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: Basic Upholstery Tools  ( 10744 )
Stephen
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« : September 07, 2011, 02:24:25 PM »

Hi,
   I'm putting together a list of basic hand tools, additional tools, and machinery used to upholster furniture. I've started the list here: Basic Upholstery Hand Tools. Could you look it over and give me feedback and suggestions about what you would suggest for tools? I'd trying to have several lists: 1.) a very minimum set of tools, the bare bones of what someone would need to recover a sofa or chair. 2. A More advanced list of what is need to do upholstery professionally. 3. List of machinery and their uses. 4.) Perhaps a list of any specialized tools (and what they are used for.) Any other suggestions would also be appreciated.
Here is what I have so far:

Quote
Basic Upholstery Tools
Minimum Set of Hand Tools

    Hammer: 16 oz, straight claw, which can be used to strip the old cover off.
    Scissors: 9 to 12 inch: get a good quality, such as Wiss
    Pliers: standard 8 inch
    Staple remover: Recommend Berry's
    Ripping Chisel
    Screwdrivers
        Philips
        Straight slotted
    Curved Needles: 4 inch & 6 inch
    Button needle: 10 to 16 inch
    Webbing Stretcher: You can substitute a 1 x 4 board that is about 8 inches long to use as a webbing stretcher..

Additional Hand Tools
    Wood clamps
    Upholstery tack hammers
    Webbing stretchers
    Webbing Pliers
    Regulator
    Duck bill pliers
    Rawhide Mallet OR ....

Power Tools
     Staplers: One or more of the following
        air stapler - and/or
        electric staper - and/or
        hand stapler
List copied from: Upholstery Resource: Basic Upholstery Tools



Thanks.

Best Wishes,
Stephen  
« : September 07, 2011, 02:44:22 PM Stephen »

Mike8560
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« #1 : September 07, 2011, 03:10:13 PM »

I'd really miss
my side cutter also know as dikes
I all work would stop with my tape measures I alway loose track of. Ones miissing now
Stephen
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« #2 : September 07, 2011, 03:27:13 PM »

Thanks Mike, have them added to the list.
Stephen

gene
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« #3 : September 07, 2011, 04:54:35 PM »

Hi Stephen,

One thing I would definitely add: a can of antiseptic spray and a box of band-aids.

I was going to add 'regulator' but I see that you already have that. I am amazed at how often I use my regulator. Every time I use hot melt glue I get my regulator ready. I use an ice pick to pry, or for anything that might bend the tip of my regulator.

I never use my webbing pliers. I stretch jute webbing with a webbing stretcher (which you list twice). If I need to pull fabric, it's easier to grab my regular pliers and use them.

I do use a pair of needle nose pliers occasionally, especially when I need to reach into some tight spot and grab some fabric. Maybe you use your Duck Bill pliers the way I use needle nose pliers.

I would also NOT recommend a hand stapler. I think a recommendation against a hand stapler would be more helpful than a recommendation to use one as an alternative.

Raw hide mallet is a good recommendation. I have a rubber one that had a lot of bounce in it and someone on this forum mentioned a raw hide mallet, which I now use. Every time I pick it up I say, "Keep them doggies rollin', Raw Hide!"

Thank you for the post.

gene
« : September 07, 2011, 04:57:31 PM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
Mojo
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« #4 : September 07, 2011, 05:00:26 PM »

Stephen:

I take it this list is just for the furniture guys ?

If not then I will add my two cents worth. This is just a list of things I could not do without.

1.) A good quality walking foot machine
2.) Engle Hot Knife
3.) Thread nippers
4.) Razor knife
5.) Large ( 68 " ) and small ( 48" ) straight edge's
6.) Large Square ( 24 " )
7.) Box of tailors chalk

That is about all I can think of right now.

Chris
sofadoc
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« #5 : September 07, 2011, 05:21:24 PM »

In the furniture line, I don't know if this falls under the heading of "Basic" or not, but I don't know how you could get very far without a button press, dies, and molds. I guess some people just send off to have their buttons made.
How about some type of foam cutter? Either a turkey knife from Wally World (for the basic list), or a Bosch/Accu-cutter electric foam cutter for the pro list.
And different types of spring clip pliers; such as BW pliers. And hog ring pliers.
Are you compiling this list for the DIY'er? Or both DIY'er, and newbie pro?

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
Stephen
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« #6 : September 07, 2011, 05:41:14 PM »

Stephen:
I take it this list is just for the furniture guys ?
Chris
Hi Chris,
Thanks for the input. Actually, Jack at Carrscorner started to put together a list for the auto upholsterers here in the pro members only section. Since I don't do automobiles, and I've been working on a furniture upholstery tool list at the UpholsteryResource website anyway, I thought I'd use Jack's starting his message thread to motivate me to do some more work on the list of tools for furniture upholsterers.

I appreciate all the help I can get.

Now to answer your question about whether to include the auto upholstery tools in this section. It would be simple enough for someone to start another message thread for the auto upholstery tools. BUT, I don't know if I care whether or not the auto upholstery tools are included in this thread or not. (The furniture upholstery tools will end up listed on a special page anyway, so it doesn't matter for my purpose.) If auto upholstery tools were to be listed here, it would just be important to identify each tool as to which use it was for.

Best Wishes,
Stephen
« : September 07, 2011, 07:00:11 PM Stephen »

Stephen
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« #7 : September 07, 2011, 06:56:21 PM »

How about some type of foam cutter? Either a turkey knife from Wally World (for the basic list), or a Bosch/Accu-cutter electric foam cutter for the pro list.
And different types of spring clip pliers; such as BW pliers. And hog ring pliers.
Some good additions.

