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Messages - D3Gilmore

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
General Discussion / Re: Pricing Banquette Seating & Foam
« on: November 11, 2017, 03:51:06 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I did work out the numbers longhand and arrived at my pricing.  I wish sometimes there was a manual just like when you buy a franchise - they give you everything you need to open your doors and be successful. 

The flipside is, I love that I'm building this business one step at a time and with the help of others - networking has been a lifesaver.  So, thank you!

I have measured the banquette now that it's installed.  It is 16-3/4"h so the 3" foam is what the client wants.  Firm foam spec'd is 50IDL/ 2.7lb  Would anyone recommend something better?

General Discussion / Re: Pricing Banquette Seating & Foam
« on: November 05, 2017, 07:49:14 PM »
In this situation, the designer and client have deferred the selection of foam to me.  In this case, it is spec'd at 2.7lb / 50IDL through US Foam.  I started to doubt my own selection of 50IDL because of the 3" thickness.  The client doesn't want "soft" since it will be 3" and doesn't want to necessarily sink into the cushions.

She has only a 19" depth and limited space with windows behind the banquette at 34-1/2".  The designer has therefore spec'd back pillows ranging from 18" - 24".  I will be doing those as well.  They have hired a cabinet maker to make the banquette itself.

I definitely see that there are variables that can affect final price, like add-ons and difficult to use fabrics.  I have spec'd out my costs for foam, batting and welting.  (I will add the zipper.) I haven't included my overhead like lighting, insurance, etc., because that whole process is still a "work in process."  I guess it's not as simple as a formula of L + W x 2, etc.

I think for me, it's difficult to have a set labor price since I am still learning, the time it takes to do it is longer, so I'm struggling at an hourly rate.

General Discussion / Pricing Banquette Seating & Foam
« on: November 05, 2017, 09:07:48 AM »
I have been asked to bid on a 75”w x 19”d x 3”h and 47”w x 19”d x 3”h l-shaped banquette for a designer’s client. I have heard of different methods for calculating a price including L + W x ($1.50-$3.00 per inch) as well as L+W x 2 = $Price. Both result in a low - high price point.  I was thinking of using the first method which results in a higher price but would include foam/piping/zipper and still leave me a decent labor price.

I would appreciate anyone’s feedback on this project. 

Also, the client wants 3” foam. I initially showed the client what 2” firm looks and feels like, but now I’m wondering if 3” for a residential banquette may be too hard? Curious what others may suggest and use.

Thank you!

General Discussion / Dutailer Glider Recover
« on: September 10, 2017, 09:57:24 AM »
Have been asked to bid for this project. Haven't done one of these before so not sure how it's attached but wondering if anyone has some advice, suggestions, warnings and perhaps how long it might take a seasoned upholsterer to finish? Not sure what to charge.

Thank you!


General Discussion / Re: Juki DNU 1541s - Making it mobile
« on: August 29, 2017, 11:03:20 AM »
Floyd, thank you for your thorough and thoughtful response. I will check these options out today. The expertise and advice I receive here has been invaluable.

Thanks again,


General Discussion / Re: Juki DNU 1541s - Making it mobile
« on: August 28, 2017, 10:32:41 PM »
Thanks all, I will look into getting some casters.

I was pretty shocked that this even came up for sale in my area.  I see lots of Jukis that handle light and medium weight fabrics, but have only seen one other 1541s and that was $1400.  I felt like I got a good deal at $850.  Not quite as good a deal as $375 but very excited to get to using it.

This seamstress bought this thinking it was the next best thing - and I'm sure quickly abandoned it when it chewed up her wedding dresses.  Either way, I feel like a winner!

This machine has a clutch motor.  I have seen how to swap it out for a servo.  I'm hoping to swap that out eventually but not a must-have yet.  I do need to add a few feet - it only came with the walking foot.  I'd like to add a single and double cording foot.  Any other must-haves?

I need to buy a table light.  Does anyone recommend a better one over the standard light that I can get from Juki directly?

General Discussion / Juki DNU 1541s - Making it mobile
« on: August 27, 2017, 11:03:54 PM »
I scored a "new to me" in "mint-condition" Juki DNU-1541s .....FINALLY.  The machine has less than 20 hours of sewing time as the seamstress actually focused on wedding apparel.  Drove a couple hours to go pick it up today with the family and my husband was surprised how heavy the head was to carry.

That being said, I was wondering if anyone has put heavy-duty casters on their table so they can move it around?  I don't have a huge workspace and so I'd like to turn the table and roll it up to a larger table so my fabric doesn't roll off.


General Discussion / Re: Resale
« on: August 27, 2017, 11:00:11 PM »
Interesting thread.  I was just reading the rules in California and if I produce something from scratch, both my labor and materials are taxable.  If I "reupholster" the customer's original piece, only my materials are taxable.  So by this logic, if I leave a piece of their old batting in a cushion, then in effect, I don't have to charge sales tax as it's just my labor.

