Installing new leather upholstery from Classtiques in my 1913 Touring

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Installing new leather upholstery from Classtiques in my 1913 Touring
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 02:09 pm:

So, to warning of many of my friends, I decided to purchase a new leather upholstery kit from Classtiques, and (gasp) install it myself. So far, I've covered both seat bottoms, and am about 75% of my way through the front seat back rest. Now, while I am no professional, I do believe that what I've accomplished so far looks pretty good. Besides, the interiors as installed by ford and his suppliers, were far from perfect. The photo of my seat cushion looks like it is stretched too far on the left, but this is a shadow thing and is actually straight.

The key I found to making it look good is taking your time and making sure you stuff the pleats very full. From there, it's just a matter of moving slow and and working your way around the cover.s1s2s32s4ss


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Jorgensen, Batavia, IL on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 02:27 pm:

Very nice!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 02:31 pm:

Really nice! You're using tacks too. Excellent.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 03:22 pm:

You're doing great! Did you have to buy any extra cotton to help fill out the pleats, or was there enough with the kit?

The Cartouche kit that came with my '24 was short on cotton. I redistributed it as best I could, but in retrospect I should have bought some extra.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Troy Todd on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 03:24 pm:

Looks good. I've seen people do it but never tried it myself.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren F Rollins on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 03:32 pm:

From one 13 owner to another . It looks very good! Keep the progress photos .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Dunlap - Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 03:46 pm:

Wow! You're selling yourself short by saying "what I've accomplished so far looks pretty good."

What you've done looks great! I love the pleated look. Keep us posted on your progress.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 04:05 pm:

Thanks guys... It's a lot of fun also!

Mark, The kit comes from Classtique with PLENTY of cotton to do the job. I don't know how much I'll have left over, but there will be some.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 05:51 pm:

That looks pretty good. I am going to do my upholstery soon too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 08:46 pm:

Wow, actually leather? LOOKS Fab! Don't forget to save the scraps for repairs and to use for leather protectors in other places.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 08:54 pm:

Looking good!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 09:05 pm:

Jim, I know you aren't going to like this, but I think you could stuff more padding into some of those pleats. Compared to Cartouche kit, yours is wonderful. Congratulations.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 10:15 pm:

That's why the pleats (other than the armrests) are still only held with one tack each, Larry!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Dunlap - Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 11:01 pm:

James:
I recently purchased a 23 touring. I have the seat springs and seat cushions. It did not come with springs for the seat backs. I've been wondering about where to track them down.

Your seat back looks fabulous and I cannot tell from your pics whether the leather is covering springs in the seat back.

Are there springs in the seat backs, or is the padding all it needs?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Art Wilson on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 11:46 pm:

Hi James,
I have done a few diamond tufted upholstery jobs on my cars and on several other cars, so with some experience I can say I am very impressed with the job you are doing. Not many have the patience it takes to to that kind of work.

I do see a couple of areas on your upholstery that could use some refinement to get it looking more like what Ford produced.
The roll over on the back is way too big. The original cars had a much smaller roll over, about the size you have just back from the front of the arm rest. Also a smaller roll over at the top will help eliminate the wrinkling that typically occur between the upper buttons. This is an area I always have trouble with.
The other area is the shape of the rollover on the sides of the body. Ideally the top of the upholstery rollover should follow the curved shape of the body. That is difficult to accomplish but it can be obtained with careful persistence. I find it is best to sneak up on it by progressively working the leather to the shape desired instead of attempting to get there in one pass.

A trick I use to get to the tacks at the bottom of the seat back is setting the tacks with a 1/4" rod about 10" long with a small round magnet taped to the end of it. The magnet holds the tack to the rod and the rod can be used to initially push the tack into the leather. Then the rod can be hammered on to set the tack. I never had the magnet break but I wasn't hammering on it very hard.
The seat cushions are excellent.
Hope this helps,

Art


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 08:34 am:

All... Thanks for the kind words and also the great advice. I do plan to continue working some of the issues and will fix what I can, and live with what I can't. I will say that the only complaint I have thus far with the Classtique kit is that there should be a little more material within each pleat which would allow more material in the folds. That is one of the reasons why Art noted that the fold on the side doesn't follow the exact body contour. If I stretched hard enough to accomplish that, the threads show on the seam. THat is not good. I guess I could remedy the situation by pulling out some of the stuffing. I'll revisit it and see what I come up with. In any event, it's better to be over-stuffed and have to back-track than to pull too tight and have to add stuffing. The latter equals ruined interior because your previous tack-line will now be exposed. I plan to work on it all day today so we'll see how it goes. I hope to complete the front seat backrest.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 08:36 am:

Eric..'13s do not have springs on the seat backs. Only the seat bottoms.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 09:08 am:

Tim.. Thanks for mentioning that. I meant to respond to Eric and forgot.

Eric.. to further expand on Tim's answer, while I cannot give you precise information for a 23, I do know that by 1915, the tourings had springs in the seat backs. They are individual springs tacked to the wood strip about 2/3rds of the way up the seat back. I think My car had 8 springs. If I can find a picture, I'll post it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 10:21 am:

Be careful not to over-stuff the sides of the front seat. _If you do, you'll lose a few inches of side-to-side hip room and you and your front-seat passenger will wind up smooshed together. _My seats are thus over-stuffed and I speak from experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 10:34 am:

Bob...I already have a "smoosh test" planned for me and my wife before I finish it off!


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