Are you compiling this list for the DIY'er? Or both DIY'er, and newbie pro?

I'd like to have at least two or three lists.
  • One will be a bare bones basic list for someone just wanting to do their first upholstery project, but don't know if they want to do anything else.
  • Then probably a list for a more proficient do-it-yourselfer.
  • And then a list for the professional.
The lists have started out in a very simple lists. Hopefully, the lists will get better over time. Eventually I would like to have pictures of everything, and then possibly have links to pictures/videos that show each tool in use. But each of these will be dependent upon what time I have to spend on it.

Best Wishes,
Stephen
« : September 07, 2011, 06:57:55 PM Stephen »

Stephen
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« #8 : September 07, 2011, 07:57:14 PM »

2.) Engle Hot Knife

Do you use this in furniture upholstery? What do you use it for?

5.) Large ( 68 " ) and small ( 48" ) straight edge's
For the Large 68", do you mean a standard 60" upholstery ruler, or something else? If you meant 68" what is that and where do you get it?

Thanks,
Best Wishes,
Stephen
« : September 07, 2011, 07:57:41 PM Stephen »

kodydog
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« #9 : September 07, 2011, 08:00:33 PM »

Looks like a good list so far. I'm sure we could make it stretch a mile long if we wanted but for the basics (do it your selfer) some fabric cutting tools would be needed. Marker (chalk), yard stick and square for starters. Calculator?

I used a Berry staple remover for 6 years before switching to Osborn. The Berry has a meatier tip and less likely to break but I find the Osborn is kinder to the hand and has better leverage. Just bought one, $18 at my supplier.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #10 : September 08, 2011, 08:28:41 PM »

Here's a pic of all my furniture stripping tools:

If I could only take ONE tool to do a job, it would be the tile nippers (similar to the "Pinchers" that DLT sells).
Other than the Berry's staple lifter, most of the other tools only serve specific purposes.
The one that looks like an old fashioned can opener is totally worthless.
The "Double Rock" is good for getting into tight grooves.
Some people  love the air chisel. I find it to be loud and obnoxious, and it makes my air compressor run constantly.
Before you ask "What, no hammer?", I use the nippers to hammer with.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
gene
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« #11 : September 09, 2011, 07:42:33 AM »

Another item to add to a beginners list would be someone, or this forum, that you could ask questions. I had a local upholsterer who I called three times with a question. I then found this forum and Carrscorner so I began asking on here so I wouldn't bother him too much. The first time I needed double welt cord I paid an upholsterer to make it for me. This goes in line with what Sofa doc has mentioned about buttons, etc.

Just a thought.

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
kodydog
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« #12 : September 09, 2011, 08:01:09 AM »

The first six months I was in business I paid a fabric store to make all my buttons until I found a good deal on a button machine. When your first starting out you need to spend the small amount of money you have wisely.

I'd say the next big purchase after an industrial sewing machine would be a 20 or 30 gal. air compressor.
« : September 09, 2011, 08:04:36 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
byhammerandhand
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« #13 : September 09, 2011, 09:33:13 AM »

In the woodworking world (where I live) it's common to start with a small set of tooling and use subsequent projects to justify (rationalize?) additional purchases as needed.  While there are a lot of people with tool collections or accumulations, most add things as needed and don't end up with a shop full of tools that seemed like a good idea at the time, but never got used.

I would definitely caution against hand or electric staplers for all but the least demanding of jobs, such as slip seats.  Even then, if you can swing $100 for a low-end small compressor it will make life much more rewarding.

Another issue is do you consider frame repair a necessary part of re-upholstery?  If so, you can add a bunch more things like clamps, glue, drill and bits, wood chisels, etc.

While I do repairs, I regularly pull panels and replace them.  My kit:
* Tongue and groove pliers
* Needlenose pliers
* Staple & tack pullers
* Nail puller
* Utility knife
* Deadblow mallet (with soft and hard heads)
* Regulator
* Awl
* Snag pullers
* Scissors
* 1.5-2" curved needles
* Flashlight
* Band-aids
* Pencil, 6" combination square, measuring tape
* 35 Pc. GearWrench microdriver set  - all the screwdriver, Torx, Allen (hex), and metric and SAE socket wrenches with ratcheting offset driver.  Bits double duty in drill/driver or cordless screwdriver.  Otherwise, you'll eventually need these, especially for recliner work.
* Magnetic parts dish for holding and sweeping up staples

Less-frequently used:

* 12" buttoning needle
* Drill, bits, and pocket screw jig, screwdriver bits in various heads and lengths
* Screwdrivers - slotted, #2 Phillips and #2 square (or 10-in-1 set)
* Wood saw
* 10 oz carpenter's ripping hammer
* Shop-built spring pullers
* Chalk
* Bottle of Fray-Check
* Silicone spray
* Painter's pry bar
* Vice Grips
* Set of metric and SAE ratcheting box end wrenches and one 6" adjustable wrench
« : September 09, 2011, 11:11:33 AM byhammerandhand »

Keith

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kodydog
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« #14 : September 09, 2011, 01:01:08 PM »

I bought my first air compressor from a guy I used to work with. It was home made from an old craftsman tank, an old refrigerator motor, and a car A/C compressor. When the motor died I couldn't find a replacement for it. They don't make refrigerators with those big ol motors anymore.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
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