I need to definitely get it clear as I may change my invoicing to read 'reupholster' as opposed to 'fabrication of new"....

So much to learn.

General Discussion / Replacing Foam for Diningroom Chair
« on: August 13, 2017, 04:31:11 PM »
I have some 1-1/2" foam with a firmness and compression of 1.8/45lb.  Would that be typical to use on diningroom chairs?  I have hardwood seat bottoms and the foam has completely given out.  I just feel the wood.  I have some time and wanted to replace the fabric today but wondered if I should be using a more firm foam for such a hard wood seat?


General Discussion / Re: Sourcing Decorative Nailhead/Tacks
« on: August 06, 2017, 12:30:34 PM »
In situations like this (tack matching, etc.) I have carefully removed the tack and reused
them.  They matched!

Doyle, that is my game plan for now but having a "close match" at the ready. I'll remove carefully and see what I get. I even thought about pulling some tacks from the back of the seat bottoms and using them on the upper seat backs  since they will be more visible there and replace the seat back ones with "new similar".

General Discussion / Re: Sourcing Decorative Nailhead/Tacks
« on: August 05, 2017, 11:05:32 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions - I went to count how many decorative nails are in the seat, and there are significantly more than the back.  Also, I am only reupholstering the two captain chairs - there are 6 more side chairs with the same nailhead, so I'm not sure I want to open that can of worms and make the two end ones different.

I have been trying to source similar 3/4" antique brass or maybe it's antique bronze, but the pickings are slim.  I can see why this could be a headache and just easier to change it all out - makes sense that oxidation, etc., can affect the look from old to new. My bid to reupholster these seat backs doesn't include changing out the seat nailhead.  I would rather find something "close" than replace all the seat nailhead on my dime/time.

Decisions decisions.

General Discussion / Sourcing Decorative Nailhead/Tacks
« on: August 04, 2017, 01:13:12 AM »
I need to purchase additional decorative tacks for two dining room chairs I am reupholstering for a client. Since I am only reupholstering the backs of the chairs, not seats, I need the new decorative tacks to match the same tacks on the seat.

Sounds simple, but since I don't keep boxes and boxes of decorative tacks on hand (I have 3 that I typically use), I source them online.  It is so hard to see the true color or finish of the tacks and I really don't want to buy a box of 250 or 1000 to find out they really aren't what I'm looking for.

There is another upholsterer in my area, and I thought I would visit his shop to see if I could "source" them from him (and purchase from him this time), but for future projects, I can't keep going back to the same upholsterer to get gouged on tacks that I know I can buy cheaper by the box.

I don't need 250,  just 37 per chair.  I am looking for a box of 100 for safe measure (or is that not even enough)?  I don't know if I should attempt to get sample boards from a distributor or hope that the pictures on the internet are "close enough to the originals"?

Thoughts? Suggestions?

General Discussion / Re: Recovering Metal Patio Chairs
« on: August 02, 2017, 01:24:42 AM »
I rewove a set of Tropitone vinyl chairs and ottoman a few months ago and it was a workout pulling and stretching the vinyl while warm so it didn't loosen up once cooled. Those aren't cheap chairs but the time added up and really took two sets of hands from time to time. I thought I could make some good money doing chairs like that but they really were labor intensive.

I haven't done slingback chairs yet but have seen how it's done.

Kodydog, how long did it take per chair? Just curious what it SHOULD take.

General Discussion / Re: Patio Cushions - Foam Suggestions
« on: July 30, 2017, 06:45:06 PM »
Thank you all for your help on this project.  The client was thrilled and I couldn't be more glad to get them out the door.

Here is a pic of the finished cushions.  I have to say I think I've learned everything NOT to do for the next time ;)

Thanks again,


Before:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_b-s34UOXi1cmpfbE1EMVNSaW8/view?usp=sharing

After:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_b-s34UOXi1bV9IUHhza0xuWk0/view?usp=sharing

General Discussion / Dining Chair Cushions - w/o Tiebacks
« on: July 29, 2017, 10:34:55 PM »
I have a client wanting cushions for her dining chairs but doesn't want tiebacks. 

She doesn't want them adhered to the wood bases, just on top.  My first thought its, that's not a good idea without at least tiebacks. 

1) What type of foam would you recommend if the cushions are only going to be 1-2" thick (at most)?  The 2.7/50 was what I was thinking, but since the foam isn't very thick, wasn't sure if it would still be uncomfortable.  Would you mix a 1" firm with a 1" medium?

2) If I can persuade the client to use a grippy type of material for the underside, what have others used to combat slippery seats?

I was still planning to put zipper plackets on the back.  My experience is that the higher-end cushions always do.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated!


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