I'm putting a new top on my '23 touring. I'm to the point where I'm putting the pads on. So here's my question: for the front bow, do I staple ("tack") the pads to the FRONT surface of that bow, or the TOP surface of that bow?
The directions aren't clear (it's a Classtique kit, which seems to be otherwise very good). I also have the old JV Group "One Man Top" video and have watched it about 8 times, but it doesn't really show where Vince is putting the staples on the front bow. It sort of looks like he's stapling to the front surface, but it's hard to tell.
Could anybody clarify this for me? It would seem that stapling all that padding to the front surface of the front bow would make lumps in the edge of the top deck, but maybe not.
I stapled mine to the front of the bow. The tension on the pads when the top is up would tend to lift the staples if you stapled the pads to the top of the bow.
There are a lot of things that get stapled to the front of the front bow (tension straps, pads, wind flap, top canopy). When you staple all these things, be mindful to keep the staples confined to a narrow strip so that all the staples can be covered by the final, single row of hide-em welting. I was less careful when doing my top (my first attempt) and ended up having to use two rows of hide-em on the front, it isn't correct, but it still came out looking pretty good in my opinion.
Don't hesitate to email Elizabeth at Classtique if you have questions, she was very helpful with all of my questions.
That's super helpful Mark - thanks!
I believe Vince stapled (or tacked, can't remember) the pad fabric (the black material) into the front of the bow. But he was adamant that the padding itself should be cut to be flush with the top edge of the bow. In other words, the padding material does not turn ninety degrees and go down the front "face" of the bow, but the fabric "envelope" does.
This is based off the two man top video.
Bob, good point
Yes I don't know where I learned it, but yes...I was taught to push the stuffing back or remove some...just the cloth sleeve over the front corner and over the top of the bow...
But then again, I was taught to use blued tacks and a upholsters hammer with one side magnetic and how to fish one at a time while using my other hand for tension, only landing 1/2 home with the mag side, and when totally happy with the job turn the head around and send all those blue things 'home' (and still do)
Bob is correct, that's what I did with mine, the fabric got stapled to the front of the bow, but I pulled the padding back so that it started on top of the bow.
I had forgotten about that little nuance until Bob mentioned it, thanks Bob.
You don't want any filler in those pads when you wrap them over the front of the bow.
Are the bow pads made up only of the padding and the outer fabric covering? Any that I've seen, or made, had burlap straps inside, in addition to the padding.
The ones in the Classtique kit I used contained burlap (jute) straps, cotton padding, and the black fabric wrapping.
The Classtique instructions (I saved them) say the following about the pads. Note that the straps referred to in the instructions below are the tension straps, which should be installed before working on the pads.
"Remove the (cotton) pad and jute strips from the pad cover, lay the cover front to rear on the bows, 2 inches over the curve of the bow, the balance of the cover towards the straps. Pull the opened pad tight front to rear and and tack to each bow.
Lay the jute webbing onto the open cover, pull tight and tack, lay the pad on next, cut the excess cotton off at the top of the front and rear bows. Close the loose cover material over the pad and tack to the bows. Cut off extra material. If you have not done so already, tack the long straps to each bow and cut off."
I took the extra step to lightly sew the loose flaps of the pad cover material to each other to help hold the pad closed over time.
That last bit of light sewing is really helpful if you lower the top a lot! Don't know why it isn't mentioned in the instructions! A curved "sail makers" needle makes that job a lot easier too. Used to be available at almost any fabric store--but good luck finding a fabric store nowadays!
The pads are made of bowdrill, the same stuff you wrap the middle and back bow with, and yes, you need some kind of a strap inside it. I still have the strap that came from the top on my '25, and they took two pieces of Ford top material 2" wide and sewed them together right down the middle. The pads were hand stitched together as David mentioned above, and do use a curved needle.
Ford was famous for using up bits of leftover fabric, so Larry's straps are no surprise. In the Model A world, the 30/30 Sport Coupes used a no-longer available top material. My sample of it was a piece of "cheater" material used on the front seat carriage side panels--nice place to find it, as it's not sun nor weather faded! Now if someone would just make some. . . . Right now my car has the usual tan convertible top material on it, which, in texture is close to the original, but in color, not even near.
Sorry for the thread drift to As.