 AM »
I am a mid-century aficionado.  I have several Goodform chairs that have arms.  And on those arms, origninally there was a little pad that curved or conformed to the curve of the structure.  In 90% of the cases, that arm piece is gone or broken and I've not come up with a good way to re-create that.  Any body familiar with a fix that might work?
I can post a picture if it helps.

The Business Of Upholstery / Bad batch of zipper
« on: July 30, 2015, 08:28:35 PM »
My preferred size of zipper has always been a #4 aluminum.  It's what I've always used.  This past month I bought a new 100 yd roll of zipper, sewed 9 cushions with zippers from that roll.  Two of those zippers spontaneously just come apart.  My supplier was willing to credit me.  He also suggested a 4.5 nylon zipper.  It is a coil zipper.  His pros were being able to sew right over it, and not messing up a needle or being able to cut it and scissors don't suffer.  However I've seen more nylon zippers go south than metal. 
Your input?

The Business Of Upholstery / Sewing a hide with hair
« on: July 30, 2015, 05:01:13 PM »
I have a project that involves sewing a hide with hair...I don't know if the creature is/was horse or cow?  It had hair.  I am inserting the hair part into a border of hairless, finished leather.  My concern is how to keep hair from having "cowlicks" as I seam it together.  I have sewed leather many times.  I use a leather needle, pray that I get it right the first time, etc.
I am wondering if I "shave the hide just a millimeter or so into the seam allowance.  I do have hair clippers that I could do just that. 
Any ideas or experiences on this?

General Discussion / BIG Change for me.
« on: June 30, 2015, 08:42:42 PM »
For the last dozen years, I've driven a Honda Odyssey.  They are wonderful vehicles.  For something as big as they are, the MPG's are decent.  On long hiway trips, I can get 24/25 MPG. 
But the latest van is a 2001, she has 240,000 miles on her and she is starting to have a few hiccups.  Plus, we live way out in BFE and going to town and back is quite a haul, so I've been thinking of getting a smaller vehicle and racking up better mileage. 
The vehicle in mind is a Honda Fit.  The smallest Honda.  It has quite an impressive cargo area, but sofas are out of the question for pickup and delivery. 
I'm not stressing over this like I thought I would. 
Has anyone gone down to a smaller vehicle and how did it impact your business?
I've had a Honda Fit before, a 2008, but it didn't have telescoping steering wheel and was damned uncomfortable to get arms/legs comfortable length to drive.
This new one I'm getting has that feature and it makes all the difference in the world.

General Discussion / Sofa bed mattress dilemma
« on: June 22, 2015, 08:51:41 PM »
This may or may not have anything to do with upholstery, but since there is a wealth of information here...
I have a queen sofa bed.  Of course it came with the usual and super crappy mattress...so miss smarty pants (me) ordered a new one from Amazon...good price, great mattress...Fits width and length perfect.  (basically the size is what's called a short queen in RV's)

Here's the problem.  It's too thick to fold up and go inside the sofa frame.  Doesn't even fit under the inside back.  It's a 4.5" mattress and I think that's way too much.  Probably a 4" would be better.  Any ideas where to look besides Ebay or Amazon?  I don't want to spend a huge chunk of money.  I paid 150.00 for this one and it's a fair price.

Or is there a foam insert I can put inside the mattress framework and store the mattress when it's not in use? 

General Discussion / Small shop woes.
« on: June 17, 2015, 09:19:44 AM »
What has been the "last straw" in deciding to close your business?
For me, it has been the health or lack of in my right hand.  It's not carpal tunnel, but my right wrist and hand are KAPUT.  Small wrist bones in back of hand, constantly painfully popping out of place, can't grip anything.  Also, my whole right hand and arm is painfully numb a lot.
Finding consistent good help.  Impossible.

I love to sew.  I love projects.  I love seeing a customer's face when I deliver a piece and I know I got it "just right". 

I'm thinking seriously of giving it up at the end of this year.  Life is too short to not be traveling or enjoying one's self...


General Discussion / Lazy Boy Power Lumbar problem
« on: May 27, 2015, 08:26:16 AM »
I got this message from a friend, and since this is something I haven't seen, I thought I would post it here.  Maybe one of you's guy or gals has seen it, and has some insight or solution.

We bought two recliners from Lazy-Boy. We got the power lumbar support option.


The chair normally has those springs under the cushions on the back, providing even support, but when they installed the lumbar support option, they left out the springs on the whole back. The area between the lumbar support mechanism and the headrest is like a big hammock with a fluffy pillow on it.


The top edge of the lumbar support feels like a 2X4 across the back.


We are having 'discussions' with Lazy Boy.


How to Use This Forum / Logging in trouble
« on: April 28, 2015, 11:08:36 AM »
I am having trouble logging in to forum discussions.  I sign in, id and password, get the screen that says welcome "cajunpedaler", but then when I go to forum to post or reply,  I am listed as "guest" and not allowed to post or reply.  I've tried all the different boxes to log in...Anything I need to know or do?

General Discussion / Band aid record
« on: April 16, 2015, 11:31:09 AM »
OK...so what is YOUR world's record for working with the most band aids on fingers?  Today, I'm working with both thumbs and left index finger front pad with band aids.

If anyone would see me, I wonder what they think? And why does it always happen when you are working with a light colored fancy cotton or linen?


General Discussion / Retiring, how much notice to customers?
« on: March 21, 2015, 08:36:28 AM »
I don't think I'm going to want to do upholstery for the public much more than a couple of more years.  I am 60.5 yrs young, but my hands and wrists are beat to hell and back..just like the rest of us.
I want to continue doing projects till they put me in the ground, but these will be fun projects for myself and family and friends. 

Has anyone ever decided to pull the plug on the business and then told the public?  How much notice?  I'm also thinking it could backfire a couple of ways..one, I could get so overwhelmed that I would really burn out, OR...it would be a ghost town, because customers would just start looking for their new upholsterer now..


General Discussion / staples breaking
« on: March 20, 2015, 07:01:13 AM »
Seems like I've seen this discussed before..but here goes my rant anyway.  I've been using BEA staples and lately they are breaking. whenever you have to lift one that's misplaced...and they ALL break.  So I bought a box of Empire staples and same thing.  So I am wondering if there is a common denominator in my staple gun...I looked at the driver (the tongue that pushes the staples out of my Rainco gun) to see if there was wear, uneven, etc that could be affecting the staples.
I've asked both my suppliers if they were getting complaints about staples being weaker and from both suppliers I got no comments from other upholsterers.
Anybody else?

General Discussion / Embroidery machine (not a monster one)
« on: March 17, 2015, 05:48:10 PM »
I have always loved all machines that sew.  I've got 2 industrial machines, many sturdy home machines, 3 sergers, etc.  I am wanting an embroidery machine.  Not one that costs thousands of dollars...But I don't know what to look for or what to ask for.  Basically, I want one that I can program (through a card or usb?) to make little designs (no bigger than 1 1/2".
Any suggestions?

General Discussion / A sofa (2) redo...
« on: March 17, 2015, 09:42:36 AM »
I did two huge sofas for a customer in the recent fall...they were well made, mid century sofas.  I enjoyed working on them thoroughly.  However I delivered them to the customer and told her the fabric maybe wasn't what she expected.  I also gave her the original pieces off the sofa in the event she ever wanted to recover down the road.  Well here it is, less than six months later and this is the email I got from her...

Hi Perry,
 I hope that you are well since we last saw you in November. You did a wonderful job with our sofas! Unfortunately, the "commercial grade" fabric that we chose has not held up well at all. Since the second week that we had the sofas, there has been a major issue with pilling and threads coming loose. Luckily, x xxx textiles has recognized this as a fabric defect and is giving us a refund and paying for the sofas to be reupholstered again with a different fabric. So, my question to you is, would you be available to do the job for us again? I'm meeting Caroline this week to order the new fabric. How is your schedule looking? Also, we would like to have the other sofa that I showed you in our keeping room done as well when you have the time. I'm going to order fabric for that one too this week. Let me know your thoughts on all of this - I look forward to hearing from you!
 Thanks so much,
 Maggie L

BTW...this involves the decorator who wanted the kickback last month, so I am anxious to see how this all plays out.

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